August is one of the most eagerly anticipated times on the whole Tasmanian angling calendar. This is for one reason and one reason only and that is the opening of the trout season. It is generally a wet and cold proposition but there is nothing like heading out for that first cast of the new season.
Apart from the trout (is there any other fish?) the big blue nosed black bream are still an excellent option, and schools of Australian salmon are always there for the taking.
The trout season for brown trout waters opens on 6 August and as usual, it will see hundreds if not thousands of keen anglers hitting the streams and lakes of Tasmania in the hope of landing the first fish of the season.
The lowland streams have benefited from a procession of wet days, and while we still haven’t seen a really big flood yet, there is enough fresh in the rivers to get post-spawned browns really looking for action.
In the lowland rivers such as the South Esk, Macquarie, Meander and the bottom reaches of the North Esk the humble worm drifted along undercut banks and into back eddies is as effective method of catching trout as any.
For the lure angler small revolving bladed lures such as the Celta are good, but explore the slower moving water first rather than the rapids. The rapids will get better as the water warms up. Soft plastic lures, such as 2” Mojo Grubs, work very well in these streams as well.
If we do get a good flood in the first month of the season and it spills into backwaters, the trout fishing can be fantastic. Rivers such as the Meander and South Esk are terrific for this style of fishing, and for the flyfishers it can be the first real sight fishing of the season. A small dark Fur Fly or small black beetle fished wet can do the damage, as can a size 10 Robin cast up into the gutters and side channels.
In the highlands the winter has been very mild indeed with very little snow and only enough rain to get the fish spawned. This is an opportunity for good fishing right from the very start, as the water will be a little warmer and the fish a little more advanced in their feeding habits.
Waters such as Arthurs Lake are very reliable early in the season, as are Bronte Lagoon, Brady’s and Binney, especially with the thousands of brook trout stocked there last autumn. Early season trollers usually fish quite deep, and smart flyfishers using deep sinking fly lines, such as Scientific Anglers type 3 and 4, will get down to some lovely fish. These fish are predominantly feeding on scud and snails, with a smattering of galaxia as well.
In Great Lake the galaxia feeders are usually well and truly on song, especially along the south western corner of the lake and along to the dam wall. Current low conditions will improve this water, although scenically it leaves a lot to be desired!
Tailing trout will become a feature on some of the lower waters such as Leake and Four Springs, with Tooms Lake always a very reliable place to start the season.
In the saltwater bream are still the mainstay of the estuary fishing with Australian salmon increasingly becoming apparent along the surf beaches.
Sea run brown trout are another option for big estuaries such as the Derwent, and the smaller North East estuaries also house some really huge fish as well.
Neil Grose is a flyfishing guide based at Rainbow Lodge in the Tasmanian Central Highlands. Neil and his team of specialised guides can offer tailored fishing packages for highland lakes, lowland rivers including raft-based flyfishing, and estuary fishing for bream and other great sport fish. Check out the website www.flyguide.com.au or call Neil and Nicole on (03) 6259 8330 for more details.Reads: 489