When you fish with us we take you to all the best places
There’s an art to knowing where to head to for a day’s fishing in Tasmania, with its changing seasons and often mercurial weather.
Every quiet lake with sheltered bays, every rocky coastline and tranquil stream offers a superb and memorable experience – if you pick the right day. For each of the following special places in the landscape of northern Tasmania, Peter has a bone-deep understanding of when each will offer up its treasures and a knack for knowing where to head to on the day.
The Tamar River offers a large variety of fish species: flathead, bream, snapper, trevally, sharks, rays, black back salmon, K G whiting, mullet and many others.
The scenery of the Tamar Valley is a big plus while fishing with many wineries along its banks.
Photo courtesy of Richard Stong Photography
Although not renowned for its trout fishing, some lakes and streams in the Cradle Mountain area produce good trout fishing for both brown and rainbow trout. All methods of fishing will catch fish in the most beautiful surroundings.
A man-made reservoir in the Central Highlands, Arthurs Lake is probably the state’s premier trout fishery. There is good fly-fishing in both wet and dry conditions, and lure fishing is popular here. Sight fishing is at its best over the summer months and there are reliable mayfly hatches encouraging fish to the surface. The lake’s many sheltered bays offer excellent fishing on days with light winds and cloud cover.
A short drive from Arthurs is Woods Lake, a shallow body of water perfect for all types of fishing from springtime to the end of the season. Shallow weed beds coat the lake, housing large superbly conditioned fish. Fly fishing and lure fishing, drift spinning and soft plastics result in heavy catch bags all year round. Cloudy days and light winds are the best conditions.
The largest of Tasmania’s Central Highland lakes, Great Lake is an outstanding location for polaroiding for fish, with both brown and rainbow trout averaging 2-3 pounds. For the experienced fly-fisherman or woman, midge, beetles and grasshopper provide reliable ‘dry fly’ sport. Winds travelling across the lake’s surface provide ‘wind lane’ fishing as good as it gets on the right days. Casting and trolling with lures can result in large catches of trout. The best fishing at Great Lake is to be had on cloud-free days during the summer months.
Penstock is a very shallow water measuring only two and a half metres at its deepest point. Both wet and dry fly fishing are very popular in this classic fly fishing spot, with some of the best and most consistent mayfly hatches on the Central Highlands. Both Brown and Rainbow Trout are present in Penstock, and the red spinner mayfly will bring them right to the shoreline. The lake is surrounded by trees and can be fished even on very windy days. Bright days are superb for spinner hatches and polaroiding the waters for fish.
LITTLE PINE LAGOON
‘The Pine’ is a legend in Tasmanian fishing. Large mayfly hatches in most seasons result in superbly conditioned trout feeding in the shallow weed beds, an unforgettable experience. Seasoned anglers return to the Pine repeatedly to pit their skills against these educated fish. The lake is open and exposed to the elements, making windless days the best conditions to visit.
At the edge of the Western Lakes, the Nineteen Lagoons are very popular with anglers and rightly so. The shallow lagoons and tarns offer great polaroiding opportunity on bright sunny days, and ‘tailing trout’ are often found early in the season when water levels are high. The dry fly fishing is at its best here, with the size of fish varying, some lakes holding fish up to ten pounds. These are challenging waters and any catch is an achievement in itself.
ST PATRICK'S RIVER
A freestone stream running through farmland and state forest just east of Launceston, St Patricks is Peter’s favourite stream. He grew up on its banks casting flies to beautiful little speckled trout. The average fish is around twelve inches in length, but there are much larger fish as well. Small mayflies, caddis and beetles provide great sport as well as occasional caterpillar invasions and grasshoppers in the late summer, all attracting many fish. Wading is a pleasure in this river, but to fool the larger specimens staying dry is the secret.
The experience of polaroiding cruising fish over lush weed beds makes Brumbys Creek another of Peter’s favourite waters. The creek offers a wealth of choices for beginners and skilled anglers, both fly and nymph fishing, mayfly hatches in spring and autumn and low waters resulting in fish ‘tailing’, exposing their backs and tails in the shallows. Peter’s expertise comes to the fore in such a location. He will encourage you to use a stealthy approach on Brumbys. For experienced lure fishermen and women, Brumbys’ fast running water and slow glides are popular.
SOUTH ESK RIVER
A great fishery with many fish in its head waters around the town of Mathinna in Tasmania’s north east, the river runs through the Fingal Valley and heads towards Launceston over flat stretches of land. Great sight fishing can be depended upon here, with fish rising freely in the waters. Hopper season brings larger trout out of the deep waters to feed on grasshoppers at the water’s edge. The South Esk caters for all types of fishing, with dry fly, nymph and wet fly as well as spinning and bait fishing ever popular.
NORTH ESK RIVER
A lovely river to the north east of Launceston, the head waters of the North Esk around Blessington lend themselves to good sport especially when caddisfly and grasshopper seasons. In the summer months, the fish are a little larger than those in other waterways. Nymph fishing, bait and spinning are popular here with local anglers.
CREEKS OF THE NORTH EAST
Wading up the many tiny creeks after plentiful trout in the north east of Tasmania remains one of Peter’s favourite pastimes and could soon be yours. Besides ample catches, there is the bonus of wildlife encounters, with wallabies, wombats, echidnas and even platypus.