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Issue 99 August - September 2012

HUGE Trout season r e n e p o

$5

Trout - Mega Issue

Tips and stocking from IFS Tackle shops advice Huge range of advice from the experts Best flies, lures and techniques

Print Post approved; PP 702512 00027

Lake Pedder – Paradise Scamander Bream

Stop the Margiris See Page 3

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for delicate presentations making ‘match-the-hatch’ fisheries ideal for these fly rods. “My goal for this rod was to apply the performance advantages of modern materials on a very sleek, slender shaft that would load down in the hand for a fishing tempo like glass, or bamboo while providing the crucial need for accuracy,” notes Sage Chief Fly Rod Designer, Jerry Siem. “The CIRCA is a rod that once it’s in your hands, enables you to improve as an angler by identifying where, why and how you can put a fly on the water.

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Early Season — Tackle shop tips

4

Inland Fisheries Service - Predicitions and Stocking News 8

13

17

29

Jan’s Flies

12

Early Season Flies — Joe Riley

13

Western Lakes at Night — Craig Rist

17

Lake Pedder – Paradise Forgotten — Justin Causby

21

Scamander Bream — Simon-peter Hedditch

25

Choosing a Fly Reel — Gavin Hicks

29

Smoking Trout — Lessons from Michal Rybka

33

North East Trout — Jamie Henderson

36

Breaking the Ice — Peter Broomhall

41

Weight, Wait, Strike – Lessons from Peter Hayes

44

Reviews — from

46

Marine Fishery News

48

Fishing, boating and accommodation services directory

50

My Say My say in this issue is by Todd Lambert. He, like me and all Tasmania fishers have grave concerns over the Margiris super trawler coming to Tasmania.

S

aturday 21st July 2012 saw thousands of concerned Tasmanian fishers come together as one in the biggest acts of unity ever witnessed in Tasmania fishing. The Northwest coast, Launceston and Hobart all held ‘No Super Trawler Rallies’ in opposition to the pending arrival of the 142 metre long floating fish factory called FV Magiris. Super Trawlers such as this, which have received huge subsidies by EU taxpayer, have over fished the West African fishery. They are still EU subsidised and are now coming to Tasmania. And where are these fish going? To West Africa. I am sure they will be beautiful corporate citizens here, (yes that was sarcasm!). Could someone please tell me a good news story that has been produced in the wake of where these super trawlers have previously been? This is absolute madness, and seemingly the only ones that have yet to work that out are unfortunately our politicians. At the rally, Tasmanians called on the government (both State and Federal) to fix this. As they don’t seem to have a clue, here are some suggestions. 1. Work out what this ship is going to make profit wise here, accept that a major mistake has been made,

compensate the proponents then turn the boat around. 2. Introduce legislation, closing the loopholes so this can never happen again. 3. Keep the pressure on the politicians. These waters belong to Australians, not foreign subsidised fishing vessels that have decimated their own fisheries and are not wanted anywhere else in the world because of that very fact. Quote from ‘Super Trawler - Fact Sheet’. (Greenpeace, Tasmanian

Conservation Trust and Environment Tasmania). Full fact sheet is on www.

tasfish.com now.

‘The Global Fishing Disaster Sending Australia Super Trawler Margiris ‘The ship owner, Parlevliet & Van Der Plas, is a member of the European Pelagic Freezer-Trawler Association (PFA), which consists of 34 factory trawlers that are among the biggest and most powerful in the world. The PFA and its member trawlers, such as the FV Margiris, receive European taxpayer funds to subsidise their fishing of international waters. The EU paid an estimated 142.7 million euros to secure fishing rights for PFA vessels in Mauritanian and Moroccan waters between 20062012. EU taxpayers pay more than 90% of the access costs to allow these companies to fish. These European companies have recently been in the

media due to their involvement in the South Pacific Mackerel Fishery which has failed with the fish stock collapsing to less than 10% of original estimates. ‘The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation concluded in 1998 that global fishing capacity was 2.5 times greater than global fish stocks could sustain; since then capacity has increased. The UN and World Bank have assessed that overcapacity and overfishing are costing the global economy US$50billion annually. ‘Principles established in the UN FAO code of conduct for responsible fisheries, to which Australia is a signatory, direct states to take steps to reduce overcapacity and avoid management actions that contribute to overcapacity. These principles were reaffirmed by Prime Minister Gillard this month in Rio along with a commitment to work towards cuts to fishing subsidies.’ Todd Lambert. Politicians should remember fishing is a hugely valuable recreational pursuit, not just something to be exploited.

Todd Lambert sent an email mid July, asking politicians both State and Federal to answer a simple question. “Do you support the Super Trawler proposal as it currently stands?” He received the following replies. No, we do not support: Will Hodgman/Liberals. The Greens. Jaquie Pertrusama. Brenton Best. Graeme Sturgess. Yes.. but with some assurances needed. Senator Richard Colbeck. Avoided the question and/or responded with rhetoric. Bryan Green, Dick Adams, Geoff Lyons and Brian Wightman. Failed to respond. Rebecca white, Michael Ferguson, Adam Brooks, Sid Sidebottom, Elise Archer, Michelle O’Byrne, Eric Abetz, Matthew Groom, Scott Bacon, Lara Giddings, Jeremy Rockliff.

Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News

Published by Michael Stevens PO Box 7504, Launceston, 7250. Fax: 6331 1278 Email; mike@tasfish.com Phone: 0418 129 949 Stevens Publishing, ABN 79 095 217 299

All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Print Post approved; PP 702512 00027

For subscriptions go to www.tasfish.com or phone 0418 129 949

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Fishing News - Page 3


Early season tackle shop tips

S

aturday 4 August is the start of another Tasmanian Trout fishing season.

Where will you go on opening day? Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News decided it was time to seek the opinions from “those in the know” about early season tips and places to head.

If you’re using winged lures such as Tassie Devils, a tip to try is to rig them back to front, as it makes them work better slowly and adds a wider sway in the action. Three waters to fish on the opening weekend where would you suggest? Because the water is so cold, I would try and fish shallower areas in lakes such as the Huntsman.

It was time to visit some of our local tackle retailers and have a chat.

Steve Suitor (Fishing Gear) What tips have you got for the opening weekend? Well, my main tip is the water is cold and the trout’s metabolism will naturally be a bit slower, so select lures that you can use at a slower speed.

Everyone that knows me, is aware that Lake St Clair is always on my radar early in the season, I love this place because the water is so deep, the water temperature doesn’t vary a lot and the fish seem to be acclimatised earlier than in other areas. I like to fish the St Clair Lagoon before Christmas, and the lake after Christmas.

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It amazes me the amount of people I talk to that happily fish at places like Bronte, yet when you mention St Clair and King William, they say “they are too far away,” but in reality, these waters are only 20 minutes further up a bitumen road!

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Last year I found many fish caught before Christmas in both Bronte and Little Pine were in average condition to say the least, but fish in these other waters, (King William and St Clair) were in excellent condition from the start of the season, until its end.

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Lake King William has a reputation for a lot of small fish, but it is surprising the quality of a lot of the fish in there.

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If you just want to catch fish, it is really hard to go past Lake King William.

Guelph Basin’s northern shore holds some excellent fish.

I always run a dropper fly, a dark coloured fly, with a contrast, a bit of florescent red on the tails. I attach the dropper fly above my swivel and let it run up and down the line; you will find that on “some days”, you will get 8 fish out of 10 taking this fly, preferring it to your lure. Favourite early season lures / bait? As for lure selection, I like a dark coloured lure with a red tail or nose. My favourite lures are a Ashley number 9 or a Brown Bomber. Bait wise, nothing beats scrub worms and earthworms early in the season, as the trout take advantage of the higher water levels available and gorges themselves.

Paul Cotter (Downtown Tackle) What three waters would you suggest for the opening weekend? I would say Huntsman, Arthurs and Woods Lake. If you were to only have the choice of three lures to fish with at this time of year, what would they be? I would have to go hard bodies early in the season. First of all I like the Diawa Double Clutch in the black/gold or black/gold and orange. They are deep divers, going down roughly a metre and a half, but because it is a suspending lure, you can also rip it down deep, let it suspend for a few seconds, and then give it a few more pulls. It is also an excellent trolling lure. I also like the Zip Baits, especially one called the “Orbit Slider”, definitely in the red colour. We originally got this in for the bream, but it has proven itself to be an absolute winner on the trout as well, especially in Arthurs, Woods Lake, Huntsman and Four Springs. Again, it only runs around the metre mark in depth, but as we are going to be working the shallows early season, we can work them with a pause or just a slow twitch and wind, as they are also a suspending lure. Generally with these sorts of lures it is better to

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have a bit of a pause in between retrieves if you can is my tip. Last but not least, the one that gets overlooked a fair bit is the Cranka Shad in the black. If you’re a fly fisherman, you would all know that the “go to fly” first thing in the winter is something like a black Woolly Bugger. People sometimes neglect dark coloured lures early in the season, but they work in exactly the same way as what a black fly does. Dark coloured lures work well in dirty water because they give you that silhouette, but they will still be effective in the clearer waters as well. They can be trolled and they do angle a little better than some of the others, which helps them bounce over the snags a bit better.

Nick Martin (Essential Fly Fisher) What are your top three early season waters along with suggestions to help us catch a fish early on in the year? Four Springs will be very popular as there has been a lot of fish placed in there recently. The Meander River looks good as it is running at a good height and there is still a bit of rain about. The other place that I do like early, (and not a lot of people go there), is Pine Tier Lagoon. What flies do you suggest? Four Springs, I would be fishing something like a “Dirty Harry” which is a very good wet fly or a Joe Riley Bugger, which is just big and black bugger pattern with a lot of movement. In the Meander I would fish the well known Pheasant Tail nymph which everyone has pretty well heard of, and if I went to Pine Tier, I would fish a Red Tag (dry fly) with an orange tail. For the last five years, I have caught my first fish of the season on a dry fly. If choosing the wet fly option, you would need to be working around the edges, this is where the fish would be concentrated, as it would just be that little bit warmer.

Huntsman Lake is a popular year round fishery. The shallows can be particularly early.

If fishing deeper, very slow retrieves over the weed edges are the go, in my opinion. A couple of housekeeping tips to finish, make sure your gear is all prepared, clean your fly lines, tie on new leaders, don’t use last year’s ones or you are setting yourself up for disappointment as a bust off is likely due to line deterioration over the winter months whilst your gear has been in storage.

Dean Davern (Tamar Marine) What lures do you think are essential? My top lures would come from the Rapala range, followed closely by the Berkley 3B Minnows in the natural colours such as Galaxia and Perch. In soft plastics, you just can’t go past Berkley black n gold T Tails in my opinion; at times they will catch trout when nothing else seems to. Match these up with a 1/12 jig head, you can fish both rivers and lakes with that weight, especially in the shallower margins.

I tend to fish them very slowly and not too erratic. Use a slow wind to keep them close to the bottom with a couple of small hops in between. My preference is to not fish them too aggressively, but that being said, I am aware that other guys do, with great success. Over the years, in my experience, I have found that I have caught bigger fish if I work the plastic back slower and deeper as opposed to fishing the top part of the water column. With the Rapalas, I like to use a fairly aggressive ripping action, as it tends to get them fired up. The Duo 80ml minnows are also a great “go to lure” in the natural colours mentioned earlier. The MW Ecogear minnows in the 313, 375 and 377 colours will give a good account for themselves early in the season as well... What three waters would you suggest for the opening weekend? I don’t tend to fish the lakes that much early in the season as the rivers are more my preference. As far as rivers go, the Meander, South Esk and maybe the St Pats would be the three rivers I will be looking at to fish early August.

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and the earthworm always produces good results. Lake River and the Macquarie River are always great, and if you want to jump in the car and go for a drive, the Mersey River, in my opinion, is one of the best in Tasmania. What flies would you use opening weekend and how would you fish them? Woolly Buggers down deep, the Shrek fly, as olive and black or just the basic black colour are always great “go to flies”. If someone was keen to get really serious about it, I would rug up warm, jump the gate into the Nineteen Lagoons region and fish a fur fly or Mrs Simpson in the shallows.

Neil Gray (Tassie Tackle and Outdoor) What waters would you suggest for the opening weekend?

There is no more popular opening water than Four Springs. A new double ramp should help ease the congestion. That being said, if I did decide to head out and fish some lakes, somewhere like Huntsman Lake or Four Springs Lake would be on my hit list as I have had success at Four Springs in the past. Fly fishing /Bait fishing suggestions? A great fly early is an of the Woolly Worms or Woolly Bugger type flies early and if you’re using bait, the humble garden worms take some beating early in the season. Power bait is also a good option to explore, I suggest running a little worm on the bottom, a light sinker, with Power bait on another hook, a bit higher up, (hanging off a little dropper), and this is a fantastic method, especially at Four Springs.

Allan Davey (Doo-Gun Tackle) If you were to only have the choice of three lures to fish with at this time of year, what would they be?

I like the Rapala lures early on, in the Brook Trout and Fire Tiger colours also the good old number 18 Loftys. TROUT TACTICS

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What three waters would you suggest for the opening weekend? Four Springs is the obvious one, and thinking about it, soft plastics are probably going to be better than hardbodies here, but having said that, I know a couple of fishermen that do well on the hard bodies early in the season.

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Scrub worms are the best in my opinion and we try and steer people away from using compost worms. It won’t be long though, before the fresh water angler’s attention starts to focus on the Central highlands area. If you were to only have the choice of three lures to fish with at this time of year, what would they be? Black n Gold T Tails in soft plastics, a number 14 in the Ashley’s followed by numbers 28 or 29 in the Ashley range.

Leroy Tirant (Bigfin Sports Fishing) What three waters would you suggest for the opening weekend? Great Lake, the Mersey River and Lake Burbury, (even though it is open all year round), it is still one of my favourite “early season” waters. If you were to only have the choice of three lures to fish with at this time of year, what would they be? Black and gold T Tails, Rapala F7, in any colour, and if I were thinking of picking up the fly gear, my first choice would be the humble green nymph. I’ve really got to add an extra one in here and that is an Ashley number 14 D, as it is our biggest selling lure. My tips would be, if using the hard bodies, fish them with slow twitches and regular pauses. The

Arthurs will be very popular as always, and for somewhere totally different, I would throw in Laughing Jack Lagoon.

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In our North West Coast area, the Guide dam would be one, the Pet dam another, and then possibly the Cam River, but the first two mentioned will most likely receive the most attention from North West fisherpersons early. A lot of people in this area will go bait fishing just with worms, and they always seem to do well.

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It wasn’t highly touted, but Laughing Jack fished really well at the end of last season with some good quality fish coming to the net. Rivers are always a good option early in the season for those anglers that don’t wish to travel that far,

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fish at this time of year are hungry, but not overly energetic. It pays to slow things down a bit until the water heats up and they start chasing their quarry a bit harder. If bait fishing, an unweighted worm on a light leader is always a good method, especially around shallow lake margins and flooded river edges.

Jamie Henderson (St Helens Bait n Tackle) What waters would you suggest for the opening weekend? Georges River and the South Esk are the best options for the East Coast ( if you are heading out after a trout), but don’t discard the upper reaches of the Scamander River where the water is still fresh and before it meets the salt. I would be looking for little “eddies or backwaters” out of the main flow, if the rivers are rising, freshly flooded ground such as paddocks are always productive. If you were to only have the choice of three lures to fish with at this time of year, what would they be? I would to say a number 1 Celta for our little streams here on the East Coast; a Brown Trout patterned Rapala (Max Rap) and probably a 60mm squidgy fish in the Garry Glitter colour. If I decided to bait fish, a bunch of worms on an unweighted hook should bring success; I cast them upstream and let them drift back down with the current, fishing the oxygenated water at both the head and tail of the pools.

Tom Crawford (Tackle us Kingston) What three waters would you suggest for the opening weekend? My pick of the crop would definitely be Bronte, followed by Lake Echo and the Huon River.

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Favourite Lures/ tips? We have a new lure that is about to hit the market called ‘Liquid gold’ that I feel will be a sensation, and I am keen to give it a run early on in the season. My other choices would consist of a Rapala Spotted Dog and 3 inch Gulp minnow grub in pumpkinseed. I would fish the grub deep, applying slow, “jerking” retrieves with nice big long pauses in between winds. Match this with a 1/8th size 2 jig head.

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This helps with the short nips and half hearted strikes we experience at this time of year.

The best tip that I could put forward is, if in doubt with your lure action or retrieve, go slower, the slower the better.

Always a great place to get solid advice and knowledge, we hope some of the tips shared above help bring you success, not just on the opening day, but right throughout the 2012/13 trout fishing season!

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Arthurs, King William and Bronte would be worth a visit.

So there you have it, a quick whip around your some tackle dealers in your area.

To do this, I use a bit of fluorocarbon leader that I tie to the keeper, and sit it just in the plastic so as not to inhibit its action too much.

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What three waters would you suggest for the opening weekend?

I would use a pink Tassie Devil if I were trolling. Fly-fishing, I would probably be nymphing with a pattern called a 007 and if spinning I would probably use a small Maria shad.

My tip would be the use of a “stinger rig” on my soft plastics which consists of a little hook tied near the back of the plastic.

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Fishing News - Page 7


Inland Fisheries predicts a great season

Viv Spencer with a lovely Lake Leake rainbow.

