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Time to visit Tasmania

by Carl Hyland 24 Sep 2019 01:43 UTC
Jason Hales with a large Brown from St Patricks River © Carl Hyland

In over 40 years of freshwater fishing in the Island state of Australia, I have never seen a year where such large trout have been caught consistently during the start of the trout season.

Every day, pictures roll across my desk with anglers telling stories of sensational fishing right through to every corner of Tassie. Why this is happening, who knows, but I suspect good rainfall and high water levels as we go into spring have something to do with it, plus a lot of anglers are now practising catch and release which means it's good for fish weight gain and in some cases, anglers are catching the same fish over again, which is a credit to the anglers, for it means fish are surviving the stress of capture and are putting good weight gain on from year to year.

What amazes me is the fact that a lot of these double figure trout are coming from skinny water, often no deeper than your knees. Rivers that receive a good injection of snow melt seem to hold the largest fish but that's not to say that smaller tributaries don't hold good fish also. Rivers like the Meander and Mersey are giving up good fish to all manner of lures and flies.

St Patricks River behind Launceston is also home to some whoppers, with a local angler Jason Hales reaping the rewards of fishing this skinny water. Jason was telling me of his latest capture, a huge rainbow trout, which he said, didn't have a tooth in its head. This fish was quite elusive and finally fell to a beaded nymph. The majority of Jason's fish are taken on local lures from the Hueys Lures range.

Some fish are escapees from hatcheries but seasoned anglers can tell the difference between the farmed fish and those that are truly wild. The Tyenna River in the south is another water that holds some huge fish, plus the Dennison and Russell Rivers. Night time fishing has been successful for some, especially those using the old wooden Fishcake plugs which represent a mouse of a frog plopping across the water's surface.

The ideal lures are those which either suspend or float and draw very little water.

With Tasmania hosting the World Fly fishing championships in December, one can only hope that entrants get a chance to do battle with some of these larger fish.

Until next time, happy fishing!

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