From the Archives ...

Salmonoids in Southern Tasmania

by Joe Thureau

In the early days of European settlement in Tasmania, the settlers were disappointed that the only freshwater fish available to them were the Australian grayling, river blackfish and some small galaxias. Their dream, in those early days, was to introduce the magnificent Atlantic salmon into some of our streams, many of which were considered to be perfectly suitable for those great sporting fish.

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When you have finished for the day, why not have a brag about the ones that didn't get away! Send Mike an article on your fishing (Click here for contact details), and we'll get it published here. Have fun fishing - tasfish.com

Please check all relevant authorities before fishing.
htttp://www.ifs.tas.gov.au and http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/sea-fishing-aquaculture/recreational-fishing
Don't forget http://issuu.com/stevenspublishing for years of back issues !

2017 04 19 My best fish for some time 1 2kg brownAnother warm afternoon saw me head of to Merseylea for a late session on the Mersey River to see if I can add a few more trout to my seasons tally of 577 after yesterdays catch of four trout.

When I arrived to where I was going to fish I spotted a car already there so I headed of to another spot at Merseylea only to find the same thing. I was thinking about just heading of home when I thought I would try a section of river at Kimberley where I have gained the land owners permission to enter and fish there. I don't know why I didn't think of heading there in the first place as I always have this stretch of river to myself each time I go there. When I arrived at the river I spotted three trout surface feeding at the tail end of a long wide stretch of water. A quick flick ahead of them with a #00 gold black fury saw it taken in a matter of seconds by a small trout, and that's as long that small trout stayed on as well. Three leaps from the river that little trout tossed the spinner.

Presented from Issue 102, February 2013

Summer is certainly the best time of the year to go fishing around Burnie. With a little well prepared burley, you can catch just about anything! From big silver trevally and salmon to elephant fish and seven gilled sharks, there is something for just about everyone. Red Rock, situated on the western side of Burnie in the suburb of Cooee, is my favourite spot to wet a line around town. Why? The variety. There isn’t that much you cant catch there!

I’ve been fishing at Red Rock and it’s surroundings ever since I was a young whipper- snapper and I don’t think I’ve had so much success anywhere else around Burnie, or along the entire north western coastline for that matter!

102 mick mics mudey brownPresented from Issue 102, February 2013

Mudeye time is anytime

Dragon fly larva, or Mudeyes, as we all know them, comes in two forms loosely known as the couta and bug (Corduliid) mudeyes. The couta is the larger of the two and many species, in fact close to 300 species, are found all over Australia. They are found in mountain streams, inland lakes, marshes and wetlands, in general. What species dominate your local waters? I guess it is up to you to work out; during summer you will see them flying around.

seafish 2017 04 26 craysThe Rock lobster season is closing this weekend

Information from http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/sea-fishing-aquaculture/recreational-fishing

The recreational rock lobster season closes next Monday 1st May 2017 for:

  • all rock lobster in the Eastern Region; and
  • for females in the Western Region.

You must have rock lobster pots and rings off the water in the Eastern Region by midnight on Sunday 30th April. You cannot transit to or from the Western Region around Whale Head with rock lobsters or rock lobster gear on board.

The season for males in the Western Region remains open until 31 August 2017.

102 spinningPresented from Issue 102, February 2013

I began spinning for trout in 1965 in the Finnis River, Yundi, South. Australia, at the age of 19. Now at the age of 67 I am still loving it just as much, if not more than the first time. I now live at Sheffield, Tasmania and spin the rivers in the north, and in my opinion they are some of the best rivers in the State to fish. The Meander, Mersey, Leven, Iris, Vale, Emu and Flowerdale rivers are just a few of the many across the NorthWest to try.

Presented from Issue 102
At an altitude of 1120ms above sea level Lake Mackenzie is one of the highest lakes you can drive to in Tassie. It is the upper most catchment on the Mersey/Forth Hydro scheme, its waters being dammed in the early seventies and diverted via canal and pipe to the Fisher River Power Station. The original Lake Mackenzie, Sandy Lake and Pine Marsh have since become Lake Mackenzie although for most summer months the original bodies of water are obvious.

Please refer here for current information.
http://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/about-us/publications/tasmanian-inland-fishing-code-2016-17

102 big reels aPresented from Issue 102

Spinning reels are coming to market in a new range and size every other day. The Tasmanian Angler is spoilt for choice and it’s a great problem to have. Egg beaters are what we love to call these types of reels and for good reason. We are finding them used for a greater range of fishing styles than just spinning.

102 hopper close upPresented from Issue 102

We all love the onset of summer, don’t we? Warm weather, cold beer and of course dry fly polaroiding for trout. But it’s not only the highland polaroiding that gets me excited at this time of year, because it is also closing in on hopper time on my favourite local streams.