T

he 2012 - 13 should be a great angling season. The culmination of three years of good rainfalls in Tasmania have restored some previously drought stricken waters, turning around the fortunes of fisheries that were hit hard by low water levels and poor flows of spawning creeks and rivers. Three years ago there were dire predictions of the performance of some of Tasmania’s most popular fisheries but thanks to La Nina and above average rainfall it has brought even the most pessimistic anglers should be encouraged by the season ahead. Lake Leake, Tooms Lake, Arthurs Lake, Lake Dulverton and Craigbourne Dam are fisheries that have rebounded to provide good consistent water levels that now abound with fish that have either been stocked by the IFS or naturally recruited through good flows in spawning streams.

Lowland lakes The IFS has been quite active in maintaining stocks of trout over the last three years to account for the effects of the drought and to restore the performance of fisheries to pre-drought levels. Lake Dulverton for example was a dry dustbowl in 2009 is now a large expanse of water that has been remained at a good level since 2010. This has progressively been stocked by the IFS with adult brown trout, rainbows and brook trout since early 2010. Once only a spot of local interest this season should bring some good fishing at Lake Dulverton, especially whilst levels are at their best from August through to October. Lake Dulverton has vast amounts of accessible shoreline from which to fish, not really suited to motorised boating due to the thick weed beds, the lake could offer a great option for fishing from a kayak. Fishing News - Page 8

As with Lake Dulverton, Tooms Lake has benefited from the stocking of adult brown trout since water levels restored in the 2009/10 season, prior to this season 600 brown trout averaging one kilogram were stocked. Whilst these stocks provided an immediate stop gap measure to the drought depleted trout stocks the long term prospects of the fishery have been looked after with the stocking of juvenile and mostly wild stock rainbow and brown trout. Tooms Lake provides good fish early in the season before weed growth makes it difficult to fish by trolling and minimises fishable area in general. A feature prior to the drought was fly fishing for brown trout feeding on galaxias amongst the rocky shores. With improved water levels the galaxias population has rebuilt and the brown trout will no doubt be feeding hard up on the shore again, September is the peak of this activity. Lake Leake is another fishery that has come back from the brink after being drought stricken. To reinvigorate the depleted fish stocks it has received over 40 000 domestic rainbows since it refilled, all at a size that should have seen good survival rates and helped provide anglers with good catches. Natural recruitment of brown trout to this fishery with good flows down the Snowy River should have this fishery back to its best. An Anglers Access brochure on Lake Leake and Tooms Lake is available from the IFS website and some tackle stores; this gives anglers the regulations, a map of each lake and other information on these two eastern region fisheries.

Lake Dulverton has had a real revival.

Tooms Lake is a popular and productive early season water.

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Highland lakes For those that are interested in early season fishing further up on the Central Plateau a few infrastructure changes will make that early season trip a bit more user friendly. At Woods Lake there have been some major improvements to the boat launching facilities. The existing ramp has often been a difficult spot to launch due to its’ westerly facing direction, getting hit hard by westerly winds that cause waves to swamp small boats and generally make life difficult for the boater. The upgraded ramp with a sheltering break wall structure will make launching much easier and safer. This is a fishery that has become very popular since the road improvements in 2005. The road does still suffer from corrugations after a time but recently grading and vegetation clearance has occurred there and signs now advise of road conditions prior to embarking on the journey from Arthurs Lake. Woods Lake offers very good fishing especially in the first four months of the season, like Tooms Lake it can be a hard place to fish in the summer months because of the growth of aquatic weeds. Bronte Lagoon has likewise seen a revamp of its’ launching facilities. Boats can now be launched at the lagoon via a dual lane concrete ramp. This ramp is state of the art with an accessible floating pontoon between the two lanes allowing for boat passengers to board their boat with ease and safety at all water levels. Bronte Lagoon has fished well the last few seasons with catch rates averaging nearly two fish a day. Early season is the best time to fish the flooded margins for tailing fish but also offers lure fishers’ good prospects as well.

Rivers could reward Early season (August and September) fishing in Tasmania gives anglers the chance to take advantage of fuller lakes and swollen rivers and the trout activity associated with this. When lakes are filling over fresh ground and rivers are spilling onto the paddocks it is prime time to hunt for tailing trout. Tailing trout are the feature of some of the highland fisheries but they can be found at most inland waters given the right conditions. While the waters in the highlands are still suffering from winter chill with trout often sluggish and in less than optimal condition, many of the lowland waters are warmer and the trout more active in their feeding as well as having

The Meander River is a great early season water. It has a controlled flow from Huntsman Lake.

THE INCENTIVES TO GO TROUT FISHING IN TASMANIA ARE BIGGER THAN EVER. Big rains – lots of water The Tasmanian trout fishery is in peak condition after three seasons of good rainfall. Higher water levels and the persistent inundation of fresh ground have brought an abundance of aquatic life. Weed beds have regrown in previously dry areas, providing habitat for aquatic invertebrates and excellent foraging grounds for trout. This season is predicted to be one of the best in years.

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Huntsman Lake, a new fishery resulting from the construction of the Meander Dam in 2008, has a large population of wild brown trout. It’s already a popular fishery, being easily accessed from Devonport and Launceston, and it is now open all year round. Other all-year waters include Great Lake, Lake Barrington, Brushy Lagoon, Craigbourne Dam, Lake Burbury, Lake Pedder and Meadowbank Lake, along with the estuarine sections of the Leven, Tamar, Derwent and Huon rivers.

Big stretches of quality rivers Stretches of quality angling water found in several of Tassie’s renowned lowland rivers, which were previously difficult to access through private property, have now been opened up to anglers including the recently completed Tyenna River. These projects add to those already undertaken on the River Leven, Meander, Macquarie, Lake and North Esk rivers and Brumbys Creek, along with the Huon River in the south, since the River Access Program began in 2007.

Big numbers of wild fish Now in its fourth year of operation, the IFS modern hatchery is producing increased numbers of fry and fingerling stock from wild fish for stocking. These trout are being grown to larger sizes before their release, resulting in improved stocking effectiveness. This means better fishing in waters such as the Western Lakes,Penstock Lagoon, Lake Crescent and Four Springs Lake.

Big choice of fishing spots Another benefit of the increased rainfall has been a bigger range of attractive fishing options throughout Tasmania, particularly at places such as Lake King William, Lake Echo, Tooms Lake, Lake Leake and Lake Pedder. There will be plenty of un-crowded waters, banks and shores to choose from this season.

Big wild trout waters Premium wild trout fisheries in the Central Highlands such as Arthurs, Great and Woods lakes have benefited greatly from higher lake levels, and fishing there is only expected to improve. These are the most popular waters in the state, having large populations of wild trout and providing excellent fishing using all methods.

Big improvements to roads and ramps This year roads to Brushy Lagoon and Large Bay (Lake Echo) have been upgraded along with further work on the Woods Lake Road, incuding safety advisory signage. Boat ramp improvements have been completed at Great Lake, Four Springs Lake, Bronte Lagoon and Lake Mackintosh. Bronte Lagoon with its floating pontoon sets the standard for freshwater facilities. A rock break wall has been constructed at Woods Lake to provide protection from south-westerly winds. Carparks at Camerons Lagoon and Little Pine Lagoon have been upgraded.

Big rejuventation Following three years of good rain, previously droughtstricken waters in the south-east – Craigbourne Dam, Lake Leake, Lake Dulverton and Tooms Lake – refilled with water. They’ve been stocked intensively since, reinvigorating these fisheries and reclaiming their previous popular angling status. They’re well worth a visit early in the season when the weather in the highlands may be less favourable.

Big for family fishing Easy to catch adult domestic fish are stocked in lowland waters, particularly those promoted as popular regional fisheries. These include Lake Barrington in the north-west, Brushy Lagoon and Curries River Dam in the north, and Lake Meadowbank and Craigbourne Dam in the south. These stockings, particularly the periodic stocking of trophy size Atlantic salmon in some of these waters, will continue throughout the season.

For more information or to buy a 2012-13 Tasmanian angling licence visit www.ifs.tas.gov.au or discovertasmania.com

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Fishing News - Page 9


a head start on their highland cousins in putting on condition. Fishing estuaries for sea run trout is also an excellent option at this time of year. The South Esk River is often well patronised in the first few months of the season and for good reason. With snow melt and winter rain filling the river it is at these times one can expect the river to break its bank over paddocks. With this inundating water the trout will often follow, feeding on the newly covered ground for worms and other terrestrial prey items. These fish are often in prime conditions having recovered from spawning and feeding heavily with tails up and heads down. Whether you fish with fly, lure or bait the fishing can be very good.

The Tyenna River is an outstanding fishery.

It is not just the South Esk River that provides this sport either, Brumbys Creek, the Macquarie, Lake, Meander and Mersey rivers in the central and north regions of the state are well worth a look. In the south of the state it is hard to go past the River Derwent and Huon Rivers particularly as the lower reaches of the rivers will provide the opportunities to catch sea runners, these are brown trout that migrate from rivers to sea as young fish and return to chase whitebait and galaxias that are in the lower estuaries this time of year.

Do not overlook the smaller tributaries of rivers either, the Tyenna River in the south is a well known haunt of big trout with many fish at or above 5 kg caught there early season each year. Any tributary can turn up a surprise, particularly in the first few months of the season when some of the big fish may not have recovered from spawning enough to return to their home whether that is a bigger river, lake or the sea. The rivers on the northwest and west coast may not have many tailing opportunities but they do abound with sea run trout. These silvery and strong brown trout are frequently caught in the Mersey, Leven, Inglis, Arthur, Henty, Pieman and Gordon rivers. Best times are from season opening through to December in major estuaries throughout the state.

Early season hotspots at a glance Lowland lakes provide reliable fishing in the first few months of most seasons and are less reliant on good weather than those on the Central Plateau, places to try;

Lake Leake

Toom Lake

Four Springs

Huntsman Lake Blackmans Lagoon Big Lagoon – Bruny Island Lake Dulverton Lake Mackintosh Lake Rosebery

arm wrist remote control

Lowland rivers in the midlands and north of the state provide excellent fishing in the August through to October with flooded margins and backwaters providing good fishing for bait and fly fisherman especially, places to try; Brumbys Creek Macquarie River Lower Meander River South Esk River Lower North Esk River Blackmans River River Leven Estuaries are a popular and productive place to fish at the opening of the season through to November. Wild sea run trout and river residents alike can provide exciting fishing when they are feeding on whitebait and other forage fish such as pretty fish and galaxias, places to try;

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Great Forester

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Forth River Huon River Arthur River For those that want to venture to the Highlands, in particular the Central Plateau, places to try; Woods Lake Bronte Lagoon Arthurs Lake Great Lake Lake Echo Lake King William If BIG fish are your thing there are a few reliable options. The IFS stocks some waters with large ex-brood stock Atlantic salmon. In June and July big salmon were stocked into four waters:

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Craigbourne Dam, Meadowbank Lake, Brushy Lagoon and Lake Rosebery. Other places where big trout are often taken include Lake Crescent, River Derwent, Arthur River and the Huon River

Access to inland waters improving all the time Access to rivers has been greatly improved over the last five years with a total of 150 km of rivers opened to anglers through the Anglers’ Access Project. The River Leven, Tyenna, Meander, Macquarie, Lake, North Esk and Huon Rivers and Brumbys Creek all have negotiated access agreements with landholders as well as installed styles and signage.

Water Pawleena Lagoon  Bradys Lake  Craigbourne Dam  Craigbourne Dam  Four Springs Lake  Lake Crescent  Pawleena Lagoon  Bradys Lake  Lake Dulverton  Lake Rowallan  Dee Lagoon  Bradys Lake  Dulverton  Mersey River  River Leven  Big Waterhouse Lake  Little Waterhouse Lake  Blackmans Lake  Tooms Lake  Tooms Lake  Great Lake  Bradys Lake  Craigbourne Dam  Meadowbank Lake  Lake Rosebery   

It is not just those that fish rivers that have benefited from the Anglers Access Projects. There are many lakes covered as well with the latest being the popular west coast fisheries

$16

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Species brown trout  brown trout  Atlantic salmon  Atlantic salmon  brown trout  brown trout  brown trout  brown trout  brown trout  rainbow trout  rainbow trout  brown trout  brown trout  brown trout  brown trout  rainbow trout  rainbow trout  rainbow trout  brown trout  brown trout  rainbow trout  brown trout  Atlantic salmon  Atlantic salmon  Atlantic salmon 

Stock wild  wild  domestic domestic wild  wild  wild  wild  wild  wild  wild  wild  wild  wild  wild  domestic domestic domestic wild  wild  wild  wild  domestic domestic domestic

Number 150  1,500  190  157  1,200  220  150  300  250  10,000  10,000  300  250  400  400  5,000  3,000  5,000  300  300  10,000  236  150  150  150 

Origin Liawenee  Liawenee  Tassal Russell Falls  Tassal Russell Falls  Liawenee  Salmon Ponds  Salmon Ponds  Liawenee  Mountain Creek  New Norfolk  New Norfolk  Liawenee  Mountain Creek  Liawenee  Liawenee  Springfield Bridport  Springfield Bridport  Springfield Bridport  Mountain Creek  Mountain Creek  New Norfolk  Liawenee  Tassal Karanja  Tassal Karanja  Tassal Karanja 

Type diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  triploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  triploid  triploid  triploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid  diploid 

Weight (grams)  1,000  1,000  3,000  5,000  1,000  300  1,000  1,000  1,200  15  25  1,000  1,000  1,000  1,000  30  30  30  1,000  1,000  25  1,000  5,000  5,000  5,000 

Above: Stocking since May. Right: Angler Access on Tyenna River.

The Tyenna River has long been a favourite, particularly for southern based anglers but access points have not been clear nor has crossing private land to access the river ever been sanctioned by those that own the land. This has now changed with the Tyenna River Angler Access project completed making it a much easier prospect to fish this river than it was previously.

Cranka Shad

Date 23‐May‐12  23‐May‐12  24‐May‐12  24‐May‐12  25‐May‐12  25‐May‐12  30‐May‐12  31‐May‐12  06‐Jun‐12  07‐Jun‐12  14‐Jun‐12  14‐Jun‐12  15‐Jun‐12  26‐Jun‐12  27‐Jun‐12  27‐Jun‐12  29‐Jun‐12  29‐Jun‐12  19‐Jun‐12  20‐Jun‐12  03‐Jul‐12  03‐Jul‐12  04‐Jul‐12  05‐Jul‐12  10‐Jul‐12 

of Lake Rosebery and Lake Mackintosh. This brings the total to 27 lakes covered in 21 separate brochures. Brochures for these rivers and numerous lakes are available from the IFS website (www. ifs.tas.gov.au) as well as selected tackle stores and Inland Fisheries Service Head Office at New Norfolk. Inland Fisheries Service

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Fishing News - Page 11


Jan’s Jan Spencer

I

suppose everybody is geared up for the new trout season. My start was during July by thoroughly cleaning up my fly tying studio. It is so nice to have everything so one can find things. It will be some time before the fish are seriously looking up so wets will be the go for me. Exciter flies or lure flies will be my choice for action. May I suggest the use of two flies in a larger point fly with something smaller as a dropper. The point fly really needs to be at least four feet from the dropper. Point patterns could include Yetis, Woolly Buggers, Matukas, Tom Jones, Wigram’s Robin and fur flies in various colours. For droppers, something quite small. This may be English wets, spider patterns are good tied with a really good moving hackle, nymph patterns dressed lightly as you must remember it is really early in the season and there is not much growth in any insects for the next couple of months. Where to fish? Well, it’s a little like a raffle draw to start. If boat fishing a weighted line or at the very least a sink tip with a sinking leader some lead on the flies will help get them down. Never go past some shore fishing as trout tend to hang in shallow water as it is a little warmer than the depths

Flies

further out. A floating line for shore based fishers with normal leader set up as flies being used are wets they will get down sufficiently to get the trout’s attention. The two flies suggested are both really good fish takers. Both have been tied with a fur so the movement will be very noticeable. May I suggest both flies are fished on the point with your choice of dropper. Both flies fished slowly as the trout are quite often lethargic early in the season. There are numerous patterns for fur flies. The one shown is very basic for the tail. Be sure that these tippets are showing nicely. Trout love orange. The larger fly again in black with fur wing and red butt. This fly is tied in matuka style.

Furry Matuka Hook:

Long shank size 8-10

Thread: Black Butt:

Red wool

Rib:

Silver wire or thread

Body:

Black antron with a whisk of red through it

Wing:

Black zonker strip

Eye:

Slip of jungle cock

Method Take black thread full length of shank and tie in red butt. Tie in silver rib. Dub on antron for body. With a length of zonker strip around one and a half times the length of the shank. Tie in so the fur is facing backwards. With the rub bring it forward through the fur making nice ever turns, tie down just behind the eye and cut away excess rib. Take one jungle cock feather and split down the middle of the eye to get two slips. Tie one in each side of the head. Whip finish, cut the thread away and varnish head.

