I’ve been fishing Tassie trout for so long that it’s like betraying my best friend to not go into lots of detail about rigs, locations and seasons, but I’ll do my best…
If you’re travelling to Tassie purely for fishing then fantastic, go for it and load up with gear. But if you’re travelling with your partner or kids and fishing is only one thing to tick off on your holiday plans, then cutting back to the bare fishing necessities may be paramount.
It’s been hard, and has taken all of my will power not to expand on the already long list below, but have a read and see what suits your trip. If you’ve got space, take more, but if not, the list below should be enough to help catch maybe your first Tassie Brown Trout. Whatever you do, don’t forget to buy a fishing licence!
Worms and wattle grubs (which can be bought in Tassie) fished on the bottom using running sinker rigs are very productive in the lakes and slower streams. Using 2-3kg breaking strain line, a ball sinker with just enough weight to cast out and hold the bottom is all that’s needed. In the faster streams, casting an unweighted single, bigger worm, or a few garden worms on a size 8 or 6 lightweight hook upstream, and allowing them to drift back towards can be deadly.
During summer, fishing crickets or grasshoppers on the surface or below a bubble float, or piece of cork in streams is also useful. Fish the crickets in the morning, evening or night, and the hoppers through the middle of the day.
Mudeyes are effective in both faster streams and lakes and they are best fished a metre or so below a bubble float in lakes. In streams, fish the mudeye around 50cm below the float, or even unweighted, and walk or wade while casting upstream and allowing the mudeye to drift back downstream with the current. In lakes, cast out, generally with the wind offshore and allow the mudeye to drift about. Mudeyes can also be fished from boats in a similar manner, and are often very productive when fished around drowned and standing timber.
Basic Bait Outfit
- Spin fishing rod around 2m in length.
- A 2000-2500 spin reel loaded with 6-8 pound monofilament line.
- A few bubble floats (that can be filled with water for ease of casting)
- Size 10, 8 and 6 bait hooks
- A few small brass swivels
- A few lightweight ball sinkers
Check out our multi-piece spin rods for travel and spin reels here
Often the best lure fishing is early in the season, during periods of low light, foul weather, or when there is at least some ripple on the water surface. Lure casting in streams is usually best when there is some slight tinge/colour to the water and slightly higher flow to the stream.Casting or trolling lures for Brown Trout is very handy, and with a correct weight outfit, even novice anglers can often catch Brown Trout straight away. Buying a well-balanced rod, reel and line, or combo spincasting outfit and learning to cast is probably the simplest and often the most effective way to catch trout.
Suitable spincasting outfits for streams should include rods of around 2m that are rated for lines around 1-3kgs for lighter work, or 2-4kgs for slightly heavier lures. Lure trolling rods need to be rated a little heavier, say around 4-6kgs while spincasting reel sizes of 2000-2500 are perfect.
Cobra style lures are often a good choice, as are spinners (bladed lures), bibbed lures and soft plastics. Popular and ever reliable colours are black/red, green /yellow, black/gold, copper, gold and bright pink. Soft plastics, including paddletails, shads, and creatures are often more effective in natural olive, black, brown or lifelike baitfish colours and if they have a small dash of orange or red in their colouring.
Basic Lure Outfit
Rod and Reel setup as per bait fishing list.
A selection of light and slightly heavier lures is suitable for trout. Deep diving lures aren’t necessary for most Tassie waters. Soft plastics with heavier jig heads can cover that situation.
Fly-fishing for Brown Trout is extremely popular in Tasmania. Rods of around 3m that are rated for line weights of 5 or 6 are suitable everywhere across the state. Anglers rarely need anything other than a floating flyline and knotless leaders of around 4m with tippets of 2-3kgs.
A basic selection of dry and wet flies covers most angling situations across the state, in both rivers and lakes.
Check out our fly-fishing basic starter combo here
Red Tags in sizes 14 for streams through to bushy size 8 for lakes. Black Spinners, sizes 18-12. Some form of Mayfly Dun pattern (Highland Dun) in sizes 14-10. Royal Wulff in sizes 14-10. Black beetles in sizes 14-12.
Woolly worms in black, and olive colours, size 10-8, Woolly Buggers, plain and gold bead head, in olive, black and brown and sizes 10-6. Stick Caddis nymphs in sizes 12-10. Fur Fly in natural, black and olive and sizes 10-6. A selection of weighted and unweighted nymphs in olive, brown and black in sizes 18-10 plus some Black Beetles sizes 14-10.
Basic Fly Outfit
- 3m, 5 or 6-weight fly-rod, 3 or 4 pieces if possible with rod tube.
- Fly reel with double taper or weight forward floating flyline.
- 4m tapered knotless leader with 3-4kg tippet.
- Spare leader and spools of 2, 3 and 4kg tippet material.
- Selection of wet and dry flies.
A Few Extras
A sun hat and sunscreen are necessary, especially at the higher altitudes in the Central Highlands. A polar fleece or woollen beanie is a great investment as are Polaroid sunglasses, preferably in a copper or rose colour lens for eye protection and to help spot all the fish. But most of these things will be carried whether you’re fishing or not.
Whether you’re making a trip to Tassie an epic adventure or a relaxed getaway, the great chase for Tassie trout is yours for the taking. I’ve visited many times, and most trips have been fully blown fishing adventures, but a number have simply been enjoyable trips away with my wife, in fact we even went to Tassie for our honeymoon, and no, I didn’t take the fishing rods. Fishing with the kids or partner in Tassie can be a relaxing and fantastic way to explore the state and spend time in areas away from the recognised tourist spots while also providing a glimpse of the less visited areas of our wilderness southern state.
Good luck and enjoy your trip.
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