The Shack – The Sequel

Well, I did have a story to tell on Sunday night, albeit a modest tale of a 3 pound brown, fished up on an Olive Yeti along a rocky Great Lake shore as a powerful cold front approached from the west. By the wee hours, the shack was demonstrating one of its many winning features by keeping Mark and I warm and dry while a blizzard raged outside.

Monday morning view from the shack.

Monday could best be described as an exploration day, travelling from lake to lake; often in snowstorms which would not have been out of place in July. Not sleet, but proper fat flakes delivered from angry dark clouds. We fished knowing that it’s perfectly possible to catch good trout in snow in Tassie, while also aware that the weather would likely improve dramatically for the rest of the week…

Arthurs between snowstorms.

Which it did. The snow gave way to a light morning frost on Tuesday, and then fine weather took over.

A backdrop to fly for.

The initial legacy of the storm was the experience of fishing dry flies under a snow-covered backdrop so beautiful, you had to check every so often to confirm it was real. And the trout came on, slowly at first as if thawing out, and then so enthusiastically down the southern end of St Clair that we even had some double hook-ups.

Hunting trout in the wind-lanes and slicks on Great Lake.

As the weather warmed further, Great Lake came to centre stage. While patches of white cloud often denied us perfect polaroiding, it was still paradise to chase rising trout in John’s boat down kilometre-long slicks of windblown insects, or to play ‘see-you-first’ wading the weedier, siltier bays.

Saw you first!

When not on Great Lake, we made it to other well-known and not so well-known haunts, accumulated over nearly 40 years of trips. Sometimes we were successful; sometimes not so much.

Evening tailer action.

After the best part of a lifetime fishing Tasmania, perhaps I’m finally coming to accept that occasionally, there will be hours, even whole days when it’s very hard to catch a trout. But that’s okay, because just around the next point in the lake (so to speak) a fishing treat undoubtably awaits.