A belated Merry Christmas! Our present at Rainbow Lodge was sun, rain, snow and fish! The last few weeks have had the usual mixed Tasmanian weather and usual great Tasmanian fishing. To put it in a few words; sharks, duns, spinners, tailers, gum beetles, jassids and rivers.
Let’s start with the sharks. The high pressure systems over the past few weeks have given us the much loved northerlies and beetles on Great Lake. Sharking this year has been a little unusual with fish often cruising downwind away from the boat. These fish provide clients with plenty of time to present the fly as we chase them down the wind but have required some fancy boat manoeuvring when they change direction back up wind. Besides this behaviour the sharks have been out in numbers , eating well, fighting hard and moving a long way for a fly. There have been good fish found in specific spots.
The mayfly lakes have fished well in the right weather with Penstock still the pick. Continuous fantastic dry fly fishing on Penstock with big rainbows has put this lake back in the limelight after last year’s slow fishing. Woods has produced some big, hard fighting fish. One day stands out where fish to 5lb were readily sipping spinners in the midday sun. Only 2 boats persevered after lunch when the sun came out strong and it payed off big time! With Little Pine still having good hatches and the biggest fish in a few years we are far from seeing the end of duns this season.
The Western Lakes have been special this year. The season started well with the newly stocked 2kg Botsford browns taking dries well before the gate was even opened. The 19 Lagoons have had fish on beetles for a while and more recently on mayfly. My brother and I experienced one amazing evening with fish eating dries under a full moon. At one time there were 10 trout in the shallows with their backs half out of the water! One client last week kept a fish for dinner and upon cleaning it there were a large number of black jassids in its stomach. Let’s hope that’s a sign of what’s to come. A client this week hooked and landed his biggest fish, when we finally got the thing into sight his exclamation was the highlight of my day.
The rivers have fished well this season. The amazing dry fly fishing has continued into summer with some big fish coming to them. The individual highlight for me was a polaroided 5lb brown on the Mersey that took the fly and busted me 2 minutes later. Our clients have experienced some quality days with exciting, anticipation-filled fishing. Just yesterday the Tyenna River in the state’s south produced some of the best river fishing I have seen in years to fish eating caddis. Not only were 80+ trout hooked; there was a double hook-up on a double nymph rig and both fish were landed!
Spinner leapers have appeared in numbers lately and have caused some frustrating and rewarding fishing in equal parts, with persistence usually paying off. Here’s hoping we get a few more chances to look up a run at rising fish and feed them some flies!
It doesn’t look like the fishing here is going to slow in the coming weeks with ants and jassids starting to become more common and gum beetles in huge numbers. If Little Pine yesterday was anything to go by we still have plenty of mayfly feeders to catch as well. From everyone at Rainbow Lodge, have a great New Year and hope you enjoyed any fishing you got over the break.