We are just a month into Autumn and within a couple of weeks, the Tasmanian landscape has quickly turned from various shades of brown to much more visually appealing greens. The days are getting shorter and we lose daylight savings this weekend. Deciduous trees are turning and the nights are chilling to a point where we actually have to consider putting a jumper on. Unless you call a jumper a ‘sloppy joe’ or a ‘pullover’. Speaking of pulling over, that’s exactly what I did during my recent work travels.
The Vale River is a marvellous stretch of spring creek, bursting from the ground in a delicate limestone valley – not far from Lake Lea, near Tasmania’s infamous Cradle Mountain. The crystal clear water bubbles its way downstream through an open valley, largely known in the upper reaches as the Vale of Belvoir. It’s majestic, captivating and littered with intriguing limestone sink holes, backwaters and undercut banks. Through some sections, the river braids and even goes underground before reappearing. Such is the appeal of this unique location.
The tussock grasslands of the Vale of Belvoir are home to shy ground parrots, rare Ptunarra brown butterflies and numerous wildflowers. It is also home to one of the densest populations in the world of marsupial carnivores, including the vulnerable spotted-tailed quoll and endangered Tasmanian devil.
For the keen angler, there is also brown trout and the odd rainbow trout. During my fleeting lunch-stop visit, there were hatches of caddis moth and small mayfly, with large grasshoppers still on the wing. I also sighted five white-lipped snakes within a very short distance! My lunch stop was still enough to secure a small brown whilst missing another two and pulling the hooks on a solid specimen, in an attempt to drag it out of the undercuts. The Vale is a very special place, and a location I just have to visit at least once per season. You should visit too, fish it, respect it and most importantly – enjoy it.
Hooked up, not 50 metres from the car or 30 metres from the highway. A bloke’s gotta eat lunch you know!