FRESHWATER FISHING IN
THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND
Tasmania is different. Its flora, fauna and landforms are unique to anywhere else in the world. So it’s only fitting that the trout fishing opportunities in the crystal clear waters are incomparable.
WORDS STEVE 'STARLO' STARLING
VIDEO BY CATCHMAGAZINE.NET
The only island state of the world’s only inhabited island continent is a place of baffling contradictions.
SUNSET IN TASMANIA'S CENTRAL HIGHLANDS
Snow has been known to fall here on Christmas Day, yet it’s far removed from the northern hemisphere. Historic stone buildings line the cobbled streets of quaint villages, but this isn’t a corner of rural Britain. It’s a food and wine fanciers’ paradise, yet it’s a world away from the south of France. The best part? Trout and salmon thrive in its clean, cold waters, despite the fact that these fish are not native to this far-flung corner of the globe. Known to its indigenous inhabitants as Trowenna or Lutruwita, and later named Van Diemen’s Land by early European explorers, this parcel of paradoxes is today commonly referred to as the Apple Isle or the Devil’s Playground (after the black-and-white marsupial carnivore immortalized by the Warner Brothers cartoon character, Taz). Officially, however, it’s Tasmania.
TASMANIA IS HALF THE SIZE OF ENGLAND, BUT WITH LESS THAN A HUNDRETH OF THE POPULATION
All these fascinating and seemingly contradictory elements are crammed into a compact parcel of gob-smackingly beautiful landscape that would fit inside the U.S. state of California almost three times. It’s also roughly half the size of England, but with less than a hundredth of that country’s population.
Towering mountains, an abundance of clean, cool water and a lack of people provided the ideal habitat for trout when these fish were introduced by homesick Europeans way back in 1864. The speckled immigrants have flourished in their new home, turning Tasmania into a bucket-list destination for anglers from around the globe. In particular, the sight-fishing for wild-spawned brown trout in shallow, clear water is second to none.
TASMANIA OFFERS SOME OF THE FINEST TROUT FISHING ON THE PLANET
The most efficient way for a visiting angler to tap into the best of this action is to make use of a reliable, professional guiding service. Fortunately, Tasmania boasts many great fishing guides, while also offering both comfortable lodge-style and back-to-nature accommodation right in the heart of the state’s best trout fishing areas.
These exceptional guided experiences and lodge stays will transport you into the very essence of what makes the Devil’s Playground.
A former Antarctic expedition training facility, the luxuriously renovated Thousand Lakes Lodge lies in the Nineteen Lagoons region of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed Central Plateau Conservation Area. This starkly beautiful, otherworldly place offers a fitting backdrop for some of the finest trout fishing on the planet, and the lodge makes use of a team of expert guides to ensure that guests enjoy the best fishing experiences in the area.
AN ANGLER AFTER A DAY OUT WITH RIVERFLY 1864
THOUSAND LAKES LODGE IS A FORMER ANTARCTIC TRAINING FACILITY
In stark contrast, but no less beautiful, is RiverFly 1864, which is a family-operated business that will skillfully guide you on a range of the island state’s best trout streams and lakes, or bring you to their eco-friendly huts in the back blocks of the remote Western Lakes for the ultimate in wilderness fishing adventures.
RIVERFLY 1864 WILL SKILLFULLY GUIDE YOU TO SOME OF TASMANIA'S MOST HIDDEN STREAMS AND LAKES
Whether it’s luxury or laid back, both of these exceptional guided experiences and lodge stays will transport you into the very essence of what makes the devil’s playground a sight-fishing paradise. There’s that baffling contradiction rearing its head once again.
THE TOP 3 HOT SPOTS
ALL ABOUT TROUT
Brown trout are not native to Australia and were first released into the Plenty River in 1864.
Rainbow trout was the second species to arrive in Australia, originating from the rivers and lakes of North America.
Trout are a cold water fish and the perfect water temperature for them to flourish is 14 degrees Celsius.
The annual brown trout fishing season usually runs from the beginning of August to the first weekend in May.
You need a licence to fish trout in the inland waterways of Tasmania.
GREAT FISHING ADVENTURES OF AUSTRALIA
The diversity of Australia’s fishing experiences is as vast as the country itself