The Rainbow lodge crew had some time off over Christmas with guiding kicking back in early January. This gave us time to do some of our own fishing with Christopher continuing to have some fantastic dry fly fishing on the lowland rivers around Launceston. This is arguably the peak time for river dry fly fishing in Tasmania. If you’re heading down soon, you can even get in a bit of dry fly spotting practice by clicking on the Video tag above!
The first week of January was extremely windy which made conditions unpleasant but didn’t stop the fish feeding. We have had some great fishing with large mayfly feeders still about in very shallow water. The water levels have been steadily warming and falling with increased evaporation rates from high temperatures and wind speeds.
Arthurs Lake has seen some large bags of fish being caught. On many days, the trout have been taking mayflies and dragonflies and when conditions are right, dry fly fishing from the start to the end of day has been possible. Stewart has managed to get his clients onto over a dozen fish on numerous occasions over the last month. There is always a correlation between numbers of fish caught and casting ability!
The Western Lakes have been producing endless sight fishing opportunities and rising fish. Some of the lakes in the 19 Lagoons area clouded up significantly following the heavy winds at the start of the month while others stayed crystal clear. The cloudier lakes took a few days to get back to normal and are now behaving just as we like them to. Midging fish have been a feature on all of the lakes and this style of fishing always tests the angler. Duns and caddis have been plentiful and although the fish out west are getting a fair bit of attention, they will always rise to a well presented fly if the first cast is on the button! A fish over five and a half pounds was landed last week after being sighted cruising a rocky shore line.
It is always a bonus to take people out who are new to fly fishing. Teaching them to cast and watching them catch their first fish on a fly is the pleasurable experience that most guides live for. We have had a few of those wonderful experiences lately and have attached a couple of happy snaps!
This past week has been baking hot and the fire fighters are running around doing a fantastic job controlling a few serious fires dotted around the highlands. This heat has also brought large numbers of gum beetles with it. We have had some exceptional shark fishing on Great Lake with large numbers of trout being spotted in the waves. Not all have been as big as previous years but their willingness to eat the fly hasn’t changed. We are looking forward to many more opportunities to catch the sharks in the coming weeks.
Those booked in to fish the rivers on the coming weeks will be in for a top time. Fish are rising throughout the day and with low water levels, polaroiding is also superb.
Recently, the Tasmanian State Fly Fishing Championships were held on Arthurs, Woods and Little Pine Lagoon. Interestingly, the top three anglers all used floating line only over the duration of the two day competition, going away from the usual wet fly pulling techniques. With Christopher and Stewart finishing first and second, it was a great weekend for the Rainbow Lodge guides!
On a final note, I have two places left to fill on one of my river fly fishing trips to Japan this coming June. I will be hosting this entirely dry fly trip over the second week of the month. If anyone is interested in coming on such a trip, please send me an email at your earliest convenience. The places will be filled on a first come, first served basis.