Saturday 7th August saw the opening of the Trout season in Tasmania.
Hooked up with the boys on the Friday night at a shack in Liawenee, arguably the coldest place in Australia. We were so keen for the following day that we arrived, turned the fire up, sat down and told stories over several hundred beers. Some neglected to even set up bedding, leading to pranksters hiding their sleeping bag, forcing one to sleep on the couch near the fire, just to keep warm. What sort of bloke does that, hey Benny?
Needless to say, heads were average (or should I say, more average than usual) the next day and the aromas of eggs and bacon were enough to rouse all, except me. Nope I was having a little ‘lay-in’ with the expectation of fishing gentlemans hours. It was, after all, -7.8deg outside and my initial anticipation at the thought of fishing for tailing trout soon expired.
Caught up with my old mate Grosie and jumped in the yella terror for our journey to Gunns and Little Lakes. Pulled up at Gunns and the lake was completely frozen over! We set up our gear, rugged up, sipped on a warm green tea and wandered over to Little Lake, which in fact – is actually the larger of the two. Our ancestors may have been on smack. The edges were still iced over but with our Simms icebreakers strapped to our feet, we soldiered on. The weather forecast managed to be dead wrong again, so the expected sun every now and then actually turned out to be alomst completely overcast with a few drops of sleet and snow.
We were hoping for a spot of polarioiding but were left to constantly draw a wet fly line through our numb fingers. Not ideal but beats flogging a dead wombat. Hooked up soon into it and the little brown took off then had a little slash on the surface, and gone. Around three casts later I’m on again, or so I thought… Nope missed him. At this stage I’m actually wondering if the manufacturer put any points on my hooks! The sun poked its head out for a moment, long enough for us to spook a couple in really shallow so on with the Fur Fly. Polarioded some fantastic water for about 15mins but none sighted. The sun buggers off so it’s back to the wet fly. My home-tied black and gold zonka had drawn a couple of responses so I persisted. I eventually hooked up again, but dropped him. Maybe I should have refused that 98th beer?
With the snow starting to some in and the clouds getting black we decided to high tail it for the car. On the way back we found some disturbances in the shallows. Grosie decided to investigate. This resulted in a two-inch brown trout attached to his 007 fly. A bit further up, my inspection drew the same result, but on a stick caddis. We shook our heads, had a laugh and stumbled our way back to the car. Not really an ideal start to the season, but good to be back out there all the same, and comforting to know the good times are yet to come.