Trout fishing in Tasmania is one of the great fishing experiences with big trout and great daily catches, if you know where and when to fish in Tasmania’s many trout waters.
Tasmania’s varied landscape offers a large number of excellent trout fishing waters, in fact too many for anyone person to know all of them well. For that reason my guided trout fishing tours focus primarily on two of Tasmanian’s most rewarding trout waters, Great Lake, in the Central Highlands, and the Huon River, south west of Hobart.
There are good reasons for choosing these two Tasmanian trout fishing waters (apart from the numerous big trout that live there). One is that Great Lake is open all year round, although the trout fishing is best there from late Autumn to early Summer. Great Lake fishes well enough through the summer months though generally only the fly will give good results. That said, fly fishing is usually better in other nearby lakes such as Little Pine and Penstock Lagoon; so in summer I prefer the Huon River.
The Huon River is one of Tasmania’s top trout and Atlantic salmon fishing rivers. For seasonal fishing purposes the Huon River is divided into two sections, one that can be fished all year round, below the bridge at Huonville, the other, up-river from the Huonville Bridge is closed to all fishing from the end of May until the first weekend of October. This means that when the Huon River is closed the trout fishing at Tasmania’s Great Lake is at its best.
Fishing the Huon River
Fishing below the Huonville Bridge
For fishing purposes the waters down stream from the Huonville Bridge are considered to be estuarine and can be fished all year round. A wide variety of fish can be caught from the grassy banks, jetties and rocky shorelines from the mouth of the Huon River near Lymington up to the Huonville bridge. Apart from resident brown trout, sea run trout and Atlantic salmon, other fish of the lower Huon River include flathead, Australian salmon, barracouta, cod, wrasse and bream. The Huon River bream are considered to be amongst the biggest in the Tasmania and Australia, often reaching 2 or 3 kilograms. They are also a real challenge to catch.
Tasmanian Trout Fishing in the Huon River and the Great Lake
Guided Fishing Tours of Tasmania's Most Exciting Trout Fishing Waters
Peter Gartner with massive 6 kilo Huon River Atlantic Salmon escapee. The locals call the Huon Sea Run trout salmon because of the silvery colouring that makes them look much like an Atlantic Salmon however the patterns on a sea runner are very different to the Atlantic salmon patterns. Sea runners are brown trout.
The Huon River offers some of the most beautiful fly fishing locations in Australia with rocky shallows, deep pools and rapids.
The really special thing about fishing the Huon River is that it has been made easily accessible along almost all its banks by the Tasmanian government's "Fishing Trails" program. This program provides roadside parking beside access trails that lead down to the Huon River's banks. From there the trails follow the river.
Taz Jefferys Fly Fishing the Huon River downstream from Judbury
The Atlantic salmon population in the Huon River is entirely made up of salmon that have escaped from the large number of salmon farms that dot the Huon River and the D`entrecasteaux Channel. Whilst the benefits of the atlantic salmon farms to local economies is generally seen as a good thing the effect of salmon farms on the marine environment is controversial due to the increase of nutrients levels in the water which in turn contribute to algae blooms. That said the significant number of Atlantic salmon that escape each year has been a boon for fishing in all reaches of the Huon River, with many big fish (up to 7 and 8 kilos) taking up residence in the Huon from the estuary up into the Huon River's various tributaries and many of the Huon's ponds and rapids. Whilst many escapees are eaten by sharks, seals and dolphin the numbers of salmon surviving to inhabit the Huon River has increased significantly in the last few years due to changes in the laws regarding the setting of static fishing nets, which used to remove thousands of salmon (and other fish, birds and mammals) from the river system.
Atlantic Salmon in the Lower Huon River
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Landed....the Atlantic Salmon caught by Taz on a green and pink wet fly in the Huon River fishing access point at the Judbury Bridge.
'Taz' Jefferys bringing in a big Huon River Atlantic Salmon caught one of his own wet flies designed especially for Atlantic salmon
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Guided fishing tours of the Huon River and Great Lake starting from $300 per day including lunch. Half day fishing tours, $150 per day are also available. Other trout waters, within a two hour driving radius from Hobart are also available
Fishing can either be by wading and walking or, on the Huon River, moving to various locations by kayak, depending on water levels and personal preferences.
Both the Huon River and Great Lake are great for fly fishing or spin fishing, depending on conditons and season. For dedicated fly fishermen wading the Weld River is available as another great option and your guide knows all the Weld River's secret access points.
Your fishing guide, Greg Jefferys, with a nice Atlantic Salmon caught on minnow pattern soft plastic lure below the first rapids on the Huon River
Visit our YouTube Channel by clicking the YouTube link below. (P.S. they are not exactly top quality videos but they will give you a feel for the conditions on the Huon River)
Sea Run Trout or Sea Runners
Often called “salmon” by the locals because of their silvery, salmon like appearance, the sea run trout are wild brown trout that have taken up residence either in the ocean or the estuarine regions of the D`entrecasteaux Channel. They tend to begin the run up the Huon River following the white bait run which usually begins in early spring but can vary considerably depending on rainfall and other factors. In fact sometimes the whitebait run can continue until the end of Summer. Sea run trout can grow to great sizes, with fish over six kilos being caught with some reasonable regularity. The largest trout ever caught in Australia was caught at Huonville, near the bridge and weighed in at nearly 15 kilograms!
Sea run trout can normally be seen working the clouds of whitebait in the shallows of bays and rocky shorelines or found lurking in strategic locations such as under submerged logs or rocks from where they can pounce on passing whitebait. Soft plastics of a shape that mimics the white bait or wet flies of a similar design work well on sea run trout when they are hunting.
The Huon River's estuary extends from the Egg Islands down to Lymington. It is a vast and beautiful body of water and holds a lot of resident brown trout. When the upper Huon trout season closes it's time to move downstream and fish the estuary's rocky shoreline. This nice brown trout was taken on a minnow pattern in shallow water. And there's always the chance of a big Atlantic Salmon!