From the Archives ...

Huge broadbill caught off NE coast

Andrew McDougall was drop lining for blue eye trevalla in his six metre Razorline near the Eddystone Patch and got more than he bargained for. Read more ...

When you have finished for the day, why not have a brag about the ones that didn't get away! Send Mike an article on your fishing (Click here for contact details), and we'll get it published here. Have fun fishing - tasfish.com

110 katePresented from Issue 110, June 2014
Winter is a time to reflect on the past season and contemplate the new one. In recent articles I mentioned what a hard season it was - especially for fishers of the dry fly. We had some good fishing to hatching stoneflies in November, but after that the best results were usually on wet flies with sinking lines.

I reckon this sort of fishing is hard work, but it certainly gave us some good results. Of course it makes sense, because as we all know eighty percent of a trout’s food is in the water, not on it. So with little surface activity it has been most important to find the depth the fish are at.

109 phantomPresented from Issue 109, April 2014
This year’s fishing has certainly sorted the men from the boys - so to speak. The fly fishing sector has seen a tough year, but if the hard work is put in the rewards have come. Dry fly fishing has been tough in most areas - apart from small creeks, shark fishing on Great Lake and Western Lakes. I, like so many others, love to take fish on a dry fly, but if you want to catch trout you need to look at the whole water column. If fishing from a boat a fish finder will give you a pretty good idea of the different lines and weights of flies you need to be effective.

109 phantomPresented from Issue 109, April 2014
This year’s fishing has certainly sorted the men from the boys - so to speak. The fly fishing sector has seen a tough year, but if the hard work is put in the rewards have come. Dry fly fishing has been tough in most areas - apart from small creeks, shark fishing on Great Lake and Western Lakes. I, like so many others, love to take fish on a dry fly, but if you want to catch trout you need to look at the whole water column. If fishing from a boat a fish finder will give you a pretty good idea of the different lines and weights of flies you need to be effective.

108 buggerPresented from Issue 108, February 2014
As I write this we are experiencing some very hot weather in the Central Highlands. Prior to this though over Christmas it was cold and extremely windy. On most lakes as it gets hot the fish retreat to cooler waters. I don’t like to go boating on the very rough days, but am happy to give the shore fishing a go.

Just recently Bill and I were fishing the Bronte system and we started with a team of English dries - no fish, then small English wets - no fish. It was hot, so the thinking cap went on and I put a #3 sinking line on and some weighted flies. Bingo, we were into the fish and took a number of nice specimens – mostly on the bead head ‘Streamline Bugger’ point fly.

108 buggerPresented from Issue 108, February 2014
As I write this we are experiencing some very hot weather in the Central Highlands. Prior to this though over Christmas it was cold and extremely windy. On most lakes as it gets hot the fish retreat to cooler waters. I don’t like to go boating on the very rough days, but am happy to give the shore fishing a go.

Just recently Bill and I were fishing the Bronte system and we started with a team of English dries - no fish, then small English wets - no fish. It was hot, so the thinking cap went on and I put a #3 sinking line on and some weighted flies. Bingo, we were into the fish and took a number of nice specimens – mostly on the bead head ‘Streamline Bugger’ point fly.

107 stone flyPresented from Issue 107, December 2013
I would like to tell you my thoughts on Arthurs Lake. Many are critical of the numerous small fish, the results of good spawning over the last few years. It does show it is a very healthy system.

If there were few fish there would be complaints as well. And it seems not so long ago anglers were complaining of low levels and no water. As I write this Arthurs is 40mm from full. It has never been that high, and has never spilled.

106 janPresented from Issue 106, October 2013
It is time to think nymphs. Numerous trout foods have a nymphal stage as part of their life cycle and these include damselflies, dragonflies, mayflies, stoneflies, caddis and midges. All have different body shapes and colours.
There is no pattern to cover the lot, but I think it is important to get the size and colour correct. The weight depends on what depth the fish are at and as the season progresses the nymphs become larger and more active. Earlier in the season the fish are deeper and as the water warms fish and insects rise in the water column.

Green leachPresented from Issue 105, August 2013

Fishing early season is cold, but it can be very productive.

