Mist rises. The fly line kisses a glassy bend. A few heartbeats pass, then there’s the thrill of a strike. Arguably the world’s purest strain of wild brown trout thrives in Tasmania, from the lakes of the central highlands and broad rivers of the south to meadow streams in the north. Even better, many of the island’s most prized beats – Western Lakes, Nineteen Lagoons, Little Pine Lagoon, and Great Lake among them – are located in tracts of accessible wilderness. On 4 May 1864, after a third attempt to transport fish eggs from England, a batch of brown trout eggs hatched in the cold Plenty River, in southern Tasmania. These brown trout, and later rainbow trout, acclimatised and continue to live in the island’s cold, fresh waters, so clear that some of the world’s best sight fishing is found here. For the ultimate angling adventure, hook up with an expert Tasmanian fishing guide and tap into a deep well of local knowledge. Whether trying dry flies or wet, wading or walking or drifting by boat, the diversity and beauty of Tasmania’s waterways and the vigour (and stealth) of the fish reward novices and pros. Brown trout can be caught with a licence in season from August until April; rainbow trout from October to May. Tasmania also has private fisheries that can be fished year-round.
While “polaroiding” anglers are focused on streams, lagoons and rivers across the state, global attention will be focused on five sites in the north and central highlands during the 39th FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championship. From 30 November to 8 December 2019, international competitors will gather in Launceston, the championship HQ, then head out for wading and boat-fishing events at Penstock Lagoon, Little Pine Lagoon, Woods Lake and sites along the Meander and Mersey rivers.
Tasmania has superb game-fishing waters stretching from Flinders Island in the north-east to the Tasman Peninsula in the south – only 20 minutes from shore in places. Southern bluefin tuna is among the most prized game.