After a long, wet and cold winter we finally have some consistent dry fly action around the Launceston area.
Around 30 minutes was all I had up my sleeve. Not long I know, but being in the vicinity of Four Springs on a muggy sort of day I popped along the road to see if there was any action in the mayfly department. I strolled along the new jetty with rod in hand, you know, just in case.
A few lonely duns sailed past in the breeze as I cast a team of two flies aimlessly about in the hope something would see it. Splash! I turn around to see that a fish has taken a natural off the surface between to the two jetties and right on the boat ramp! Right on cue, a car and trailer had begun its descent down the ramp, surely ruining my opportunity. Once the boat had launched another quickly came in and loaded his boat onto the trailer. Not two minutes had passed and I was drifting my two flies down a small wind lane – Splash! It’s the same fish; it has smashed something on the boat ramp again! I covered the rise as best as I could but to no avail.
With only ten minutes left I strapped on a Woolly Bugger and began blind flogging out the front while another keen angler promptly dumped his tub in the drink and chuffed away in a puff of smoke. My time was up and I had to go so I started reeling in when believe it or not, this fish smashed another dun smack-bang on the ramp.
You’ve got to be kidding! Just when you think you have them sussed out a little, they throw those thoughts back in your smug mug! Clearly I tried to catch it, but if this fish is smart enough to wait under a jetty until the chaos has cleared before continuing to feed, then that fish is far too smart for a punter like me!
Thankfully, not all surface encounters have been quite as bizarre. The mayfly have been happily popping away on selected days at Four Springs with anglers finding rising fish more consistent closer to dark, but others have experienced prolonged activity on overcast days.
Sizes have been a mixed bag; from average 1-1.5kg browns with a few 1kg rainbows in the mix, and more often than not regular visitors are coming away with at least one encounter with a 2-3kg fish. Activity will only increase into early November when the mayfly hatches will be at their peak. Red-letter days here are really something to experience. Be prepared to share the water if these fall on a weekend!
Waters of a saltier kind have been producing great sea-run trout. Reports of trophy fish from a couple of Northern estuarine rivers, including the Great Forester continue to keep punters coming back to these challenging waters.
After numerous missions there, I’m yet to land one after having a couple on. A real sucker for punishment! A couple of dudes fishing a range of soft plastics and hardbodies have been doing well on the sea runners on the North Esk anywhere from Corra Linn to its confluence with the Tamar. Bait have been thick here in the past few weeks and in many Northern rivers signalling healthy stocks of whitebait – a fish that was once under serious threat due to over-fishing.
This ensures that the whitebait event will hopefully continue to enchant anglers for years to come! Some people have been struggling in the tailrace with plenty of bait but limited action. All was revealed when Sammy the seal popped his head up for a breather! Seals have become common at this time of year as the baitfish encourage a lengthy food chain.
The South Esk River has been firing for those willing to search out stretches rarely frequented. Local legend Matt Davern has a few secret spots up his sleeve and manages to regularly pull fish to 2.5kg. It was my intention to potentially kidnap him to find out the locations but perhaps it’s his willingness to use lures as big as 120mm that brings him success!
In any case, this river has good fish along its entirety with the middle reaches being real hot spots, but sometimes notoriously difficult to gain access to.
I know I’ve mentioned access before, but if you’re finding it difficult to find a suitable location for a leisurely fish, be sure to check out Angler Access Tasmania (http://www.anglersalliance.org.au/access.html) for information on access points for; Meander, Macquarie, South Esk and Leven rivers not to mention Brumbys Creek and Lake River as well as many other great spots around the state. Especially handy if you’re visiting Tasmania for the first time or planning a future trip.
The good old St Patricks River has been interesting so far, with some runs proving difficult with the dry fly. After persisting with the dry and getting just a couple, many have found that tying a nymph dropper has proven much more fruitful.
I reckon that as we head into November and December they will be scoffing dry flies flat out, which will be handy in the long hours of daylight after work. Daylight savings rocks!Reads: 1959