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Fishing News - Page 12

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Early Season Flies Joe Riley

T

he early trout season is always a special time. High water levels with brown trout foraging for a meal close to the edges giving anglers a keenly awaited opportunity for sight fishing, hunting a moving quarry in the shallows as it pushes a bow wave or sends the tip of its tail through the surface as it picks up a morsel off the bottom. There have been many developments with fly tying materials in recent years, a fly fishing shop contains more glitter and colour than a mardi gras in the fly tying section, but sometimes basic old fashioned patterns which have stood the test of time are the requirement for successful fishing. Flies that are basic in concept and design, simple but representative of life in basic dull natural colours. These flies are most effective when ‘hunting’ moving fish because you can place them in the view of a trout with an effective, accurate cast. There is no need for flash or fast pulling a fly to get the attention of a trout, the accuracy of a well placed cast with

Rabbit Fur Fly

Rocky Valley Emerger Jelly Bean

Bitch on Heat

Dirty Riley

Black Woolly Bugger

Joe Riley makes a selection. and a gentle plop as the fly hits the water and settles in the anticipated path of the trout will generally do the job. If there is no response then only a little twitch or draw of a few inches to ensure salmo sees his meal.

Rabbit Fur Fly Every Tasmanian fly fisherman’s fly box should contain the rabbit fur fly, this simple pattern is a must for foraging trout. The fur fly is best in very low light and when trout are moving actively foraging around tussocks and newly covered ground. The marshes around Four Springs Lake, Bronte Lakes, Huntsman Lake, Nineteen Lagoons are all good waters for the fur fly. The approach I use is to place the fly close to the trout, in very low light put it near to him so that the fall of the fly on the water is sensed, just give a slow draw on the fly then judge for a take by the swirl as the trout turns on the fly, watch carefully the leader for any sign of a draw or resistance to the natural movement as this is the clue that the fly has been mouthed. Sometimes you have to make a judgement call, striking on the swirl. This is always exciting to me, the impending success with the trout panicking as the hook is driven home, either somersaulting out of the water or taking off with leader in tow and a good bend in the rod. Of course fairly regularly when you guess, the result is the fly flicking up to the sky and a big bow wave as the trout heads back to the safety of deeper water, spooked for now but likely to return to the food in the shallows. The fly is simple, as so often is the case with the tried and true patterns. Rabbit fur tied around the shank of a wet fly hook, with a head of peacock hurl or coloured tying silk. Black, dark olive or natural rabbit fur are all effective, peacock hurl or a yellow tying silk head to give some hot spot or semblance of stick caddis will give a more than effective selection of fur flies. Sizes from 8 to as small as 14 will cover a good size range.

Jelly Bean This simple snail pattern was shown to me by Gary ‘Hairy’ Castles sometime around 1987, when I was living in Victoria and used to visit the Central Highlands for a weekly trip twice a year. This fly is a great pattern for tailing trout, not just foraging fish but also for those ‘grazers’ feeding on scud and snail, Hairy showed it to me for using for trailers on Little Pine and in the Western Lakes. This fly is basically a snail pattern and is good for those grazing fish and for use in brighter lights conditions when no movement of the fly is necessary. The jelly bean is also a good pattern for wade polaroiding early in the season, when trout will not rise to a dry fly. Trout will pick it off as it slowly sinks once presented to them. This is where real judgement is required, where the cue to an acceptance of the fly may be a flash of white from his mouth, a flaring of the pectoral fins or a sudden bend of the flank of the trout as he rushes to the fly and the stops as he engulfs it. I tie the jelly bean on a size 12 to 16 hook. It is black chenille wrapped for two or three turns forward from the rear where it is tied in with some monofilament or fine wire for a rib. Once the chenille is wrapped forward a black hen hackle is stripped on one side and then tied in at the head. It is then palmered lightly through the fly with about 3 to 4 turns, trapped in with the rib which is wound forward to the eye of the hook. The tip of the hackle feather can be left intact to give a realistic tadpole appearance, however I have always nipped it off. A very simple fly, but super effective fished stationary to tailing trout.

Black Woolly Bugger If there’s a colour for early season it’s black. Whilst black is effective all year, it seems to be most effective early and late in the season. The Woolly Bugger really is about as versatile a wet fly as you can get, there are so many variations combinations, and everyone has their favourites. Woolly Buggers

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Fishing News - Page 13


54

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Fishing News - Page 15


work best when they have a bead head and a long marabou tail, the reason is simple; the weight at the front causes the tail to swim seductively giving a great facsimile of life. Some anglers are reluctant to fish woolly buggers with long tails, fearing or claiming that trout ‘take short’ or ‘nip at the fly’. Trout don’t nip at woolly buggers, trout are predators and when they attack larger food items they engulf their prey, even a small trout can swallow a size 8 woolly bugger. Having done a great deal of experimenting with line control in wet fly fishing, most missed takes are attributable to the amount of slack line an angler has when blind fishing wet flies. The more slack, the later and softer take detection is, the resultant failure to hook up is put down to the trout not really wanting the fly and nipping at it. Removing most of the slack from the retrieve and being in. Good contact results in the feeling of strong to savage takes and a good hook up rate, the issue is more of a question of technique rather than disinterest or suspicion by the trout about the fly. Here’s some more black based Woolly Bugger patterns which are effective: Dirty Harry: A traditional black Woolly Bugger, chenille body palmered with a hackle, a long black tail with strands of pearl flash the length of the tail. Dirty Riley: Similar to, but not really a true Woolly Bugger, it has a long black marabou tail with strands of fuchsia axel flash incorporated into it, a body which is also made of short black marabou tied on in tufts which go back to the start of the tail. The whole fly is basically marabou which gives mobility and the fuchsia flash which works a treat. Bitch on Heat: This is a black tailed Woolly Bugger pattern with red flash incorporated in the tail, a red tinsel body with a palmered black hackle over it. When this fly works it works a treat, however it’s usually feast or famine and when it will work does not always discernible.

Rocky Valley Emerger The last fly doesn’t have a name as such but it is a fantastic dry fly for rivers and lakes when trout are consistently sipping food from the surface. I was shown a version of this fly by a friend for Rocky Valley Lake at Falls Creek in Victoria when trout were midging, hence it’s been dubbed the Rocky Valley Emerger. Like most good flies it is quite simple but is made most effective by the fact it is so simple. I only tie this fly on size 16 and 18 grub hooks. The fly is pearl mylar wrapped up the shank from the bottom portion of the hook and then is a rough body of dubbed black seals fur, basically a blob on the top 1/3rd of the hook. This fly accepts floatant really well and sits low in the surface film of the water. It is an ideal patterns for trout in the rivers when they are feeding on caenids or just consistently sipping on ‘stuff’ which you can’t quite work out. This fly has saved the day for me more times than I can remember in situations like I’ve described, when the trout are feeding on caenids on the Macquarie and South Esk, early morning, this fly is my number one option. The fly is fished on a very long leader with fine, 0.10 to 0.12 tippet. You have to be able to cast accurately to trout sipping in the surface as being so close to the surface they have a limited field of vision. Although the pattern is much bigger than the natural caenids, I think it has the same appearance as a midge ball, giving an impression of a clump of flies joined together in the surface film. Regardless of the reason, trout generally don’t hesitate to accept this offering when presented properly. One other thing about this fly, even if it sinks slightly below the surface it will still be accepted. Watch the fly, however if you can’t see the fly just watch the tippet and look for a tell tale draw on the leader or a

Early success on Woods Lake. swirl where the fly should be, then strike after an appropriate momentary pause. All of these flies are simple effective patterns, they are dull in colour, somewhat like the early season conditions we fish in. They are tried and proven. The only relative new comer, the Rocky Valley Emerger has a pedigree of its own having caught trout for me in different States, Countries and Continents as well as on lakes and rivers in Tasmania. They are flies than can be fished with confidence in a wide variety of conditions and situations, enough to cover most early season situations. Joe Riley

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Western Lakes at Night T

he Western Lakes can be a tough place to catch a fish, especially if you’re limiting yourself to sight fishing only. There are many influencing factors that can contribute to seeing very few fish during the day. We see fish in the shallows because there is often some kind of food present that brings them in close to shore. So if there is no food, they really have no reason to leave the security and food rich environment of the deeper water. During low water levels and high water temperatures in late summer, trout will often shelter under rocks during the heat of the day and only venture out late in the evening and into the night to feed. These are the days when

Craig Rist - the insomniac.

Where to find them at night

you can walk all day and only seen one or two fish. Miss your chance on these and you can easily blank out for the day. Most of us get a few blank days in a season; it’s part of fishing. Some days they are just feeding or holding up out in the weed beds and resting under rocks until the nightfall for a more productive and energy conserving time to feed.

Be it night or day, there are typically two ways that trout will feed. One is to waiting in ambush and allows the food to come to them and the other is to actively search and hunt down food. Fish lying in ambush will often hold motionless up against the shoreline where they have a chance to cross paths with small baitfish or frogs that are using the sheltered shoreline to migrate around the lake. It’s also important to remember that these fish are not only found on those nice sheltered shores,

For those of us who have enough energy to fish on after a tough day, the night session can be our saving grace, offering a new and exciting option to catch at least one fish before calling it a night.

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but also along the shorelines that have the waves pounding onto them. Just like during the daytime, food in the way of stick caddis and snails are dislodged and pushed up against these shores. So these trout along the shores have the best of both worlds, snails, stick caddis and anything else edible that is washed their way, plus the chance to seize a larger meal, like a small baitfish or frog, at the same time.

during daylight hours. Fish are still going to be spooked by a fly line landing on top of them in shallow, so it’s a good idea to always start fishing a short line in close, before you start lengthening the cast.

The fish that are on the move can often be seen swimming very slowly inching their way along the shoreline or out along the weed beds in search of food. Fishing from a point is a good place to intercept these fish on the move during the night, as they also offer fish a great ambush point.

Night tactics Fly fishing by night might sound difficult if you start to worry about having to manage all that fly line and those hidden obstacles that are in the water and on land. The truth is, you really don’t have to cast very far at night to catch a fish in the Western Lakes. The fish are often so close to the shore at night that you could just fish the length of your leader to catch fish.

Retrieving a fly at night is usually done using a slow figure eight hand retrieve, or by slowly stripping in line. By retaining the line in your hand as it’s gathered in, you will keep it away from the rocks and alpine vegetation, that will almost certainly entangle your line if was merely dropped at your feet. Leaders are best kept shorter than a rod length, so you know when the fly is in your hand, there is always going to be some fly line beyond the rod tip to initiate the cast. Light tippet material is really only required if you want the

Landing fish in the dark can be tricky. challenge of capturing a fish on extremely light line. I fish with anything upward of six pounds, depending on the size of fish that could be encountered. Flies for night fishing need to be practical and easy to use. In deep water you can get away with using all kinds of wet flies, from fur flies, down to nymphs, without snagging up on the bottom and losing flies. However, many of the Western Lakes are quite shallow and the use of a semi-buoyant fly, or even a unsinkable dry fly, is a much more practical way of fishing these lakes at night. Flies that come to mind are the Cork Fly, Cubits Mudeye, dear hair patterns and all of the foam and rubber leg flies such as the Chernobyl Ant, foam sandwich flies and Peter Broomhall’s Bruisers Bug. My personal all year round favorite is a semibuoyant fly like my EWB (Emerging Woolly Bugger) or any of its hybrids like the Marabou EWB and the

Simon Hedditch - the insomniac. If you’ve never tried fly fishing night, one of the best times to give it a go is under the light of a full moon when you can actually see what you’re doing. This is also the one time when you can see a fish rise to take a dry fly at night. As the nights get darker you will learn to fish by feel and sound alone with a heightened sense of anticipation of the next fish loading up your line as it takes your fly. With the exception of fishing to rising fish under a full moon, most night fishing is done by systematically covering the water just as you would

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Fishing News - Page 19


Zonker EBW. These variations are all affectionately referred to, as “oobs” by my fishing mates, who use them. They all have the same foam head to float them at the surface and a few turns of copper or lead wire at the bend of the hook during the tying stage, to pull the back end of the fly down beneath the surface, to resemble a baitfish or frog. They can also be tied in a “Bend Back” style on a long shank straight eye hook to fish them point up in amongst thick weeds. The biggest advantage of this fly and flies like it, is that it can be fished at any depth without fouling the bottom. This also allows it to be fished with a long pause to allow the slightest wave action to give life to the marabou or fur to suggest something struggling and vulnerable at the surface that is going to make an easy meal, that is just to good to pass up.

Saved by the night session After a long day and far too many kilometres, I was returning to our base camp having missing the one and only fish I saw the entire day. On this particular trip, I was fishing with Mark Woodhall and Simon-Peter Hedditch. It was tough fishing, with very few fish sighted. Simon had managed one fish and Mark had landed two for

A range of EWBs. the day. The day was less than perfect, with wind and periods of rain and now with the fading light, a thunderstorm was starting to build. I was still keen to do some night fishing despite the weather. The full moon had just risen above the horizon, but was soon covered by the black storm clouds. I had already briefly raised the subject of fly fishing at night to both Mark and Simon, but they were not about to be caught up in my sudden urge to fish into

LOOK UP LOOK OUT

the night after such a long day and were happy to just call it a day and crawl into their sleeping bags. I couldn’t really blame them as it was starting to rain again and the wind was howling. Not to be deterred by the weather, I had an itch that just had to be scratched, it had been a while since I had done any night fishing out in the Western Lakes and I was determined to make the most of our two night stay. I made my way around the Lake until I found a narrow point, jutting out into the lake between two shallow bays. On one side of the point the wind and waves crashed onto its shore, while the other side of the point was sheltered from the wind and was flat calm. I fished the size six EWB on a short line into the wind on the rough shore, slowly working my way around the point to the calm water that was partially sheltered by the point. Every now and then the moon would shine through the clouds allowing me to see the wake of the EWB as I gave it a slow strip before allowing it to sit motionless once again. By now, I was casting about six metres of fly line beyond the rod tip to work the fly closer to some large rocks that I could see in the moon light. After the first strip I let the fly sit for three or four seconds before I gave it another slow strip followed by another pause. The fly had only sat there for a couple of seconds, when I saw a fish take it from the surface. I paused and lifted the rod to set the hook into the first fish of the night. I immediately switched on my headlamp to see where the fish was heading and to steer it around any obstructions during the fight. It didn’t take long to have the fish thrashing around in my net. As I had no need to keep a fish back here, it was quickly released. The next fish took the fly in exactly the same way.

The next day was another tough day to find fish, with only two fish being landed between us. After my efforts of the previous night, Simon and Mark were keen to give this night fishing a go. The night was much more appealing with the full moon shining past the clouds, allowing us to make our way around much of the lake without the need of our headlamps. We were all fishing with EWBs and it was Simon who caught the first two fish of the night. I drop one after a very short fight and then hooked and landed one while fishing into the wind along another rocky point. Mark was just happy to see how effective night fishing can be. He also commented on how his early nights in his tent would now be a thing of the past with this alternative way of fishing the Western Lakes. Craig Rist

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I had been fishing for about an hour and was keen to fish on, but that thought was short lived when the next flash of lightening and a load clap of thunder was just too close for comfort. Besides a lightning storm is really no place to be waving around a graphite fly rod, so I made a hasty retreat back to my tent just before the rain started to bucket down.

Fishing News - Page 20

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Lake Pedder

L

ake Pedder. It used to be a good fishery right? Wrong, it was an exceptional fishery. Through the late 70s and early 80s the trout from this iconic south west water averaged an astonishing 4kg. That was the average weight not the good fish but the average weight. There has never been a fishery like it and there never is likely to be ever again.

What does surprise many is it’s a great fishery now. The trout are nothing like those of years gone by but they are in great condition, fight hard and in numbers that would be astounding if it could ever be calculated. Large bags are common and the quality of fish is very good. So often when it comes up in conversation people are surprised to hear it offers some great fishing to all artificial methods. And most always add that they’ve never been but have always wanted to make the trip out. It’s well worth it, the scenery alone is unparalleled, panoramas that extend 360 degrees when you’re out on the water. Some areas of the lake it’s breath taking at times. For someone new to the water the fishing possibilities are much the same. You can round a point and be mesmerized by the bay in front of you, flooded tea tree sloping banks into weed rich water, fish rising, sometimes clear of the water chasing damselfly on the wing, only to go around the next point and see it open up again into a better looking bay and another and so on. The sheer size of the lake is astonishing. Standing at the Lake Pedder Chalet looking south down the lake to a majestic mountain range far off

a Paradise Forgotten in the distance which is only half way down the lake it’s evident the volume of water in Lake Pedder is phenomenal but yet not even close to that of its neighbour, Lake Gordon. Lake Pedder has a surface area of some 242 square kilometres and holds some 3.3 million mega litres of water. Nearby Lake Gordon is not much larger in surface area at 272km3 but holds an astonishing 11.9 million mega litres behind its 160m high dam which is one of the most impressive sights you will ever see. Well worth the 10 minute drive to see past the town of Strathgordon.

Lake Pedder result - Justin Causby.

Angling Today Lake Pedder is open all year, offering some fantastic winter angling. Sure it can get pretty nasty in the south west, but as with anywhere a good Tasmanian winter day is magical. The trout are hungry and feed well after spawning. Lure fishing is your best option at this time of the year, both trolling and drift spinning. Traditional green and gold or black and gold colours fish well, and a splash of orange won’t go astray. Traditionally pink or purples

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Fishing News - Page 21


have been very successful and remain so in the present fishery. Trout can’t resist a hot pink Tassie Devil anywhere and at Pedder it’s a great colour. Moving in to the season proper it remains a lure fishing prospect until the warm days of summer arrive. The lake fishes extremely well around late October and November with the traditional trolling anglers doing very well on green and gold colours. Much of the lake will produce fish but the most popular and accessible area is the myriad of bays, inlets, islands and passages of Hermit Basin. It’s the first piece of Lake Pedder you sight on the road to Strathgordon. From Hobart you can be landing your first fish well and truly under two hours. And one of the most productive shores stretches north from the boat ramp and is very fish right throughout the year.