If you are fly fishing you will almost certainly be wet fly fishing - unless the fish are in very shallow water then a dry fly may work.

Presented from Issue 104, June 2013

Never before has there been so many fly tying products to choose from. A recent book I read had a number of very early flies and mentioned many different animal hairs and down from a variety of birds.

Today there are so many different artificial materials produced the fly tier has never had it so good, nor so confusing.

Those early materials were often simple and we still use a lot today. There weren’t many really bright natural colours, but one was peacock herl, and that is one of my most used materials even today.

103 black and orange bugPresented from Issue 103, April 2013
Recently I fished with a friend on Arthurs Lake. It is always interesting fishing with other people — not only to have some different company, but to learn some new techniques. I fish a nine foot, six weight for dries and if there are no fish moving off come the dries and I change to semi-wets or full wets with a sinking line. A DI3 is my favourite on a ten foot, six weight rod. I like the longer rod when lifting the flies to the surface on the retrieve — especially if using 2-3 flies and a long leader. Back to fishing with my friend though - who happens to be a dry fly purist for some reason. It was pleasant looking for fish, but there was not much moving so we were prospecting as much as anything.

102 crane flyPresented from Issue 102, February 2013

Around the state at the moment there is a multitude of insects of every size and description from tiny midge to large grasshoppers. On a recent trip to my favourite remote western lake I noticed the abundance of craneflies. Walking in scrubby areas and brushing past the bushes would put out dozens of these insects. Most days in this area there is wind and even though craneflies are quite large they are delicate. It does not take much wind to push them onto the water and trout certainly have them on the menu.

101 wigglePresented from Issue 101
Over the last couple of months I have traveled to some of Australia’s most remote red sand country where there were fish in remote billabongs.

These are fed by the northern waters flowing into Lake Eyre Basin. To be invited onto a million acre station catching golden perch (yellow belly) and grunter was a great privilege and is another fishing adventure ticked off.

98 jans flysJan's Flies Issue 99

Presented from Issue 99
I suppose everybody is geared up for the new trout season. My start was during July by thoroughly cleaning up my fly tying studio. It is so nice to have everything so one can find things. It will be some time before the fish are seriously looking up so wets will be the go for me.

Exciter flies or lure flies will be my choice for action. May I suggest the use of two flies in a larger point fly with something smaller as a dropper. The point fly really needs to be at least four feet from the dropper.

Point patterns could include Yetis, Woolly Buggers, Matukas, Tom Jones, Wigram’s Robin and fur flies in various colours. For droppers, something quite small. This may be English wets, spider patterns are good tied with a really good moving hackle, nymph patterns dressed lightly as you must remember it is really early in the season and there is not much growth in any insects for the next couple of months.

Presented from Issue 98

Over early winter I spent some time on Tasmania’s beautiful east coast. With all that water beckoning me of course one would have to go fishing. Flathead would be the target but then I guess anything that may swim past get something thrown at them. Certainly there was a lot of salmon around, but the majority of schools I saw were too far away to cast to.

95 buzzerPresented from Issue 95
I do not want to sound all flowery and fluffy, but some of my recent fishing on Tasmania’s superb streams where the little birds flutter about at rod’s length and the caddis are like snowflakes hovering in the clouds all excites me. What must it do to the trout? There are, of course, many insects on these small streams, the main one at this time of year is the mayfly. But the eager trout are mostly happy to take almost anything you may present to them on the shallow bubbly waters. A little Red Tag size fourteen or a Deer Hair Caddis work well. Where the waters have some depth, my personal choice is a small wet, a nymph, beetle or stick caddis.

Presented from Issue 91

Autumn is such a wonderful time of the year. Cool nights, mostly sunny days and light winds. As I write this I am looking out over Great Lake – there is a slight ripple and some superb slicks gliding about here and there. I will go and look more closely at them after lunch. Hatches of jassids and ants are on the trout’s menu and both of these small insects end up in the slicks that form with the morning breeze.

The trout often go crazy on them.

Presented from Issue 92

My season was filled with a mixture of highs and lows. I spent some time in the Kimberley and experienced some great fishing there. I thought previously that Cape York probably had the best salt water fishing in Australia, but northwestern Australia also has its fair share.

