Mixing fishing trips with other travel doesn’t always work but Tasmania is such a unique place that days spent doing other things seem to go almost as quickly as those spent fishing. This trip was the same. A relaxing long weekend for Australia Day on the beach with a hill walk to Wineglass Bay merged seamlessly with another five day fishathon with John – that’s left me exhausted.
I really wanted to try shark fishing on Great Lake. I’ve heard so many stories and read so much about it but I’ve never done it. In part because the peak time seems to coincide with other amazing fishing – like cicadas in New Zealand.
Anyway, last Sunday we set off to Great Lake full of hope, with all the right gear and flies, and a near perfect forecast. Unfortunately, the gum beetles didn’t arrive and the lack of success of the handful of boats running across the wind and waves in search of visible surface fish was pretty evident. And then the clouds, cold wind and rain set in for the next four days and we were pushed back to rivers, or chasing dun feeders on the lakes. Disappointed? No way, what this is all about is options. And that’s what Tasmania offers in spades. No matter that the original plan was shark fishing, the plan changed and it was fantastic.
We stayed at Miena and drove down to the Mersey River to witness the devastation cause by the last floods, and fished duns on Woods, Little Pine, and Penstock Lagoon, before dropping into Lake Catagunya and Wayatinah Lagoon for a long day on the way back to Hobart.
Everywhere we put in the effort we caught fish, and good fish too. The biggest, about 5lbs from Woods; the hardest fighting from Catagunya but only two and a half.
The most exciting fishing was Penstock – slashing rainbows coming through the duns like a school of tailor on whitebait, and slow-moving fussy browns. Really frustrating at times, exhilarating at others.
The thing I will remember the most? The flukiest few days of wind I’ve ever fished – at times we seemed to be going in circles. If Tasmania isn’t on your list, add it.
Tight tippets all