Summer mudeye madness Once summer arrives the lake in my mind comes alive. The mudeye fishing can be simply amazing. And on the right day it can go 24 hours a day. At first light fish will patrol the shallows and searching or casting to rising fish with a rabbit for fly is as good as anything. The foam Cubit mudeye is also deadly. I would recommend the sinking variety in daylight

Graham Parker with a 20lb monster from the past.

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hours. As the sun gets higher in the sky and the dragonflies and damselflies take to the wing the fish can be seen leaping high into the air chasing these fast moving insects. It’s a sight to behold as it doesn’t really happen as much as this elsewhere. There are blue damselfly patterns available but I find a large nondescript bushy dry as good as any. Large black spinner patterns also work well. On dusk it’s back to the mudeye patterns sinking at first and then in the surface film as darkness falls. A good size fish engulphing your fly in the dead of night can certainly get the heart racing. This action on the right night can continue right through to dawn and the cycle goes on. December and January are the prime months but these insects will continue right out of the tail of summer.

A range of mudeye patterns in both sinking and floating.

Summer midges and windlanes February and March are also very good for the fly angler but I prefer to target the midge feeders at this time. Without doubt the largest midge hatches I have ever seen occur at Pedder. Some mornings the slicks can run for literally kilometres. An Olive Klinkhammer is my favoured fly for the trout feeding on these midges. Given the terrain around the lake wind lanes are a feature any day of the week in all but the windiest of weather. Fish patrol these long lanes all day long. Again a large black spinner patter works well. Drifting the shore lines a smaller Zulu is my weapon of choice and casting out in front of a steadily rising trout rarely brings a refusal. It can be a great spot to build ones confidence early on the fly. Right through summer, lure fishing is still very rewarding but I limit it to drift spinning only. Midging trout will often take a well presented hard body here which avoids the long frustrations of most other waters.

Searching a dropoff for mudeye feeders.

Nearing the end of the regular season the best spots to fish are all the bays with any inflowing water. Trout are beginning to congregate ready for spawning. Lure casting from a drifting boat is by far the most productive method at this time of the year and brighter lures with orange, pink or red highlights will get plenty of interest. This lake is drastically over stocked such is the high number of perfect spawning creeks that abound. It was these many creeks that brought an end to the big fish days. As the number of fish climbed in the lake, the average size steadily fell. Today it hovers around the 500g mark. There are some very large fish still out there but there are so many smaller fish to get through they are few and far between in anglers bags. A very small head of rainbow trout are in the lake and would account for probably less than .01% of the catch. Those caught are usually of a better than average size. So why did the fish get so big so fast back in the late 70s? It was a combination of things. The two biggest factors were a small head of trout and an explosion in numbers of the Pedder Galaxia. Sadly the Pedder Galaxia would become almost extinct through both predation from trout and loss

Lure casting - even on sunny days can be productive.

Fishing for Tassie Property? Tasmania’s Central Highlands is a unique area… sometimes harsh, always appealing and a Mecca for wild trout fishermen from across the globe. Paul Kaine is a local with intimate knowledge and a passion for the Central Highlands and is ready to help you with all your real estate (and even your fishing) needs and advice. Give Paul a call…you’ll find his enthusiasm and know-how is like a breath of fresh mountain air. Paul Kaine Mobile: 0419 303 160 paulkaine@robertsre.com.au Roberts Regional North 18 Marlborough Street Longford, Tasmania, 7301 Phone: 03 6391 2999

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Fishing News - Page 23


of suitable habitat and competition from the far more adaptable Climbing Galaxia. But while they were there they provided an easy meal for the trout that grew at an astonishing rate. The IFS has established two self-sustaining populations of Pedder Galaxia in the years following their decline. The species was almost lost when just a few specimens were captured from exhaustive searching. Lake Oberon in the Western Arthur Ranges now holds a good number of the species and they continue to breed successfully. A second population was established close to the Strathgordon village and it too has showed promising results. It is extremely unlikely the Pedder Galaxia will ever re-establish in the lake itself.

Launching at Teds Beach.

NOTHING CAN WIPE AWAY THAT

BOATING GRIN

Today the average weight is climbing again and the better fish are all feeding on the native yabby that inhabit the lake. It would seem their numbers are increasing as evidence of their consumption is becoming far more common almost to the point where it is odd if a trout does not have a yabby claw in its stomach. I did take a trout two years ago that had two large galaxia in its stomach. These were presented to the IFS as it was a sight not seen for many many years. Searching the lake will certainly bring reward. There are some magic little bays far and wide all over the lake. Popular areas include Hermit Basin, Wilmot Bay, Trappes Inlet, Bells Basin and Serpentine in the northern end. In the south Maria Bay, Huon Inlet, Tea Tree Cove, Giblin Bay and around Solitary and Barrier Islands. There is camping available at Teds Beach and Sprent Basin in the north and Edgar Dam and Huon Camp in the south. The Lake Pedder Chalet is now open once again and offers both meals and accommodation year round. A National Park Pass is required to visit the lake and anglers are advised to check their Angling Code for the latest information from IFS.

Back to Pedder 2013 A highlight of the Pedder fishery is the annual Back to Pedder fishing comp run each year by the Lake Pedder Anglers Club. The event attracts hundreds to the lake each January and is one of the most enjoyable comps on the calendar. In the past the LPAC has hosted families from Camp Quality and donate tens of thousands of dollars to the charity. Last year the McGrath Foundation was also a beneficiary of funds raised. The club runs and auction on the Saturday night each year and has a great list of generous and regular sponsors. None more so than Channel Marine, Kings Towbars and Trailers and Tristar Marine. They combine each year to provide the club with a boating package to give away at the end of the comp. This year a 4.5m boat, 40hp 4 stroke Mercury and Dunbier Trailer will make a $25,000 package. Pretty impressive prize for the lucky person drawn out of the barrel at conclusion of the event. In the last few years several junior anglers have been the lucky recipients. Justin Causby

Search over 20,000 at Australia’s No.1 Fishing News - Page 24

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open to the sea. At the same time fish The two traffic bridges, the old and travelled north from Four Mile Creek the new in the lower Scamander River Scamander River is well underway. and Henderson’s Lagoon massing in form a staging area for the arriving Earlier in autumn small schools of the surf at the mouth of the river. At schools. The fish will remain here as adult fish accumulated around the the top of the incoming tide fish moved their numbers grow until the start of snags in the lower channel of Georges in through the mouth of the river and August and can be polaroided feeding Bay ready for the long run south. gathered around the best two snags around the pylons and along the When their numbers built up they the Scamander River has to offeredge of the drop-offs on the incoming made the mad dash down the coast the bridges. Now in late winter, their tide. However to truly appreciate the and at times could be seen skirting the destinations are the long stretches of numbers of fish that are holding under rocks of St Helens Point as they went. brackish water that will provide the the new bridge, you need to get under HOKKAIDO PROwere JIGGER Along the way they joined by right environment for the food their there with them. On the new bridge, from Dianas Wrinklers progeny will need after they hatch.long and each concrete has a dozen reel seat, allows precise castspier and offers the or Afish new series of jigBasin rods,and extremely thin, light and the Lagoon when these lagoons were balanced. The long best comfort even during the toughest fights. Titanium same time powerful and perfectly guides with SIC rings. cork handle, with soft EVA inserts and screw down

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Fishing News - Page 25

• 10 bearings, including 1


On a falling tide the channel edge along Doyle’s mudflats as well as the rocky edge on the opposite side of the river will hold fish through the bottom of the tide. The deeper channel and a few snags at the back of Trout Creek mud flat is also worth a look on the run out tide. Generally by late August to mid September the bream will have moved up to the top half of the Scamander River. Every piece of underwater structure will hold fish with the numbers of fish being quite staggering. The beauty of the spawning run is that all of the fish that migrate to the Scamander are large adult fish in good condition having spent the summer and autumn feeding hard. Probably the greatest drawback is that there may be a lot of fish available and quite easily seen but getting fish to take can sometimes be extremely difficult. It can become incredibly frustrating to fish to literally hundreds of fish for little or no result. However with that said at times the action can be non-stop.

‘Oops I could be in trouble.’ so large steel piles that have been driven into the river bed. With the cover of a concrete plinth, bream load up on these piles and can be targeted from a boat by casting parallel to the concrete plinth and letting your fly slowly sink down next to the pylons. Fishing from a boat in this area can be a little difficult with the eddies around the bridge pylons and the fluctuation in wind. It can be time-consuming to try to hold a boat in the right spot and invariably you end up moving the fly around in the water more than you really want to. It is easier to get dropped off on the concrete plinth under the bridge and cast your fly from there. I find that it’s best to let your fly sink well down and give it a very slow, short twitchy retrieve with 3 to 5 second pauses between strips. It’s absolutely imperative to stay in contact with your fly at all times by keeping the line as tight as possible to the fly and watch for any movement or bump of the fly line. At times it is also possible to see the take and time the strike accordingly As the tide rises high enough to start pushing through the mouth of the river the bream spread out from around the bridge supports, across the sand between each pylon and feed on the bottom in the shade and there are literally hundreds of bream

between each pier. Obviously hooking a fish while you’re standing over several hundred is the easy part, staying connected to it long enough to land it is a whole other story. On occasion I have used a 6’6” 2# which makes casting in the confined space very easy but obviously stopping a fish from going under your feet is much harder but great fun to attempt. It is best to fish a heavier rod such as 9’ 6 #; this at least gives you some control over the fight. Invariably the fish will swim back under you and wrap you around the mussel-covered pylons, at which time the only real option you have is to ease right up on the drag to prevent cut-offs, or damage to your fly line and ease the fish out. To be honest I haven’t lost many and remember it is called fishing not catching.

Although fishing the Scamander out of a boat is much easier there are some good land-based options as well. Obviously fishing the lower estuary

During the incoming tide it is common to polaroid bream feeding in the depressions and edges of the sand flat between the river mouth and the new bridge. By wading the sand flat it is possible to target these fish by casting five or six metres up current from the feeding station and letting the fly sink to the bottom and be washed by the tide to where the bream are holding. By letting the fly bounce along the bottom naturally and resisting the urge to strip you stand a much better chance of getting a take.

Plenty of bream swimming around the pylons. Fishing News - Page 26

Around this time of the year I tend to launch the boat at the ramp on Princess Reach and fish the snags above Billy Goat Island and Dun’s Arm. The concentrations of fish in this area from August through to November have to be seen to be believed. When the water is clear some of the deep holes are loaded with schools of fish numbering in the hundreds. Fish can be seen on the bottom in 20 feet of water turning over the rocks searching for crabs. This area will receive quite a bit of pressure and the fish will become quite wary of boats. For this reason it is best to continue to move forward putting long searching casts up the river in the pools and continually fish to fresh fish. Almost every snag in the top half of the river will hold bream. A slow methodical approach to the snags will serve you well. Aim for, long, accurate casts with two or three casts to each snag and then move on to the next one if the fish fail to respond. There is no shortage of snags and it’s good to try and cover as many as possible.

By the start of August the ever-increasing schools of bream around the bridges start to use the incoming tide to migrate further up the river, staging on likely feeding areas as they go, such as Doyle’s Mudflat and the mudflats around the entrance to Trout Creek. It is best to be on the water in these areas during the last few hours of an incoming tide as the bream move up in schools feeding as they go. Water clarity in these areas generally isn’t fantastic and it is best to target any structure, drop-offs or depressions in and around the mudflats.

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Going back to grow up.


around the bridges is a very productive location but Trout Creek provides a good land-based option. Directly in front of the camping area in the Trout Creek Reserve is a large hole that holds a lot of bream through the bottom of the tide and is well worth spending some time on. As the tide runs in towards high tide the fish will push up over a couple of small shingle bars and come into another hole several hundred metres up river. Through the spawning season this particular hole will see a lot of the good-sized bream and it’s well worth wading across the top of the hole and fishing the deep corner on the opposite bank. There are several large snags on this side that routinely produce good bream. While wading across the shallow water at the top of the whole it is worth fishing the 50 m or so to the bottom of the next ripple above the hole. Another advantage of the Trout Creek area is that it is quite sheltered from strong wind and bad weather. Another option is to follow the Upper Scamander Road for 6 km from the intersection with the Tasman Hwy you will come to a narrow section of road where you can gain access to the river. The road is adjacent to a steep rocky shore that tends to hold a lot of fish from late August through until late October. Fish can easily be polaroided in the deep, clear water as they feed along the rocky edge and in amongst the logs and snags. The scrub along this bank is a little thick in places and can be restrictive to back cast but by sneaking along amongst the trees and using a little bit of small stream craft in the form of a good roll cast or a bow and arrow cast the close quarter action can be awesome. This approach has been extremely productive for me in the past. This is also a great place to see some good-sized sea-runners feeding on bait during October.

Targeting bream further up the system.

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If you intend to launch your boat at the Prices Reach boat ramp, it may well be worth having a quick cast around the supports to the pier that has been constructed next to the boat ramp before you reverse the trailer in. This small piece of man-made structure is by far the best snag for 200 metres in either direction in the river. On two occasions last season, just for a laugh, I stopped at the boat ramp on my way home from a trout fishing session in the Upper Scamander, pushed my four weight rod together and flicked out the dry fly, green bead head nymph combination I’d been using on the trout. On both occasions the nymph barely had time to sink down next to the piers of the jetty before the dry fly disappeared under the surface. I managed on both occasions to land a good sized bream. The whole exercise only took a few minutes each time. The message here is the type of fly you use isn’t as critical as how it is presented and where you put it. When fishing over mud or sand flats where the fish are feeding on the bottom a selection of crab patterns, gotchas, and baited breaths will serve you well. It’s more important to have these flies on the bottom and moving with the current as naturally as possible rather than be concerned about which fly or colour. In this situation I prefer to use an intermediate or full sinking line with a long fine leader. If I can see a fish I like to put the fly well ahead to allow it to sink to the bottom and flow with the current to the fish. If I’m fishing the edge of the drop-off and not targeting individual fish I again like to let the fly and the fly line sink to the bottom and then very slowly strip it back up over the drop-off. When targeting fish that are holding amongst snags I prefer to use a fly with as little weight as possible, tied with a 2 cm tail of marabou in natural colours

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Fishing News - Page 27


- think large Mark 2 Woolly Bugger. I spent some time trying to work out why Squidgies’ Wrigglers in wasabi colour were so effective. I came to the conclusion that it had a lot to do with the tail. Even when the wriggler is just sinking under its own weight that tail continues to flap in the water giving the appearance of being alive. I honestly believe a long, lightly-dressed marabou tail is just as good, if not better. The idea is to present the fly to fish and leave it right there in their faces continuing to swim, so to speak, with little intervention from the angler. In this situation I use a floating fly line and I mostly only fish the fly 2m or 3m out from the snag before picking it up and re-casting. The floating line is a lot lighter to pick up off the water and recast than an intermediate or sink tip line. This can be a big help if you intend fishing all day.

When I’m fishing deeper water over a rough, rocky bottom I generally find it is best to use a fly with a little weight. Some time ago I bit the bullet and gave up trying to add lead to hooks or bead chain or dumbbell eyes before tying flies and started buying soft plastic jig heads in different sizes and tying flies on those. I prefer lightly dressed marabou in colours such as olive or black with little or no flash. I generally coat the heads with a like-coloured nail polish and a couple of stick on eyes and then cover the eyes and head with three or four coats of Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails’ to give it a hard, gloss finish. These flies sunk deep down into the school near the bottom with a quick, short jigging action that will quite often elicit a hard take. Another benefit of flies tied on jig heads is obviously the hook point riding up that helps prevent snagging when fishing deeper holes close to the bottom. I prefer to fish these flies on either a floating line or a sink tip line depending on the depth. These lines usually have enough float to stay on the surface if the jig heads aren’t too heavy and work as a hinge point to lift the fly up towards the surface more so than towards the angler, which enhances the upand-down jigging action of the fly.

At certain times the fish can get a little finicky and noncommittal about taking the fly. The bream can nip at, mouth, or take and spit the fly out before you realise they have taken it. A big help in this area is to use a fine, sharp trout hook, such as Kamasan B830 Trout Classic Lure Long or B175 Trout Heavy Traditional, that stand a better chance than the heavy gauge stainless hooks of catching the inside of the fish’s cheek or lip as they suck or spit the fly. Obviously as soon as the fish feels the point of the hook they bolt and hook themselves. I know we all have to start somewhere but if there’s one thing I’ve learned when fishing the Scamander, think outside the box a little. Don’t look at what everybody else is doing and just copy them. If anything look at what everybody else is doing and do the opposite, otherwise you’ll end up fishing the same places, with the same methods at the same time and you’ll be targeting fish that have seen it all before. Try and mix things up a little and go to places within the river that people don’t generally fish, fish with methods that aren’t generally used and you may be pleasantly surprised with the results. I am extremely fortunate to live only a few hundred metres away from the mouth of the Scamander River and even though the trout season has just begun it’s extremely difficult to get in my car and drive over that bridge to go looking for trout when I know what is lurking underneath. For just one or two months a year we all get the opportunity to fish one of the greatest concentrations of bream in Tasmania. Hence the thought of standing on the edge of a plateau lake with the sun struggling to crawl above the horizon, my hands freezing cold, my Polaroids fogging up and my feet numb, I’m thinking“No thanks!” I’ll stay home, have a sleep in and pop down to the bridge for about 10 o’clock and catch the incoming tide. How about you come down and join me? Simon-Peter Hedditch

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Choosing a fly reel..

