The Nut, Stanley

Itineraries - Trout Fishing in Tasmania

Tasmania is an angler’s paradise. Surrounded by the waters of the Southern Ocean and with abundant lakes, rivers, streams and lagoons, Tasmania offers a wealth of world quality fly and lure fishing.

The diversity of trout fishing options distinguishes Tasmania from most other places, while Tasmania’s spectacular terrain and variable weather conditions create a challenging and rewarding experience for anglers of all levels.

Since their introduction in 1864, Tasmania's wild brown trout have become arguably the purest strain of brown trout on the planet. Almost all of the island's 3,000 lakes and numerous rivers and streams hold either wild browns or rainbows - or both.

Tasmania's fishing season runs from from September through to May each year.

Dry fly purists can follow the spring, summer and autumn mayfly hatches with peak season highland lakes gum beetle, jassid falls and then grasshopper fishing from mid summer to mid autumn.

As well, sea-runners from around late winter - early spring, weighted and unweighted nymphers and wet fly warriors all have great fishing variety across and around the island. 

Fishing licenses are required on all inland waterways and the best way to navigate the island’s range of fishing opportunities is with a certified guide. Extended experiences can be paired with some of Tasmania’s best highland accommodation options.

For more information on guides and lodges see Trout Guides and Lodges Tasmania  and to make the most of your holiday in Tasmania take a look at Discover Tasmania.

Suggested itineraries x 3

The following self-drive itineraries are examples of combining fishing products around the state for multi-day experiences.

4 Days South and Central Tasmania

Lakes and Rivers

Day1: Hobart - Somercotes – 1.5 hr/115 km

  • Stop at Somercotes Cherry Farm for a taste of fresh cherries in season
  • Fish private fishery with Red Tag Trout Tours
  • River fishing Macquarie River
  • Short stopover at Ross to see the Female Factory, Ross bridge, Ross Wool Centre and Ross bakery.
  • Overnight Somercotes

Day 2: Somercotes to Central Highlands – 1.5 hr/138km

  • Stop at Nant Distillery in Bothwell
  • Take your pick of the land of 3,000 lakes with Fish Wild Tasmania
  • Arthurs Lake, Little Pine Lagoon, Great Lake or Western Lakes
  • Overnight Central Highlands Lodge
  • Day 3: Central Highlands – Derwent Valley 1.25 hours/102km

    • Fish a lake before heading out to the Derwent Valley
    • Stop at the Salmon Ponds and the Museum of Trout fishing in Tasmania
    • Overnight 28 gates

    Day 4: Derwent Valley - Hobart 50 minutes/55km

    • Early morning fish on the private lake
    • Return to Hobart 

    4 Days –Tasmania’s Highlands Lakes

    Day 1: Hobart - Tarraleah – 1 hr 50 min/127 km

    • Stop at Hamilton for morning tea at the café
    • At Tarraleah, head out lake fishing with Ken Orr from Orrsome Tassie Trout
    • Kayak, bushwalk or spa at Tarraleah Lodge or try a dram from the wall of whisky
    • Overnight Tarraleah

    Day 2: Tarraleah to Central Highlands – 0.75 hr/60km

    • Early morning fish on Lake St Claire with Ken Orr from Orrsome Tassie Trout
    • Lunch at Bronte Park
    • Meet up with Phipps from Trout Tonic for a fish of Little Pine, Penstock or one of the Western Lakes
    • Overnight Central Highlands Lodge

    Day 3: Central Highlands –Skullbone Plains 0.75 hours/60km approx

    • Early morning fish on Great Lake with Trout Tonic
    • Lunch at Central Highland Lodge
    • Meet River Fly and heading overland to Skullbone Plains
    • World Heritage Area and prime fishing spots with River Fly
    • Overnight River Fly Wilderness Huts

    Day 4: Skullbone Plains - Launceston 2.25 hours/170km approx

    • Early morning fish on Lake Ina with River Fly 
    • Return to Launceston 

    4 Days –Tasmania’s Northern Rivers & Central Highland Lakes

    Day 1: Launceston - Miena 1.5 hr/110 km

    Day 2: Central Highlands

    • A day on the water with fly fishing champion Christopher Bassano from Rainbow Lodge
    • Overnight Rainbow Lodge

    Day 3: Central Highlands 

    • Day tour and fishing
    • Stop at 42 Degrees South Salmon and Ginseng farm
    • Overnight Hayes on Brumbys

    Day 4: Central Highlands - Launceston 1.5 hr/110 km 

    • Trout Fishing Museum at Clarendon House Evandale
    • Using a heritage rod and reel try your cast on the South Esk River
    • Return to Launceston 

    Tassie's top fly fishing spots

    South Esk River

    This catchment area has great trout / fly fishing along its length and was one of the rivers chosen for the 2012 Commonwealth championships.

