Yesterday was Hobart’s wettest January day for a century and nearby Mt Wellington copped a massive half a foot of rain in 24 hours! Fortunately this came at the end of my trip with Andrew Marsic (FlyStream’s designer); not the beginning. We could watch the rain lashing the terminal windows while waiting for our weather-delayed flight without feeling too ripped off…
The trip began under warm, sunny skies and for most of the time, the fishing was about as good as flyfishing gets. Over the ensuring days we fished the gorgeous Tyenna, the brawling Florentine, the scary-big Derwent and the mysterious Styx. We caught dozens of trout, browns and rainbows. No monsters this time, but certainly a number of two to three pounders mixed in and, we noted, very few tiddlers.
Dry fly fishing dominated, with enough patches of tricky nymphing to keep us on our toes. I loved the fact that even on the Tyenna, where it was nothing to see half a dozen fish rising in front of you, the catching wasn’t a foregone conclusion. Staying out of sight, perfect drifts, fishing the tricky lies…all this mattered. If you think you can just fling your way up this river where the trout count is more than one per metre of stream, think again.
During the trip as a whole, fly choice mattered more some times than others but I think if you’re looking for a place to start, both the Antron Caddis (FlyStream issue 4) and good old Royal Wulff did the job more often than not.
We planned this as a dedicated river trip but with the spectacular Mt Field looming near our Westerway base, the pull of lake fishing in the National Park proved too much. So we spent an afternoon in the alpine country enjoying sublime polaroiding with dry flies.
Before and during the trip, Rainbow Lodge’s Christopher Bassano drip-fed us his usual invaluable information; our only regret was how simple lack of time meant we couldn’t capitalise on more than a fraction of it. As we were leaving, he was almost pleading for us to head north – the rivers up there are apparently ‘going off!’ Now that would have been a dilemma – leaving the sublime Tyenna et al for another part of the state?
Andrew is writing a feature about this trip for the next issue of FlyStream magazine so you’ll have to wait til 1 March for more details and the best of the photos. But if you get a chance in the meantime, tear yourself away from the Tassie lakes and head to the southern rivers – with the lakes often stealing the limelight, it’s easy to forget just how good these streams are.