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Fly Fishing Championship starting soon in Tasmania

by Carl Hyland 12 Nov 23:21 UTC 24 November - 6 December 2019
Sam Burn with a nice Southern Tasmanian brown trout. © Carl Hyland

By all accounts, the opening of the cray season in Tasmania last weekend went quite well. Of course, you will always get the odd person who didn't do well and I've yet to find anyone who bags out every day they go out.

A group of young fellows from the South, free dive for their cray in usually shallow water with great success. Sometimes in water depths as little as 1.5 metres, they will find cray. It amazes me how long they can hold their breath and to be able to reach into holes or cracks to find their target.

The good thing about their style of fishing is that they can selectively target their prey namely sized crayfish. Divers around Southport tell of seeing males in shallow water with new shells and some with old shells about to molt.Reports from potters tell of mixed results along the South East and East.

A report from an angler who hit up Drew Point in the South of the state, was disappointing last weekend. Chasing scale fish, the angler and two other boats never saw a fish in North West Bay, the Channel and up to Betsey Island. This is obviously due to water temperature and availability of baitfish. I really suspect that once water warms up and weather settles with established high pressure systems, we should an increase in piscatorial activity. That's one good thing about anglers; they always look on the 'bright 'side!

I saw a picture of a flathead last week that had odd discolouring about 2/3rds along its back. The colouring went from normal flathead pigmentation to nearly a bright orange.

This is the first I have seen of this type of thing and a comment as passed that it could have been some type of fungal disease. There really are only a few people to call in this instance one would be Andrew Pender at IMAS or Dr Jeremy Lyle who, I am sure, would help with identifying this mystery colouration. This really applies to anyone wanting information on fish identification or who have questions in regards to fish diseases.

I personally use fishesofaustralia.net.au to help me with fish identification or of course, you can visit our own dpipwe.tas.gov.au which has all you need to find fish, how to catch them and other valuable information.

Freshwater fishing is going gangbusters with many trout and salmon being caught. Angler access at the Meander has been improved, mainly at Porters Bridge on the Meander River near Westbury. As a result angler's access has now been established to 4km of river up and downstream of a newly created parking area on the southern side of the bridge. Ideal for bait fishing with a lightly weighted worm in spring or a grasshopper later in the season and lure casting with small hard bodies the river has deep pools interspersed with rock riffles.

For those seeking more information on Freshwater fishing in Tasmania, The Inland Fisheries Service now has an Instagram profile, which will provide up to date information on the trout fishery in Tasmania. Follow them to see what their staff do and see, while they are out and about. You will find them at @troutfishtasmania

A reminder that the World Fly Fishing Championship is starting soon in Tasmania.

Teams from 23 countries will compete at the three lake and two river venues.

The State Government is supporting the event, to ensure it is one to remember. This support includes proposed temporary regulation changes for the competition waters that aim to keep any disruption to a minimum.

The following regulation changes have been put in place to support the event:

The lake venues of Little Pine Lagoon, Penstock Lagoon and Woods Lake, will be closed to recreational fishing for the duration of the event from midnight on Sunday 1 December to midnight on Friday 6 December 2019 inclusive.

The competition sections of the river venues will be closed to recreational fishing, from midnight on Sunday 24 November to midnight on Friday 6 December 2019 inclusive.

The Mersey River downstream of the Olivers Road (on the C 138) bridge to Hoggs Bridge (on the C 153).

The Meander River downstream from the Huntsman Lake dam to Barretts Bridge, Long Ridge Road (on the C 166).

The competition sites along the Mersey and Meander Rivers (see above) will close seven days before the competition starts. This decision was made as the river venues are small and accessible and wild fish take some time to resume normal behaviour after disturbance from angling effort. Fishing is allowed in the large section of the rivers that will not be used for the competition.

These temporary regulation changes are designed to balance support for the Championship and the potential disruption to recreational anglers.

For more information about the temporary regulations please phone 1300 INFISH (463474).

If you would like more information about the event head to the World Fly Fishing Championship 2019 website and contact a member of the organising committee.

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