It would be my last day in Tasmania. It had taken me the best part of a week to get the hang of a new style of fishing and just as I was beginning to work it out, it was time to go. That’s fishing – it just means you have to come back again – soon.
I had looked over the map and had found a canal that links the Pump Pond to Mossie Swamp Lagoon – another dam, near Taraleah. I had been having success fishing in the faster moving water at the mouths of the lagoons and canals, so I decided to go and have a look.
The weather was windy and had cooled off dramatically overnight, as a front was moving through. It had rained in the morning but, by the time I set off to fish, at about 3.00 pm the wind was dropping and the sun was out again.
I headed up the road to Lake King William, then parked and walked for 15 minutes, along a track to Mossie Swamp Lagoon. This was another beautiful spot and I stopped well short of the edge, to observe what was going on. Predictably, I could see two Brown Trout rising in the shallows, at either end of the dam wall. I cast out a GULP 3” Minnow soft plastic in the Rainbow colour on a 1/12th oz jighead and watched through my Polaroid glasses, as one of the Trout followed my slow retrieve all the way into the bank. I stopped the lure right at the edge and the Trout just sat 10cm away, staring at it – but it would not strike. I switched to a grub tail soft plastic and the same thing happened.
I decided to move on. I walked along another track through the forest that brought me out next to a broad, fast flowing canal with a couple of weirs on it. The bottom was weedy and the wall lining had broken away in places, so that it looked more like a natural river bank. The water was fast moving but there were lots of eddies in the shallows, at the sides.
I had run out of the Peppered Prawn coloured Jigging Grub soft plastics, so I reverted to an old favorite – the GULP 3” Minnow Grub in the Pumpkinseed colour. I cast it forward, up stream into the canal and gave it a couple of jumps as it sped back in my direction. The response was instant. A small Brown Trout raced out from the darkness and attacked the lure. It took two bites and then fled. I reeled the soft plastic back in, less its tail. I put another on and moved another ten metres up the canal. I repeated the process and after a few more casts, came up tight on a fish. It was another nice Brown Trout, about 30cm long. I photographed and released it.
I walked along the river bank and past a weir. I kept casting and got plenty of bites from smaller fish and lost a few jigheads to the rubble and weed on the bottom. I worked my way through my soft plastics – the 3” Jigging Grub in the Camo colour, the 3” Fry on the Banana Prawn colour, the 3” Powerbait Minnow in the Pumpkinseed colour. They all got bites but the GULP Pumpkinseed Minnow Grub with its paddle tail, seemed to be the most attractive and I caught three more small Browns on this one and dropped two more, close to the bank.
I fished up and down this stretch of water until about 6.30 pm, when I simply had to leave. It had been a great afternoon and a suitable finale to a great week. I had spent a lot of time fishing for relatively few fish, but I learned a lot about the wily Tasmanian Brown Trout and I am already planning my next visit.