I

have something to confess, I am a tackle junkie. When it comes to fly fishing gear I try and collect whatever I can, whenever I can. Doesn’t make me very popular at times I must admit but I’m afraid that is just the way it is. My current passion is for collecting different styles of chest/vest packs but I do have a soft spot for a nice reel. A fly reel is probably more important to our kit than a pack lets be honest, you can always throw a box of flies in your pocket if needed and go fishing. But if there is no fly reel locked on to the end of your favourite rod its going to be a tough day on the water!. Over the years I have collected and gotten rid of a fair few fly reels. Some brilliant, some pretty ordinary to tell you the truth. With so many different choices available we will concentrate mainly on the freshwater side of things for this article. It can at times be a bit daunting, especially for those just starting out on their flyfishing journey. What type of arbor, drag style, drag material, reel construction, types of finish etc. can all lead to an easy choice being a somewhat difficult one. I certainly don’t claim to be an expert in the workings of every fly reel, but hopefully my experiences may help you to decide which reel might best be suited for you and your intended types of fishing. So let’s have a look at what is available.

on the first American fly reel of this style things haven’t really changed a lot. Sure we have seen changes such as palming rims, drag materials and the obvious ones like better materials and more advanced machining capabilities over the course of time. It is my opinion that the most important advancement in the manufacture of fly reels has been the introduction of the large arbor. The arbor on a fly reel is essentially the inside diameter of your spool. Therefore the larger that diameter is the larger your inner wraps of backing will be. The benefits of using a large arbor reel over a standard arbor can be improved rate of line retrieval. When writing this story I did a bit of measuring on a couple of my reels to suit around a 5 weight fly line. One full rev on my standard arbor empty reel retrieved around 40mm of line whilst the same thing on the large arbor reel brought in around about 210mm, so you can see that is a difference of around 500%. When you have a full fly-line out and an angry brown trout tail walking around the lake that can make a fair bit to difference to whether your battle is successful or not. Another consideration for line retrieval is the amount of times a fly-fisher will strip long lengths of line of his reel. Whether walking your favourite shoreline or drifting in your boat we are constantly stripping off and then winding in fly-line. At the end of a long day all this cranking on your reel can leave the hands and fingers a bit sore. Again, bigger diameter equals less cranks on the handle. This is in my opinion the biggest selling point for this type of reel. There will be less line memory due to the larger diameter of the coils of line whilst on the reel. And we all know, less tangles means happier fishing!

Too many reels - or barely enough?

Standard vs Large Arbor Fly reels are essentially quite a basic piece of engineering. Throw a line holding spool onto a spindle so it can rotate, whack a handle on to help control the rotation and there you have it, your fly reel is right to use. Whilst that is not exactly how easy it is, I mean no disrespect to the reel manufacturers out there, I am sure you get the point. Since 1874 when Charles Orvis put a patent

Your reel will be doing less revs during a fight which means you will have greater control whilst palming spools etc. You will also have a slower cranking speed which can lead to less fatigue during longer fights. Admittedly this is not as important in most freshwater situations but nonetheless worth considering.

You will have a more consistent drag pressure due to the line diameter not changing as rapidly as it does on a standard arbor reel. Don’t get me wrong the standard arbor reel still has its place in fishing. For example if you are only cranking in some short lengths of line you can get the standard arbor spinning a lot quicker than the large. I still own and fish with them. I have a couple of modern standard arbor reels that I still fish with a lot and get great pleasure out of using them. Taking pride of place on the wall of my tying room is an old Hardy St. George standard arbor reel that was my Pops. I still rig it up and fish with it from time to time on my favourite spots on the Mersey river . The only downside to it is I tend to spend all day on the water thinking about Pop and how I wish he was standing in the river beside me. Not to be though, I’m afraid.

Drag types There are two main types of drag available to users of fly reels. They are the Click and Pawl type drag, sometimes called the spring/pawl and the disc drag. The purpose of either type is to provide tension on the fly-line and to regulate how easy/ hard it is for a fish to strip line from the reel. This in turn will help to prevent fly reel overrun etc. which can lead to those day and soul destroying tangles. You will notice too that the tangles only ever happen at the wrong moment. Let’s have a look now at the pluses/minuses of each style of drag.

Click and Pawl Click/Pawl drags are essentially just a toothed gear in the reel that spins with the spool against a spring loaded clip or pawl. As the reel spins the pawl is dragged over the teeth of the gear. The click part of the system is purely for sound. Click/Pawl drags are ideally suited to most freshwater situations, especially where lighter tippets are being used. Line loss is very smooth with no jerkiness or variations in the line tension applied, which in turn makes the fly reel a lot better at helping to protect the tippet.

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Fishing News - Page 29


Since the drag force of this style of reel is so small and in both directions these reels don’t really need to be converted from left to right hand retrieve. Though some of the current day reels do allow you to do this by rotating some lugs in the reel.

area. Once again this is not as important in the freshwater side of things, but if you are going to use your heavier trout rods, as many anglers do now to chase some of light saltwater species like bream and salmon for example this may well become a big factor in your decisions.

On the down side these types of reels are not designed for use on larger fish. Again in most of our freshwater situations this wont be an issue, but if you spend a lot of time chasing trophy fish it may be worth considering.

Disc drags can come in a variety of materials. Technological advances have allowed manufacturers to utilise state of the art materials like stainless steel, Teflon or rulon and even carbon fibre. But good old cork impregnated with lubricant has stood the test of time and still seems to be the most popular amongst anglers.

Disc Drags The most common type of drag available in today’s modern fly reels is the draw bar disc drag. This works by compressing two or more discs together with one of them only being able to spin one way. There are other styles available but we will stick with the most common, other wise we will fill up Mikes paper!.

On the down side for the trout fisherman drag tension can be more uneven which can be a problem if using light tippets for spooky fish as it can cause it to bust or “pop” as it commonly called.

Disc drags are designed to exert smooth but hard (if needed) pressure on the fly-line without seizing up. With disc drags you have the benefit of being able to have a lot bigger surface

Sometimes a disc drag is needed to stop a big fish.

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What else?

Still confused?

I have touched on what I believe are the main factors in choosing a fly reel above, but there are some other things to consider also.

Hopefully you will now be closer to deciding which fly reel will be best for you and not even more confused. With the mechanical and physical sides of things sorted the rest is really up to personal taste and budget. What sort of look are you after in your reel with regards to porting etc. Do you want a flash looking fish graphic for your reel finish or will you be happy with good old black. Personally I am guilty of having some pretty ‘out there’ looking reels but there is a lot to be said these days for a nice plain black reel.

What weight the reel is suited for needs considering. By this I mean line weight, not physical weight of the reel. If you choose a reel that is too small you may not be able to fit on the required backing and all your fly-line. If it is too big you will have a heap of empty space on the reel which gets back to the tangles again. Going either way will also throw out the balance of your whole outfit. How easy can you convert the reel from left to right hand retrieve, if at all. Even though I don’t know why you would bother!. One thing I can not do is wind left handed. But whatever floats your boat, at least its good to have the option if you want to try it. The availability of spare spools can be a big factor. If you are looking at doing some competition fishing this will become even more important. Even a casual day out in the boat can be greatly improved by a few spare spools and the ability to quickly change fishing depths when required. Physical weight is also important for outfit balance and the reduction of fatigue after a long days fishing.

Fishing News - Page 30

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Tackle manufacturers now are producing a lot of good quality gear at very reasonable prices thanks to dollar conversions and the like. That favourite high end reel you have always had your eye on in the glossy magazines is now more affordable than ever. Whichever reel you choose to buy make sure you are happy with it and it suits your outfit and requirements well and your time on the water will be so much more fun. After all isn’t that why we go fishing, to have fun. Gavin Hicks


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Fishing News - Page 31


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Smoking Canadian Maple Syrup Trout

To this day, I have maintained a keen interest in smoking fish. The only difference is that now, given my keen interest in fishing for them, I primarily smoke trout. Over the years, I have made several homemade fish smokers, and have smoked a variety of fish. In the early days, I stuck religiously to the traditional salt plus water brine; however, in more recent years, I have been experimenting with lots of different brine recipes.

The perfect smoking recipe for wild Tassie trout By Michal Rybka

Introduction

I

have been smoking fish since I was a child. My European background meant that I learned these skills from an early age, from my father. Using a homemade wood-fired hot smoker, we would smoke eels predominantly, but sometimes trout too. My ‘backyard fish smoking’ apprenticeship lasted for years; however, when I was 12 years old, my father was finally happy to leave me in charge of the whole process.

Part of the secret to getting any smoked fish right is the brine. It is the first part of the ‘preserving’ or ‘curing’ process and is a crucial step that cannot be overlooked. Realistically, a simple mix of salt plus water is all that is required to make a basic brine solution. However, there are better recipes out there for those who want to go a step further and make something really special! On a recent trip to British Columbia, in Canada, I stumbled upon one of the best tasting brines I have ever had. As you would expect, the Canadians are very good at smoking their fish. Their skills of smoking wild salmon have been refined over many generations and it is something that they are really proud of.

Unfortunately, we don’t have those beautiful Chinook or Sockeye salmon here in Tasmania. But, in my opinion, we have the next best thing – trout, and this is the perfect brine for smoking any type of trout, or indeed, any farmed atlantic salmon found in Tasmanian waters. Now let me share my secret Canadian recipe with you - the flavour is sure to impress!

Follow these simple steps Cleaning your trout Use only freshly caught trout for this recipe. Remember that any fish will begin to spoil the minute you land it. Enzymes and bacteria go to work straight away and they will take away flavour from your fish and break down the flesh. So, when you land a trout that you intend to keep – bleed it, clean it and put it on ice in your esky. The fish also has to be super clean. Any blood left on the fish will impart an unpleasant flavour in the final product, so make sure that you remove all traces of the blood line. Using a small spoon can make this task quick and easy. There is no need to scale the trout for smoking. The skin is not eaten and the scales will actually help seal in moisture during the process. It is wise to leave smaller fish cleaned whole (head attached), as they have a tendency to dry out in the smoker. Due to the thickness of the flesh, larger trout and large atlantic salmon are best filleted (skin on).

Brining Canadian Brine:

6 litres of cold water 2 cups of table salt (non-iodised) 2 cups of brown sugar 4 tablespoons of garlic powder 8 tablespoons of onion powder 250 ml bottle of maple syrup Add cold water to a suitable receptacle with a lid. An old esky is perfect. Add all of the above ingredients, except the maple syrup, to the water. The ingredients must be dissolved well in the water. I use a Bamix stick blender to do, and it works beautifully.

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The resulting brine should be a weak to mild tasting one. I always taste it, just to make sure that it is not too salty. If you can handle the salt level of your brine during this tasting, then you are headed in the right direction with your recipe. If the taste is too salty, you can always add more water. If you follow the quantities suggested in the recipe above, then you shouldn’t have any problems. Next, submerge your fillets and/or whole trout in the brine. Seal your container or esky with the lid and leave the fish in it for 24 hours. If it is a hot day and you are worried about spoilage, then a plastic soft drink bottle of water that has been frozen can be added to the brine. This will ensure that the contents remain appropriately cooled.

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Fishing News - Page 33


Air drying After 24 hours, remove the fish from the brine. Discard the brine as it can’t be used again. The fish will be slimy and not very appealing, but don’t worry. Give them a Air drying light wipe with a piece of paper towel. The fish do not need to be rinsed in fresh water, as you may do with a traditional salt plus water brine, as this particular brine recipe is not overly salty.

that any potentially harmful bacteria will be destroyed. A bit over 80°C is fine, but be careful not to bake the fish. After four hours, the smoked trout should be ready. The end product should have a golden colour. When pushed with your finger, the flesh should be firm, but still moist. If it is mushy, then the fish will need a little more time in the smoker. Obviously the bigger the fish, the more time they will require.

is important and in winter can be done outside.

Remove the wire racks from your smoker and set up a drying area. In winter I do this outside as there are no flying insects to worry about. In summer, it’s a good idea to set it up in a sealed garage, with newspapers placed under the racks. You certainly don’t want flies or wasps getting at your fish.

Leave the fish to air dry for at least 2 hours (this will depend on the temperature***). The skin should be fairly dry to touch, although a little tackiness is fine. This drying process is crucial as it allows the formation of, what is called, a ‘pellicle’ on the skin. In short, this step helps to seal in the moisture and preserve the end product. It will also prevent the fish from sticking to your smoker racks to some extent. If you are worried about the fish sticking, you can lightly grease the racks with rice bran oil.

Application of the maple syrup Being Canadian, this recipe uses maple syrup. No surprises there - they put the stuff on everything! So once your fish have air dried, grab a basting brush and a cup full of maple syrup. It is best to use the proper Canadian syrup and not the imitation stuff, which contains heaps of artificial additives.

Basting with maple syrup. Use the original, not imitation.

If using whole trout, then baste the entire fish, inside and out, with a generous amount of syrup. If you are smoking fillets, then it is sufficient to just baste the flesh. After you have basted everything, it is time to start the smoking process. There is no need for further drying after the addition of the maple syrup.

Hot Smoking Your smoker will need to be fired up well in advance (a good 30 minutes). You are aiming to get the smoker to a temperature of 60°C. Place mesquite wood chips in your smoker box. If you are using an electronic Bradley smoker (or similar), then load the mesquite bisquettes as per the instructions. Aim for a very light smoke by not using too many chips at once. Once you have reached the required temperature and the smoke level is appropriate, it is time to load the smoker. Stack the racks in order of fish thickness. I place smaller fish towards the top of the smoker and larger pieces towards the bottom (where temperatures can be slightly higher). Close the door and smoke your fish at 60°C for three hours. Then, for the last hour (four hours in total), increase the temperature to 80°C. The last hour at a higher temperature will ensure

Fishing News - Page 34

If you are smoking whole trout with the head on, then looking at the eyes of the fish can tell you whether they are cooked or not. If the eyes are white (like a hardboiled egg), then your trout are properly smoked and ready to eat.

Storage Smoked trout should be stored in the refrigerator at all times. If you have access to a vacuum sealer, then the life of your product can be extended significantly. Check with your local tackle store - they are a great investment for smoking fish but are useful for lots of other foodstuffs. Trout smoked using this method (and vacuum sealed) will keep for around four weeks if stored under 4°C in your refrigerator; however, make sure that the fish are completely cooled before sealing. Vacuum sealed and frozen, smoked trout will keep for up to 12 months. When packing and storing any type of smoked fish, hygiene is very important. Never prepare smoked fish for storage where it may come into contact with surfaces that have had raw fish or left over brine on them.

Serving suggestions The skin should be rubbery and should be easy to peel off with your fingers. You can then flake the flesh off in chunks and remove any bones should there be any. There are a number of ways that you can use this product: topping for pizza, mixed through pasta or salad, used in risotto or simply eaten with some biscuits. Take a platter of it to your next barbeque or social gathering– your friends will be impressed. During my Canadian adventure earlier this year, I ate it served on a fresh bagel with a bit of cream cheese – simple and yummy!

The taste test is the fun bit at the end. Take some to your next BBQ and I guarantee you will be invited back.

Handy Tip Don’t throw away the bones or the skin from your smoked trout. Put these otherwise useless left-overs into a small pot of boiling salted water. Boil and then simmer down to make a fish stock/broth. Strain and use the liquid instead of chicken stock when making a tasty smoked trout risotto!

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Types of smokers Without going into too much detail, there are many different types of smokers available at local Tasmanian tackle stores. If you are going to do a lot of smoking and are serious about it, then I would recommend a top of the range electric smoker. Something like a ‘Bradley’ or ‘Masterbuilt’ electric smoker would be my pick. They are built to last and feature the latest technology. Above all, they have precise electronic temperature control, which is very important when smoking any type of food, whether it is fish or smallgoods. A unit like this is a certainly a good investment if you are serious about smoking. Smaller, methylated-powered box-style smokers are another alternative, and certainly a cheaper. Don’t get me wrong, the end product can still taste nice, but it will never be as good as true smoked fish. This is due to the high temperature these little smokers generate. Cooked fish with a smoke flavour is the end product. Sufficient – yes, but if you are going to make traditionally smoked fish that will last for a long time once smoked, then don’t use such a smoker. Don’t overlook them completely though - they are perfect companions for a trip up to the lakes! Finally, there is the homemade smoker. They are easy to make if you have a plan and know what you are doing. It can be as simple as digging a steel barrel into the ground and making a fire pit at the bottom. My smoker is homemade, but a little more advanced. It is a hot-smoker powered by gas and can accommodate a large quantity of fish.

I have spent a lot of time perfecting the design and performance of this smoker. If you are a handy type of person, making one yourself might be the answer. There are plenty of places to start, beginning with a simple Google search. On the other hand, you can buy a professionally built smoker that will produce excellent results every time. At the end of the day the choice is yours.

