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August – September 2017

TASMANIAN FISHING and BOATING NEWS — ISSUE 128

Flinders Island

Winter Bream

Print Post approved 100003074

In the Box

Where to Start

Finally – it’s trouting time again Starlo loves his Tasmanian trout fishing… and it’s not hard to see why.

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The closed season for trout is not long - it just seems so. Snow, sleet and rain often greet opening day,

but early anglers accept the challenge and brave the elements and reap the rewards. Four Springs, Woods and Penstock are primed for some great early fishing. There is a question on may people’s lips this year though — What about Arthurs? We would love to be running a story on the ‘Return of Arthurs’. IFS have been watching its performance and indications are the fishery is

improving. In particular, both the size and number of fish are improving. In 2013 only 10% of fish were bigger than 400mm. Spawning fish measured in May 2017 showed over 50% were bigger than 400mm. How those figures appear in catch rates will soon show. Hopefully the October edition of TFBN will reveal an ‘Arthurs revival’ story.


Flinders Island — Killecrankie Ken

4

Woods Lake – Early Season — Michal Rybka

10

Food, Fear and Sex — Steve Starling Explains

14

Build a Bamboo Rod — Nick Taransky

18

Great Lake – Lure and Fly — Gavin Hicks

23

Beating Burbury — Brad Martin

26

Shore or Boat – What is Best? — Justin O’Shannassy

31

Tips for Early Season — Christopher Bassano

35

Winter Bream — Jamie Harris

38

What’s in the Box – Flies for Early Season — Dan Pursell

41

Where Should you Start your Season — Matt Sherriff

46

Inland Fisheries Report and Stocking

49

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ow, we start another trout season. As I write this at the end of June it has been unseasonably dry. Last year it was unseasonably wet. Hopefully we get average or better rainfall and lakes, dams and rivers fill, and rivers get flushed. Arthurs Lake, hopefully will start to fish well again this year — and I will certainly be giving it some attention early. Many fly fishers have a love affair with Penstock Lagoon, but I am not one of those. It is a great fishery, but mostly there are too many people for me. Arthurs was like that once, but you could always be out of conversation distance there. At Penstock that is not the case. So each to their own I suppose. Perhaps that is one reason I love river fishing so much. It is rare to see someone else. I fished many days, and evenings in particular, last season on rivers around Launceston with great success. It was almost without exception that I caught fish on every trip. Often I only put in an hour or two, but it was great fishing. I rarely chase big fish, but rather enjoy little river and creek fish. And mostly I don’t get too interested in creeks and river until October. In this issue there are some terrific stories. We have mostly concentrated on

Mike Stevens talks fishing with Chris Wisbey ABC Statewide Saturday mornings 6.40 a.m.

Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News Published by Mike Stevens: PO Box 7504, Launceston, 7250. Mike Stevens – P: 0418 129 949 or E: mike@tasfish.com Stevens Publishing, ABN 79 095 217 299 All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Print Post approved; 100003074

Fishing News - Page 2

trout of course for trout season opening, but there are two stories that look at other areas. One is a Winter bream story and another on Flinders Island. There is plenty of saltwater fishing at this time of the year, so don’t discount that. I was part of a tree club trip to St Helens mid-June. In Georges Bay we caught 15 different species and nine on fly. It can be great. So give it a try if you don’t do trout. I had a trip to Flinders Island June long weekend. If you have been — or haven’t been for a while, simply DO IT. It is an absolute gem. This season sees the launch of another Angler Access program — this time the focus is on the South Esk River. Initiated by Anglers Alliance, the Angler Access program is administered by IFS. It has been an outstanding success. Another initiative of Anglers Alliance has been toilet facilities. It is a embarrassment that Tasmania builds up and holds Tourism in such high regard, but try and find a toilet when travelling around – particularly at a trout water. AAT won a grant for unisex universal access toilets at Arthurs Lake, Penstock Lagoon, and Bronte Lagoon. Well done AAT. Mike Stevens

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Fishing News - Page 3


FLINDERS ISLAND HARD TO GET TO - HARD TO LEAVE. Killecrankie Ken takes you on a tour of one of Tasmania’s most outstanding places.

April - 2017

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Day 1 espite what some may say Flinders After a short 35 min flight from Launceston, with Flinders fishing experience. Dodging wallabies, wombats Island takes a bit of determination to Sharp Airlines, we caught our first glimpse of Cape and possums made for an eventful trip home and we visit. It is not inexpensive to fly there, Barren, then Flinders Island. Excited? Absolutely! The were keen to begin new explorations the next day! but it sure is worth your while. There is no sheer size of the place and the height of Mt Strzelecki, which dominated the southern vista, was much more Day 2 traffic, everyone is up for a chat and you A few essentials in Whitemark, some hot cross buns can leave you keys safely in the car. You can rugged and beautiful than we had imagined. from the bakery, breakfast and great coffee in the sun A friendly greeting by Mick, owner of Flinders Island buy good gin and fishing spots abound. Cabin Park, and short trip in our mate’s borrowed car, at the Taste of Flinders, and we were away. This place is like the World used to be. had us unpacked in our cabin, and keen to catch some

Sharp Airline’s 19 seat Metroliners suit the Flinders run perfectly. Fishing News - Page 4

sort of fish for Good Friday dinner. Where to? Right down south to Lady Baron, to the jetty, squid hunting. Plenty of ink on the cement, under the strong night lights, indicated some likely spots. We hooked up with one, landed it. We wouldn’t go hungry tonight! The low tide and 4m drop off the jetty, meant a real challenge getting the next monster up safely. He and his mate the cuttlefish, both lived to see another day. Trevally schooled thickly under the jetty and snook patrolled, almost luminous, as they leapt for baitfish. Fish splashing, penguins calling, stars sparkling and one very speedy water rat catching prawns, ended our first

First stop was the jetty at Whitemark, low tide, and a thought to return later in the evening for some more squid hunting. The ocean was calm and promising, with half a dozen boats already headed out for a days fishing. Walkers Lookout gave us 360 degree panoramic views of this stunning island- all marked with information boards to identify prominent landmarks and outer islands.

Where to go first?

We headed north east to Patriarchs Inlet- an estuary, walked and fished along the beach, south to Red Bluff. A flounder was caught by hand, some cowries and sea

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urchins collected, and a late lunch on the warm, granite boulders was enjoyed. There was a battle with a snook and then a hook up with a with a huge 60cm trevally, which unfortunately busted off the Berkeley powerbait 3 inch minnow. A serious fish. Late afternoon took us south to Cameron Inlet, searching for fish in the gutter, and fossilised shark teeth in the sand dunes. Neither of these gave us any success; however the sun was setting, the colours were rich and vibrant, and a

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game of wetland bird sanctuary “eye spy”, on the return journey, finished off an awesome day trip. As for the squid hunting off the Whitemark jetty on the way back? Don’t ask!

Day 3

A late start, and we decided to go south to explore Trousers Point, which flanked the monumental Mt Strzelecki. The comparisons to the Hazards and Richardsons Beach, at Freycinet National Park, were unavoidable. A jewel in the crown of this unique island; from what we had seen so far.

It looked promising fishing wise- so we hunted for squid (again), over the extensive weed beds, and flicked out a range of soft plastics for trevally, salmon and kingfish off the deeper water and more turbulent headlands. No luck there. The sea looked inviting, so a snorkel for abalone happened. A whole range of reef fish, a few flathead and some skates were fantastic to see, but none of the shellfish we were seeking were of size. We turned the corner to Fotheringate Beach, jumped back into the water and began to explore. Underwater revealed more flathead, trevally and a school of luderick. Dolphins approached the bay and we explored the unique calcanite rock formations. Capped off with the stunning background of Mt Strzlecki, and the turquoise water, we couldn’t help exclaiming (heaps of times), how stunningly beautiful this part of the island was. From there, an alternative route to Lady Barron, for a very late lunch and a quick cast back at the jetty which we wanted to see, and fish but in daylight this time. A coastline littered with offshore islands and dotted with houses and huts. A casual one handed flick in the shallows with a pumpkin seed worm, landed the largest yellow eyed mullet I have seen. Followed up on the next similarly casual cast with a large King George whiting! Dolphins and a seal visited the shallows, as well as an enormous black stingray, tail sticking out and hoovering for food close in. A nice trevally and Gurnard ten minutes later, had us with a feed and heading back to the cabin, in time to be accompanied by a startling autumn sunset. Perfect. The end of fantastic southern explorations, and tomorrow we were setting the alarm early, and heading north.

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Day 4

Killiecrankie diamond hunting began the day. A new experience and possibly one find. How exciting! It was hard work digging, sifting and then sorting through the gravel with our limited fossicking experience. Then off to Palana. How gorgeous is Palana? Our new favourite place! It was calm, glassy, and like looking into an aquarium. Sweeping views of the bay, dolphins within touching distance, and gin clear water. Next we drove to North East River, right at the top of the island. This is a big inlet with strong tides at the mouth, becoming an estuary further inland. Legendary tales of one salmon a cast spurred us on, as we waded across the ankle deep water to get to the channel. The tide was coming in fast, we used a single handed Spey rod and two spinning rods, to no avail. Lunch on a beautiful

orange rock over looking the mouth of the river soon displaced any disappointment. We cast for the next few hours, it was warm, very scenic, and we caught half a dozen snook. exciting! All in all, a top day, finished off by a visit to Whitemark jetty for some more squid hunting in the dark. There hasn’t been time to fit more into our days.

Day 5

Another warm, sunny, wind still morning, and we were lucky enough to be becalmed on this jewel of an island. There’s nothing to rival the feeling of anticipation of seeing more firsts! Wybalenna was sad, poignant, eerie, and just really sad. The cemetery was a stark contrast between the

North East River is a magnet for Australian salmon.

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Fishing News - Page 7


named white settler, and unnamed graves of the aboriginals. The Chapel has been beautifully restored, and was a place for reflection, questioning and empathy. Further down the road was Emita. Another granite rock strewn delight, ending in a long white sand beach. After checking out the mutton bird viewing platform, and dodging a snake, we had a cast and watched a fisherman bring in his catch of flathead and gummy shark. A quick query about where to find abalone, resulted in an invitation to go abalone hunting the next morning with Mick! A friendly and typically generously spirited offer, so abundant on this island. Next stop was Castle Rock - a tantalisingly huge monolith which dominated the shoreline and was visible from a great distance. It was massive, and we had great delight taking photos to get the perspective right. No fish in the little bay, but sadly, a washed up WestPac balloon on a string spoiled the occasion. NO excuses for balloons which end up in the ocean killing marine life! Lunch was a roll and gin and tonic at the Dock, trying not to disturb Bert as he slept, followed up by a trip to Killiecrankie Bay. Killiecrankie bay was the most populated beach side we had seen, with 6 boats moored in the bay. The stunning backdrop of Mt Killiecranke made it easy to see why it was a favourite. The weather was unbelievable, so a long swim was in order, and plenty of fishing time. A free gin and tonic on the beach, watching the sunset reflected on the majestic mountain, capped off a relaxing afternoon. Pretty sure it was still summer weather!  We mentioned to a couple sharing a wine, that it was time to go because

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we had run out of tonic water! Derek promptly offered to take us out on his boat flathead fishing the next day. Wow! Yes please! We headed home via West End Beach just on dark. Three squid and a squid jig swallowing monster flathead had us excited and all set for dinner that night!

Day 6 the last day.

An exciting day of adventure based on meeting really nice people! Mick had his boat and snorkelling gear ready at Emita, and we headed around the corner. We both jumped over board into the underwater world, and it wasn’t long before three writhing greenlips were in the boat. He even grabbed a huge port Jackson shark up off the bottom to show us. Thanks Mick! Killiecrankie bay was next and Derek had his boat sorted. It was so good to be out in a boat again and to take in the offshore views of the coastline. We drifted with the breeze, and landed some large flathead, a gorgeous snapper, mackerel and blue head. Derek kept us entertained with his stories of island life as we reluctantly h e a d e d f o r s h o r e. A s we we r e disembarking, we spied an enormous flathead, right in the shore break and at least a meter long. Another wow moment! Sadly, our trip came to an end as we drove back, hastily packed and boarded out flight for Launceston. Accompanied by yet another perfectly muted Autumn sunset, we had no words really for how absolutely lucky we were to have experienced Flinders Island, in such stunning weather. The best thing? The people and scenery. The worst thing? The waiting until we returned. Killecrankie Ken

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Fishing News - Page 9


WOODS LAKE GET THERE EARLY Mic Rybka loves Woods Lake — especially early in the season. Here are his tips.

T

he long wait is over! The beginning of the brown trout season is upon us once again. Temperatures remain very cold around the entire state, meaning it’s time to put on the thermals and neoprene waders. If you are lucky enough to own a boat, you have probably already dusted it off and checked everything is working as it should be. The next decision that you will have to make is where to go. Rivers and streams aside, the Central Highland lakes are a popular destination for many anglers on opening day, regardless of the wintry conditions.

