When wild brown trout were first introduced into Tasmania in 1864 (almost 150 years ago), it is doubtful anyone realised what a sustainable quality recreational benefit and economic bonus they would become to our island. The introduction of brown trout to Tasmania was the first in the Southern hemisphere, with subsequent transfers of our brown’s to New Zealand and other countries south of the equator.
Pure and Wild Brown Trout
by Roger Butler
With a mild temperate climate, abundant waterways and a pristine environment in which to live, Tasmania now has arguably the purest strains of wild brown trout on the planet. Our trout fishery is world class and when value-added by the services offered by our tourism-accredited, registered Trout Guides & Lodges Tasmania Inc (TGALT), it delivers a truly world quality trout/fly fishing experience to visiting anglers.
The majority of rivers and streams around the state plus many lakes and lagoons in the central highlands are self-sustained with wild fish, making Tasmania one of the few remaining multiple-waters, wild brown trout fisheries in the world. We are also one of the very few disease-free, fresh-water fisheries and when combined with the sea-runners, it truly is a unique trout fishing experience.
Tasmania has limited year round trout fishing opportunities. With the majority of waters being classified ‘brown trout fisheries’, the main season runs from the first Saturday in August to the last Sunday in April the following year. Of these nine months, the peak seasons can vary somewhat with weather patterns. October to late April on the lowland waters; mid-November to mid-March in the highland lakes would be usual.
Expert TGALT Guides: Trout Fishing
For the visiting angler, this challenge can be made much easier and hassle free by engaging one of TGALT’s fully accredited guides, accommodation lodges or private fishery through the association web site: www.troutguidestasmania.com.au
The primary fishing style provided by the guides is fly fishing in all its forms, with some offering lures and soft plastics options.
Many guides operate in the highland lakes and wilderness (western lakes) areas and have purpose built boats that allow the angler access to quiet, secluded shores, wind lanes and structures that harbour big, well fed fish. In addition, the bigger rivers and lowland broad-waters lend themselves to excellent rafting and drifting. Many of these lowland waters have insect hatches from early October to end of April.
Tasmania has numerous small streams and rivers where traditional stalking and or wading comes into its own. The majority hold wild browns and are lightly fished with some surprises in store for the keen fly fisher.
If you are a novice, beginner or haven’t even cast a fly yet, don’t worry. Many TGALT operators enjoy introducing people to the sport of fly fishing and our state’s trout population through workshops packages and teaching classes.
Tasmania is a unique trout fishery with easy access, secluded spots and multiple waters (including the area known as ‘the land of three thousand lakes’). Within two hours of landing at Tasmania’s key airports (only a one-hour flight from Melbourne and two from Sydney), you can be on the water and fishing for wild trout.
We have arguably the best combination of sight fishing to wild fish anywhere in the world. Be they rising to hatches and surface food, tailing in the shallows, polaroided in the gin clear waters or sea-runners chasing whitebait, if trout do, they do it here.
Roger Butler operates Red Tag Trout for Fly Fishing Tours in Tasmania. He supplied this article (with photos) for publication by Think Tasmania.