Oxley falls, Mersey River

Cool waters in hot conditions

Mersey River Brown TroutDuring extremely hot conditions in Tasmania, it’s well worth giving thought to cooler rivers, streams, and tributaries. And they would be tail race rivers such as Brumbys Creek and the Meander River. Also, depending on flow, the Upper North and South Esk Rivers and their tributaries, just to name a few.

We decided to explore the Upper Mersey River in the Mersey Forest area. Water temperatures were a lovely 16 degrees Celsius, and the wild browns and rainbows were feeding without too much stress or hesitation.

Small mayfly patterns along with grasshopper patterns in some areas did the trick.

This gorgeous wild brown trout was caught and released, on a 4 weight with a grasshopper.

The image in the header is of Oxley Falls.

Sawfly feeder

Willow Grubs – a new species in Tasmania

Macquarie willow grub

Willow grubs

A new species of willow grub, Nematus Oligospilus, has arrived in Tasmania, and will become a feature of our trout fishery for years to come. This will mean fatter trout, as the grub is an abundant feast, and we found the largest fish have been drawn into major feeding lanes on our willow infested rivers. They appear at this stage to be in isolated locations.

Willow grub varieties have always been present (to my knowledge), yet never seriously being a feature on the trout’s food menu. This new species are a leaf consuming grub that are very juicy and grow to around 20mm. I have seen the trout eat saw fly adults, the grub and the pupae cocoon that was falling from the tree.

The pupae grow in the leaf, until hatching into the grub. The grub becomes the saw fly. They appear to be dependent on the Salix variety of willow, which includes the crack willow, a pest plant in Tasmania.

Willow branches stripped by the willow gru

Willow branches stripped by the willow grub

The trout will become selective while the grub is present during the summer months, so good imitations, along with good fly presentation can undo some of these excellent wild fish.

Sawfly fly

Fly: Saw fly


Dave on the Meander River

Luring them in

Dave on Brumbys Creek

Dave on Brumbys Creek

David fishes some lovely water in the Spanish Pyrenees, generally with lure, and he could land a small lure on a saucer.

This was invaluable in the tough conditions, as major rains were bringing up water levels, and within an hour of our first fish the water had turned to chocolate. Fortunately northern Tasmania is spoiled with numerous river and tributary options. We caught fish in a number of waters, and hooked up with a solid Atlantic salmon at the end of the day on Brumbys Creek.