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For me and my fishing buddy, Steve ‘Ando’ Anderson, the choice in previous years was always Arthurs Lake. Our trips to this lake were always great, catching more than enough to get rid of our ‘closed season’ cabin fever; however, it is no secret that this fishery has been a little quiet over the last few years. Each year, Ando and I hope and wish that Arthurs may return to its former glory, but we are still waiting. Hopefully our wishes will come true sooner rather than later! Until this happens, our opening day choice will this year is located virtually right next door, at Woods Lake. Most of you would have fished it, but if you haven’t, just follow your nose some 13 kilometres on the dirt road past the Arthurs Lake dam wall. There is a sign there and you won’t miss it. The rough access road into Woods Lake has somewhat been improved, but you will still need to take it easy if you are towing a boat. So why is Woods Lake our number one choice for the trout opening? The answer is easy. Unlike other lakes, it produced consistent results for us and many other anglers last season. While there were some small fish

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caught, there were also plenty of lifters. Brown trout ranging from 3 to 4 lb were not uncommon during last season. If you are after a good feed, then the trout out of Woods Lake are also some of the best tasting you will ever eat. And their superb condition makes them some of the hardest fighting trout that I have encountered. In terms of suitable techniques, many anglers choose trolling as their proven early season tactic at Woods Lake. In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sitting in your boat, all rugged up, sipping on a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate watching those lead-lines. This is a comfy tactic, particularly if it is freezing cold! Flat-line or lead-line trolling can be a very effective way of searching for fish in any water but, while it can be a very enjoyable experience, it can also be a very boring one if the action is slow. Occasionally, I can be seen stripping teams of wet flies using a fly rod, but my answer to boredom and the cold are ‘soft plastics’ and ‘hard body’ lures. Besides moving about and casting to keep warm, there are definitely some other advantages to using these types of lures at this time of the year. To get the most out of them, there are a few things to consider. Read on for some early season lure choices and tactics that work well for us at Woods Lake…

The Hot Spots (see map) Dam wall

This is an easily accessible area by foot. It provides some great spots to fish both soft plastic and hard body lures. Look for days when the wind is blowing against the shoreline. Natural food sources get blown against the rocks and often include galaxias. When these tiny fish get smashed or stunned against the rocks by the waves, the fishing can really switch on!

Northern shore

Due to its depth, this is a favourite shore for set-line bait fishing. Try good old garden worms or even better, wattle grubs, during both the day and night. Spinning with a wattle grub at night works well too.

Eastern shore

The eastern shore is popular for trolling. You can use traditional leadline setups with cobras or devils, but don’t

forget to also try flatline trolling using a hardbody lure. Both methods will produce the goods. It’s just a matter of covering a large area to find the fish.

Middle of the lake

The middle of the lake is home to some great weedbeds. This is my favourite spot to throw plastics and hardbodies around. Find the deeper weed pockets and you will soon get onto some fish. Drift spinning from a boat or kayak is a great way to cover this large area.

Rug up for the conditions.

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Fishing News - Page 11


Tactics to use Slow your retrieve down

The way that you retrieve a lure, be it soft plastic or hardbody can be the difference between ‘fishing’ and ‘catching’. This is the first and most important aspect that you should consider when fishing any type of lure early in the season. Your retrieval technique should reflect the temperature conditions for the time of year. Remember, the colder the water temperature, the colder the body temperature of the humble trout. The cold tends to slow a trout’s metabolism right down and this can affect the way that they feed. When temperatures are really low, trout will tend to feed less often. This is why the retrieve is so important. In my experience, during early season, when the water temperatures are lower, a lure that is retrieved too fast will receive considerably less attention than a lure that is ‘slow rolled’ or ‘slowly twitched’. This is due to the fact that the trout are more lethargic. Not only do they require extra time to process what they are seeing, but they also need extra time to react to what they have seen. This is probably one of the most important considerations during early season trout fishing. The point that I am making is that you need to make sure that you give your lure plenty of time under water. You will often get a series of takes using the slow retrieve technique, as opposed to getting none using a faster retrieve. Of course, there is an exception to this, and this is when you ‘rip’ or retrieve hard body lures fast, but then pause them to give the trout time to ‘perceive and react’. Because soft plastics are so soft and life-like, you should expect the fish to have several attempts at eating your offering. Slowing your retrieve right down will give them the opportunity to do this. This is a proven method that I have always used in the first few weeks of the season, regardless of what lake I am fishing.

Fish deep

Continuing on from the slow retrieve, your running depth can also mean the difference between success and failure. Low water temperatures, which are common early in the season, also mean an absence of insects on the water’s surface. With this in mind, it is only reasonable to expect that trout will feed closer to the bottom, where most of the food will be. Small crustaceans, like freshwater shrimp, will move very slowly along the bottom, and these are a common food choice for trout. Slow moving freshwater snails are also another popular item on the menu. Woods lake is also home to two types of tiny native bait fish - the saddled galaxias and the Arthurs Lake paragalaxias (both endangered species). Find these tiny fish and you will no doubt find a trout lurking not too far away. This understanding of where the food is, and therefore, where the fish are, is why a lot of experienced anglers love lead-line trolling. With this information in mind, you should now be able to appreciate the importance of running depth when using soft plastic or hard body lures for catching trout.

season action is, a reasonably heavy jighead, such as a 1/12 or even a 1/8 weight is a good choice. A 1/0 hook size is a good option for the larger Woods Lake trout, but I still sometimes use a size 2 hook to maximise hook-ups on the smaller specimens. A rounded ‘bullet head’ jighead profile or ‘ball head’ profile will mean that your offering has some degree of snag resistance too. However, despite the advantage of this style of jighead, there is still a chance that you may become snagged on between some rocks or other underwater obstacles somewhere along the extensive rocky bottom or along the even rockier shoreline at Woods. If you do (and you are fishing from a boat or kayak), getting loose from the snag may involve backing up a little and pulling your lure backwards in order to free it. Sometimes, though, you may just need to cut your losses. To get the best ‘feel’ of your lure as it swims (this applies to both hardbody and softplastic lures), braided main line is a must. Braid has zero stretch, which enables you to stay in touch with your lure. A fairly stiff, but light-weight spinning rod will also go a long way to helping you to maintain good ‘contact’ with the lure. For most lake trout applications, I find that 6 lb

breaking strain braid matched with an equal weight good quality fluorocarbon leader is sufficient. Using a finer rated line will also mean that your casts will go much further. This becomes even more important if you are using lightly weighted plastics. If you are a fan of using small creature baits, then this will help you increase your casting distance without a doubt!

Which lures to use?

Soft plastics are always a popular choice due to their realistic look and feel. A lot of anglers use Berkley 2.5” black n gold t-tails with great success, fished slowly, like I have described above. Squidgee Garry Glitter plastics are another good option. If you are after an alternative that has more tail action, then try the locally branded Strike Tiger 2” pro-series t-tails in the same colours. If things are slow, then spice it up a little and use brighter colours such as oranges and pinks. An important consideration when selecting soft plastic lures is to avoid those made of plastic compounds

Tips on line, leader and weight

If you are using soft plastics, you certainly don’t want to mess about running them on the surface. Since the bottom (or somewhere in-between) is where the early Fishing News - Page 12

Use plenty of weight on your jig heads to get them down deep early in the season.

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Prime condition brownie.


A superb fillet from a Woods’ brownie. that are too stiff. If the plastic is too stiff, the lure will generally not have very much tail action, which is what is needed to attract the attention of the trout. Look to choose something that will work well under the slowest of retrieves and your success rate should improve. This of course does not apply to ‘stick baits’ or soft-plastic ‘minnows’, where the swim action solely relies on the input of the angler at the other end of the line. There is no doubt that these are a great galaxias imitation, but fishing them correctly is a more advanced technique – but as with everything, it will get easier with some practice. Just like soft plastics, there are several hard body lures on the market to choose from - the options are limitless. We found that locally distributed Hawk snipers in the ‘killer wasp’ colour were particularly effective at Woods last year. If you want to put a bigger dent in your wallet, then go for something like a Daiwa double clutch 75 mm minnow in black and gold, or a Jackall Colt 80 mm minnow, also in black and gold. You can also experiment with other sizes, so don’t be afraid to use larger lures like the ones I have suggested. Smaller trout will still have a go at them!

Conclusion

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Considering its popularity last season, I think Woods Lake will be a busy place this year. Some of the best fishing can be had in the cold days of the early parts of the season. My advice to all of you is to slow your retrieve right down and remember to swim your lures along (or near) the bottom. Try the usual black and gold style darker colours first, but don’t be afraid to mix it up and use something really bright. Sometimes, all it takes is something a little bit different to entice that first trout of the season. Mic Rybka - Strike Tiger Lures

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Fishing News - Page 13


FOOD, FEAR AND SEX STARLO EXPLAINS THE BASIC MOTIVATORS FOR FISH Careful consideration will help with your success.

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hree key motivators drive the behaviour of all fish: the desire to eat, the fear of being eaten, and a genetic imperative to reproduce. That’s it… There’s really nothing else of any significance in their lives. It’s all about eating, not getting eaten and making baby fish… End of story. Careful consideration of these three key behavioural elements should lie at the core of every single decision we make about where, when and how to fish for any species, in any environment. Where and when will those fish be looking for food (and what forms of food do they prefer)? How can we present or imitate that favoured food without scaring the fish by letting it know it’s being hunted? Finally, when, where and how is the spawning imperative likely to over-ride hunger and dominate the fish’s behaviour, is it still catch-able at those times (and should we even be targeting it if it is) and, if so, how? If you can correctly answer that volley of questions about each fish you target, you’re well on your way to becoming one of those 10 per cent (or less) of the angling fraternity who catch 90 per cent (or more) of the fish. So, let’s start at the very beginning with trout and seek answers for the basic questions of where they live, what they eat, what they fear and how they reproduce:

I Love Tassie Trout Waters

Tasmanian trout waters fall into two broad categories: streams and still-waters. Let’s look at still waters: I will look at streams in the next issue. Fishing News - Page 14

Trout eat a lot of small food items like this damsel fly nymph

Still Waters Run Deep

While the Australian mainland isn’t overly endowed with natural, freshwater lakes, Tasmania fares much better on this front. In addition, there are plenty of man-made impoundments, mostly constructed to produce hydro electricity. These natural lakes and manmade reservoirs are often grouped together for fishing purposes, and are referred to as “still-waters”. While each type one is slightly different in nature, a number of general fish-finding rules apply to all still-waters. The first truth to accept is that lakes and impoundments are more difficult than streams for the angler to read and understand. Luckily, many Tasmanian still-waters — especially those lying at higher elevations — are located in deep valleys and are surrounded by steep hills and ridges. More often than not, the contours evident along their shorelines continue out beneath the surface. In other words, a ridge top forms an underwater reef, while an in-flowing creek gully is likely to continue beneath

the surface as a submerged gutter. Similarly, shorelines characterised by grassy flats, paddocks or swampy marshes typically lie alongside areas of shallow, weedy water with a relatively uniform depth. Submerged or partially submerged standing trees, which are especially common in newer, man-made impoundments, are also valuable indicators of the depth of the water and the contour of the bottom. By comparing the submerged trees with similar trees on the shore, and seeing where the water comes up to on the trunks of the drowned trees (lower or higher branches), you can make fairly accurate assumptions about the shape of the lake’s bed. If you’re fishing from a boat, you can also obviously use your depth sounder to work out the depth and contour of the bottom. As in all other fishing environments, consistent results in still-water fisheries generally only come if you manage to identify the correct combination of structural elements, water quality and food supply that your target species find most attractive. Trout living in most places, including still-waters seek cover or protection from predators, such as eagles, cormorants and, of course, anglers. In most cases, this cover is provided by water depth, discolouration or structure, such as submerged timber, rock outcrops or weed beds. Remember that low light also provides cover. Trout will swim and feed in incredibly shallow, clear water at night or at the “change of light” periods around dawn and dusk. The food supply for tout in still-waters is also likely to be related to the available cover, as well as to water flowing in from creeks and rivers. As a rule of thumb, shallower flats with established weed beds hold a lot more trout tucker than deeper, rocky areas. Also, rising

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water levels inundate new ground and greatly increase the availability of food, while falling water levels usually produce the opposite result. Within larger still-waters, trout will also actively seek out areas with water in their preferred temperature range (typically, from about 6 to 18 or 20 degrees Celsius), with enough dissolved oxygen to sustain life. Wind and wave action increase dissolved oxygen content, as do currents and in-flowing streams. On the other hand, high temperatures and calm, still conditions deplete dissolved oxygen levels. Trout (especially rainbows) generally struggle to survive if exposed to water temperatures above 24 degrees for more than a day or two. Finding good concentrations of trout in still-waters is all about juggling the variables described above to come up with optimum combinations. Knowing what they prefer to eat certainly helps. So does keeping a diary or logbook that records where you found trout (or failed to find them) in a particular waterway at the same time of year or under similar conditions in previous seasons. Patterns are important in any form of fishing.

