It's amazing how much can change within a few days in Tasmania.
Launceston had an incredibly warm and dry summer period and March was much the same with around nine days in a row over 30C - this is autumn I tell you! Within three days of rain finally appearing at the end of March, green hues once again began to penetrate the landscape.
Part of that landscape included a few rising rivers that were well overdue with a flush. Mount Barrow received close to 100mm towards the end of March and this area feeds into the headwaters of the St Patricks, North Esk and Great Forester rivers. Launceston received around 40mm in the same period. This bodes well for the health of these fisheries and even more so when you consider that the remaining fish, already hounded by persistent cormorants, need to feed up prior to spawning. It goes without saying that the rains will assist the trout in reaching ideal spawning habitat.
Fishing-wise, anglers experienced some great fishing soon after the rains with nymphs out fishing the dry fly at 10:1. Fishing under the water will often bring many more undone, but sometimes it not just about numbers.
Flying ants made themselves known in many regions and as I write, a great swarm of them are hovering above the bushes outside my window - a great sign to head to the water! (Which is exactly what I did that evening). Tiny pale mayflies triggered some activity on the Macquarie River in particular, and no doubt other waters like the Meander and Mersey have been similar.
Alas the rivers have drawn to a close and we now contemplate the missed opportunities of season 2012-13 and plan for all-conquering expeditions come the re-opening of the season in August.
Anglers Alliance Tasmania will soon be announcing some great access points on the Mersey River in readiness for the 2013/14 season. Infrastructure including signage and stiles has commenced around the Latrobe, Warrawee, Mersealea and Kimberly regions and will be complete soon. A brochure on the available access points will be up and running by July. I plan to fish these sections and will report back.
The boat ramp at Huntsman Lake remains closed due to low levels but with recent rains, I suspect that it won't be long before its back open. Keep an eye on this one as Huntsman is one of the few options open all year round when season closes April 28.
Check your angling code and plan a mission to one of the designated rainbow waters still open until June 2. One such water is Lake Rowallan - it experiences significant drawdowns at times but is a magnificent fishery bound to excite when you hook one if those fit and feisty rainbows.
Big lures and bulky wet flies will work well at this time of year. There's also a chance of early morning midge feeders following those crisp, still nights.
Aside from that, it's time to drag out the fly tying materials, clean the gear, light the fire and sip on something to warm the cockles of yer 'art.Reads: 1326