Tasmania offers anglers world-class trout fishing experiences on its rivers, streams and lakes. No matter your level of expertise or newcomer-ness in fishing, Tasmania has something for everyone – including novice fishers!
Trout thrive in calm, oxygenated waters that offer protection from predators such as predator fish. Trout typically find shelter among snags, logs, or underwater structures; their food sources vary throughout the year to influence their behavior and ultimately shape their course.
Lake Fly Fishing
Tasmania’s wilderness boasts a variety of stunningly clear lakes, lagoons, and tarns that boast crystal-clear waters. Many small and shallow bodies offer fantastic sight fishing opportunities with trout cruising the edges in search of easy prey – making lake fly fishing one of the most rewarding forms of fly fishing – witnessing one rising to take your fly can be one of life’s great thrills.
Although some anglers prefer fishing from a bank, belly boat fishing offers the best experience of Tasmanian lakes. It can access more profound and remote parts of a lake more quickly and avoid disturbing fish that may otherwise turn away or refuse your fly when the weather turns foul – an invaluable advantage during winter when trout are particularly picky about taking it in their mouth!
By late April and early May, as lake temperatures warm, trout begin feeding heavily on surface insects – this is when “shark fishing,” pioneered by local guides, becomes effective. You can target these fish by dropping midges or chironomids off-strike indicators at 3-10 feet, depending on the depth of water where you are fishing.
Tasmania’s lakes contain many weed beds filled with caddis and other invertebrates that trout are drawn to, meaning you can catch trout even during the summer heat by fishing wet flies or nymphs.
Are You Fishing Tasmanian Lakes for Adventure or Practice? Tasmanian lakes offer incredible fishing adventures or are simply an ideal place to try fishing for beginners and experts alike; visiting is well worth your while! Just bear in mind that climate can vary and that certain bodies of water close during autumn, spring, or winter due to spawning cycles – this means planning may be required not to be limited by season restrictions when planning your visit.
River Fly Fishing
Tasmania offers some of the world’s richest trout waters in its rivers and creeks, from freestone rivers tumbling over their rocky origins to meadow streams with long glides over sandy or weed-laden bottoms – offering anglers plenty of fishing opportunities.
As spring warms up and flows increase on some river systems, fly fishing becomes more consistent across the season. On the South Esk, during early summer, there are fantastic caenid hatches followed by good mayfly and caddis hatching all day, as well as outstanding hopper fishing from late summer through autumn.
September is a fantastic month to be out on the water as days lengthen and river levels subside, making dry fly fishing more accessible. September offers ample opportunity for experiencing Tasmania’s famous mayfly hatches and trout hunting at its finest.
Mayfly action remains robust in October, with trout responding eagerly to abundant Blue blue-winged olive hatches across rivers and lakes fisheries. Their appetite peaks, and sight-fishing large tailing fish becomes an everyday event on lakes.
From Derwent Bridge, our guests have access to Tasmania’s sparkling highland lakes and rivers and local guides and landowners that provide anglers with excellent fishing access to both public and private properties. Many waters can be reached within an hour’s drive of their accommodation, so you can be on the water without delay!
Central Tasmania’s sandstone rivers, such as the Macquarie and Tyenna, are well known for providing exceptional dry fly fishing throughout their seasons, particularly those along their meadow streams. Lined by lush meadow grasses and willows and home to healthy populations of wild brown trout, Tyenna from Hadspen to Avoca offers some of the finest lowland mayfly fishing available anywhere, while spinner falls frequently during mid to late summer. Hopper and caddis fishing also remain very productive this season – not to mention incredible lowland mayfly fishing!
Stream Fly Fishing
Tasmania’s smaller streams offer anglers an intimate fishing experience apart from lakes. Many are hidden deep within nature’s expanse and may require wading for access, offering fly fishermen many opportunities.
Wading through a stream requires reading the water; pay attention to current fish locations and types of insects on or near surfaces and in weed beds, as this will give you clues for selecting appropriate flies to use.
A typical Tasmanian stream will typically feature riffles, runs, and flats. Riffles are fast-flowing water areas where trout are frequently found cruising for food; if there is plenty of tussock or grass on the bottom, you may see trout holding in these spots and feeding off terrestrial insects. In this instance, a hopper or caddis pattern will do the trick!
Runs are long stretches of slower water where trout are often found near deeper areas near banks. Runs can provide excellent opportunities to practice your dry fly techniques – particularly parachute mayfly patterns and deer hair or CDC caddis patterns – particularly on warm days when trout can even be observed cruising across flats.
By October, Tasmania’s trout season is in full swing, with rivers and creeks offering diverse fishing opportunities, while lake fishing reaches its zenith. Trout rises to prolific Blue Winged Olive hatches while sight-fishing opportunities abound for tailing trout in many lakes. Turbid conditions also lend themselves well for Euro nymphing with Prince nymphs, Whitlock’s red Fox squirrel nymphs, or even San Juan Worms, as these fly types provide ample success despite these challenges!
Tasmania offers an incredible diversity of river and lake fly fishing opportunities, from small twig waters to meadow streams and stirring boulder flows. Furthermore, Tasmania’s lakes provide ample opportunity to witness trout swimming quietly away in backcountry settings.
Tasmanian lakes are filled with rainbow and brown trout stocked by Tasmania’s Inland Fisheries Service; other bodies manage these populations to ensure their sustainability and growth, making Tasmania’s trout fishing experience diverse depending on season, waterway, and more.
Early-season lake fishing is ideal, as their waters have warmed from winter and are hungry for sustenance. Our warm summer temperatures foster algae growth in shallower waters, providing game fish with ample food sources to feast upon. Later in the season, trout begin feeding on larvae and nymphs, producing more sub-aquatic food sources, leading to excellent dry fly fishing opportunities during September and November.
As the season winds down, weather temperatures decrease, and hatches on lakes become less prolific, making polaroiding and searching more effective approaches. We can still enjoy phenomenal dry fly fishing but patience and an open mind may be required to see results.
For those searching for something different this month, the lower slopes of the Derwent River offer an excellent option. This section of the river comprises freestone streams that gradually open into broad meadow streams with beautiful weed beds and gravel runs, offering some fantastic mayfly hatches starting in late spring, followed by caddis throughout the season and damsels and gum beetles in warmer months.
This stretch of the river also boasts an abundant population of brook trout. While these fish may seem daunting at first, they come from colder areas and don’t feed during warmer conditions; if you can be patient and persevere through December’s more frigid weeks, you could reap tremendous rewards!