What Trout Eat

You’ll sometimes read in older fishing books that trout have “catholic tastes”. That doesn’t mean they love chewing on little wafers of dry bread and sipping wee draughts of altar wine! In this context, the word catholic (with a lower case ‘c’) is used in its original context, meaning “universal”. In other words, there’s not much that trout won’t eat at one time or another! (I’ll never forget discovering half a dozen cigarette butts in the gut of a trout I was cleaning!) That said, the bulk of an adult Australian trout’s diet is made up of insects (in both their aquatic, larval stages and as adults), crustaceans and fish, with the odd frog, little lizard, baby mouse or the like thrown in for variety. Of course, those broad categories of insect, crustacean and fish cover a huge variety of organisms, from midge larvae you’d need a magnifying glass to study

Wiley, wild browns are what Tasmanian trout fishing is all about. properly up to quite hefty morsels (as an example of the latter, I once pulled a partially digested 20 cm trout from the stomach of a fairly modest 1.6 kg Tasmanian brownie). It’s interesting to look at a trout’s physiology when considering its dietary preferences. These fish certainly don’t have small mouths Adult male trout, in particular, have big, powerful jaws lined with reasonably sharp, conical teeth. However, there’s good reason to believe that these generous maws evolved more for fighting off rivals than dealing with day-to-day tucker. Adult trout can become very territorial and feisty, especially as spawning time approaches. Bucks, in particular, fight

with each other, challenge rival suitors and even bite and grasp their prospective spawning partners. Those big mouths are sometimes also used (along with the fish’s tails) to move gravel and small rocks during construction of the “redd” or spawning bed. So, they’re not all about food intake. That said, having a large mouth certainly opens up a predator’s options, and a trout that’s delicately sipping tiny spent mayfly spinners off the surface one moment can, if it wishes, easily chase down and inhale a 10 cm galaxid the next… Which is perhaps a rather longwinded way of saying that you shouldn’t become totally locked into the image of trout being fastidious pickers! That said, trout are certainly capable of giving the impression of being “selective feeders” on many occasions. Fly fishers who’ve studied this topic far more extensively than I have may argue at length about the validity of terms like “selectivity”, but any of us who’ve fished for trout extensively have certainly encountered periods when they only seem to have eyes (and mouths) for one or two food sources, be they emerging mayfly duns, falling flying ants or wind-borne gum beetles. It happens, and when it does, you’d better hope you can “match the hatch”! More often, however, the cunning, careful and precise presentation of an offering that strongly resembles some sort of food (even if not exactly replicating any one particular organism) will bring an un-spooked or “happy” trout undone. (By “happy” trout, I mean one that’s hunting and feeding normally and not aware of the presence of any immediate threat — such as you crouching behind that bush on the bank with a rod in your hand!)

The Happy Trout!

The author snaps a selfie with a plump rainbow.

One day in New Zealand’s Southland least season, my wife Jo and I enjoyed the opportunity of watching a “happy” trout in action for over two hours. We spotted the splash of its rise from some distance and approached

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Fishing News - Page 15


cautiously, using a steep bank behind us to conceal our outlines. Finding a comfortable, grassy ledge to sit on, we settled in to watch and photograph the fish. (In days gone by, I’d have cast at that feeding trout immediately and missed the education that followed. I have Jo to thank for encouraging me to slow down and smell the roses!) It was truly fascinating observing that beautifully marked brown trout working its 40 or 50 m beat of backwater bank. The fish remained completely visible to us for well over half of the two hours we observed it, and its behaviour indicated that it had absolutely no idea we were there. We identified three distinct feeding behaviours on the part of our happy trout: We watched it eat small morsels just above the bottom and in mid-water, swinging its head and snapping its jaws to take them. I’d guess that these were insect nymphs emerging from the rocky bottom strata to swim to the surface and hatch. There were also small, snowy-coloured caddis moths flitting about just above the surface, dipping occasionally to touch the water (perhaps depositing their eggs?). The happy trout regular rose to take these on or just above the surface, making noisy, splashy slashes as it did so. Finally — and most exciting of all — there were a few orange/red damsel flies hovering 20 to 60 cm above the water. Whenever one of these little red-bodied helicopters hove into view, the trout immediately forgot the smaller titbits and began to actively track the damsel. We were stunned at the distance from which that trout obviously detected these damsels (at least 4 or 5 m on several occasions), and the single-minded way in which it then zigged and zagged to follow their erratic flight. Finally, at the optimum moment (usually as the damsel dipped toward the surface) the trout would launch its blistering attack run, accelerating from a slow cruise into a racing blur that launched its body completely clear of the water. At least half the time this happened, there was no damsel left hovering in the air as the brown reentered the drink!

Float tubes offer an interesting option when it comes to chasing trout. Watching happy, untroubled fish feeding in this way is a remarkably illuminating experience, but as the shadows crept out from the bank and our day drew to an end, there was really only one thing left to do. I tied on a small, nondescript dry fly that vaguely resembled a caddis moth, waited until the trout was swimming away from me toward the far end of its beat and cast my offering out into the killing zone. Less than a minute later, the trout had turned and was working its way back along its narrow beat. I looked at my tiny fly floating on the meniscus, then at the sedately cruising trout. They were on a collision course. About 2 m short of my fly, the brown’s fins bristled, its speed picked up and its head tilted toward the surface… If there is anything more delicious than those next three heartbeats in the world of fly fishing, I’m yet to discover it.

We felt a real bond with that happy trout. I played it gently, took extra care in wetting my hands before a quick photo, then doffed my cap as it shot off into the depths. Some fish are extra special, and few more so than a happy trout.

Making Little Trout

The breeding cycle of trout plays a huge role in their location and behaviour throughout the year, as I’ve already touched upon a few times in this feature. It’s a subject we’ll return to at another time. Suffice to say that while some rainbows will still be intent on this part of their life cycle when you read this, most of the browns will be well and truly finished spawning and looking to put some condition back onto their frames. Suffice to say that this is shaping up as a cracker of a season on most Tasmanian waters, and I can’t wait to get back down there! Long live Tassie trout fishing! Steve ‘Starlo’ Starling

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Fishing News - Page 17


BUILD A BAMBOO ROD IMAGINE BUILDING A ROD WITH YOUR OWN HANDS Australia’s finest bamboo rod builder, Nick Taransky is coming to Tasmania and will guide you through the steps to completing your own hand-crafted rod. Here is his journey.

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ike most of the good things that have happened in my life, becoming a bamboo rodmaker seemed to happen more by chance than being a focused goal. So many opportunities float by in life, but it’s easy to say I’m “too busy”, or they seem “too expensive”, or “too hard” to achieve to take them on. But occasionally, I’ve shrugged my shoulders and tried something new. It’s always been a worthwhile decision, even for things that became one-off experiences, but once in a while, taking the plunge has changed the direction of my life. Fishing News - Page 18

That’s pretty much how I got into bamboo rodmaking as a full time career. From the age of ten, I’d seen photos of bamboo rods in American fishing magazines. An Orvis ad on the back cover of a 1979 Fly Fisherman magazine still sticks in my mind. It featured a Limited Edition handcrafted bamboo rod, complete with leather rod case and silver CFO reel. I guess it sowed the seeds of desire, but was of such quality and cost that it felt completely unattainable for a ten year old kid. Over time, my interest and passion for fly fishing grew, and I came to own a lovely bamboo rod, from Partridge of Redditch in the UK. I learnt a little about how bamboo rods were made, but reading the main reference book at the time – “A Master’s Guide to Building a Bamboo Fly Rod” was so intimidating in detail that I doubted that making a rod was something I could ever

hope to do. I’d been told too, that rodmaking-grade Tonkin Cane was impossible to source in Australia as well, so the interest in making a bamboo rod barely simmering on the backburner. That all changed when my “day job” took me to the USA for a year in 2001. At the Washington DC Fly Fishing Show, I stopped at the booth of Ohio-based bamboo rodmaker Jeff Wagner. As well as having his own exquisite rods for sale, I spied a small notice on the counter mentioning his live-in bamboo rodmaking workshops, run with a maximum of four students at a time. I asked about them with cautious interest, still thinking that making a rod of any quality was somehow out of reach, but his disarming down to earth nature set my mind at ease. He explained that even though there were many steps in making a rod, even someone

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with no experience with woodwork or the other tools required, could make a really nice rod during his 5-day class. Still slightly doubting him, my wife Miri and I signed up for a class. To say that I enjoyed it is an absolute understatement. Jeff was right – there were many steps involved, but with care and attention, over the course of the week, a raw 12 foot pole or “culm” of bamboo was slowly transformed into a two-piece, six sided bamboo rod blank. By the time the class was winding up, I knew I wanted, needed, to continue rodmaking. So I sat down with Jeff and worked out the tooling I would need, and then contacted bamboo suppliers to find out that importing cane into Australia was a pretty simple process (albeit with some paperwork and costs to get it through Customs/Quarantine). The rest, as they say, is “history”. After returning to Australia, I kept making rods, and within three years I’d quit my day job to become a fulltime rodmaker. I also found that there were already a handful of makers in Australia making really nice rods, including Peter McKean, from Launceston. Peter was a great help and support to me on my rodmaking, so it was very sad to lose him late last year. I saw him as our elder statesman of rodmaking, and he shared a huge amount of his time and knowledge with people wanting to make a rod, too. Over the years, many people approached me too about learning how to make a bamboo rod. I did what I could on an informal basis, but I could see that a live-in course like Jeff Wagner’s was a fantastic format – either for those just wanting to make one rod, or others who hoped to continue on in rodmaking. The problem was, that the core rodmaking tool, the “planing forms”, are specific to the craft, and expensive to buy (about $2000, including import costs), or time consuming to make (much longer than actually making a rod). So for people wanting to learn in a class format, I recommended that they get on a plane, and visit Jeff in the USA. And they did! Over the years close to ten Aussies went over and learnt the craft with Jeff. I still say that anyone who can get over there will learn a huge amount from a recognized master, and leave with wonderful memories and an equally wonderful rod. Eventually however, I assembled four complete sets of tools, including the planing forms, to be able

The 1979 Fly Fisherman magazine advertisement that ignited Nick Taransky’s endless love for bamboo rods.

From bamboo culm to finished rod – many small steps – and a great reward.

to run classes in Australia, and in 2015 I ran three rodmaking classes at “Hayes on Brumbies”. I worked really hard to prepare for the classes, but was still like a cat on a hot tin roof for the first year. I was confident in making rods, and had taught a handful of people on an informal one-on-one basis, but I was anxious about taking on four people in such an intensive workshop. It was a great relief that everyone that first year left with a lovely rod, and all of their fingers too. It’s a fantastic venue too, with Master Caster (and now Master Chef) on hand as host. I enjoyed every minute of it too, and though everything ran better than I could have hoped, I learnt quite a bit about

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teaching that I incorporated into planning for the 2016 classes. I actually learnt a bit about rodmaking too. It’s interesting how watching people learn and do something for the first time makes you think about why you do something a certain way yourself! Even though the first year was a success, I was a little amazed when taking bookings for the 2016 classes that more than half of the 2015 attendees re-booked to come back and make another rod! The 2016 classes were the highlight of my year. It’s a fulfilling feeling to know that I’ve played a role in another 25 bamboo rodmakers being out there. Fishing News - Page 19


The course follows a similar format to the way I learnt with Jeff. Four students is an ideal number – enough for shared learning and chatter, but still plenty of time for one on one tuition as well. All tools and materials are provided, and four nights and meals at Hayes on Brumbies too. No woodworking or rodbuilding experience is required. Similarly, a full set of notes are provided, including a soft copy beforehand for those who want them, but no reading or preparation in advance is necessary. The course covers the whole rodmaking process, from a raw twelve foot culm of Tonkin Cane, to a finished rod. With the constraints of a 5-day class (glue and varnish drying times etc), students leave with a ferruled blank, with reelseat and grip fitted, and an optional Polyurathane finish on the blank. Varnishing or oiling the blank, and wrapping and varnishing the guides are left as a “homework” exercise, but we go through the hands-on process of how to do this in class. As an indication of the steps involved, the following processes are covered:

- Optional PU blank sealing/finish - Varnishing/finishing (several options will be covered) - Guide and tiptop prep, wrapping and varnishing

- Culm Selection - Culm Cutting to Rod Section Lengths - Flaming (and learn about other heat treating methods) - Node Filing - Splitting the bamboo into strips - Straightening strips - Enamel removal - Rough Planing - Final accurate planing into tapered splines - Glueup of planed splines into a blank - Making a cork grip - Prepping and fitting ferrules - Fitting the reelseat and grip

A beautiful bamboo rod that you have made yourself, to take home, fish, and maybe one day hand down to your children!

It’s hard to believe that another year has come by, and the 2017 classes are coming up. At the time of writing, there are still some places available for this year’s classes, so I’d love to help anyone that want to make a rod learn how rewarding and how much fun it is. Nick Taransky The Cost The cost for 2017 (including 4 nights meals and accommodation at “Hayes on Brumbies” in Cressy, Tasmania) is $3200 with a deposit of $500 required to secure the class booking. Balance payable before or at the class. What you get

All materials to make a 2 piece, 1 tip bamboo fly rod (you will have the choice of a “dry fly” action 7 foot rod, or a smooth, fuller action 7 foot, six inch rod) Use of all tools needed to make your rod. 5 days of hands-on rodmaking under the instruction of Nick Taransky Comprehensive Course Notes, including references for future rodmaking projects. The Dates Course 1: Wed. 13th Sep - Sun. 17th Sep Course 2: Wed. 20th Sep - Sun. 24th Sep Course 3: Wed. 27th Sep - Sun. 1st Oct To book, contact: Nick at 0428 366 879 or nick@taranskybamboo.com.au

Hands on – and everyone is learning. Fishing News - Page 20

You will learn to build your own rod.

Glueing the cork handle.

The proud Graduates.

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Fishing News - Page 21


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Fishing News - Page 22

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GREAT LAKE GET RUGGED UP AND READY Gavin Hicks shares some tips on one of his favourite waters.