Which wood is best? This particular recipe uses mesquite, due to the light smoke flavour that it imparts. You will find that mesquite is relatively inexpensive and available from most tackle stores. There are also a variety of other woods that are suitable for smoking. Experimentation is the key to finding a flavour that you like. Wood obtained from fruit trees is widely used throughout Europe. This is in contrast to Canada and the US, where some hardwoods, like mesquite, are popular. You can try apple, pear, cherry, apricot and even plum. But avoid using resinous woods such as pine or citrus. They will impart an unpleasant bitter flavour to your fish. Certain native Australian hardwoods are also a good choice, which you may be able to find in your own backyard. Otherwise, try your local tackle store. A few suggestions are red gum, spotted gum and sheoak.

The Rybka gas powered smoker is above, purpose built electric on the right and a cheap, but effective metho smoker below.

Lastly, never, ever use treated pine! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why! Michal Rybka

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North East Coast Secret Trout Fishing F

or most East Coast anglers the thought of chasing a few trout usually conjures up images of an extended trip to the central highlands, hours of driving, cool temperatures and long hours on the water to make the most of the trip. However there is some great trout fishing options a lot closer to home than many would think with more than enough variety to satisfy even the most discerning of trout anglers. With a good mix of river, lake and dam fishing there is something for everyone. If heading to the rivers my early season recommendations would be definitely some upstream worm fishing in the faster water and small Wattyl Grubs and worms in the slower pools for those wishing to bait fish. A big bunch of scrub worms thread onto a #6 bronze bait holder hook and lobbed unweighted upstream into the tail of runs and eddies is a dynamite technique. If there has been some seasonal rain and the river has broken its banks then its prime time for the worm fisherman, take advantage of the water rising into normally dry drains and into paddocks as the Trout follow and gorge themselves on drowned insects and worms. As the water starts to recede the action will slow dramatically so make sure you jump as soon as the river rises. For the artificial spin guys there is no better river spinner than the #0-#1 Celta style. Cast upstream and quickly retrieved back down in fast water or cast across stream and let swing down current in

the slower water will both produce fish. Small brown trout and rainbow trout pattern Rapala style lures are also a great one to have in the box as are small soft plastic fish patterns, such as 60mm Squidgy Fish in Gary Glitter, and 2” grub tail patters in Pumkinseed colours. For fly anglers the North East streams are one of the few places you may be able to take Trout on a dry fly on the first day of the season. A Royal Wulff, Red Tag or Elk Hair Caddis are my flies of choice, all high floating, high visibility and well accepted by the fish. For a little extra spice don’t be frightened to hang a small #16 Black Bead Head Nymph or Copper John nymph under the dry, you will be amazed at how much difference this can make.

For fly anglers early season wet flies will work best in the weedy margins of many North East lakes and dams, the Yeti, Fur Fly, Wolly Bugger, Pedder Parrot and one of my favourites a Fuzzle Bugger are great choices. With some winter sun and warm coastal wind some areas may even see dun hatches early on so keep your eye out and arm yourself with some dun and spinner patterns just in case.

For anglers heading to the lakes and dams baits are the same, plenty of worms and grubs either fished as they are or under a float depending on the substrate of the area being fished. If it’s a clear bottom fish them straight on a hook with little or no bait but any weed at all then a small float os ideal to keep the bait suspended in mid water. For the lure fisherman standard trout patterns such as Tassie Devils, Ashely Spinners and Wonder Wobblers are all tried and tested patterns and will produce fish. Hard Body lures such as Rapala Max Raps in Brown Trout and Black Gold, Hawk Stick Minnows in AY and BG, Stiffy Minnows in black gold and Yo Zuri Pinz Minnows are all great Galaxia imitations and work great when cast and twitched around weed and reed beds.

Marcus Haley with a nice little brownie on a celta.

The Georges River The Georges River is the first stop for most east coast trout fisherman and starts its life high in the mountains 30 minutes west of St Helens as two separate river systems, the North George River and the South George River.

Beautiful clear Georges River waters. Fishing News - Page 36

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The upper reaches are very reminiscent of an English chalk stream, crystal clear water, dense forest growth all around with areas of highland tarn, rich in aquatic and terrestrial life, the perfect haven for small Brown Trout to flourish. The two rivers meet and converge to make the Georges River proper at a small dairy farming area called Pyengana and flow through a mix of farm land, state forest and lowland plains eventually spilling into Georges Bay at St Helens. During the first month of the season temperatures in Tasmania don’t usually encourage much in the way of surface fly hatches however on the East Coast it is not unusual to have some earlier than the rest of the state and the Georges River is one of the few places in Tasmania where its possible to catch the


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Fishing News - Page 37


small river trout on a dry fly on the first day of the season. Although the fish in the head waters are only small what they lack in size they certainly make up for it in sheer numbers however as you head toward the lower limits fish numbers reduce but the sizes increase. Close to town you can expect resident fish up to 5-6lb and monsters up to 8lb have been caught in some of the darker deeper reaches fishing baits at night.

The Ringarooma River The Ringarooma River begins at the foothills between Ben Nevis, which is part of the Ben Lomond ranges and Mount Maurice to the north. It flows in a north easterly direction through mostly farmland and on past the township of Ringarooma itself. The top end of this river is simply magnificent with some superb stretches of water to fish. It has an excellent population of small to medium sized fish with the odd larger model poking about just to keep you on your toes. By the time it reaches the

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The Frome Dam The Frome Dam sits atop Kent Hill just south east of the small hamlet of Moorina. It was constructed in 1908 as a water source for the Moorina Power station to supply power to the tin mining schemes in the area. It holds approx 2500 mega litres of water when full and offers east coast anglers a close small waterway to chase a Trout. This water is dark tannin in appearance and has a bottom laden with fallen tree stumps and logs so care needs to be taken when boating. Unfortunately it offers very limited access for shore based anglers and is also surrounded by dense forest which makes wading almost impossible apart from a couple of areas where vehicles can be parked. At lower water levels more shoreline is exposed but much care needs to be taken when wading due to the sandy substrate and the possibility of sinking in the sand. The water has a good head of small fish and with spawning facilities available has a self sufficient population. During the summer months this Dam can be host to some remarkable beetle, caddis, spinner and mud eye hatches offering some fantastic fishing.

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The Cascade Dam The Cascade Dam, originally called the Briseis Dam until the infamous flood of 1929, when it burst and killed fourteen people in Derby, sits 350 metres above sea level on the Cascade River about 4 km upstream of the Ringarooma River junction. The dam was rebuilt in 1934 to supply the Briseis Tin Mine in Derby and has a capacity of around 3600 mega litres. The Briseis Tin Mine closed during the mid-1950’s and the storage was virtually unused for about 20 years. In the mid-1970’s plans to utilise this asset for agricultural irrigation emerged and this storage is now used to supply the Winnaleah Irrigation Scheme, which services 45 irrigators. The track into the dam is certainly not for standard cars; whilst most of the time 4WD is not needed a vehicle with decent ground clearance is needed to drive to the dam. During periods of high water shoreline access is almost non existent so the use of a small dinghy is a must and will certainly see a dramatic improvement in fishing ability. The water is deep, dark and very tannin stained with areas of standing dead timber, thick scrub shorelines and sunken timber everywhere so care is needed. Mixed reports come from this water however there is a good head of wild brown trout as it has a river and two creeks that constantly flow in it. Small to medium sized Trout are caught throughout the season on Fly, Bait and spin gear and is well worth the trek into.

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township of Branxholm, the catchment has grown to include drainage from the Maurice River and Legerwood Rivulet on the west and inflows from Federal Creek, the Dorset River and New River from the east. From Branxholm down it becomes difficult to access and very bouldery and deep, from Derby downstream the years of tin mining have left the river only a shadow of what it once would have been. It’s from Branxholm upstream through Ringarooma that offers anglers the best sport and is a flyfisher’s dream water. Upstream spinning with small no.1 Celta (spinning blade) lures is also a popular and deadly fish catching technique in this water.

The Pioneer Mine Dam, or Pioneer Lake, is a small water just north of the township of Pioneer. It is basically the old Tin Mine site, which was a big hole in the ground, which was then flooded with water. Surrounded by white sandy banks it is a very clean water although dark and tannin coloured with rich aquatic life and a solid population of small Galaxias fish. This water is stocked every year by the inland fisheries service with brown trout fingerlings and adult rainbow trout. This is an easy water to drive to and offers quite a bit of shoreline access for anglers. There are also boat launching facilities for those wishing to boat fish however anglers need to be aware that throughout the summer months many

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water skiers also use this water. All methods are allowed on this water, fly, bait and lure and during the last few years there has been a Trout Fishing Competition held here as part of the North East Rivers festival. During the competition rainbow trout up to 8lb have been caught and all throughout the season quality fish up to this size and larger are regularly caught.

Big Waterhouse & Little Waterhouse Lakes/Blackmans Lagoon All three of these lakes are situated roughly 20km’s north east of Bridport along the coastline and are inside the Waterhouse Protected Area. They all lay just a couple of km’s inland from the coastline and sandy shorelines with sand dunes in the background are the only give away that you are near the ocean. All have the distinct dark tannin stained water colour endemic of coastal lagoons and rich weed growth all around the shoreline. It is this rich weed growth that promotes a massive amount of aquatic life in these lakes and in turn provides the trout with a veritable supermarket of food items to feed on. Blackmans Lagoon and Big Waterhouse Lake have some of the fastest trout growth rates in the state and are considered state-wide as Trophy Trout waters with double figure fish coming from them nearly every season. Shore access can be difficult at times of high water with the massive weed beds proving to be a hindrance, a small boat is a definite advantage here. Both of these lakes have prolific Galaxia populations and have huge mud eye hatches during the summer months and usually well before many other lakes around the state. Little Waterhouse lake is just a couple of km’s north of the Big Lake but is much much smaller in size. This water can suffer badly to low water levels during the summer but offers anglers more shore based angling than the other two lakes. All three waters are stocked every year by the inland fisheries service with both brown and rainbow trout and during the last year triploids have been introduced, this coupled

Simon Hedditch on a secret NE stream. with the high growth rate should offer anglers some fantastic fishing in the coming season. All methods can be used on these waters, bait, fly and lure however all three lakes seem to reward the bait fisherman with some of the better catches.

highlands in order to grab a Trout fix as some of the states best freshwater fishing is much closer than you think. Jamie Henderson

So as you can see for east coast trout anglers there is no need to travel for hours and head to the

Howard Jones with a river fish anyone would be happy with.

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Fishing News - Page 39


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Fishing News - Page 40

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Breaking the Ice Peter Broomhall’s tips for trout season opening day success on a few of my favourite fisheries

Early Season Options

F

or Tasmanian trout anglers the first Saturday in August is the culmination of a gradual build up in anticipation that started a few weeks beforehand. During this time rods have been checked, reels oiled, lines renewed, leaders retied, hooks sharpened, waders checked for leaks and tackle and fly boxes restocked. In some extreme cases this has been repeated many times over...

Opening Day Memories My earliest memories of trout season opening day is of pedalling my trusty old Malvern Star down the dimly lit streets of Latrobe at dawn, heading for the banks of the nearby Mersey River. Here, depending on the rivers mood I would either sit for hours on end watching and waiting for my rod tip to bounce signalling that a trout had been fooled by the earthworm bait offered or if lower clear water was encountered casting lures in the glides, ripples and runs. These lures were usually plain old silver wonder wobblers, which were in those days, and probably still are, surprisingly effective. These past opening days all merge together to great degree, but one really clear memory is of the trout that were caught, usually fat little “pounder” sea run browns but sometimes much larger, with their silver scales falling off as soon as they hit the wet hessian of my fishing bag. These fish were then usually slung off the handlebars of the Malvern Star on the trip return trip home, straight up the main street of course, much like a Cairns Marlin boat returning to port with its catch flags proudly flying.

Opening Day Choices For the intrepid Tasmanian angler the choice of location to fish on opening day is relatively simple considering we live in a state that offers tremendous variety in its trout fishing. Depending on the individuals chosen angling method whether it be fly fishing, lure casting, trolling or simply bait soaking the main decision is to either stick to the

The Mersey has a controlled flow and should not be overlooked at any time. lower elevation lakes and streams and it’s more predictable weather or to take a risk and instead brave the often frigid August conditions in the highlands.

Lower Elevation Stillwaters

A selection of flies that will work.

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In our island states northern region where I am based the main lower elevation stillwaters include the popular fisheries of Four Springs Lake, Huntsman Lake, Brushy Lagoon and Curries River Dam. Lake Leake, Tooms Lake, Craigbourne Dam and the newly re-established Lake Dulverton are among the more popular waters in other regions. All of these are very good fisheries in their own right and have a dedicated band of devotees but if push came to shove I would go to the Springs every time for the season opener. Fishing News - Page 41


On opening day the car parking spots at Four Springs Lake are usually at a premium. Many people spend the first fishing session of the new season here and for very good reason. All angling methods are allowed on the Springs and all have a good chance of catching a large fish on this water. However this popularity does have its price! On a typical season opening at Four Springs a casual midmorning glance across the lake can reveal a scene closely resembling a regatta more so than a trout fishery. Certainly not a spot to go if you do not like crowds! In spite of this I have spent a couple of very enjoyable opening day sessions on Four Springs. Large brown and rainbow trout frequent the margins in good numbers and are generally suckers for a well presented wet fly such as a Woolly Bugger, Yeti or Fur Fly. My method here is to get to the access point early and walk well around the lake shore in the predawn darkness by headlamp. This tactic generally results in putting some distance between myself and the majority of anglers who predominantly stay close to the vehicular access points. This effort will provide the early bird with plenty of untouched shoreline to explore. The shallow marshy rush lined corners immediately north of the boat ramp and continuing right to up to the top end of the lake are productive areas with plenty of food to tempt the trout in close. These shores feature plenty of channels, ditches, drop offs and structure such as drowned timber and stumps.

A lure, fly or bait worked through these areas will be sure to attract plenty of interest from the resident trout. After a mornings sport the walk back to the car can also be very enjoyable with plenty of parties of anglers willing to have a chat about their successes and the “ones that got away”. A cool beverage being proffered is not uncommon either. Sometimes the return journey can take a very long time!!

Lower Elevation Rivers Tasmania boasts some very good lowland river fisheries. In the North West we have the Mersey and Leven Rivers. The North boasts waterways like the South Esk, Macquarie and the Meander Rivers and the Southern district has the mighty Derwent, Tyenna and Huon rivers to name just a few. It is no secret that my favourite fishery of them all is the Mersey River so it is here that I will base my opening day discussions but the methodology will be effective on any river. The Mersey opening fishing is always dictated by the weather conditions leading up to the event. If heavy rain has occurred in the headwaters in the preceding days the river will be high and hopefully spilling into the bordering paddocks. High water will bring the resident browns out to feed on the bountiful food supply in these backwaters flushed out by the rising water. Tailing trout that can be sight fished with wet flies or simple earthworm baits are an opening day dream. There are many many kilometres of river that provide suitable conditions for this type

of fishing stretching from Latrobe as far upstream as the Weegena area. Fishermen should look for drains, ditches and low lying depressions as the trout will use these as “super highways” to enter and leave the backwaters. The few hours after dawn and again before dusk are the most productive times for this type of fishing. If the weather has been kinder and lower clear water conditions are encountered, lure casting and swinging wet flies across the many ripples and runs is a productive method to deploy. The stretch of the Mersey adjacent to the Latrobe township is great spot to start this type of fishing as you have the chance of catching a silvery sea run brown trout as well as the numerous resident browns. Lures such as the enormously popular varieties of soft plastics common in lure fishing nowadays or simply the silver wobbler from yesteryear are proven methods for success as the trout in this area are strong baitfish feeders. For the flyfisher a Woolly Bugger variant is as good a fly as any to start the season with. As an added bonus to early season Mersey River anglers the IFS usually releases a significant amount of relocated adult brown trout into the river, normally at Latrobe but I have heard that this year’s release may have occurred in the Kimberly area so keep your ear to the ground. These trout averaging around the 2 to 3lb mark, provide good sport for the first few weeks of the season.

The Lake Country Where do we start here? Tasmania’s central highlands boast a virtual smorgasbord of potential opening day destinations. An online Tassie fishing forum that I am a member of, runs a topic each year in the lead up to the season titled “trout opening destinations?” or something of that ilk. A scan of the replies to this question from the forum members usually reads like the index page to Greg French’s marvellous Trout Waters of Tasmania book. Popular fisheries such as Great Lake, Arthurs, Woods Lake, Echo and the Brady’s chain all gain a very high position in the popularity stakes. Once again the location of choice in the highlands to begin your seasons sport will depend largely on the preferred fishing method to be deployed. Diehard flycasters will lean towards locations like Little Pine Lagoon, Penstock Lagoon or even the 19 Lagoons while the lure casters and trollers will be targeting Arthurs Lake and Woods Lake for instance. One water that caters well for all angling methods and is a very productive winter fishery is the Great Lake. While the opening day gloss here is slightly tarnished by the fact Great Lake has been classified in recent times as a year round fishery with no real closure period, many trout anglers will still use the first Saturday in August as their first serious foray on this virtual inland sea. One real advantage in the non closure for anglers intending to spend opening weekend on GL is that, dissimilar to other waters in the highlands, there will be recent reports circulating about where the trout are concentrated and what lures and flys are being taken by the resident browns and rainbows. It really pays to scan the internet fishing forums in the lead up to give you a head start in this regard. Winter trout in Great Lake tend to feed heavily on Galaxias that are shoaling around rocky reefs and shores. This fact means that the fish are readily targeting with lures and flys imitating this baitfish population. Soft plastics are extremely effective for this fishing.

