Fly-fishing for trout has fascinated me for a long time and still does. The dream of fly-fishing a pristine river for trout sounded fantastic.
One day I decided to quickly plan a trout fishing trip in Tasmania. I didn’t have the gear to fly-fish and didn’t know much about it, so I decided to hire a Tasmanian trout fishing-guide to take me for a few days.
Not long after, I met with my fishing guide early in the morning in Hobart. He had his 4WD and boat ready to go. I never clarified how we were going to catch the trout, so after chatting with my guide, found out that we were actually going to go deepwater trawling in the central highland lakes. I assumed we would catch most of the trout with artificial flies, using the fly-fishing technique. I had visions of fishing in pristine rivers and streams, not lakes.
When I arranged the trip all that mattered was that I would catch some trout. Once this had been confirmed, all other thoughts went out of the window. To me, trout and fly-fishing were synonymous. Obviously I had made the wrong assumption. I never even knew this other type of trout fishing technique existed. The time of year I had chosen wasn’t the right time to have a reasonable chance of catching a trout with a fly, but trawling in deep water would at least get us few fish. Live and learn.
The drive to the central highlands, known as lake country, was very scenic with forests, rivers and streams providing a very pleasant outlook. The first day however was really cold and as we drove up there, my guide told me that he hoped the lake wasn’t frozen over.
Luckily it wan’t. Once we arrived, we pretty much went fishing straight away. I got into his fishing boat, with TASMANIAN DEVIL clearly imprinted on it, and off we went. On the water it felt even colder. I had to wear gloves to keep my hands from freezing and a beanie to keep my head warm. I always thought of trawling for fish in a moving boat, as something you only did to catch big fish. I soon learned that to catch trout in the lakes we were fishing on, the same principles worked, though a smaller lure had to be trawled much deeper in the water.
After a while I caught my first trout. I can’t remember if it were a brown or rainbow trout. The thing is it didn’t put up much of a fight anyway. It felt like pulling up a bit of seaweed and because the lure had been dropped very deep into the water, it took quite a while to pull up. After catching my first fish and pretty much every fish after that, I got a huge congratulations and handshake. To be honest, being on a boat with devil connotations, going around in circles on a freezing lake and catching fish that didn’t fight, made me feel pretty lousy, especially after having my heart set on going fly-fishing.
Over the next few days we explored a few lakes in the area, including The Great Lake and Arthur’s Lake. The weather turned out to be quite nice after the first day, which made the experience a lot better. A highlight for me was staying at a pretty decent lodge one night, which had multiple fireplaces burning away, making you feel very cosy. We saw some real life small fury Tasmanian Devils being fed outside, close to the building under a few dim lights. The growls and moans they made were other worldly.
For dinner we had the trout we caught that day cooked up for us by an awesome chef. It still ranks as one of the best fish dishes I have ever eaten. Cooked in the oven with herbs and spices and covered in thin tomato slices, the trout tasted absolutely delicious. Talking about trout, what surprised me most was that selling natural trout was illegal in Tasmania. What most people eat, when they eat trout, is farmed grain fed trout. It doesn’t have the same flavour as natural trout:) That magical night became the highlight of my trip.
On one of the days I even attempted to learn how to fly-fish just to see if I could pick up the technique. Flicking the rod back over your head, back and forward, and letting the line out mid air until the fly landed in a certain spot, felt quite simple to learn. It didn’t take long to get a beginner’s grasp of the technique. Maybe an hour or so. I remember hearing and seeing a splash of water in the distance, which I assumed was probably a fish being scared away, though I never saw it. Apparently, certain lakes are great places to go fly-fishing in waders, when its the real fly-fishing season.
Years later, I still haven’t caught a trout with a fly. I thought the devil was supposed to tempt you and give you what you want. The devil obviously doesn’t want my soul.
It doesn’t really bother me. You should know that the make believe devil with his pitchfork is really the imagined opposite of Poseidon with his three-pronged trident. The devil’s domain is fire, whereas Poseidon’s is water. Should I ever catch a trout with a fly, I’ll be giving thanks to Poseidon, God of the Waters and the Sea. Sorry Devil.
Esperance, Western Australia
Have you heard of a Queen snapper? I caught this Queen snapper in the town of Esperance on the south coast of Western Australia. The Queen snapper isn’t actually a snapper, but more precisely a Southern Blue Morwong. As you can see, catching yourself a Queen is very possible.
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island off the east coast of Australia, has one of the most unique beaches on the planet. You can walk into the ocean water, just a few metres out from the sand, and feed the fish right at your feet. The fish will surround you immediately and they’ll go into a feeding frenzy straight away. Depending on the day, the fish present could be Silver-drummer, Mullet, Garfish, Kingfish, Wrasse or Spangled Emperor.
The beach is known as Neds beach and I can tell you it is amazing. After witnessing this, I’m not sure why any powerful Lord wouldn’t make all beaches like this one. It would make feeding everyone so much easier.
The Greek Gods don’t pretend that life is a picnic if you have faith. Supporters of another god would have you believe that by faith, thousands of followers were fed with only a handful of fish, or that fish can be supernaturally directed into a net. Why not just command every fish to come to the shore where everyone can easily scoop them up?
Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast – Queensland
When Charles Darwin came up with his theory of evolution, he obviously had to disregard sea creatures. The Sawfish defies explanation. It is one thing for Charles Darwin to talk about a bird’s beak changing size or shape over time, well what happened here? Did the Sawfish pass on a better longer saw to its offspring? Did it start with a short saw that progressively grew longer, like a giraffe and its neck? Why does a Sawfish need a saw to survive in its environment?
Only the God of the Sea, could have created a Sawfish. This bizarre fish alone cuts Darwin’s theory to shreds. The brilliant thing that Charles Darwin accomplished is that he opposed a false belief with another false belief. He has to get massive credit for that. Just remember though, no ape has ever turned human. Animals and marine life don’t transition into superior beings, if anything they become extinct. You would have thought some pet dogs would be talking like a two year old child by now, if it were possible.