As you wander the edge of your secret stream hotspot take a look in the long dry grass as you go, if you are kicking out a few of the resident grasshoppers then its time for a change of fly boxes. Tuck away that nymph/dry box and bring out the one loaded with big, fat foam flies. I guess you can also have some other hopper style patterns in there as well if you wish, not every fly has to have some foam in it, does it?.

 102 flathead feature
Demi Lambert showing
how it is done

Presented from Issue 102
The humble Flathead is without doubt the Tasmanian anglers most sought after recreational saltwater species.

They can be found virtually anywhere there is a sandy bottom, from our estuaries to our bays, they are easy to catch and as an added bonus, are fabulous on the dinner table as well.

Mike Stevens has asked me to pen a few words together aimed at those that want to start targeting this species and perhaps aren’t really familiar on how to go about it, so here goes.

Species

There are three distinct species of flathead found around Tasmania and perhaps the most common is the southern sand flathead.

102 flathead sandyThey can grow to around 50cm in length and over 2 kg in weight, but due to them having to be around 16 years of age in order to reach this size; fish like these are the exception rather than the rule.

Their colours vary depending on surroundings but they are usually a light brown or mottled pattern on top with a white belly.

101 squidPresented from Issue 101
Squid fishing has become hugely popular in Tasmania in recent times and the start of spring and early summer heralds a new migration of the fish and tasty squid rings on the dinner plate. Whilst we have arrow and calamari squid in Tasmania the target species I am talking about here is calamari.

Presented from Issue 101
Fishing with other people is an interesting experience. Fishing with someone new can be like going on a first date, while a day out with a long time mate is more like putting on a comfortable pair of old shoes. A good thing about fishing with someone else is that you get to learn by watching, which can open your mind up to new ideas and techniques.

Something else that shows through is that how personality and character can influence flyfishing style. Do you know any two people who are exactly the same? You know what it’s like. Among your friends, you might have the energetic, extroverted type, who fills in all the awkward silences, the jester, or the quiet reserved one, who doesn’t say a lot, but when they do, everyone listens (or at least should).

My own circle of fishing buddies is a diverse bunch. We do share set of values and interests - otherwise we wouldn’t be friends I guess. A common love of rivers and streams, wild trout, dry flies, and of course, total catch and release binds us. There are some basics that we all adhere to in terms of technique, but there is a lot of variation in other than key areas. We all catch our share of fish, but don’t count them, certainly not in a “I got five, he got three” type of competitive way.

Here is an insight into my fishing mates, what I’ve learnt from them, and proof that there’s more than one way to skin a trout (so to speak)!

2017 04 17 2017 04 17 735 gram brown mersey riverWith a very light breeze blowing I was in two minds all day whether to go and have a session on the Mersey River or not. Finally around 2:30pm I decided I would go for a late spin session after all. I was in the river by 3:00 pm in what was really good conditions even though the river was running low and clear, not only that I would be fishing in full sun for the first 400 meters of river until I reached the shaded areas on the river. I started off using a hard body for a while without any sign of a trout before I changed to the gold Aglia spinner when I reached a 300 meter shallow fast water stretch of river that varied in depth from (4'' to 6'') 10cms to 20cms.

101 surf fishing salmon fast actionPresented from Issue 101
For as long as people have been coming to the East Coast of Tasmania, surf fishing its beaches has been one of the most popular pastimes. Whilst not always the most productive form of fishing it certainly is one of the most relaxing. Its something that the whole family can be involved in and I have to say its quite something to see a group of families on the beach, dads with a couple of surf rods out, wives sunbaking on the white sand in the sun and the kids either playing happily, building sandcastles or trying their hand at a bit of light surf fishing.

The chance to have a holiday on the beach, put a smile on the children’s face and wet a line at the same just can’t be overrated. Add to that the chance of putting a fresh feed of fish on the dinner table and you have wonder whether heaven could be better than this

All that is need is a basic range of gear, some comfy camp chairs , an esky full of ice, drinks and food — and of course a separate esky for the bait, sunscreen, hat and sunnies and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Many of the East Coasts beaches offer very easy access and often some great free camping facilities right on the beach as well as some light rock fishing in some areas.

2017 04 13 Golden brown... there's still some beauties to be caught - Adrian Webb 2017 04 13

Today I decided to have a trip to a small stream/creek in the upper reaches of Gunns Plains it's one that I haven't fished for six years. The reason I decided to check it out was because I was going back through my diaries and came across a report of one of my trips to it. I have no idea if it's has a name or not as it's one I stumbled onto one day while checking out a few back roads that crossed over small creeks & streams in the area that flow into the Leven River. It's very over grown in most sections and calls for some accurate casting.