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t would be no secret to most that I have always loved the Great Lake and all it has to offer me as a fly angler. Wind lanes, sharks, edge polaroiding, bait feeders, pulling wets (don’t knock it till you try it) the list goes on and on. Now as a father of two boys keen to explore every angling method known to man it still rates as my favourite Tasmanian lake fishery. Sure you’ve got your more popular dun hatch waters, shallow water polaroiding out West, fishing to tails on the big name waters etc. But if I had one day left to fish before it was all over you would find me out on the Great Lake, no questions asked. Before you read any further this article is not about secret hotspots on the Great Lake as I’m sure you all have your own anyway, it is about what flies/ lures we will be using when the season gets under way for 2017/18. I don’t tend to bother with fishing the lake during the brown trout closed season as I like to use that time to sort and freshen up tackle, tie up a new bunch of all my favourite early season flies and restock the boys lure/ plastics boxes. Which I might add seems to me to be and endless job that one!

Flies

Early season regardless of whether of I am fishing floating/ intermediate or full blown sinking lines you

will find either a Mylar Yeti or a Fuzzle Bugger attached to the end of an eight pound fluorocarbon tippet via a loop knot. Sure there are countless variations of those two patterns but in whatever version either may be the guts of the original idea is still the same. I was first introduced to the Mylar Yeti as I’ve come to call it over the years many seasons ago now through Ashley Artis and his contribution in the pages of Australia’s Best Trout Flies book and also via one of his fly tying courses. His version of the fly was called a Green Rabbit & Pearl and was basically a dubbed green body with a section of Mylar tube tied in over the top of that then it was all topped off with a wing of a dark olive rabbit fur strip. In its original simplest form (and I mean that with no disrespect whatsoever) it was and still is an absolutely deadly fly. Pulled through the waves and around the rocky shores of the Great Lake I would honestly hate to try and think how many big fat browns I have accounted for on the original version, which I still carry a supply of and use at times even now. Mainly just to prove a point of how good the Green Rabbit & Pearly really was. But as the years pass and materials develop we wouldn’t be human as fly tyers if we didn’t play around and try to make what we all believe is our own killer

version of an old classic, right? The introduction of barred zonker strips, various adhesive eye styles, black hooks, different styles of flashy tubing and the amazing range of current UV products have all led me to my current favourite version of the original fly for which this is the current recipe. Hook – Tiemco TMC 700 size 8 Thread – Brown, Black or Iron Grey 6/0 Uni thread Body – Small Mylar tube in pearl (the original and the best) Wing – McLean’s barred dyed zonker strips in olive/ black or brown/ black Eyes – a variety of adhesive eyes either 3D or standard and whatever colour I feel like sticking on the fly at that point in time (as big as will fit but still keeping a reasonable head to body size ratio) Head – Loon UV fly finish thin (this stuff is the greatest product)

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Fishing News - Page 23


As a side note to that I believe the original Fuzzle Dub material is extremely hard if not impossible to get hold of now. If this isn’t the case I am happy to stand corrected on that and would love to know of its availability as I am hanging on dearly to my last remaining few packets. Ed. Rick Keam, one of Australia’s great fly tiers has come up with a very good substitute. He calls it ‘Fuzzle 2’. There are a variety of popular colours.

Soft Plastics

Give me a bunch of those in a box and I would happily fish the Great Lake any day of the year, not just early season. And for that matter nearly every other lake on the Central Plateau. I didn’t start fishing/ tying and playing around with the Fuzzle Bugger flies till a lot later in my fishing journey. But once I started using the pattern it rapidly became a clear second favourite behind the Yeti in my Great Lake box due to its effectiveness and ease of tying. A packet of marabou, some wet fly hooks, a packet of speckled chenille and a bag of Fuzzle Dub and you can tie up a million of these things, well almost a million! I like all green or all brown versions but the stand out on the Great Lake for me has been an all-black version, mainly on a size 8 wet fly hook. Either unweighted but mostly with red dumbbell eyes in a size to suit the hook I am using at the time. In what was a sad time for the fly fishing community in general the originator of that great pattern and many others like it Muzz Wilson passed away a short while ago. Whilst not knowing him personally I for one will be forever in debt to him for leaving us with all of his original fly patterns and styles of fly tying to continue to try and honour as best we can.

When it comes to soft plastics believe me when I say I am no expert. But what I do know is I have an eldest son in Jobie who spends plenty of time watching and researching various websites and youtube and what he came up with was that he quite liked what he had seen in the Strike Tiger range of plastics. So over the last couple of seasons we have gathered a collection of virtually every plastic Strike Tiger have ever produced. And I have to say coming from someone who only ever owned fly rods these things are absolutely deadly. Whether they be fished slow and deep, rolled back off shallower edges into deeper water or just searching around rocky outcrops etc. these things never go fishless, and are actually a lot of fun to play with.Think I might have to add an odd one out to my fly rod rack. The current favourites are the 2.5 inch T-Tail in copper berry, black and gold and homebrew. And also the new pro range 2 inch T-Tail in orange spawn and stealth tiger. Just recently at the Liawenee open weekend we had a good old chat to the boys on the Strike Tiger stand and Jobie came away with a few packets of the 4 inch curl tail worms which he reckons will also smash them on Great Lake. Time will tell I guess as these are a new range in his soft plastic boxes. Of all the packets he got I really like the look of the olive pepper colour, but hey what would I know! The boys start out fishing them on size 2 hook jig heads, also from the Strike Tiger range with 1/8 of weight on them. Then depending where we go on the lake we adjust hook size/weight accordingly. If you haven’t already done so give these things a run. They are easy to rig, very easy to use and as I mentioned earlier super effective.

that was a nice surprise as they are an excellent quality, made in Australia product. Whilst I certainly don’t consider myself a miserable father one thing that does make me nervous with this style of fishing is two boys throwing around lures in the $15-$20 range, as things can start to get expensive real quick. Especially now they are starting to want to play with their own knot tying!

Get amongst it

So there you have it, hopefully you can take something out of the above info to assist you in your early season adventures on the Great Lake. Whether it be fly, lure or plastics it has something to offer all of us as anglers so get out there and enjoy it. Rug up, be boat safe if that is your thing (remember that water will be cold) and just do it. And one other thing if you see my boat out there on the water with two unhappy looking boys sitting up in it can you chuck me a couple of your favourite lures because none of what I’ve written above has worked anymore. Gavin Hicks

Hard bodies

Again not my field of expertise so I am mainly driven by what the boys tell me they need to get at any given time. Don’t you love the power of the internet. Half of these lures the boys talk about I had never even heard of if I am completely honest. Warlocks, Gladiators, lures that are trout tuned, things that rattle inside, what the hell does it all mean. The current favourites (was Rapalas) are now the Halco Laser Pro 45 range. Brown Trout and Chrome Gold/Black have been the stand out colours. But with 14 different colours in the range I’m sure you would find something to suit your own tastes. The boys mainly fish these on reels loaded straight through with 6 pound fluorocarbon and find it more than adequate as far as the ratio of line strength to fish lost to casting distance is concerned. Whilst I have heard of Halco in the bigger saltwater specialty stuff I did not know they made these smaller freshwater size lures. So Fishing News - Page 24

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Fishing News - Page 25


BEATING BURBURY TASMANIA’S MOST PRODUCTIVE WEST COAST WATER Brad Martin discovers a different approach works well.

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ffering an alternate approach to a traditional style of fishing sometimes works. Lake Burbury is a large, and productive water for some. Others struggle — even when they know the fish are there. Packing up at the boat ramp late one morning after a productive morning, a boat pulls in alongside. “Good morning gents, how’d you go?” “No good mate, we trolled for hours, they are all down deep” “That’s odd, I took eight on the surface this morning, and would’ve seen at least thirty more.” With a glance at my bag and a stunned look of disbelief, the excited interrogation starts: “How’d you manage that? What colours? How do you catch them on the surface when all the fish on the sounder...” “Windlanes, fellas. They were in the windlanes.” “Ah, so you were fly fishing?” “Well, actually...” All too often in trout fishing, I’ve noticed terms like ‘polaroiding’, ‘sight-casting’ and ‘windlanes’ seem to be associated solely with fly-fishing. Why is that? Fishing News - Page 26

About seven years ago after a morning of fruitless fly-casting; I found myself in my boat, in a windlane, watching a rising fish, asking myself the same question. Another quickly followed. “I wonder if they’d take a lure?” Swapping fly for spin-rod, I flicked out a Rapala and, almost instantly, I was on. By morning’s end I’d boated nine more prime rainbows in the same fashion. Ever since that morning, ‘Rises, Rainbows and Rapalas’ have been my go-to method of fishing year round. Yes, you read that correctly – sight fishing on the surface all year round. Admittedly, the best fishing is had from November to March. But, if you brave the cold snowy mornings in June and July, you can still spot trout cruising the windlanes and actively working the surface, albeit subtly. This method of fishing is both simple and challenging: while in or near a windlane, find a consistently rising fish, and present a shallow swimming (preferably floating) lure a metre or two in front of the next anticipated rise. Landing the lure too close will result in an obvious boil or slash as the spooked fish flees. Too far away and the offering may go unnoticed in the dark tannin waters and the fish will carry on its merry way. The distance between rises may vary from day to day, as will the ‘strike’ and ‘spook’ proximities when presenting the lure to the trout. But get your cast into that ‘goldilocks zone’ – just right – and you’ll know within seconds, with a strike and sometimes even a bow wave as the fish turns and charges.

A typical Burbury rainbow — and plenty of them. The old fisherman and hunters saying rings true for these finicky characters – ‘they don’t get big by being stupid’. Smaller fish will rise, turn, and hit with more enthusiasm; and from experience, they will be more likely to continue feeding later into the morning as the sun climbs. The older, larger residents are easier to fool right on dawn and dusk, or with a prevailing fog. Fishing like this I like to keep the outfit relatively light. I use a six and a half foot 1-3lb outfit with 4lb braid and

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Old mate looking for breakfast.

a 5lb fluorocarbon leader around 6-8 feet in length. With such a light leader it pays to inspect it for wear/damage after each strike, or you risk a premature release and an ungrateful fish with an expensive new piece of jewellery. For lures, I favour using a Rapala J-5 or J-7, as they sit nice and high in the water column with a steady retrieve. However being so light, they can prove hard to cast accurately into a prevailing breeze. In this case, I opt for the slightly heavier XRCD-5; starting the retrieve as soon as the lure hits the water and holding the rod tip up to prevent the lure from diving too far down. It also helps to pause as the lure reaches the boat, just in case there’s a last minute change of heart by the trout. Over the years we’ve seen fish almost shove the boat out of the way to get to the lure!

As good as it gets.

As for colours, I guess it depends who you ask, but they seem to attract fishermen more than fish. Outside of alternating between a natural pattern and a bright pattern, I haven’t noticed a preference for, say, flurogreen over fluro-pink. Brighter offerings seem to work better after a heavy rain when the water is more turbid; and natural/neutral after a few still weeks of calm weather when the water is clearer. To combat more subtle strikes, swapping the treble hooks for singles seems to give a more reliable hook-up even if it means missing a strike or two. It’s also much easier on the fish, especially for catch and release. Windlanes occur on Burbury most calm mornings, ranging in size from a boat width to a hundred metres wide, and sometimes the entire length of the lake. I’ve found the best activity occurs within the first few hours of daylight, and again just before sunset. With the right conditions however, surface activity can continue throughout the day. Unlike the brown ‘sharks’ that work the open water in Great Lake, Burburys windlanes primarily yield Rainbow Trout, with Browns more commonly found if the windlane is near the shoreline and structure. Averaging 1-4lb, these fish may not be the behemoths of Crescent, but they are well conditioned and in much greater number, cruising about near the surface, engulfing all the insect debris they can find. Upon cleaning a fish and seeing the stomach full to bursting with remnants of last nights hatch, it makes one wonder how the fish planned on even fitting the lure in there! So, the next time you find yourself staring at that ‘fish’ symbol at the 15 metre mark on the sounder, look up - you may find a whole lot more happening on the surface than you ever realised! Brad Martin

A colourful brownie comes to the boat.

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A good morning on Burbury. Fishing News - Page 27


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SHORE OR BOAT? WHAT WORKS BEST - IN OR OUT OF THE BOAT? Justin O’Shannassy looks into the whys and why nots!

Caught next to the boat.

A

s a young fisho growing up in Canberra in the 1980s and learning the fishing game on the large lakes of the New South Wales Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme many a mile was covered walking along the shores of these lakes. I recall watching with envy as a trailer boat was launched and wondered about the treasure trove of untouched bays and shorelines that could be accessed from a boat.