    Penstock Lagoon

    This fly only lagoon has long been a popular water and on the must visit list of many interstate anglers. The fish here grow fast and strong and provide great sport for dry and wet fly fishing. The fish are stocked as fry from wild strain stocks and are triploided to produce fast growing and fit specimens.

    Little Pine Lagoon

    A small dam on the Little Pine River has created arguably Australia’s best known fly fishing water. From wily tailing fish to voracious dun feeders this water offers something for the fly fisher all season, whether from a boat or the shore.

    Great Lake

    The sheer size of Great Lake means that there are always a variety of possibilities for the fly fisher. The lake has a huge population of brown and rainbow trout and offers year round fishing. The shores of the lake offer good wet fly fishing and beetle falls provide dry fly fishing particularly in open water. The open water polaroiding of trout cruising wind lanes is as good as you will find anywhere.

    Arthurs Lake

    This lake offers nearly everything a fly fisher could want. Whilst the trout don’t tend to be large, every season Arthurs offer up a trophy brown trout of ten pound or more. The catch rate at Arthurs can be outstanding and when it is firing it is not unusual to catch twenty or more for the day. Dry fly fishing the hatches, nymphing wind lanes or wet fly fishing the galaxias feeders, the action at Arthurs can be red hot.

    Brumby's Creek

    Brumby's Creek is a tailrace trout fishery that is fed by cool clear mountain water through the summer months. This water delivers mayfly action on the lowlands throughout spring, summer and autumn.

    Western lakes

    This is Tasmania’s true wilderness fishery with literally thousands of lakes, lagoons and tarns covering the central plateau west of the Nineteen Lagoons area. This area can only be accessed by foot or the couple of four wheel drive tracks that are still open. Tailing and cruising brown trout are what anglers come to this area for and depending on the water it could be a trophy sized fish that you cast your fly to.

    Huon River System

    The Huon River Catchment- further south than the Derwent, can be a challenging area to access but well worth the effort. The Huon River Catchment holds the record for the largest brown trout caught in Tasmania. The summer and autumn months provide good clear water fishing, with some good dry fly areas.

    Macquarie River

    Widely known through the writing of David Scholes (well known fly angler and writer during the mid to late 1900’s) and an iconic lowland river, the Macquarie is most famous for its prolific hatches of the red spinner mayfly. This slow moving river offers the best drift boat fishing in Tasmania. Wild brown trout are the feature but rainbow trout from a nearby commercial hatchery also liven up the fishing at times.

    Nineteen Lagoons

    The collection of waters West of Great Lake accessed by the road into Lake Augusta are a truly wilderness experience without the need for hours of walking. Whilst not all these waters are regulated as fly fishing only, most are best for this method. Flooded lagoon and backwater fishing for tailing brown trout is an early season feature and in the height of summer polaroiding the shallow lagoons is an exciting and rewarding prospect.

    Lake Burbury

    This lake is open all year round and has both wild rainbow and brown trout populations. Early morning fishing, particularly during spring months, for midge feeders is the feature here. Rainbow trout can often be found cruising wind lanes and offer exciting fishing from a boat. There is also plenty of dead timber for targeting mudeye feeders.

    Mersey River

    The river has its head waters in the World Heritage Area of the Central Plateau and has a good mix of riffled reaches and slower runs through farming districts. In the upper sections it has a good population of rainbow trout, something of a rarity in Tasmanian rivers. With its clear waters trout can be polaroided but fish will often rise to a well placed dry fly. In the lower reaches some solid brown trout can be found.

    Bronte Lagoon

    For a small water this lagoon has a variety of fly fishing options. Tailing fish are a feature during spring months with frog feeders providing some exciting fishing amongst the tussocks. Rising fish can be found on occasion and cruising fish near inflows provide very good dry fly fishing. Brown, brook and rainbow trout are all found here.

    Further information

    E: trade@tourism.tas.gov.au