101 wigglePresented from Issue 101
Over the last couple of months I have traveled to some of Australia’s most remote red sand country where there were fish in remote billabongs.

These are fed by the northern waters flowing into Lake Eyre Basin. To be invited onto a million acre station catching golden perch (yellow belly) and grunter was a great privilege and is another fishing adventure ticked off.

101 mersey lea rainbowPresented from Issue 101
I am a fly fisher living on the banks of the Mersey River in Latrobe in northern Tasmania. Some, close to me, think I am obsessed. I get to see close hand the cycles of the river and its inhabitants throughout the changing seasons. For me the most exciting time of the trout fishing season is late spring and early summer when the aquatic insects, like the caddis flies, stoneflies and above all the majestic mayfly, are going through their hatching stages. What follows is a story of a spring morning’s fishing on my favourite stream.

101 making trophy headPresented from Issue 101
Catching the fish of a lifetime was one thing, but preserving it as a trophy was going to be another. Since the capture of the massive 147kg Southern Bluefin Tuna which we had now affectionately called ‘Charlie’, the desire to have the fish immortalised grew.

But just how do you freeze a fish head and backbone that weighed over 50 kg and measured over 2 metres long? Most of the flesh had been shared among friends, family and neighbours and in the first week alone it was calculated that over 140 people had eaten a meal from “Charlie”. Some had commented “best sashimi ever” whilst others had preferred the taste of the smaller, tastier, softer school bluefin tuna. Charlie had been grilled, fried, curried, marinated, smoked, baked, battered, mornayed, and yes…even eaten raw.

Presented from Issue 101
It’s warming at last! The weather is becoming more predictable and water temperatures have accordingly risen. Along with this comes the hatches and falls of insects which bring trout to the surface. The sinking lines can be put away for a while and the excitement of top of the water fishing can take its place. Not only does static dry fly come to the fore, but also top of the water loch style techniques particularly on rougher days.

101 kayak troutPresented from Issue 101
Introduction

A kayak can be a very cost effective alternative to purchasing a boat. In terms of fish catching ability, a kayak can also be more effective than a boat. The ability of a kayak to be taken in very shallow water, combined with the kayak’s overall manoeuvrability, are the reasons for this. It is also no secret that often these shallow, hard to reach places also hold the best fish.

It is no wonder that, in recent years, the sport of kayak fishing has taken off all around the world. In the United States, this style of fishing has become somewhat of a craze, and many anglers are embracing the sport with a similar level of passion here in Australia. We now have kayak- fishing tournaments that are a national affair, with regular coverage in magazines and on television. Tournaments aside, many recreational anglers are choosing to fish this way simply because its a fun, cost effective and a productive way of fishing.

101 bream headPresented from Issue 101

What is it about Bream?

While growing up I had the fortune of spending summer holidays at arguably one of the best bream fishing waters in Australia in Ansons Bay. Being young and eager just to feel the weight of a fish on the rod, catching bream was often derailed by chasing the abundant cocky salmon and silver trevally. While these species were on the chew, getting the buzz out of hooking and landing a fish was too much of a temptation. Often schools of bait fish would be busted up in the bay given away by the tell tail signs of seagulls and terns diving in to pick up the scraps left by the salmon as they slammed the abundant anchovies, or what the locals called “sardines”.

101 mayfly flies mechutePresented from Issue 101

That time of year has finally arrived. The rivers start to settle after a winter full of cold weather and rains. The water of the highland lakes warms. Combine this with warmer weather patterns and you little beauty it all begins to happen. What am I talking about, well I reckon you have guessed it by now, the mayflies will be starting to hatch.

The famous hatches from the slow, flat lowland rivers of Tasmania’s Northern Midlands area should be well under way and the mayfly waters of the central plateau should follow, if they haven’t already started.

100 sea run slamon head

Presented from Issue 100
Considering the world class quality of our sea trout fishery, these fish are not sought after by enough anglers. Sea runners live in the salt water and run up our estuaries and rivers from the start of August to the middle of November. At this time of the year, they are here to eat the many species of fish that are either running up the rivers to spawn or are living in and around the estuary systems. Trout, both sea run and resident (Slob Trout) feed heavily on these small fish which darken in colouration as they move further into fresh water reaches.

The majority of these predatory fish are brown trout with rainbows making up a very small percentage of the catch. They can be found all around the state but it would be fair to say that the east coast is the least prolific of all the areas. They still run up such rivers as the Georges (and many others) but their numbers along with the quality of the fishing elsewhere make it difficult to recommend the area above the larger northern, southern and western rivers.

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