A few years later, when my Dad purchased a ten-foot car topper with a four-horse power motor I thought it was fantastic and my fishing world would change. I suppose it did, but four-horse power doesn’t get you anywhere fast, so my frustration changed from having the means to search for the unknown treasures to “are we there yet!” I am now three boats and thirty years on from the car topper. I have seen the number, size, and type of boat on our impoundments change dramatically. There are your rock solid open aluminium tinnies, to the ever present fibreglass, and increasingly, flash American bass boats. There seems to be a boat out there for every purpose, with a multitude of layout options and a never ending world of gadgets. Electric motors have become the norm as opposed to being on the wish list. They can be stealthy when stalking a rising fish. Fishing techniques and hardware have also changed markedly over recent time and you could match this

with the improvements in boat layout. Much thought has gone into today’s modern boats to develop layouts that match these evolving techniques and hardware and give the boat based angler a choice to suit their fishing preferences. From the increase in popularity of soft plastic fishing, to flicking small hard bodies, and of course loch style and deep nymphing over weed beds for the fly fisherman, the boat angler is well served with a selection of boats on the market that provide purpose built fishing platforms. But a boat is not the panacea, so let’s not forget, nor neglect the shore based fisho and the endless opportunities this provides; there are plenty of places a boat can’t get to! So where does this lead us? We all want the opportunity to catch a fish either as a numbers game or the fish of a lifetime or just escaping into the Tassie wilderness. The question here is does having a boat mean more fish or at least more opportunities to catch?

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Fishing News - Page 31


The boat

Having now lived in Tassie for twelve years, with ten of these working as a fly-fishing guide for Ken Orr, my reliance on a boat has only changed slightly and not for the reasons of finding the elusive fishing Nirvana. Using my boat has helped many an older or less mobile client to access and fish water that would otherwise have been tough to get to or wade. This has meant among other things, that the offshore dun feeders on the likes of Penstock can be drifted down upon and the beetle feeders along many of our lakes steeper eucalypt shores can be accessed. Access is the first and probably most obvious benefit of putting your boat in one of our lakes and other waterways. There is always a less fished shoreline just that bit further than a foot based angler might be able to reach. It might mean finding that sheltered weedy bay where you come across some dun feeders, or taking the opportunity to fish windlanes on the likes of the Great Lake or Burbury, or flicking hard bodies around stands of drowned timber on Woods Lake. Without the use of a boat in these situations, unless you can walk on water, this style of fishing is not possible. One of the most important aspects of access and using your boat is that it provides a chance for our kids, and as mentioned those less mobile to get out and enjoy

Use a boat to get to the location — and then fish from the shore.

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what is on offer. Let me tell you the joy of watching one our long time clients from Pennsylvania casting to, and catching, a lovely beetle feeder along a steep inaccessible shore. She is in her 80s and these opportunities are just not possible without a boat. There is so much information out there about the various fishing techniques that are open to a boat user. I am sure we have all trolled a lure for a trout sometime in our fishing life. As a flyfisho the boat has opened up my world to different techniques and approaches to trout. One style I particularly enjoy is on a warm breezy summer day floating a large foam or big hackled fly along a deep shoreline. I focus putting the fly into the area just off the edge where there is a colour change from shallow to the deep greener water. It is amazing how alert a trout is to a fly landing on the water with a nice plonk and watching it rise from the depths to take it. One of my favourite flies is a large hackled Red Tag I tie in reverse. This helps with visibility especially for some of our newer clients learning the game. With some of our competition flyfishos there has been a real move towards techniques used in the likes of the United Kingdom. Sinking lines, three, weighted flies, and fishing deeper weed beds has seen many a competition angler catch big bags. Personally not my preferred approach as, for me, nothing beats the sight fishing opportunities of Tassie, but for those with patience and focus give it a crack. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the sport is exploring the unknowns of either a remote stream, isolated lake or lagoon, or that bay tucked away on a lake. A boat opens the world of exploring, and here in Tassie with more water than any of us could fish in a lifetime, some of our waterways are your oyster. I recall fishing one of our main hydro lakes later on in the season, and despite the falling water levels, I discovered a stretch of rocky shoreline where deeper weed beds had become exposed and a spritely dun hatch was on. I have returned to this shoreline over the years and it is a consistent late season option. Without my boat and the willingness to explore, I would never have found this opportunity.

Boating on our lakes also gives you the chance to overnight in areas you may otherwise not get the chance. I recall one particular weekend after a hectic week at work packing up the boat and gear, heading to the lakes on a whim, and waking up on a shoreline I had neglected previously to find a consistent stream of risers midging along. My boat affords a bit of space being a five plus metre bowrider and I can lay the mattress down without fussing over a tent, but with some good planning and packing a remote shoreline overnighter can be a rewarding experience.

Be prepared

The most important thing with boating is preparation. It would be irresponsible of me if I didn’t mention several considerations to planning your trip. The first thing is safety, check the weather and if it is not safe don’t do it. If you are out and the weather turns suddenly be aware of the limitations of your boat. Just sit it out on a safe shoreline. Only once have I pushed it being caught in a massive summer storm out on Lake Eucumbene in New South Wales. I could see it coming and stayed too late, tried to out run it, got swamped by waves and limped to the nearest shoreline. Not a good experience. Pack your safety gear, wear your lifejacket, and tell someone where you are heading, better still take a mate and enjoy. Take no risks as no fish is worth your life. A good tip is to have some firelighters, snacks and a light tarp, so if you do get caught it we be at worst uncomfortable, but you won’t drown on the shore. There is also increasing VHF coverage in the Central Higlands so perhaps invest in a VHF radio as well.

Use your boat for transport

Have I caught more fish from my boat than when shoring fishing? Probably not, but I have fished in some amazing places that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. For me the boat is about being mobile on the water, stopping at likely spots and hopping out to walk the shore looking for a riser or two. The shorelines the boat opens up provide such a variation in fishing it is almost untapped, the biggest issue I have is, when I park the boat and head off down the shoreline for a few hours, I then have to trudge what seems like miles back to my ride!

On the Shore

Boats also open up some fabulous camping opportunities around lake shores.

So over to being on foot with no boat!! My preference is to be on foot and with many of our lakes and lagoons accessible either directly off reasonable roads or via somewhere pleasant there is nothing better than a stroll in the Tasmanian bush. The Angler Access program initiated by the Inland Fisheries Service has certainly gone some way to highlighting good and reliable access points throughout the state. Like anywhere, if you are prepared to put in an effort and spend that extra time to walk into a lake or along a shoreline you will find opportunities. Over the years this has been a consistent theme; take the time, walk and you will soon find the limit of most shore based anglers. Plus the benefit of an active day on foot is it is not only good for your health and fitness, the Tassie outdoors is a great place to bury your thoughts and relax from a hectic week at work.

Slow and low

I do strongly believe that my early years of learning to fly fish being a walking, shore based angler taught me the art of stealth, stalking, and observation. Nothing beats the feeling you get as you slowly explore a shoreline and find a fish mooching in close to the edge. It is electrifying and to this day it still brings out all my hunting instincts of moving slow and low and to take the chance when I can. This style of fishing has also been of amazing benefit in judging and understanding trout behaviour. It has also taught me some simple approaches to fishing that I stick by now such as casting short is better than long and lining a fish. As a guide it still amazes me how many anglers simply can’t transfer the length of line in the air to the distance of a cruising fish. I have mentioned observation and walking along quietly with no distraction; it really hones your inner hunter and ability to focus on that subtle rise or movement of a fish in close. At times I even find myself even holding my breath as I stop and scan the water ahead. It is only when my chest starts thumping I realise I had better grab a breath or two! Some of my most memorable fishing moments have been walking a shoreline with my fishing mates and spotting a fish. Often we will work in tandem to spot and stalk a fish. I have been known to climb a tree or lay face down on a high rock or other vantage point calling out a fish’s movement from above. The only issue I have ever had here is one of my old time fishing mates has been known to sabotage my trout stalking by lobbing wombat poo at me! Fortunately it’s the drier stuff he throws! One of the funny behaviours of the shore based angler versus the boat fisho is the onshore angler oftens tries to cast the lure, fly or bait as far out as possible. Whilst on the boat it seems you are heading into a shallow bay or shoreline where you will scan the shallow inshore margins for a nice cruising fish. Nothing like the psyche of a tragic fisho. Preparation is equally important when fishing on foot - perhaps more so. This means having solid gear from the right boots or waders, jacket, hat and the like. Also given the abundance of nature here in Tassie a snake bite bandage in your kit is a must. Mind you if you have the right gear on, be it sturdy long strides or waders, a tiger snake is not going to be able to get through should it strike at you. Of course pack a drink and a snack to enjoy whilst you watch the world go by from the shore. As with your boat fishing be safe and tell someone where you are going. I must say here after thinking about boat versus shore fishing a day on the water is about what you and your mates want to get out of it. For me either is enjoyable, but if you want to look at it from a purely a numbers game 90% of the fish I catch are whilst standing on a shoreline somewhere. I may have accessed it with my boat or slogged into a remote lagoon on foot, but for me the enjoyment in walking, stalking, and delivering a fly to a cruising brown is what keeps bringing me back for more. So don’t be despondent if you don’t have a boat or the weather means it stays at home for the day. If you are upright and mobile there is plenty of Tassie lake shoreline to get to. Just watch out for flying wombat poo! Justin O’Shannassay

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Fishing News - Page 33


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EARLY SEASON TIPS FROM TASMANIA’S TOP TROUT STUDENT Trout Guide, Christopher Bassano shares his secrets.

C

hristopher Bassano could start a tackle store without buying any stock. His arsenal of rods ranges from hand built bamboo to many different Sages, specialist European nymph rods and many others. There is no aspect of freshwater fly fishing he does not have a rod for. Why you should have a ten foot rod

Firstly a ten foot rod gives me a huge advantage in line handling over a nine foot rod. It makes it easier to pick up a longer line, minimise false casting and get the flies back in the water in the most efficient way. Efficiency is what I strive for and in a boat the ten footer does it better and allows me to cover more water with each cast. It also allows good line spacing for flies on my leader. My leader make-up 90 percent of the time is three flies, five feet apart – that gives you a point fly, dropper at five feet and top fly at ten feet. It is a good spacing and one I do not vary often. At ten feet it also allows the top fly to be wound up to the tip and still give me enough length of rod to net a fish that has taken the point fly. It does it better than a nine footer.

The length of rod will also affect where the hang markers are on my fly line. I like my hang marker twenty feet from the tip of my fly line (sinking lines of course). That way, using a ten foot rod and the fly spacing I have talked about, I know that when my hang marker touches my finger and I lift the rod tip, my top dropper will be just below the surface. A bit more on the spacing of flies though. Five feet has become the standard distance apart over the last few years. It lets me cover a lot of water with wets or dries. If a fish sees one fly and doesn’t like the look of that fly it will often turn and take another in the team. The clarity of the water in Tasmania is also significant. On the very clear waters, such as Great Lake I might only run two flies, but these will be ten feet apart, so I still want the rod length. Ten foot rods will allow longer casts as well and hold more line in the air. If you are dibbling wet flies using a traditional loch style fishing technique the long rod gives you more control and allows you to use the wind to sweep your top dropper. A longer rod will also keep the flies further from the boat than you could with a nine foot rod and you spook less fish because of the longer rod. Whilst we are only generally talking about a rod

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Fishing News - Page 35


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that is just one foot or 30cm longer than the ‘standard’ it makes a huge difference in many areas. The ‘hang’ is considered by keen, and/or competition anglers as a vital part of fishing. Fish will often take flies at the end of the retrieve when the flies are stationary. A longer rod means they will be further from the boat and consequently less likely to be spooked by the boat. This applies regardless of whether you are using floating or sinking lines. Rods are much lighter these days than ever and I love that. They are powerful and strong. Where I was once a fan of a seven weight in the longer rods, now I prefer a six weight. If you are making a lot of casts during the day – like I am, a lighter rod will tire you less, so it is no contest as to rod length choice. Another point to note is the line weight a ten foot, six weight, in this instance can deliver. Some people think they have to match the line weight with the rod. With floating lines that may be important, but with sinking lines I don’t worry too much. Presentation is not as important when delivering a Di5 or Di8 line. On the box it might say it is a #6, #7 or even #8. Most modern six weight rods will handle all these with ease. Don’t get hung up over what the box says too much. Rod action is, of course, very important. A faster #6 rod will handle Di7 or Di8 much better than a moderate action. But I like a slightly slower action #6 for slower sink, intermediate and floating lines. However I am a fan of the new Sage X as I have found that it will handle floating to fast sink lines extremely well. The HLS Innovator 10’ #6 is a very good rod up to probably a 5 inch per second sink line and is a good choice for anyone with shoulder issues.

The lines I use

Floating: Scientific Anglers - Expert Distance. Intermediate: Scientific - Stillwater taper 1.5 inches per second. Sinking: At the moment Airflo make some great lines and that includes their normal sink and Sweep lines. RIO and Scientific Anglers have some wonderful lines too. The new lines coming out from S.A. that I have been lucky enough to test over the past season will unquestionably replace all of my current crop of Airflo lines. They are amazing and will be covered in a different article when they become available.

Lines for the start of the season

I am going to suggest some lines to use early in the season - as well as places to fish. In particular Four Springs is an outstanding place to catch your first fish for the season. The factors I think about here are: It is a little warmer than highland waters being at a lower altitude, and there is also less wind. Less wind means a sinking line gets more chance to sink as you are not drifting onto it too quickly. So for me at Four Springs I would try a 3ips (inches per second sink rate) or a 5ips if windy. Early season use 8lb fluorocarbon. They are not fussy. I still like experimenting with lines though and there are two that really interest me: The Airflo sweep lines which sink belly first and Scientific Anglers lines that sink tip first.

