Tasmania was the birthplace for trout fishing in the Southern Hemisphere, over one and a half centuries ago.
Today, Australia’s island state is regarded by experts as the trout capital of Australia, but with its world-renowned lake fishing, lowland rivers, pristine streams and remote wilderness areas of indescribable beauty, those who have fished in Tassie will tell you there is nowhere else in the world like it.
Whether you are a novice or an expert with a few hours or a few days to spend, we have the guide and the experience just for you.
The Derwent Valley west of Hobart was the site of the first successful introduction of wild brown trout, successfully carried from England to Tasmania aboard the clipper "Norfolk" in 1864 after several attempts. The few wild brown trout that were reared and released went on to thrive in the pristine Tasmanian environment and their protégé was later used to stock other waters in Australia and in New Zealand.
Today, wild trout continue to flourish in Tasmania with clear mountain streams and gravelly runs providing ideal spawning and nursery conditions. Brown trout remain pure and free of significant disease and with few natural predators or competing species.
There are in excess of 3000 lakes to choose from in the Tasmanian Central Highlands alone, most stocked with wild brown and rainbow trout.
A lesser-known fact is that Tasmania’s river fishing is equally splendid. Almost all Tasmania’s towns and villages have either a river or small creek running through them, and almost all are full of wild trout.
Where else in the world can offer such variety, diversity and depth of experience in such a compact landmass? Add to the remarkable wilderness landscape the distraction of eagles soaring overhead, bush filled with wombats, wallabies, pademelons (the wallaby’s smaller cousins found only in Tasmania) and possibly with even Tasmania devils, not to mention a platypus or two feeding at your feet, and it is difficult to justify going anywhere else.
The relatively compact if wild nature of Tasmania, a wilderness island the size of Ireland, allows you to experience almost every different part of the state in a two-week trip – which, given that its dramatic and ever-changing scenery is a draw-card for visitors from all over the world, is justification for going in itself. Yet the thousands of lakes, streams and rivers mean that it is also possible to fish different water every week for the rest of your life.
Tasmania’s accredited guides are also some of the best in the world, ranging from Commonwealth Fly fishing Champion, Christopher Bassano, to river fishing specialists and those who know the Tasmanian lakes better than the back of their hands.
Accommodation is plentiful – from highlands fishing lodges to comfortable shacks and cosy B&Bs.
Fishing trips can vary from a day to a week or more and cater for the beginner, novice, intermediate or experienced dedicated angler.
Tasmania is a fantastic sight fishery, be it early spring sea-runners charging the whitebait runs or flooded margins ‘tailing’ trout in the highlands, through mid-spring and summer mayfly feeders, to autumn grasshoppers, gum beetles, jassid hatches or leaping damsel chasers it is an intimate trout fishery where stalking your sighted fish is often the norm.
Whether visiting to fish as a single angler or with a group dedicated to fishing from dawn to dusk, you will be spoilt for choice and still leave plenty of new experiences for your return trip – and Tasmania leaves every fisherman or woman yearning for more.
If, on the other hand, you are visiting with an inexperienced or even a non-fishing partner, Tasmania is probably the best destination in the world you could choose, for its unique diversity means that any number of very special wildlife, walking, cultural, heritage or gourmet experiences are within easy striking distance from almost any lake or stream.
In addition to its world quality trout fishing, Tasmania has great estuary, coastal and deep-sea fishing around the island.
The east coast in particular from St Helens down past the southern tip of Bruny Island off the south-east has some of the best marlin, tuna and mako shark fishing in Australian waters. Accredited members of the Sea Charter Boat Operators (SCBOT) can be found along the coastal towns and offer a range of all sea fishing options.
In the estuaries, some of the biggest best bream fishing you could want is available. Places like the Derwent River, Huon estuary and the east coast areas like Little Swanport and Orford are top spots.