The highlight was polaroiding a sailfish and seeing the hookup. That is as good as it gets.

My trout season though had its good, bad and ugly side though.

Jan’s Flies

We are lucky in Tasmania to have the many lakes that are surrounded by gum trees. 
There are numerous insects that live in the trees, and on the right day they will be blown onto the water. Gum beetles are one delicacy for trout and they often cruise the shallow margins of a lake looking for these and will slurp them down with gusto. So when the breeze is warm the rod and the flies are put into the car and away I go. 

Jan’s Flies Issue 89

It’s Christmas time again and that means dry fly fishing is well underway. There are not many fly fishers who don’t look forward to fishing the dry. Seeing the fish take the fly really starts the adrenalin flowing.
The fly this time is a very well tested emerger which I suppose is nearly a dry but does sit rather low in the water surface. The entire fly except for the tail is tied out of CDC feathers. The cul de canard, or CDC, feather comes from around the oil preen gland of the duck it is this feather fly tyers love to use.

Jan’s Flies

Come in spinner that’s what all the fly fishing people are waiting for—the spinner hatches of spring time. On the rivers it will happen through October sometimes, it’s mostly dependent on the weather it’s those balmy mild spring days with little or no wind that’s required. On the highland lakes the first to be seen are normally a month later and for the past two seasons it has been so good one is not sure where to go first. So October and November are fairly well booked for me it will be mostly shore based fishing on the lowland rivers and highland lakes. Mid to late morning on the rivers and on a really good day the hatch can go on till late afternoon mind you that’s the rarity not the norm. Highland lakes spinner hatches are a little different in I like a slight breeze pushing off shore that’s to carry the spinners out onto deep water then better fish will hopefully feed. River fish will mostly work a beat. They will cover a few metres and disappear for a short time and then reappear and start the beat again. Stillwater fish will rise spasmodically so keep a sharp eye on the rise and try and judge which way the fish will head taking note where the fishes head is. This will mostly give the direction. Place the fly out in front so the fish will come upon it. My spinner patterns are fairly simple both red and black. Black Spinner Hook – Finewire size 14 12 10 Thread – Black Tail – Black cock fibres Rib – Very fine silver or copper wire Hackle – Black cock hackle Red Spinner Hook – Finewire size 12 10 Thread – Orange Tail – Black cock fibres Rib – Silverwire Head – One fine peacock herl Hackle – Red cock hackle Method for red spinner 1. Place hook in vice 2. Starting at the eye end take the thread the full length of the shank 3. Place a small bunch of cock fibres on top of rear end of shank tie down firmly and cut excess fibres away 4. Tie in rib and take thread two thirds of the way toward the eye now bring rib forward with nice even turns to where the thread is hanging cut away excess rib 5. Take one fine peacock herl and tie in cut away excess herl. Tie in hackle and wind forward toward eye making a nice tight hackle cut away any excess hackle 6. With the fine peacock herl wind it through the hackle try not to crush the hackle too much cut away excess peacock herl 7. Whip finish cut thread away and varnish The black spinner is tied the same but omit the peacock herl. Call 1300 787 060 Express

Jan’s Flies

Well here we are again looking at the doldrum time of
year when our fishing slows down somewhat.
As I write this in early May there are our first snow scuffs
hurrying past the window – a taste of things to come.
There are a few lakes still open and these waters can
fish well if you are willing to put up the elements so go
prepared for the worst the weather gods can throw at
you.

Jan’s Flies

Hoppers, hoppers and more hoppers and I am not talking about grasshoppers. Jassid is the name and they are leafhoppers. On Saturday the 27th of February we had a hatch of these insects in numbers that I haven’t seen for many years. The back wall of our shed was covered with dozens of these small insects. A few days later I was at Bronte Lagoon where I had these insects landing on my shirt. On both occasions the jassids were of the brown variety. They are still very much on the trout’s diet if there is enough to get the interest going. In Tasmania’s highlands there seems to be mostly two different colours, that’s brown or red bodies. Groups of jassids cluster together to feed on the young eucalypts. These insects particularly the very young will be attended by ants which feed on the honeydew excreted by the jassid.

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