An early season cracking brownie. Sweep lines pull flies down through a zone and then back up through several depths. They were an English designed line for fishing stocked waters. The retrieve was very slow at first while the flies were still high in the water, then as the line started to pull the flies down deep the retrieve was sped up. It can work here very well at times, especially trying to find the depth the fish are at. Of course, while using these lines, anglers were not using weighted flies. Scientific Anglers on the other hand have several ‘Sonar Titan’ lines that have a fast sink tip, medium sink mid-section and an intermediate running line. This sinks in pretty much in a straight line. I think they give better contact and are certainly the best casting of the sink lines. Because the line in your hand sinks more slowly than the line in the water, it also makes them much easier to handle and less prone to tangles because the line in your hand is much thicker. I am sure that SA will also be coming out with sweep lines very soon.

The McGoo is a classic. I can’t imagine not having it in my box. Whether it is unweighted, copper bead or orange, there is generally always a place for it on the leader. Early in the season, the ornate bead head and orange thread head is fantastic but if the water is relatively clear, the copper bead or unweighted McGoo without the hot spot head is brilliant. If I am using a fly with weight in it, I prefer the unweighted flies on the top or middle dropper. This helps with casting as well as the sinking pattern of the flies. I don’t like using too many flies of the same colour in my cast at the same time. Until the fish are locked onto one colour, it is a good idea to keep mixing it up with colours and where they are on the leader. A certain colour may fish best on a particular dropper. Christopher Bassano

Flies for early season when fishing from a boat

Go to flies. Shrek, Brown Woolly Bugger, Orange Magoo, Cat flies, Bitch Variant (Black/Red) or Humungous if it is bright. I fish the humungous on the point or in the middle or both with an Angel Hair Humungous in the middle and standard Humungous on the point – and when using the Shrek, it is always on the top dropper. My droppers are around 10” long at the start of the day and I don’t like them getting shorter than 6”. Not many people fish Brown Woolly Buggers and they should. It is a colour that works very well and when the fish are keen on it, they will pick it out from anywhere on the leader. If it hasn’t caught one of your first few fish, take it off because they don’t want it today!

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Fishing News - Page 37


WINTER BREAM TACTICS FOR TARGETING BREAM IN ESTUARIES Jamie Harris believes they are easier to find in Winter.

W

hile many species can become harder or even disappear through the cold winter months, I believe Black Bream actually becomes easier to target and catch! Now they may behave differently in other systems but in Tassie, winter sees the Bream move off their summer feeding grounds and start to make their way further up into estuaries where they often congregate in big numbers as they get ready to spawn from around August-December. This will vary from year to year mostly depending on rainfall as Bream need a certain salinity level before spawning will take place. How to find Winter bream

A good sounder and knowing how to use it was never as important as it is in this situation! Personally, I like to sound out whole stretches of a system trying to ascertain where the bulk of the fish are holding before I’ll even have a cast. Fishing News - Page 38

Bream are fickle about the salinity level that suits them to spawn and finding this zone can sometimes be difficult in the bigger systems, such as the Derwent, Swan and Mersey rivers, and estuaries such as Port Sorell but once you find them the action can be thick and fast! Systems such as Scamander, Little Swanport etc can be a little easier to find the fish. Even though they may be in spawning mode and not actively feeding their competitive nature will take over and see them still smacking most well presented lures.

use it properly. Do NOT set it on auto, and never have it set to show fish symbols. This is lazy and will not give you a true picture of what’s under the boat. Monitoring the surface temperature is a good idea and watch and adjust the sensitivity constantly. It is amazing how many people set it and forget it. Even when going from salt to brackish water you will benefit from keeping an eye on the sensitivity.

Get a good sounder - learn to use it

Lure choice depend on what depth you will be fishing but often at this time the fish will be in deeper water and anywhere from 2-10 metres deep. It’s in the deep that soft plastics will really shine and it’s hard to go past the old faithful Squidgies Wriggler or a Pro Prawn. Jigheads will vary again depending on the depth but basically you need to be using enough weight to reach the bottom with a nice slow fluttering action but not so slow as you’re not covering enough water and not so fast that it rockets to the bottom and the bream can’t catch it! Deeper running, suspending hardbodies or Vibes in the 35-65cm range work well too. Upgrade your trebles where you need to and always have spares on hand as big bream will crush and straighten them often! Chemically sharpened trebles are a bonus. Some of the better quality (expensive) lures come with chemically sharpened hooks. If they don’t change them over. A small pair of split ring

Good fishfinders are quite inexpensive these days and the old days of black and white are gone. A quick call to Tamar Marine informed me colour sounders start at $130, down imaging are under $250 and side imaging are around $1000. So buy a good sounder and learn how to

Lures

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Get a fisherman’s perspective of the new F25 with Australian fishing legend Steve ‘Starlo’ Starling. Starlo F25

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Fishing News - Page 39


pliers is also a must and will save you some frustration when the bite is hot. I don’t believe colours are too crucial as long as you stick to the more natural colours and try to “match the hatch” where you can. Find a lure you are confident in and then vary retrieve depths etc. until you find the technique that works. Try and remember depth, retrieve speed, tide etc. It will serve you well later on.

Technique - the pause is everything

Bream love to hit a lure on the pause! If you’re throwing hard body lures then try regular pauses of 1-5 seconds on retrieve. It is amazing how often bream will take on the pause — and it is only when you start the retrieve again you find you are hooked up. You can also throw in a few rod twitches for some extra action. Change it up until you find out what’s working best on the day. The same goes for soft plastics and Vibes. Bream like what I like to call a “hop and stop” retrieve rather than a slow roll.

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Like with all soft plastics fishing, controlling your slack line and staying in contact with your lure is absolute key. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - Too much slack and you will miss the bites. Not enough slack and you won’t get the bites! Pointing your rod tip towards where your line enters the water will also help you stay in contact. Never take your eyes off that braid for that tell tale “tick” in your line. Remember, if you see or feel any unnatural movement, then strike! Don’t die wondering! What’s the worst that can happen!?

Gear

After a summer of feeding hard up on the flats the Breambos will be fat and strong and your gear and knots will need to be up to scratch. A quality 1000-2500 size reel loaded with 3-5lb braid in a bright colour so you can see the bites. Pair that to a 1-3 or 2-4kg light action high modulus rod and you will be in the game. Leader should be around a rod length and always go fluorocarbon around 4-6lb. the flouro has much better abrasion resistance than mono and will often save you as a big Bream charges straight into the structure. Knots can be a personal preference but a double uni, slim beauty and improved albright all work well. I like to use a loop knot to my lure so it will have maximum freedom and action. You don’t need to know many knots, but pratice and get good at them. Buy good gear. Always get the best gear you can afford but whatever your budget, Shimano will have you covered. It is a pleasure to use quality products and it will rarely let you down. Now if you’ve never had a go at winter Breaming I hope this article might help but as always, local knowledge goes a long way so keep an ear to the ground, get into your local tackle store, ask around and try to get the latest reports from people in the know. It may well save you a whole lot of time and effort in the long run! Jamie Harris

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WHAT’S IN THE BOX? FLIES FOR SUCCESS EARLY IN THE SEASON Dan Pursell shares his favourite flies and how to tie them.

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s the last trout season came to an end my thoughts turned to my depleted fly boxes. Restocking them ready for the first weekend in August now occupied me. Now I’m sure many fellow fly fishers will understand this concept. The constant searching for that perfect fly that performs time and time again is never ending. Everyone has their favourite go to patterns. I’d like to share with you what’s in my fly box and my top early season go to patterns; tying of them, and how I fish these flies. So grab a coffee or a cold one and lets have a look at what’s in the box.

1. The Humungous

The Humungous was developed by Dave Downie from Scotland and over the years there have been a many variants. I’ve fished the original tie with great success over the years. I’ve tried different versions and a variety of coloured beads in this pattern, and for me this variant of the Humungous is my number one fly. It is always on my line when fishing Penstock and Little Pine. It’s proven itself time and time again I like too fish this on the point. Hook – Hanak B230 in sizes 10, 12, 14 this hook could be substituted with a kamasan B175 Bead – Hanak Metallic orange in 3 and 3.5 mm Black marabou Gold tinsel medium Fine silver or gold wire Gold flash A grizzly coloured hackle; I use whiting bugger packs but any grizzly hackle will be fine.

Tying Humungous I use black 8/0 thread, but anything is fine. Put the bead on first. Start at the tail end and secure in the gold flash and marabou for tail. I like to make this about one and a half to two times the hook length. I prefer a longer tail, and if trout seem to be grabbing the fly and not hooking up I can always pluck a bit of marabou away, but this is a rare circumstance.

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Fishing News - Page 41


Next tie in the wire and tinsel, once this is done wind the tinsel right up to the bead. Tie in the grizzly hackle behind the bead and wind this back down the hook about 4 to 6 turns depending on preference. Bring wire forward to secure hackle in place and wind through hackle up to bead. Secure everything and whip finish. I do not apply varnish to any of my flies. They rarely fall apart and it slows everything down for me.

hook tie in olive marabou and flash in then just like a MK11 Wooly Bugger. I like to add a tuft of orange marabou as a further attractor. Then tie in wire and mylar and wrap green mylar forward first. Then just like the Humungous I tie in the olive hackle and wrap four turns or so back towards the tail, trap this with the wire, wind the wire forward and whip finish.

3. Red Bitch

2. Shrek

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A great fly and I always have a large number of different versions of this fly in my box. I fish it on the point or top dropper. The below tie is a variant I use. Gold or orange bead; 3 and 3.5 mm Hanak 230, 260 hook or Kamasan B175 in 10, 12, 14 Olive marabou, Orange marabou Green sparkle flash Green mylar Fine wire; olive Olive hackle Tying Shrek Same process as Humungous. Use black or green thread and once bead is on

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Very similar to the Shrek; its sometimes called Fiona but I’ve always called it by the charming name above. This fly is excellent on Little Pine Lagoon and equally great elsewhere. I normally fish it on the top dropper it’s a fly I only fish for an hour a so and if it hasn’t caught a fish I take it off. Some days it’s the only fly the fish take. When it’s working well you‘ll know about it. Hook: Hanak B230, 260 or Kamasan B175 size 10, 12, 14, Black marabou Red krystal or mylar flash Red mylar on a roll Red wire Black or grizzle coloured hackle Black thread Tying Red Bitch Put bead on first, tie in marabou tail and one to two strands of red flash either side. Next, tie in red wire and mylar material same as the Shrek above. Wind red mylar and thread forward to the bead. Tie in hackle and wind four to six turns to tail and trap with wire. Wind wire forward and whip finish at the bead.


Roy variant

The Roy was created by Craig Carey and it is a great fly in overcast conditions I’ve had a lot of success with the original. This is a variant pattern I use - I like the matt black bead. The classic black and gold, and green and gold combination is combined with this tie. Hanak 500 Bl size 10, 12, 14 or Kamasan B175 or 170 Black bead; matt finish 3 mm and 3.5 mm Olive green marabou Brown sparkle flash Velcro brush Gold dubbing; Angel hair or any similar material that can be teased out with the aid of a Velcro brush. Black thread Once bead is on the hook of choice tie in a nice amount of marabou and add flash I use brown flash but you can add any colour you like. Next dub on the gold dubbing on hook right up to bead. When dubbing a product like angel hair it pays to leave it slightly loose and this makes it easier when teasing dubbing out later. Once you have dubbed up to behind bead whip finish twice. Grab a Velcro brush and tease out dubbing to create a lot of loose fibres. Comb these back and it’s done. I like to fish this fly on the top dropper. It’s worth tying this fly on when the favourites don’t seem to be catching fish.

I will use an intermediate line in shallower water if I feel I really need to slow the flies and retrieve, but I will always use the Di3 first and go from there. I like the Airflo range of sinking lines, but this is a personal choice I’ve tried a lot but I keep coming back to Airflo. I like to pull my flies fast and I’ve always fished this way; it keeps you warm. I cast, count down and pull the flies back quickly I will vary retrieves slightly but as a general rule I pull them fast I will always hang my flies at the boat for 10 seconds or so before lifting out and re casting. With an intermediate line I will slow up the retrieve to a figure of eight retrieve or slightly faster.

The Miracle Worker

Leader setup

In my favourite wet flies above I mention where I fish these flies on the leader. Some people use three flies when wet fly fishing and nymph fishing. I only fish two flies, it’s a personal choice and I’m not as inclined to tangle up, so it’s either the point fly or the top dropper. On all my sinking lines my early season leader doesn’t change. I run straight through fluorocarbon I prefer to use 9 pound for pulling wets I will drop back to 7 pound as the season heats up. I run a leader of 12 feet straight through to the fly line of 9 pound fluorocarbon with two flies on eight inch droppers five feet apart using a surgeons knot . On my fly line around 6 feet from the end I mark it with a permanent marker. This way I know the flies are not far off being at the end of the retrieve and I have a hang marker. Let’s take a look at some shallow water options for hopefully those tailing trout

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Fishing these flies

My main fly line early season in the boat is a Di3 sinking line for those who are not familiar with this line or term it will sink at three inches per second. Di5 and Di7 sink at five and seven inches per second, which I’ll use in really deep water or extreme windy conditions. As a general rule, I fish the Di3 exclusively from the boat early season conditions and depth dependant. The great thing about sinking lines is you can count them down. I like to look at the sounder and find a few fish or weed bed depth and I can cast my flies and count down till I find the fish. If I feel I need to be down 1.5 meters I will cast out with the Di 3 line take up the slack and count it down I might start retrieving at seven seconds and then increase this time if required it’s all about experimenting till you find the fish.