Opening day success. Fishing News - Page 42

Hot spots in the winter period generally include areas that are in close proximity to major spawning streams such as the mouth of Canal Bay (outside the posts), Todds Corner, Brandums Bay, Half Moon Bay and many others. Post spawned browns will be in these spots and rainbows that are just about to head upstream on their migration. Just remember to stay outside the 50 metre exclusion zone from any stream running into the lake while targeting these areas though.

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The highland weather in winter can be very unforgiving with frequent snowstorms and freezing winds. The open barren shores of Great Lake can be very bleak at these times so anglers planning to visit here on opening day should come fully prepared for this eventuality.

Taking a chance – an opening day anecdote A couple of seasons ago a group of close fishing mates, Todd Lamprey, Jim Schofield, Simon Tueon and I decided to try something a little different for our opening foray of the new trout season. We had heard on the grapevine of a remote stream fishery in the central highlands that was potentially a very good early season water. Maps were studied and plans finally set in motion to take a chance and leave the comfort and more predictable August weather of the lowlands behind. The early hours of Saturday found us driving up the Lake Highway through the fog, frost, ice and snow just wondering what we had got ourselves in for. Jim’s boat was trailing along behind the Toyota as the access to this stream involved a lake crossing to cut down on the hike required. After a couple of hours in the 4WD the boat was launched just as the sun was beginning to make an impression on the eastern horizon. An extremely chilly journey was then endured before the boat was pulled up onto the lake shore at the pre-planned hike departure point. Just getting to this exact point was a minor miracle as navigation was extremely difficult through squinted eyes and tears caused by the extreme wind chill factor. Once safely ashore and after time was taken to restore feeling to limbs, the map was rechecked to get our bearings, backpacks were donned and it was off on a trek not really knowing what we were going to encounter up over the hill. After a rather eventful walk that included many twists and turns, dead ends and resultant backtracking caused by impenetrable scrub and not the least Simon taking a huge tumble and snapping the tip section of his Sage fly rod we finally arrived on the banks of a delightful looking stream. The water was running quite high with snow melt but otherwise conditions looked good. There was still some trepidation in the air as always as when you are fishing a new water for the first time but this feeling vanished as soon as I spotted a good sized brown trout finning in the current only a few metres above our access point. A Woolley Bugger wet fly was quickly attached to my tippet and a quick cast above the trouts lie saw the offering engulfed in no uncertain terms and we were away. What a way to start the new season! From this point we worked our upstream taking turns fishing favourite wet flys like buggers and Montana nymphs through the many ripples and runs on this newly found fishing paradise. Plenty of trout were landed and then gently released, predominantly Browns but with a sprinkling of beautifully marked Rainbow Trout averaging around the 2lb mark with Jim taking the big fish award with a spectacular brown trout which would have weighed at least 4lb’s. Numerous other fish were missed, pricked and ‘distance

released” in the all too short time spent exploring this waterway. Even Simon casting with his ¾ length rod managed to hook and land a number of nice trout. The travel up on the icy roads, the freezing boat journey and the arduous walk to get there were all consigned to the back of the memory bank in very quick time. Summary For Tassie trout anglers opening day means many different things. Whether it means a day spent with friends, a social occasion, a day of solitude, an opportunity to explore a new water or simply a chance to get out and see how your favourite fishery has fared over the winter months, the lure of opening weekend is hard to resist.

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I urge all anglers to get out there and enjoy the day. Pack your winter woollies and raincoat and don’t forget to renew your licence! Peter Broomhall

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Fishing News - Page 43


Weight Wait Strike!

E

Peter Hayes

arly season fishing can be very challenging. Too challenging for this mere mortal of a fishing guide so I don’t like to guide before October. You see, I have a problem taking money from clients for what I consider mostly to be sub-standard (read subsurface) fishing.

My clients love sight fishing on warm balmy days. Whilst early season shallow water tailers can offer great sport on lake margins and flooded river edges the weather is anything

but balmy and the sport is particularly unreliable. If you are Johnny on the spot, you have good local knowledge of water levels and conditions and you are not scared of frosty, foggy early mornings, then by all means be my guest. You may just find some of the best fishing of the season.

Where to Fish For me the more reliable fishing early in the season comes from our

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still waters. If the margins are food rich, and not all margins are, then the fish tend to exit them as soon as the sun comes out. You can fish these great looking edges all you like after that and few fish will be remaining. It is imperative that you seek out the deeper weed beds. The fish are used to this habitat. They have spent nearly all their time since returning from spawning there. They are recovering shaggers. They are beginning to become hungry again, trying to put on condition for summer. The water temperatures are cold. Edges are freezing often.

Nothing is moving fast down there. There are no fast swimming damsels, no big fat mudeyes, no ADHD nymphs. Just scud hiding in the weeds and stationary snails. Sometimes you will find them feeding on sand cased caddis if the environment is suitable. One way or another these fish innately know that surface food is pretty well non existent and mid water offerings are just as hard to find. They must feed on the bottom and ideally in the weed. Look for water greater than 10 feet deep and with good well developed weed beds. Now that sounds easy – especially if you have a sounder. Try it. You won’t believe it but at Arthurs Lake for example it is hard to find well developed beds in August and September. Weed also needs warmth to develop.

How to fish The great Leon Cubit used to say ‘Haysie – low and slow, small and black’ and that is sage advice. I remember dozens of days where we have flogged the water to a foam, only to catch a fish on an unattended rod when someone was having a leak. On the drop. The non-retrieve was better than pulling flies through miles of water. Often, when fish are hard

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to catch we try harder by pulling flies faster and covering more water. It can be a big mistake. Let me tell you that when the water is very cold you should hardly move your fly at all. There are some times during the day, and often short periods, when the fish will have a go and chase a little but for the most part; Low and Slow. It is remarkable how many fish you catch ‘on the drop’ at this early time of the season. That should tell you something about retrieves! Snails don’t swim fast, nor do scuds. Scuds are really good at hiding and often the fish have to lie in the weed perfectly still so that they can ‘tune in’ to the slightest movement that catches their attention.

Wait and Weight from the Bottom up You simply must get down, otherwise you are not fishing where the fish are. Give great consideration depth. Develop a great understanding of the tackle options you have available. Learn how quickly each option can get you down. Learn to count down every single delivery. One thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, retrieve etc. Learn to WAIT. Many anglers fish at the surface for 10 minutes and when that doesn’t work they let everything sink for say 5 seconds then ten minutes later without action 10 seconds of sink etc.

I prefer to work from the bottom up. After you have decided on your tackle set up, cast and count down your first cast to where you really think the bottom is. If you don’t snag in the first five feet of retrieve then count a further 10 or even 20 seconds. When you find the bottom back it off to work the fly just above such that you only pull weed every second cast or so.


Tackle Options Here are some tackle ideas for you to consider from shallow to deep 1. Floating line, tapered co-polymer leader, 2. Floating line, level flurocarbon leader 3. Floating line, sinking poly leader, flurocarbon tippet 4. Intermediate line, flurocarbon leader 5. Sink tip line, flurocarbon leader 6. Sinking lines of various densities, max type 7, flurocarbon leader Fly - Weight from shallow to deep 1. Unweighted slim profile 2. Weighted with lead wire

Temple Fork Fly Rods

3. Brass bead head 4. Lead eyes 5. Tungsten bead head 6. Tungsten bead plus lead wire under slim dressing Fly Design

Four Springs is a very productive fishery. Try the Fat Controller here.

I like many of my flies to be tied upside down for this type of fishing. This way I can pull them through the weed beds with the confidence of not wasting a retrieve with fouled hooks.

inexperienced kid. That was one of many OMG moments I have experienced from kids.

You can achieve upside down lots of ways. For bigger attractors I simply go and buy Squidgy hooks of various sizes and weights. If you use curved hooks and apply the weight to the dressing on the outside of the curve this hook will ride upside down too.

Maybe Bob Cooper’s current fishing mate is the great Lindsay Haslem. Hasser used to fish with what he called a controller on the point and a dropper fly five or six feet above the controller.

You can make keel hooks or even buy them like this. Crazy Charlie or Lefty’s deceiver style dressings are designed to ride upside down and as freshwater anglers we can learn loads from our saltwater brethren in this regard and many others for that matter. We are so insulated! While I am on the subject, I can’t believe the shallow depth (excuse the pun) of some of our competitive fly fishers these days. They need to get out and broaden their horizons by experiencing all manner of fly fishing situations. Believe it or not you learn so much about catching trout by sight fishing mangrove flats for barra or dare I say sailfish in the oceans. Fish are Fish are Fish. The great Bob Cooper, now looking down on us from above, loved the Dog Nobbler. Google it. I think they are better if you bend the hook (like a Squidgy hook) before you fit the split shot. I also think it is best to flatten the split shot with a hammer. I then paint the head black with a white iris then black pupil. You will want to eat them yourself! They will rarely snag. Second fly – greed or a great idea? There are plenty of times when a second or third fly can scare more fish than they can catch. That’s a topic in itself. Having said that when I am fishing low and slow I like to use a second fly. Tied on a dropper say 4 or so feet above the point fly. My point flies are often large. This is necessary to provide weight. My second fly is always very small and discrete. I actually like to foul the weed often with the point fly. I know that the dropper is still working for me above the weed. I cannot tell you how many times I see weeded point flies pulled gently out only to find seconds later we get takes on the top fly. Always make sure you pull from weed with the line hand rather than the rod tip. You will miss too many takes from the slack otherwise. I learnt just ten years ago whilst guiding a 10 year old and his dad why this happens. After the 4th fish was caught in this manner the kid suggested to me that all the weed on the bottom was stationary and the fish are used to this. If the weed moves slightly it attracts inquisitive fish from great distances. As they approach they easily see the top fly and have a crack. How profound from a 10 year old

The Fat Controller

Hasser had a tin full of controllers in various weights for different wind strength, (read boat drift speeds), and water depths. The controllers were hooks with copper wire wound around, and around and around. They were little bombs or jelly bean like shapes. Some were anorexic, others a little overweight and others positively little fatties. All the controllers had the hooks cut off so they were relatively snag free. Having said that he did consider them sacrificial and he didn’t hesitate to break them off if they became snagged. Lindsay deliberately fished them on the bottom knowing the only hook that could catch was the dropper. He was literally fishing from the bottom up. Go and give it a try. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Watching the loop This is a bite detection method taught to me by another great angler, Martin Cottis. Martin is an expert at English reservoir fishing. From the second your offering hits the water immediately smoothly draw in a metre of line. This is to remove any slack from the cast and a bite can then easily be detected on the drop. Next you must raise the rod tip a foot or so above the water surface and as you retrieve you must never take your eyes off the hanging loop of line. Watch closely the water entry point and the curve shape from the rod tip to the water. Get used to this and if the hanging loop ever rises, even slightly, or the water joining point moves away, you must strike IMMEDIATELY. Many fish in cold water take very softly and most people miss these takes. In my opinion you should always pay particular attention to where the hook is bedded in the fish’s mouth. Be super cautious, and absolutely in the moment or you will miss them. If your first fish of the day is hooked in the top lip exactly in the center and by literally ‘the skin of his teeth’. I have warned you! Peter Hayes Peter Hayes is a Tasmanian Trout Guide and Master Casting Instructor based in Cressy. Check out his unique fly fishing products like the Fat Butt Leaders and Glue Joining Kits as well as further fishing and casting tips by registering on his website at www.peterhayesflyfishing.com

- review Ken Orr

In 2010 I was lucky enough to attend the Denver Fly Tackle Dealers Show as an exhibitor for the Tasmanian Trout Guides and Lodges and Tassie Tourism. Before the show opened each morning I would go to the various stands looking at and testing what was the latest and greatest in fly fishing paraphernalia but when I ran into Jim Shulin, Vice President of Temple Fork Outfitters and cast his rods I knew he was on a winner. I was keen to get back to Australia and tell Graham Todd of E J Todd that this was a range of rods he should consider handling but unbeknown to me he was already talking to Jim and National Distribution of Temple Fork Rods became a reality within weeks. As a past Pro Staffer for G.Loomis rods I was excited to find that Gary Loomis had offered his services to design and build a new generation of affordable high performance Temple Fork Rods. Another well known angler Lefty Kreh offered his services and after a year of dedicated design work came up with the fantastic BVK range, these two anglers give Temple Fork serious credibility in the rod market. I tested all of the ranges over the casting pond in Denver and found the BVK rods suited my casting style perfectly as I like the fly in the water quickly not in the air. They are engineered to the highest performance standards utilizing new materials that dramatically reduce weight while creating an aggressive blend of power and strength. The culmination of all these things have created a range of amazing performance rods at a price affordable to all with a very realistic lifetime warranty. Last year T.F.O. introduced a 10ft 5wt BVK on to the market which I loved but I was pushing for for a 6wt which I felt would suit Tasmanian conditions even more but T.F.O. were saying no. In October last year I visited E J Todd in Sydney and urged Graham to try and get a production run done of the 10ft 6wt BVK so he rang and they agreed as long as Australia took all of the first run so the order was placed. Geoff Brown, Todd’s NSW sales representative was as eager as me to get his hands on this rod as were many of his customers and he sold the entire shipment in less than a day, meaning a second order was placed immediately. This new BVK 10 footer is a fast action rod designed to excel in presentation and distance and the beautifully finished translucent olive blanks are fitted with matching braided carbon fibre reel seats and the exclusive tactical stripping guides. During extensive testing by myself and my guides we found this rod could be all things to all people and was just as good in short polaroiding as it was reaching out for that distant rise form. Shane Broadby our lodge flytyer was so impressed with this rod that he gave it a nickname that has stuck “THE BVK CANNON”. This is a serious fly rod at a tremendous price point so do yourself a favour and test it at your nearest tackle stockist and have a look at the rest of the Temple Fork range. I am just about to test Lefty’s new 5ft .5wt (yes point 5) designed to fish those small,tight,overgrown waters so watch this space for a full report.

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Fishing News - Page 45


At the end of the gold medal winning performance I was surprised to see Guido wind up and slide his rod down into a mere foot long package. So, way back then telescopic rods were good enough to win a world championship. I’ve messed with all manner of them since and until now I have not found any that I have been happy with. For the most part telescopic rods are not taken seriously by the average punter so the rod companies manufacture few of them and they are always at the bottom end of the quality and performance scale.

Two telescopic spin rods – great casting tools that pack small Way, way back, almost 2/3 of a lifetime ago I cast in a World Casting Championship. At the event I was fortunate enough to witness the great Belgian caster Guido Vink cast the possible 100 points in the ¼ oz plug accuracy.

I had recently decided that I would source some rods from Japan where they are very serious and you can find some exquisite rods. Then... I saw an ad in this paper promoting two different Italian designed telescopics. I thought it was worth a punt as they were relatively inexpensive. The lighter spin stick (DIP Furba) packs to 25cm, has 10 sections, extends to 1.8m and is great

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for throwing soft plastics and lighter bait fishing situations. This rod is almost always set up with 6lb braid and a flurocarbon leader albrighted on. At this time of the year it is nearly permanently fitted with a squid jig. The whole package is just over a foot long and it lives under the car seat permanently along with a box of plastics and another jig. RRP around $50. The heavier model (Alecdo Traveller) is also 1.8m, but has 9 sections and is just 37cm closed. It is perfect for throwing heavier slices long distances at Australian Salmon. This rod has a seperate butt and some real grunt and throwing power for its size. It will impress you and the action of it reminds me of my old Shimano Bullwhip. RRP around $90. Both rods have great fittings and not once have they looked like sticking open which was always a problem with the cheaper rods. Do yourself a favour and check them out – you wont be disappointed. Peter Hayes

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New lures Clarkson imports has just introduced an exciting new range of lures from Europe. Realistic patterns and tight actions in several different profiles are going to make these lures a hit with trollers, spin fishers and especially those chasing sea runners and for anglers looking for a lure that still swims in fast flowing rivers. DIP MINNOWS: The slender profile of the dip minnows will make these a hit for anglers chasing Galaxia feeders, Sea runners and river fish. They come in slow sinking and floating. The 35mm and 60mm profiles I have seen are in natural realistic colors and look the goods. They feature superior balance for use in fast flowing streams or for fast retreives and the holographic eyes shows off the professional finish. DORADO CRANKBAIT: The Dorado range is a shad type profile that will make excellent trolling and spinning lures. The color pattern on the lures I have is almost a photographic finish of a real juvenile Trout. They do however present many color patterns. The 60mm will troll to 2.5 metres and the 35mm to 1.5 metres. These lures are individually hand made and swim tested so its a given they will swim straight from the box. I’ll be casting one of these opening morning for sure. HOKKAIDO: Introduced by large Italian tackle company ALCEDO these lures come in two exciting profiles. The MULLY 70mm is a slender suspending minnow whilst the HEADSHAKER 65 is a real fish profile.

Both lures have mirror finishes and will troll or cast retreives. Trolling will see the HEADSHAKER reach a depth of 10-15ft denpending on line used, speed and dropback.

