Trout on anglers minds and bream go mad, tuna arrive
  |  First Published: March 2013

Late summer and early autumn are generally the most settled times for our Tasmanian weather.

In the lower highland lakes some of the best gum beetle falls along with those infamous jassids are the times I enjoy the most, Dee Lagoon comes to mind as a favourite. Further south it’s the grasshopper fishing I remember fondly. Probably not as widely known as their northern counterparts are our southern streams all within a short drive of the Hobart suburbs.

The Styx and Plenty Rivers are two of the streams I grew up fishing on the weekends and after school. The fishing was always enjoyable and catching ‘hoppers before we started all part of the fun. And not too many fussy trout would refuse a nice juicy ‘hopper floating down stream on a warm sunny day.

Of course today we have some excellent imitations that too are very deadly on the stream fish. Even so back then I used to use a fly rod with a length of line, just long enough to prospect each pool, drifting the ‘hopper out of the head of the run, along current lines and under the willows or undercut banks.

The Styx we used to tackle from above the first weir. These days permission is required, opening up kilometres of fishable water holding a good head of your average stream fish from takeable size to around 500-600g. The odd good fish was about at 900g or so but generally it was just fun catching them and returning to the water.

The Plenty also requires permission to access and is one water that receives very little attention these days. I for one have been very keen to revisit the water I grew up on and developed my love of fishing. While fish here were usually similar to those in the Styx there was also the chance to land and escapee from the Salmon Ponds although these were very few and far between. Some excellent runs and pools are to be found in the mid reaches above The Ponds and also downstream below Redlands to the river mouth as it enters the Derwent.

Back in the Derwent it’s the big bream the river is famous for that has once again been delivering the goods. The fishing has been exceptional so far over summer and there has been a good number of big fat fish present. I landed two 43cm fork length fish over the recent holidays, something I haven’t managed to crack for a while. I think we might see some records tumble when the ABT rolls in to town provided we don’t get too much rain in the interim. It’s been enjoyable fishing too with all the good fish falling to hardbodied lures which I personally find far more exciting than fishing soft plastics.

Out in the big blue it’s just that what we are all hoping for, a big season on the southern bluefin tuna. The Tasman Peninsula was hit hard by fires and all industries in the south east need the public to return in droves. The charter operators are hopeful of a big season and fully booked boats will help to no end.

At the time of writing last year’s marlin bonanza has not returned. While there’s still time the season for them will be shorter than last which was the best in living memory with multiple sightings and hook-ups for many boats. The boat ramp and limited car parking was stretched further than any time I can recall so let’s hope we can all get back done there and support the local businesses.

The best thing you can do is buy your gear on the way. Grab some snacks and drinks at the local and don’t forget the ice. It all helps the people who were hardest hit and gets them back on their feet.

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