Inspired by Rob Sloane’s green nymph I’ve modified this to suit my needs. This fly is great for tailers and a really good fly to grease up and use over summer polaroiding when the fish are tough. Hanak 133Bl or 270Bl in size 12, 14 or a Kamasan B405 Whiting farms Dark pardo tail fibres Olive seals fur, or pseudo seal Copper wire 0.5mm or 1mm black foam Olive thread Lay down thread base first than secure in 6 to 10 fibres of Pardo tail fibres about the length of the hook shank. Next tie in copper wire and add dubbing little at a time and wind on tightly. Wind forwards about two thirds of the way and then bring wire up 3 to 4 turns, trim a piece of foam for a wing case about 4 to 5 mm wide. Next dub in front of foam and pull foam over to form the wing case. Whip finish. Give it a light tease with a Velcro brush.

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Olive scud

Every fly fisherman needs a scud pattern in the box this one was shown to me by a good friend and I’ve never fished any other pattern since. This is a great fly for Little Pine or any water you are likely to find tailing trout. It’s a great pattern to fish under a dry fly like a Seals fur Red Tag or a Shaving Brush, and can be fished solo. A good all-rounder. Hanak 333 Bl or Kamasan B110 Black or Olive thread Olive seal fur and orange seal fur Clear plastic or scud backing material Olive wire medium. Lay a base of thread, next I tie in a clear plastic strip about 3 to 5 mm thick and about 50mm long. I often cut an old dubbing packet up and recycle plastic off this for my scuds, but scud back is also good. Next tie in olive wire and then dub olive seal fur in about one third along the shank. Then add a small amount of orange seal fur, a hotspot in other words, and then more olive dubbing, finishing 2mm short of the eye. Fold the plastic or scud backing over the top and secure with two to three wraps of thread. Now wind wire ribbing over top about five to six turns and finish fly up with two whip finishes. Brush out some fibres with Velcro and that’s it.

Fishing these flies

Green nymph This is a great fly in the Western Lakes and places like Little Pine, King William and any lake or dam you will find tailing trout. It’s also a great fly for summer wade polarioding. I fish this fly on a floating fly line and a 14 foot leader. I have covered in previous articles how important I believe the use of fluorocarbon is in the last two to three feet of the leader setup. My preferred brand is Hanak in four pound and I grease the nymph so it will sit subsurface. If the fish are ignoring it after a few attempts I’ll twitch the fly slightly and see if that gets a response before changing. If I am polarioding out west I use the same method as above. Scud I prefer to fish this around 6 to 12 inches under a suitable dry fly such as a seals fur Red Tag or a Shaving Brush and we might cover these flies another time. Another way you can fish the above two flies is on a weight forward line or intermediate line from the boat or shore and retrieve them very slowly. With the weight forward line setup I like to use a commercial leader with a tippet of six to seven pound breaking strain. I then add an additional two to three feet of fluorocarbon in four pound and a dropper three feet from the point. The above flies are my takes – variants on what are great original ties from some great fisherman. That’s the wonderful thing about fly tying you can experiment with different beads, furs, dubbing etc. and develop some reliable fish taking flies. I hope you tie up a few of the above and share in some of the success I’ve had with them. The upcoming season looks promising. If you see me out on the water come over and say hello. Dan pursell

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Fishing News - Page 45


WHERE to START TIPS AND LURES FOR EARLY SEASON Matt Sherriff shares his favourite places and lures.

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t’s that time of the year again…checking over the gear, picking out your favourite lures/flies and getting ready for sunrise on day one of the 2017/18 Trout season! Inland fisheries have been extremely busy stocking waters whilst the season has been closed to fishing and all signs point towards some great action being available for anglers early in the season. There has been over 26,000 fish released into five popular lakes within the last two months with fish ranging from yearlings through to over 2lb. This is the breakdown over these five waters: Fishing News - Page 46

• Lake Crescent – over 6,000 fish • Four Springs – over 6,500 fish • Lake Leake – 5,000 fish • Penstock Lagoon – over 5,000 fish • Tooms – over 4,000 fish *other waters around the state have been stocked with lesser quantities and information is available online at www.ifs.tas.gov.au (stocking database). If the above figures don’t get you frothing at the bit to wet a line, nothing will!

We will be starting our season at Four Springs again this year. Being based in Launceston, it is only a short distance from home and generally a few degrees warmer than the central lakes. The plan is to beat the 7am rush and have breakfast out on the water whilst anxiously waiting first light. Our strategy will be to fish the shallow weeded areas, concentrating our efforts in less than two metres of water. Hard bodied lures, specifically 60mm minnows will be the order of the day and the Hawk Sniper Killer Wasp is on the cards to be the first one to hit the water.

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Four Springs is the water we carried out our initial testing of the “Wasp” and the results were so good it’s hard to consider tying anything else on for the first cast of the season. Having said that, there are two new colours about to be released in the Hawk Sniper range which we swam prior to season close at the lake and they were responsible for boating around 20 fish in a couple of hours…keep an eye out for these in your local store. We like to run this style of lure on ultra-light spin gear, which consists of 1-3kg carbon rods with ultra-fast tapers and 3-4lb line. Small hard bodied lures can be brought to life when using these set-ups. Whether its long distance casts, twitching and pausing lures or detecting bites, you will never look back once you have a balanced outfit designed for this style of fishing. As a rule, I like my rods to be over 7’ in length and use 7’6” models for extra distance when required. I do have a couple of 6’6” models but mainly use these for fishing soft plastics. The other argument that often arises is in regard to what line to use, braid or mono/fluoro. I enjoy using both but there are inherent differences and both have advantages and disadvantages. Braid will give you unsurpassed feel. With zero stretch, you will feel every twitch of the lure, you will know as soon as your lure gets weeded up by the change in action and you will feel every tap from a fish (a must for fishing plastics) and be able to easily set the hooks. On top of this, braid offers improved casting distances due to its finer diameter for its breaking strain when compared to mono/ fluoro. These are all great attributes but be aware that you will still have to run a length of mono/fluoro for a leader as well as making sure you are across the different styles of knots to avoid failure (knots have a tendency to slip with braid if not tied correctly). The other thing to take note of when fishing with braid is line management. Loose loops of braid on a spool can cause all sorts of problems, and as if by some form of magic, very complicated bird nests of braid can seemingly come from nowhere!

Eaten on ‘the pause’.

Ultra light tackle can mean big fish. Mono/fluoro on the other hand is very easy to manage, great to tie knots in and doesn’t require the use of additional leaders. Fluorocarbon would be my pick as it generally has less stretch and is also less visible in the water than Monofilament line. This line will not have the sensitivity of braid and lure action and fish strikes will much more subtle. Due to the extra stretch in this line, I find it important to strike fish much harder to ensure hooks are driven home to avoid fish being dropped. Fluorocarbon is much easier to manage on your reel than braid and great to have set up on rods that will be used by younger children or less experienced anglers. Getting back to fishing; the areas we have found to be most productive at Four Springs are generally the shallow weedy edges along the Eastern and Southern shores. The lures we use run down to around three feet so our main focus will be depths between one to two metres. Something I’ve picked up recently, when casting lures, is that once your lure has it the water just draw your rod slightly to swim the lure down and then pause for a second or two. Often fish will come and investigate the disturbance and keeping your lure in the vicinity will often spark interest. After pausing I will retrieve these lures with a slow wind and pulse my rod to impart extra action. Throw a couple of twitches and pauses in and you’ll be onto the fish in no time! Fishing this depth of

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Fishing News - Page 47


water amongst the weed makes for great sport on 3-4lb line and the fish will definitely keep you honest which makes it a much more enjoyable experience than if you were using heavier gear. A handy tip for those who fish hard body lures is to always check that they swim straight in the water the first time you use them. Just every once in a while you will find a lure may swim off to one side which will also not see them running at their correct depth. This can be easily rectified with a small pair of pliers by bending the towing eye of the lure in the opposite direction that it is swimming. A small adjustment makes a big difference so don’t go too heavy! For those heading to Four Springs, the rules are a little different from other waters, so here are a few things to be aware of: • Minimum Size for Brown/Rainbow Trout is 300mm • Bag limit of 5 fish • Combined bag limit of 5 fish can only contain 2 fish exceeding 500mm • Angling is permitted from 1 hour before sunrise to 3 hours after sunset • Maximum speed limit of 5 knots applies to the whole lake Just a reminder to all anglers; don’t forget to purchase your inland fishing licence. It may sound obvious, but it is an easy oversight and not one you want to be thinking about when an IFS inspector greets you at your car after your day fishing! As a side note, we will be having a Facebook competition for the opening month of Trout season with some great prizes on offer – details will be put up on our Facebook page: Sherriff Agencies Recreational. Also if you see us out on the water on opening day come and say hello (we’ll be in the white side console Bar Crusher). You never know, we may even have a few freebies on board? Matt Sherriff

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IFS REPORT IFS REPORT TO ANGLERS ALLIANCE STOCKING REPORT AND MORE

Trout Weekend 2017

Trout Weekend 2017 was a huge success. The festivities were not dampened by the heavy rain or wind on the Saturday. All this did was push visitors to the undercover exhibits. The rain also made the trout run even stronger. The display sheds were a hive of activity as old friends and new came together to talk trout and fishing. On the Sunday the wind dropped right out and the warm sun encouraged everyone outside. The kids fishing ponds were as popular as ever and were again well supported by the Fishcare volunteer team. Over 2000 people came along and enjoyed the activities and to see the brown trout on their spawning run.

Water Blackmans Lagoon Big Waterhouse South Riana Carter Lakes Paget Botsford Rocky Duncan Leake Tooms Crescent Penstock Dee Lagoon Leake Tooms Camerons Brushy Pet Dam Dulverton Dulverton Lamberts Dam - Railton Rossarden Brushy Craigbourne Dam Bradys Lake Penstock Crescent Four Springs

Date May-17 May-17 May-17 May-17 May-17 May-17 May-17 May-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 Jun-17 April - June 2017 April - June 2017 May - June 2017

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

Stock domestic domestic Wild Wild Wild Wild Wild Wild Wild Wild Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Wild Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Domestic Wild Wild Wild Wild

Number 500 500 3,000 200 50 100 100 70 2,000 1,200 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 60 900 2,500 110 450 450 450 200 340 205 3,324 3,006 6,540

Origin HAC, Bridport HAC, Bridport Salmon Ponds Liawenee Liawenee Liawenee Liawenee Liawenee Liawenee Tumbledown HAC, Millybrook HAC, Millybrook HAC, Millybrook HAC, Millybrook HAC, Millybrook Liawenee HAC, Bridport HAC, Millybrook Liawenee Fish out ponds HAC, Bridport HAC, Bridport HAC, Bridport Petuna Aquaculture Petuna Aquaculture King William trap Liawenee, Tumbledown and Scotch Bobs Liawenee, Sandbanks, Tumbledown and Scotch Bobs Liawenee, Sandbanks and Tumbledown

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

Weight (g) 210 210 15 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 745 310 310 310 310 310 1000 230 310 1000 250 250 250 4000 4000 500 745-1000 745-1000 745-1000

Fishing News - Page 49


Brown trout spawning run and transfers

The 2017 brown trout adult transfers began in April with the transfer of 502 fish from the Liawenee trap to Penstock Lagoon. Good rains at Liawenee on the Saturday of Trout Weekend (20 May) fired up the spawning run with fish arriving “en masse”. At 24 May 2017 we have transferred 9 413 brown trout from yingina/Great Lake. See chart opposite.

Community Infrastructure Fund

At Trout Weekend 2017 Ministers Rockliff and Barnett announced five projects had been successful in gaining a combined $161,700 in funding from the Community Infrastructure Fund. Projects include construction of unisex universal access toilets at Arthurs Lake, Penstock Lagoon and Bronte Lagoon, covered seating and barbecue facilities at Arthurs Lake and the construction of a universally accessible angling platform at Four Springs Lake.

Carp Report 2017

The Carp Management Program (CMP) held its annual workshop on 10 May - looking over the past year’s work and planning for the coming year. Dr. Sean Tracey, a Senior Research Fellow from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, provided an independent review of the workshop and helped develop the plan for the coming year. Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff, came to the workshop and was given an update.

The Minister is supportive of CMP and his words of encouragement were appreciated by the team. The day involved presentations from staff on all aspects of work during the last year. This gave everyone an understanding of how the CMP is progressing, the findings for the season, what we did well, what can be improved and the plan for the coming season. Key findings from the carp workshop were: • No carp were detected in Lake Crescent or downstream in the River Clyde. • Carp remain contained to Lake Sorell. • No spawning or small carp were found in Lake Sorell. • We fished hard in 2016-17 and caught around half as many carp as last year. This suggests the population has fallen greatly. • Studies of the “jelly gonad” disease which causes sterility is now affecting 50% of the male carp. • Over 41 330 carp have been removed from Lake Sorell since 1995. • Less than 1% of the original population remains. The plan for the coming year: • Jelly gonad diseased carp will be used as transmitter fish over the 2017-18 season to assist in spawning prevention and fish down. • Be prepared for spawning conditions in spring 2017 (i.e. rising water levels combined with warm settled weather in spring).