Snowbee Flylines The Snowbee XS range of flylines are made in England and prove to be a popular and reliable line in Europe. After some investigating on my part it was discovered quite a few of the English and Australian flyfishing team representatives use these lines, which would attest to their quality. Incredibly the retail price is quite inexpensive at around $80. The also come with a free bottle of line cleaner and a tapered leader. If thats not value for money I dont know what is. The lines come in several weight ranges and profiles as you would imagine in floating and sinking tapers. I fished a 3 weight WF line last season and found them to lay an easy delicate cast when fishing small dry flies. I can’t imagine there is a better line for the money on the market. Check these out at your local tackle store and if they don’t have them tell them to get them.

New Humminbird Xtreme Depth Series It is human nature to want to explore new places with hopes of bigger and better things. More and more trailer boats are venturing out to wider grounds in search of deeper waters and hopefully better fishing grounds. Unfortunately the standard sounder and transducer will often struggle to see the bottom in our tough Australian conditions. Upgrading transducers can be a costly and difficult exercise and not always achievable on a smaller boat. Humminbird have been working on solving this problem and have come up with an excellent new range of sounders called the ‘Humminbird Xtreme Depth Series’. This ‘Xtreme Depth Series’ technology allows the extreme, low-frequency 50kHz beam to reach depths of up to 760 metres. This means that you can now find fish and bottom structure that other fish finders can’t show you. This technology is not only limited to the really deep water; for maximum detail at shallower depths you only need to switch to precise, high-frequency 200kHz sonar for an extremely clear image of the bottom – giving you

everything you need to find and ultimately catch more fish. These powerful fish finders deliver the innovative features and remarkable picture quality you’ve come to expect from Humminbird. The most amazing feature of the Humminbird XD units is that they only run a 500 Watt (RMS) transducer, so you no longer need to spend upwards of $1200 on a transducer alone to get awesome deep-water performance. For more information on the amazing new ‘Xtreme Depth Series’ range from Humminbird visit www.humminbird.com.au or speak to your local Humminbird dealer.

Snowbee Tapered Leaders Snowbee is of course a company that specializes and makes several products aimed at the flyfishing commuinity. Their range includes tapered leaders in two lengths. The 9’ leader have a long taper and short tippet to turn over larger flies better and for general use. The 12’ leader has a steeper taper and 1.6mt tippet for more delicate presentations when dry fly fishing. The monofilament leader is a blended nylon material and feature a very subltle neutral olive color. These of course come in all standard tippet sizes.

Berkley 3B Crank Puppy Dog – New Colours The Puppy Dog has found a place in many an anglers tackle box looking for a stealthy medium diving minnow for bream and trout.

New YEP Hardbodies released. Yep Tackle has released their new range of hard body lures into the market to coincide with the opening of the 2012/13 Tasmanian Trout fishing season. These 5.5cm, 3 gram premium grade suspending lures have a high quality finish and are set to provide tough competition for other players in lure market as they carry a price tag significantly less than many in their class. Should be less than $12. They are ideal early season lures as they can be worked down and the suspending action keeps them in the zone for longer. There are initially three colours in the range with more colours to come later, they are the KW Galaxia, The Red Nut and the Golden Seducer. The proto types were extensively tested in Tasmanian waters before full production began and are fantastic options when fishing for bream or trout, look out for them in your local tackle store as initial stocks are limited.

Designed by Adam ‘Mad Dog’ Royter the 3B Crank Puppy Dog is a silent medium diving minnow with a unique head first float when paused. Continuous refinement from Adam Royter and the Berkley Pro Team has resulted in 5 new colours being added to the Puppy Dog line up. Pointer, Pooch, Bruiser, Pug and Wagyadoggy are a new collection of natural translucent colours for the Puppy Dog. 3B Crank Baits feature durable polycarbonate resin construction, built in sonic rattles, realistic translucent paint finish and are fitted with quality Owner hooks and rings.

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Fishing News - Page 47


Set Line Usage Survey Results Set-line licences were introduced in 2010. There are currently 3700 persons who hold a licence, although only around 2745 persons (73% of licence holders) fished with set-lines in the 12 months prior to July 2011. Almost 1900 persons (about half of all licence holders) used longlines while just over 1000 persons (28% licence holders) used droplines. Very few fishers, less than 200 persons (5% licence holders) reported using both types of gear, suggesting that most fishers specialise in a particular set-line method.

RECREATIONAL SEA FISHERIES NEWS August/September 2012 New General Fishing Survey Starts Someone may drop you a line soon! The General Fishing Survey provides recreational fishing information for all Tasmanian fisheries and is conducted every 4-5 years. It samples a number of Tasmanian households to estimate: How many people go fishing; What they catch and where: Fishing methods and areas. The survey is particularly important for characterising the Tasmanian recreational scalefish fishery eg. species such as flathead and Australian salmon. As licences are not needed for recreational sea angling, there is no comprehensive contact framework to survey fishers. Initial contact is made direct to Tasmanian households by selecting random phone numbers and if the household is a ‘fishing household’ they are asked to participate in the 12 month phone/diary survey. So if an interviewer rings your house, please remember that your dedication in using the diaries and providing your fishing details over the next year provides important information about our fisheries. This helps us manage them sustainably and to direct fisheries education resources to where they are most needed. The survey will start in October 2012, and will provide information for the Scalefish Management Plan review in 2014. You can download the results of the last general fishing survey in our “What’s the Catch” brochure at www.fishing. tas.gov.au then follow the prompts to Recreational Fishing then Recreational Fishing Survey Results.

The survey found that for most fishers, set-line usage was an occasional activity (63% of active set-line fishers reported 5 or fewer days fished), although reliable catch estimates were not possible. Set-line fishing is a seasonal activity, with fishers most active during the summer and autumn months and least active during winter, regardless of setline method. Longlines are primarily used to target gummy shark, mainly off the north and east coasts, whereas droplines are primarily used to target blue eye trevalla or striped trumpeter, mostly off the east and south east coasts. Gummy shark along with other shark species and flathead dominate longline catches, with various sharks and rays as well as gurnards the main bycatch. Gummy sharks are also taken by droplines but the main catch is blue eye trevalla and gemfish from the upper slope and striped trumpeter, jackass morwong and ocean perch from the shelf. Sharks and rays, ocean perch and cod represent the main by-catch of droplines. Longlines are generally set for longer periods than droplines, with a small proportion of longlines set overnight. Typically the full entitlement of 30 hooks is used for longlines whereas as most dropline fishers use fewer hooks. For the majority of active fishers, interactions with seabirds and marine mammals do not appear to be a major issue when using set-lines. However, for those who did report interactions, seals were the most commonly cited species, with loss of fish, damage to catch and damage to gear reported more frequently by dropline than longline fishers. Overall there is general support and understanding of the regulations that relate to setline fishing amongst licence holders.

From: A Preliminary Survey of Set-Line Usage in Tasmania by Jeremy Lyle and Sean Tracey, IMAS.

Using Set Lines Responsibly A set line is an unattended line, either a dropline or a longline with up to 30 hooks. Take time to learn the rules and licence requirements (pp 14 and 48 of the Recreational Sea Fishing Guide). Set line users are encouraged to use less than the maximum of 30 hooks allowed. Try using half the amount of hooks and reduce the potential to exceed catch limits and waste fish. Although there are no soak time limits for set lines, you can try using soak times of less than 4

hours to keep your catch fresh and reduce mortality rates of released fish.

Rock Lobster Season Dates The Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Bryan Green recently announced the season dates for the 2012-13 rock lobster season. The recreational season opens statewide on Saturday, November 3rd.

East Coast Rock Lobster Management Update Management decisions taken over the last two years with the aim of rebuilding East Coast rock lobster stocks include: reductions in the total allowable commercial catch and recreational bag and possession limits and the introduction of boat limits. In accordance with the outcomes of the 2011 rock lobster review, the Department is investigating targeted management options specifically for the eastern part of Tasmania. More details will be available later in the year.

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King George Whiting – Try setting a voluntary limit In recent years King George Whiting have increased in number and distribution in Tasmanian waters. Currently there are no specific catch limits for King George Whiting in Tasmania so the combined possession limit for fish of the Family Sillaginidae (whiting) of 30 applies and there is no minimum legal size. Clearly these are not conservative enough for such a fantastic fish – King George Whiting are great to catch and delicious to eat. This issue has caused some tension between recreational fishers with some fishers being seen as being greedy by not fishing responsibly, even though they are within the law. Remember, catch limits are limit not a challenge. These limits will be addressed in the Scalefish Management Plan review in 2014. Meanwhile, fishers are encouraged to adopt the following voluntary limits:

Penguin Composites specialises in taking your old fibreglass boat and building it into a modern, practical fishing platform. There are many excellent boats around that just need a revamp to bring them up

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a daily bag limit of 5, and; a minimum size of 35cm. Need more information? Get a copy of the Recreational Sea Fishing Guide from Service Tasmania; visit www.fishing.tas.gov.au; or

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‘Hayes on Brumbys’ Casting Jam A week of casting practice and study - by instructors for instructors. Whether you are a current or budding Federation of Fly Fishers CI or MCI it is with excitement that I invite you to spend time with us at my Cressy Lodge and fly casting pool. Both Roy Wybrow (MCI) and I (MCI and CBOG) have set aside the entire week of October 1 – 5 inclusive to conduct a live in Casting Jam. If you are a local by all means come on a daily basis. If you are from interstate, or overseas, come for as long as you like. Stay a day or so or come for the full week. By immersing yourself in the rich fly fishing culture that we have created at ‘Hayes on Brumbys’ you will improve your personal casting skills immensely and learn how to become a better teacher and clearer communicator of all aspects of fly fishing and fly casting. Don’t forget fishing is 100 metres away and you can use my drift boat on Brumbys Creek. We’ve also planned a day trip at the end of the week to a lagoon where you could expect to catch a fish of up to 10 pounds. Bookings in advance are absolutely necessary as the spaces are very limited. Cost: Day attendance $65: includes tuition, lunch, morning and afternoon tea. Live in $100: Includes tuition, twin share accommodation, meals and fishing. Phone Peter 0409 944 699 or email hayes@ flyfishtasmania.com.au

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Fishing News - Page 49


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Gone Fishing Charters St Helens Michael Haley 0419 353 041 mhaleycharters@bigpond.com www.breamfishing.com.au


Fishing and Boating Directory

Experience: You Advertise here for $77. Contact Mike Stevens 0418 129949 obviously need strong paddling skills including a reliable brace and Eskimo roll, and a good handle on how sea conditions are influenced by the wind, tides and currents. Offshore from the Tasman Peninsula is not a place for novice kayakers. OKUMA TITUS GOLD 15S $330.00 Safety gear: A 20S $350.00 marine VHF radio is especially handy, and I routinely car r y an EPIRB, flares, whistle, SHIMANO TLD50 FULL ROLLER 24KG ROD paddle float, strobe light $575.00 (for my own epileptic marine disco), map, compass and a GPS. I barely ever use them, but its comforting to know they are all there. Fishing gear: A handline is much cheaper SHIMANO TYRONU S 50 than a rod and reel and ROLLER TIP 37KG ROD seems to work fine for $779.95 this type of game fishing A dream fulfilled and thankful to be on hard ground again. BULK MONO LINE providing you have a PRICE PER METRE Handline trolling for bluefin from a kayak is not easy, but is way to securely attach it, 10KG $0.04 achievable as the author shows. 15KG $0.06 and plenty of line (I use 24K G Inn Lake Leake is situated $0. 08 by Lake Leake , nestled in Endurance: You might need to stockpile some patience, about 300m of 37 kilo mono). Don’t forget your gloves. Include 37K the heart G of Tasmania’s $0.10east coast forests, 30 km from a couple of lures that swim well at kayaking speeds, ideally fitted since the reality is you’ll be slow and with only one lure out Campbell town and Swansea . STcountry ORMY An Historical hotelSE withAS warm and friendly YES!! WE CAN with long heavy mono traces. A gaff, knife and club to pacify your chances are low compared to other boats. But when MA RINA service, hearty meals, comfy bar T and lounge, cosy log WE SPOOL YOUR the fish are all potentially useful. You’ll need plenty of water your time finally arrives.... its hard to imagine any other fires and private function lounge. WEAT HER SET REELS FOR YOU fishing experience coming close. Best of luck out there. and high energy food to keep paddling for hours. We have six clean and comfortable rooms at very $3 9. 90 reasonable JA rates. Bluefin tuna from a kayak, it is indeed possible. CKET & PANTS We sell a great selection of fishing equipment Nick Gust AAA Rating and you can also purchase your fishing licence with us,

GAME FISHING SPECIALS

Outboard Servicing

Mobile service, saves you time, money and convenience. • Servicing greater Launceston, east, northeast coast and central highlands. • Latest computer diagnostic equipment to suit most models. • Quality work guaranteed. Grant Garwood: 0428 382 130. Email: ggarwood1@hotmail.com

ASE SCOOP PURCH

LAKE LEAKE INN

BAR * FOOD * LODGINGS



Stay and Fish the Peninsula - Advertorial Feature

Fishing tours are also available. Come and see us for a great experience any time of the year andSTO why not be involved in our annual Easter RMY fishing ZIP competition. OUT SLE

320 Lake road, Lake Leake 7210 TAS

JACKET

TEL: 03 6381 1329

EVE

NETT PRICE

$305.00 HOT PRICE

www.sportsfishtasmania.com SURE CATCH ALUMINIUM GIMBAL BELT

SMALL BAIT BOARD

$39.90 Tasmania’s huge online fishing website with forums, classifieds ROD HOLDER OR RAIL MOUNT AVAILABLE Kitchen and the Tessellated (or tiled) Pavement. You and the will be impressed by the drama of these geological wonders, sculpted by Mother Nature over millions latest of years. A mere 15 minutes south by car the history of LARGE BAIT BOARD $129.00 fishing Tasmania’s convict past comes alive at the former $99.90 TRE ME 1.8 penal settlement of Port Arthur and other historical newsTAMAR MARINE TOP 4 sites on the Tasman Peninsula. $49.95

HEAVY DUTY GAFF

380 Pirates Bay Drive Eaglehawk Neck Toll free 1800 639 532 (03) 6250 3262 www.lufrahotel.com or lufrareception@bigpond.com

The Lufra - close to all the (fishing) action

It is no exaggeration to say the Tasman Peninsula is truly remarkable with possibly the best sport fishing, highest sea cliffs, outstanding diving in giant underwater kelp forests, renowned fine food producers, Australia’s leading convict site and some of country’s best bush walks. Situated at Eaglehawk Neck, and just one hour from Hobart, The Lufra provides relaxed affordable accommodation close to Port Arthur and natural attractions and is ideally located as the base for you to enjoy many activities, sitting as it does at the narrow isthmus which connects the Forestier and Tasman Peninsulas. Visit the Lufra and you’ll share more than a stunning view because the area abounds in many attractions — both natural and made-made — all within easy driving or walking distance. Close to the hotel are several amazing rock formations and attractions - The Blowhole, Tasman Arch, the Devil’s

Nearby you can also indulge in sports and pastimes like deep sea fishing, surfing, and bushwalking, or visit other nearby attractions like wildlife parks and wineries. $59 pp twin share incl. The Lufra Hotel offers comfortable accommodation continental breakfast or in a range of rooms and self-catering units as well as a $65 pp with hotrooms” breakfast. limited number of “fishermen’s at very affordable rates. · 66 Stylish Additional car parkingRooms development allows substantial car and· boat parking. Our licensed restaurant and bistro CBD Location restaurant are complemented by a games/recreation Affordable Rates room, ·TV/lounge area with open fireplace, café/coffee shop and two bars. · Conference Rooms Australian aviation pioneer tourism entrepreneur · FREE Parking · and FREE Movies Sir Reginald Ansett is reputed to have described the Lufra · FREE Fitness Hotel as “the hotel with theRoom best view in the world.” No wonder· there has been an accommodation house on Wireless Broadband the same site for more thanon 150 years. · Three Steps GeorgeThe Lufra Hotel Bar - Restaurant 380Heritage Pirates Bay Drive Eaglehawk Neck www.colonialinn.com.au Toll free 1800 639 532 (03) 6250 3262 www.lufrahotel.com or info@lufrahotel.com

SELLING BLUEFIN LURES

HALCO LAZER PRO 190

$18.90

RAPALA X-RAP 30

$34.95

KILLER VIBE 160

$22.90

MERIDIAN DEMON

$39.95

6-8 WEST TAMAR ROAD, LAUNCESTON, TASMANIA 7250 PHONE (03) 6331 6188 FAX (03) 63342681

Phone & Mail Orders welcomed We accept... TRADING HOURS

MON TO FRI 8AM TO 5.30 PM

Ph: 6331 6588

WWW.TASFISH.COM - Over 850 stories online. Get the knowledge–get the fish.

www.tasfish.com - Get the knowledge - Get the fish.

in store

FREE Outside our waterfront PARKING boating and fishing store. SAT MORNING 8AM TO 12.30PM

CLOSED SUN. & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Fishing News - Page 11

Fishing News - Page 51


Issue 99 August - September 2012

HUGE Trout season opener

See Page 3

Stop the Margiris

Trout - Mega Issue

Tips and stocking from IFS Tackle shops advice Huge range of advice from the experts Best flies, lures and techniques

Lake Pedder – Paradise Scamander Bream

WWW.TASFISH.COM - 1000 FISHING STORIES

Print Post approved; PP 702512 00027

$5

Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News Issue 099 2012 August  

The online back issues of Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News. www.tasfish.com is the website for Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News. Tasmani...

Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News Issue 099 2012 August  

The online back issues of Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News. www.tasfish.com is the website for Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News. Tasmani...