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Tasmania: When to Fish and How to Understand the Angling Seasons

South of the Land Down Under, Tasmania is an exciting destination now offered to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures’ anglers. Home to abundant lakes, rivers, and creeks, Tasmania has thriving populations of wild trout in a backcountry setting. A fishing trip to Tasmania requires local knowledge and an understanding of the angling seasons. At Yellow Dog, we have both.

August and September

The Tasmanian fishing season opens in September. Because the Highlands are easing out of winter cold fronts, the Lowland lakes offer the most consistent fishing. Sea-run trout migrate into the lakes and anglers willing to commit to fishing streamers can enjoy some quality action with the possibility of trophy-sized trout.

September continues with plenty of sea run trout available and the potential for some rivers and creeks to fish, but the lakes are still the focus. If conditions allow there can be some excellent tailing trout action and Brumby’s Creek is the other favorite destination with clear water and exciting sight-fishing.

October and November

October sees the first of the major mayfly hatches on Tasmanian trout waters. Trout will rise to prolific hatches of Blue Winged Olives on rivers and creeks. Tailing trout in the many lakes is also peaking and ample sight-fishing opportunities exist. Outfitters and guides begin overnight camping and fishing trips. By mid-October, the fly fishing for trout in Tasmania is in high gear with lakes, rivers, and creeks all options.

November is defined by various hatches of mayflies and caddis and dry fly-fishing opportunities abound. This is also a terrific month on the highland lakes for large trout cruising the shallow shorelines. Long casts, light leaders, and exciting takes can be enjoyed. To add to the mix, terrestrial fishing gets going with ants and beetles. As river and creek flow drop, wading anglers will find plenty of accessible water.

December and January

All Tasmanian waters are fishing by December, including the float fishing options. Along with mayflies and caddis providing the most consistent hatches, the addition of dragonflies, damselflies and native bees create exciting surface feeding options.  “Shark fishing,” as described locally, is sight-fishing to massive trout cruising near the surface, begins on some lakes. Local guides have been doing this for decades and their knowledge adds to the excitement.

By January, shark fishing is a primary option on lakes in the Highlands. Expansive blue skies and light breezes are the norm, providing sunlight for sight-fishing yet enough ripple on the water to provide some cushion for landing a fly line. River fishing is excellent and terrestrial action is at it’s finest. Float fishing is also available on certain rivers.

February, March, and April

February offers fishing with grasshopper-patterns and is a prime month for dry fly fishing. Caddis hatches slow later in the month, but mayflies appear as the weather becomes cooler.

In March it’s onto searching the lake edges using gum beetles, dragon- and damselflies. Grasshopper fishing can be exceptional in lakes and rivers. As March fades into April and winter cold fronts move in, the poor weather can mean the start of some terrific mayfly action, bringing large trout to rise to a well-presented dry fly.

By April, fish are beginning to aggregate and their aggressive nature makes them opportunistic, eager to ambush a well-presented fly.

May

The Tasmanian brown trout season closes by May’s end, so it’s onto next year for that trophy-sized brown trout. But sight fishing for rainbows still exists—and some big ones, too—as many of the bigger fish move out of the lakes and into river inlets and outlets. Anglers willing commit to fishing streamers may land a fish of the year.

June/July

By June and July, the winter season has a firm grasp on Tasmania, so it is time to start thinking of warm locales. Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures offers some unique trips to the top end of Australia and June and July offer some great fishing options.

Tasmania is a long journey for many US-based anglers. But it is rugged and untextured feel combined with a variety of trout fishing options, a fly fishing trip to Tasmania is worthy of consideration.

 

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