• If the conditions are right carp will push inshore to marsh areas. This makes them easier to catch in nets and traps and we could catch most of the carp left in the lake.

Anglers Access – Neil Morrow

River access South Esk Anglers Access Project Work on the South Esk Anglers Access project is progressing well. Installation is being undertaken at key sites throughout the catchment. Recent work includes the development of kayak launching sites at Clarendon and Entally. Work is expected to be completed during June. The new Anglers Access brochure should be available in time for the 2017-18 angling season. River Leven Vegetation Project The willow and weed removal work and burning was completed under the guidance of John Broomby and Pete Stronach upstream of Hobbs bridge on the River Leven. Replanting and follow up weed control is scheduled for spring 2017. Four Springs Lake maintenance We have undertaken essential maintenance to the dam wall and car park at Four Springs Lake. Wattle saplings and other vegetation were removed from the dam wall and crest. Trees in the car park have been lopped and trimmed and dead trees removed. This has increased the available parking space considerably. Meander Valley Council made a successful application to the Community Infrastructure Fund to establish an accessible angling platform on the eastern side of Four Springs Lake for shore based anglers. This will be constructed in coming months.

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Anglers access flood damage Residual flood damage to anglers access infrastructure on the River Leven and Mersey River is being repaired as conditions permit and repairs to fencing and replacement bridges are completed. Stiles were recently reinstalled at Marshalls Bridge (Leven) and Lamberts Road and Miles Ford bridges (Mersey). Anglers access maintenance inspections Inspections and maintenance work on anglers access infrastructure has been completed on the Tyenna and North Esk rivers and is partially complete on the River Derwent.

Recreational Boating Fund applications

Three Recreational Boating Fund applications have been submitted by the IFS. • Lake Rowallan boat ramp upgrade. This application has been supported financially by Hydro Tasmania. • Little Pine Lagoon boat ramp upgrade. This application has been supported financially by Hydro Tasmania. • Navigation Lights Maintenance. Application for replacement batteries and parts for routine navigation light maintenance. It is expected that successful projects will be announced in July 2017.

Boat Ramp and navigation lights maintenance

IFS repaired erosion damage at the Tods Corner boat ramp and repaired navigation lights at Pumphouse Bay (Arthurs Lake) and Woods Lake after reports were received from anglers that they were not operating. The IFS has also received reports that lights at Darwin Dam (Lake Burbury) and Lake Binney are faulty or damaged. These will be repaired over winter. The damaged light at Lake Echo is yet to be repaired. Woods Lake boat ramp undergoing repairs to the break wall We have also undertaken repairs to erosion of the break wall at Woods Lake boat ramp.

Anglers Access brochures and signs

A new version (Edition 5) of the Western Lakes brochure is now available from the Inland Fisheries Service (IFS) and Anglers Alliance Tasmanian (AAT) websites or in printed copy. The new edition includes the new contact details for Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) track information and boating regulation changes on Lake Fergus. There have also been some minor amendments to the brochure’s map. The Anglers Access information panels at Lake Augusta Road, Liawenee, have been updated to match the new brochure.

Tasmanian Inland Recreational Fishery Management Plan 2018-28

It is our vision to have sustainable, vibrant and healthy inland fisheries that are the envy of Australia and the world.

The Tasmanian Inland Recreational Fishery Management Plan 2018-28 (2018-28 Plan) will be a guiding document for the Inland Fisheries Service (IFS) in managing the recreational trout fishery. It will outline measures to support the sustainability of fisheries and encourage participation. The 2018-28 Plan will also seek to balance the needs for individual fishery management while looking to group like fisheries and simplify regulations. For the last ten years, the Inland Fisheries Service has managed the fishery under the guidance of the Tasmanian Inland Recreational Fishery Management Plan 2008-2018 (2008-18 Plan). The process for developing the 2018-28 Plan begins with the release of an Issues Paper: Proposals for the Tasmanian Inland Recreational Fishery Management Plan 2018-28 (Issues Paper). This discusses proposed changes to regulation and policy including changes that we have already made since the 2008–18 Plan was adopted. The Issues Paper: Proposals for the Tasmanian Inland Recreational Fishery Management Plan 2018-28 is available from the IFS.

Pest Fish – Rob Freeman

Redfin perch – Pipers River (Karoola) After receiving reports of redfin perch being caught by anglers from Pipers River near Karoola, we conducted a survey to examine the range and number of redfin perch. Unfortunately, redfin perch were found in moderate numbers over a 17 km stretch. It is likely they have spread from multiple locations. Given this wide occurrence and the number present in the river, eradication is not possible. Following further surveys of the redfin perch population in the Mersey River and Parramatta Creek, it was decided to begin a program to remove them. Firstly, this meant eradicating the source population in a dam at the head of Parramatta Creek. This involved the draining down of the dam and then treatment with the fish specific toxicant, Rotenone. In early May the treatment was carried out with several hundred redfin perch and some eels being killed. This treatment is the first step in hopefully removing redfin perch from this system. Subsequent surveys early next summer will determine if it is still feasible to continue with this program. Cherax destructor eradication – Lake Lynch Earlier this year an angler reported the possible presence of ‘yabbies’ (introduced mainland freshwater crayfish) in the small waterhole near the junction of Poatina Road and Highland Lakes Road, locally known as Lake Lynch. Initial surveys confirmed these were the introduced mainland yabby, Cherax destructor. This species is listed as a Controlled Fish under the Inland Fisheries Act making it illegal to fish for or be in possession of any Cherax species. As the population was close to several central highland waters that are valued fisheries and have high conservation values, a decision was made to eradicate this population. The Service has since carried out small scale eradication by poisoning this population using a fish specific product. While yabbies are notoriously hard to eradicate, early signs are this action has been successful. Anglers should also be aware that nearby Arthurs Lake has a population of freshwater crayfish

(Astacopsis franklinii), but these are a native species that look similar to the mainland yabby.

Compliance - Stephen Hepworth

Compliance statistics from 1/7/16 to 12/5/17 • 4 008 angling licences inspected • 101 whitebait licences inspected • Nine whitebait nets seized • 24 freshwater crayfish nets and 4 baited lines seized • Two grab all nets seized • 64 prosecution offences listed for 11 defendants in the Magistrates Court • Five defendants have been convicted of 10 offences. • Six further defendants are to appear for plea, hearing and sentencing on 54 charges • Infringement, Conditional and Formal Cautions issued for 115 offences. • $8 076 in court fines and special penalties. • $19 776 in infringement notice fines. • $27 852 in fines from all sources. • One convicted whitebait offender served with “Notice of Disqualification” from holding a recreational whitebait licence for five years until 2021. Prosecution Offences (Magistrates Court) 2016-17 Possess or use net other than landing net or seine net at inland waters 21 Take whitebait without a whitebait licence 13 Fail to comply with Ministerial order under the Inland Fisheries Act 1995 relating to the taking of whitebait 12 Possess whitebait without a whitebait licence 6 Abuse inland fisheries officer 2 Mislead inland Fisheries Officer 2 Threaten inland fisheries officer 2 Possess assembled rod, reel and line at inland waters without licence 1 Possess freshwater crayfish 1 Possess product of protected wildlife without authority 1 Take excess whitebait 1 Take fish from inland waters by means other than rod and line 1 Take protected wildlife without authority 1 Total 64 Infringement Notice, Conditional and Formal Caution Offences 2016-17 Taking acclimatised or indigenous fish without an angling licence 33 Possessing assembled rod, reel and line without an angling licence 26 Possess controlled fish 4 Possess or use net other than landing net or seine net at inland waters 4 Not complying with Ministerial order about taking fishclosed water 3 Take fish from inland waters by means other than rod and line 2

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Fishing News - Page 51


Using bottle jar, can or similar object to indicate movement in the rod and line 2 Using part of fish as bait to take fish in inland waters not subject to tidal movement 2 Fishing with more rods and lines than endorsed on licence 1 Taking fish with unattended set rod 1 Using natural bait in specified waters 1 Fail to wear PFD on vessel under 6 metres while underway 35 Fail to store safety equipment in good order 1 Total 115

Hatchery & Stocking – Brett Mawbey

Brown trout The 2017 brown trout spawning migration has commenced in earnest. At 24 May 2017 we have transferred 11 328 brown trout from yingina/Great Lake. (Updated in chart opposite). Conditions have been welcome with smaller, more manageable, rain events as opposed to last season deluge. The run started in April with a steady trickle of fish into the Liawenee and Sandbanks traps on yingina/ Great Lake. Now fish have arrived in large numbers at these two locations as well as the Arthurs Lake traps.

To date (latest details @ www.ifs.tas.gov.au) • Penstock Lagoon has received 2 458 brown trout from the Liawenee trap, • Lake Crescent has received 2 375 fish so far. • Four Springs Lake has received 1 900 fish from the Liawenee trap and 1 090 from the Sandbanks trap – totaling 2 990 so far. • Lake Leake has received 1 000 adipose clipped fish from the Liawenee trap. The average size of fish this year from the yingina/ Great Lake spawning run is around 1kg, consistent with previous years. All fish are in excellent condition. The fish have just started to run at Arthurs Lake with 2 330 fish moving through the trapped so far. Of these 508 fish were released upstream in line with our policy that all fish over 400mm will be put through to spawn. The average weight at Tumbledown is averaging 742 grams which is up on last year’s average of 522 grams. The fish are yet to arrive at the Lake King William trap. This will be the first year the trap is operational and lake level and flows are in our favour so we are expecting large numbers of fish. The fish from Lake King William trap will be used to stock Bradys Lake as a priority. Approximately 150 000 brown trout eggs from yingina/Great Lake were harvested and fertilized to be hatched and reared at the Salmon Pond. These fish will be stocked out as fry and destined for private dams

open to public fishing predominantly in the north-west region and other public waters. For more information on anything you’ve read in this report, please get in touch with us. You can phone 1300 463 474 or email infish@ifs.tas.gov.au

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Fishing News - Page 52

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Arthurs Lake performance graph 2013-17

One of the many over 400mm that has been released upstream to spawn in Tumbledown Creek

More information about Penstock Lagoon

It is estimated that 3 323 anglers fished Penstock lagoon during the 2015-16 season (Angler Postal Survey result) making it the fourth most popular fishery after yingina/Great Lake (6 211), Arthurs Lake (5 369), and Woods Lake (3 868). This is significant given the small size of Penstock Lagoon given that is has a a surface area of 1.3km2. At full supply level yingina/Great Lake has 135 times, Arthurs Lake 49.68 times and Woods Lake approximately10 times the surface area of Penstock Lagoon. Mark and recapture sur veys in 2014 and 2016 estimated a brown trout population of 6 400 and 14 000 respectively. The survey shows that the population is small and variable. At the moment Penstock Lagoon has a three (3) fish bag limit. Catch and release is common but the high number of anglers plus the bag limit of three (3) fish still has the potential to deplete the trout population. In 2016, our survey showed there were few fish larger than 500mm and no fish bigger than 600mm. The use of tighter regulation around bag limits is seen as the best way to keep this fishery sustainable. The goal for this fishery is to produce large brown and rainbow trout at moderate catch rates (approximately 1 – 1.5 fish per angler per day).

ULVERSTONE

More information about Arthurs Lake

Since the depth of the last drought in 2008/09, the Arthurs Lake fishery compared to previous seasons has been disappointing. Catch rates have been down and the size of fish has been small. This may however be starting to change. Over the past five years, we have undertaken two surveys (2013 & 2016), as well as monitoring the spawning run each year, in addition to tracking anglers’ catch rates and the total harvest of brown trout. Indications are the fisher y is improving, both in terms of the size and number of brown trout. A comparison of the survey results from 2013 and 2016, in conjunction with monitoring this years spawning run, suggests the lake is now holding fish from a range of sizes. Back in 2013 just 10% of the fish were 400 mm or greater, this compares to 34%. for 2016 . Monitoring of the spawning run this year indicates just over 50% of the fish are now 400 mm or greater. The graphs above show how the fishery is changing, and while the 2017 information is from the spawning run only, it shows a real improvement. We are confident this will show in the catches for the coming season.

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Fishing News - Page 53


The Leven

The Leven slide on camper is constructed from light weight fibreglass panel and has outstanding insulation properties. The aerodynamic shape of the Leven not only looks great, but is functional saving you fuel on those long road trips. The electric powered roof gives the Leven it’s stylish exterior and the camper is able to be used even with the roof down. Security features in the Leven include the Aussie Traveller security door, and double glazed windows with triple lock down points that ensure a strong and durable seal. The quality fitted interior is designed to allow the maximum use of space. The features include a pull out table which can be stored when not needed and comfortable face to face seating in a choice of durable fashion fabrics. The sleek kitchen design features overhead storage, plenty of draws, and a choice of gas or electric hotplate. A fridge is also included in the camper so you will have everything you need including the kitchen sink.

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Fishing News - Page 54

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Fishing News - Page 55


Know your lifejacket

Better safety and facilities for Tasmanian boaters

Incorrectly worn or fitted lifejackets may not work effectively Make sure yours; • Fits • Is serviced regularly • You know how to use it • If it is inflatable - is it auto or manual inflate? Explain that to the crew

Scan the QR code above or go to www. mast.tas.gov.au to see MAST’s lifejacket awareness video. Incorrectly worn or fitted lifejackets may not work effectively

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Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News Issue 128 2017 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 128 2017 August  

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