As Tasmania is renowned for its lake fishing in the highlands, it is worth mentioning that it can be just as exciting exploring the remote river systems of the South East like the Prosser near Buckland or the Coal river, which can be easily accessed just below the Craigbourne Dam. The Coal River winds is way down through Campania and eventually right through the Historic town of Richmond.
Another River worthy of a visit is the Tyeena River near Westerway and National Park. This river is very productive and the white caddis moth is about now and there are plenty of smaller trout in there that will give the angler a great deal of pleasure the catch.
These rivers are not fished very often and can be an absolute delight to explore. In most cases you will be the only angler on the river. You will need a cut lunch and a light knapsack, weight 5/6 fly rig and a hand full of red tags, or a light spinning rig with a good supply of worms or grasshoppers. In the height of the summer months, along these rivers can only be described as magic.
Now that the season is open, it is a good time to go and investigate these places and log the good holes and access so you become familiar with the landscape and area. Make contact with farm owners to gain access to short cuts to a likely part of the river.
I like to take a video camera and a good 35mm for some snaps of my discoveries, I've found that there are lots of interesting turns along the river, including deep gorges and rare wild life. By keeping your ears open and listening carefully, it's amazing how many different bird sounds there are. There's always a chance of seeing a platypus or a native hen, not to mention a cruising wild trout.
This kind of fishing with a camera, can be very soul soothing and will only remind you that there's more to life than work and large city stress. We all need time to think and take in some of this countries wonders. Exploring small rivers in the South East, about 1 hour from Hobart, will be well worth the effort.
MACQUARIE RIVER (In the Midlands )
The Macquarie River is flanked by large open grassy farmland. Some banks feature overhanging willows and scrub, which make casting a bit hard. The water is mostly wide ,deep and flat. In summer the flow of the river almost come to a stop, but duing periods of high rainfalls it will break it's banks and flows out into tussock margins and backwaters.
Fish can be often found nymphing and tailing in these shallows and will rise to caddis flies in the evenings. There are good beetle falls, stone fly hatchers, grasshoppers and caenids.
The Macquarie is famous for its Red Spinner mayfly hatchers. They normaly begin in October and continue through out Summer and Autumn. The most prolofic rises occure in October/November March/April. The challenge of the Macquarie is being able to 'read' the conditions. Fish in the river range from 500-700g. Speciemens from 1.3 kg are common and even larger one are taken.
The Macquarie starts at Lake Tooms and winds is way down through the historic town of Ross. Spin fishing and bait are both popular and productive, fly fishing is magnificent. This waterway is one of Tasmaina's most respected trout rivers.
The Esk River
The South Esk River is Tasmania's longest river and provides excellent angling conditions. From the Tamar River to Lake Trevallyn are developed parkland. This has created a popular inner city recreation area.
From the Tamar to Duck Reach the Launceston council have a reserve, with sealed walking paths from Kings Bridge to First Basin.Also provided, a foot suspension bridge, a chairlift, botanic gardens, a kiosk, a restaurant, visitor information and a swimming pool.
The lower South Esk runs through rugged country and features steep gorges. The river can become a raging torent when flood waters spill over, but is usually nothing more than a small stream with most of the beds exposed and casting in the pools and shallowrapids is quite easy. Bags of one to four per visit are average.
The mid reaches are flanked by flat grassy farmland annd are mostly fished with bait and lures.Many redfin perch and tench exist in these reaches.
Up at Longford the South Esk consists of long broadwaters. Willows overhang much of the river side making it great for spinning and fly casting in many areas.
From Longford to Clarendon the river has more stream like characteristics. Much of the water is wadable. Most of the fish taken are small, although larger ones are taken from the weedy flat waters.
The most popular stretch of the South Esk extends from Ormley to Mathinna. The waterway is a cold water stream, flowing through a grassy valley. There are wadable pools and weedy holes.
Also in this area are a multitude of back waters and marshes. These pools are joined to the river during periods of high water but become isolated during the summer. Most fish taken are on dry flies but also on lures and baits.
Large bags of fish to 900gms are regularly taken.
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