|Guided Tasmanian fly fishing trips with RiverFly Tasmania|
Hi, I’m Daniel Hackett, and I’d like to invite you to come guided fly fishing for wild Tasmanian trout, with my business, RiverFly Tasmania.
Single day or multiple day guided fishing bookings, beginners or advanced anglers catered for.
Rafting rivers, wading streams, even wilderness campouts – the choice is yours.
RiverFly Tasmania is Tasmania’s original river-based fly fishing guiding business, and Tasmania’s first river-based lodge operator. Our guides Daniel and Patrick will lead you onto wild brown and rainbow trout among the famous Tasmanian midland streams, or along the more remote rivers and tarns of Tasmania’s wilderness Western Lakes and World Heritage Areas. Venues include Brumby’s Creek, South Esk and North Esk rivers, St Patricks River, Mersey River, the wilderness Western Lakes and all the creeks and springs in between.
If you are still learning the art of fly fishing, spend a guided-tuition day with us while enjoying the full river-based experience.
More proficient? Why not join us on one of our packages. Fish for three days and experience the Three Rivers Package, or a Wilderness Campout among a listed World Heritage Area. If you want the complete package, try our Three Rivers lodge and fly fishing package.
Tasmanian fly fishing packages
Three Rivers Package
Three Days, Three Rivers, Three Experiences
This package offers anglers the opportunity to fish three different rivers, offering three unique experiences, over three days. The destinations are tailored to your goals.
Rafting or wading, large rivers or small streams – the choice is yours.
3 days, $1125 ea for two anglers or $1860 for single anglers
Three Rivers lodge and fly fishing package
It’s the complete package: our popular Three Rivers Package as above, along with lodge acccommodation in a Quamby Estate Superior Room, with breakfast and two course dinners included. Free airport pickup/drop off available on first day and last day of guiding by prior arrangement.
Rates per person,
per night 1 Oct 09-30 Nov 09 1 Dec 09-30 Apr 10
Room type Superior Deluxe Superior Deluxe
Double $1,797.00 $1,989.00 $1,956.00 $2,178.00
Single $2,715.00 $3,099.00 $3,033.00 $3,477.00
Three days fly fishing with RiverFly Tasmania
Three nights in a Superior Room (share twin)
2-course dinner each evening.
The pinnacle of fly fishing is fishing for wild fish, in wild places. Be adventurous, and choose a wilderness campout. The environments of temperate myrtle rainforests, highland moors, eucalypt forests, and the history of high country huts will live on in your memory well beyond your trip. Prices are inclusive of all fishing, hiking and camping equipment, and are tailored to suit your request. The prices below also include airport transfers on first day/last day of booking by prior arrangement. Please E-Mail us for more information.
$1500 pp 3 days / 2 nights (based on two anglers)
$2250 pp 4 days/3 nights (based on two anglers)
Beginners 1 day fly fishing and lodge package
One day of guided fly fishing with RiverFly Tasmania, and 1 night accommodation in a Quamby Estate Superior Room with breakfast and two course dinner included
COST: $599 per person, twin share
Rates per person,
per night 1 Oct 09-30 Nov 09 1 Dec 09-30 Apr 10
Room type Superior Deluxe Superior Deluxe
Double $599.00 $663.00 $652.00 $726.00
Single $905.00 $1,033.00 $1,011.00 $1,159.00
One full day guided fly fishing instruction with RiverFly Tasmania
One night accommodation
*Add an extra day of guiding for $375pp, and experience a second Tasmanian river*
Fly fishing Tasmania – the season
Tasmanian trout fishing is a seasonal affair; here’s what to expect when fishing with RiverFly Tasmania.
August and September
August and september sees the season open. Everything from standard nymphs, right through to drowned earthworms and floating cockchafer beetles may be on the menu, depending on the variable conditons. Tailing trout are a famous event during September, with our favourite Brumbys Creek being a hotspot. If winter floods occur, we head to the headwater creeks which enable us to polaroid little creek fish, which we target with nymphs and earthworm patterns.
Hatches and events: Flood fishing to earthworm feeders, evening cockchafer beetle falls, nymphing trout.
Past season highlights. Tailing fish at Brumby’s creek during the day (proving extremely difficult) and cockchafer beetle feeders on evening to 3 3/4lbs. Polaroiding the small streams can also be exciting this time of year for targeting smaller creek fish. Other highlights from 2009/10 season was awesome flood fishing along the South Esk River basin, particularly on evening. Fish to three-pounds were landed.
October see’s the first of the major mayfly hatches giving rise to classic dry fly fishing on the rivers. Tailing trout are peaking at the same time. Fisheries such as the Esk rivers, the Macquarie, Meander and Mersey rivers are the first to feature these mayfly hatches. Sigh fishing is the focus.
October is also when we begin our Western Lakes campouts for the season, with frog-feeders and tailing trout the highlights.
Hatches: Red and black mayfly spinners, baetid mayflies, caddis, cockchafer beetles
Past season highlights. Diary entry from the 2nd week of October ‘Fished the first mayfly hatch of the season with Aaron Errington, walking the famed Macquarie river. Unbelievable fishing, arrived to find spent caenid mayfly, followed by a dun hatch and red spinner fall. 25 browns, about eight at 3lbs (50cm, 20inches) or better plus many broken off on the strike or in the thick weed. The Shaving Brush worked well.’
Early November sees good hatches dependent on prevailing conditions. All the mayfly and caddis species should be well and truly hatching by the end of November, along with more terrestrial beetle falls. This is my favourite month along with late March/April for classic dry fly fishing to risers.
Hatches: Four species of mayfly, most of the prevalent caddis species and three or more terrestrial beetles.
Past season highlights. Diary entry 15-17 November ‘Joel, a novice fly fisher, landed his first trout on the nymph followed by his first fish on the dry, polaroided and landed his first sight-fished trout and managed three fish in three casts. Learnt to tie a Red Tag and also caught a fish on this. The final day we polaroided a 3-4lb monster, fished to it for an hour or so, until it disappeared. It came to the fly three times with its mouth open, only for drag to kick in at the last minute each time! See write up and photos by Brad Harris in FlyLife magazine no. 44
Everything is fishing excellent by December, including the rafting destinations. The hatches of November have developed to become consistent, with the addition of dragonflies, damselflies and native bees being present.
Hatches: everything except hoppers! Mayflies, caddis, dragons and damsels, terrestrials
Past season highlights. Micro-caddis hatches on Brumby’s creek, with 3lb fish feeding on them in inches of water. Diary entry 9-12 Dec ‘3 clients (2 guides) had a ball for the 4 days of fishing mainly small creeks and rivers. Excellent fun and the clients were good company. The locations were half of the enjoyment, rainforest and mountain valley settings.’ Diary entry 22 December ‘ fished the river in front of the lodge during lunch on a day off, the fish were up high in the water sipping duns. Christened my new 586 SLT Sage rod and my new Glister Brush fly on an eighteen incher that I polaroided!
The array of hatches from December continues into mid to late January. Wading and rafting are both equally successful yet offer a great contrast in fishing. The last few weeks of the months see the mayflies start to dissipate until their return in mid to late February, while the fish start looking for juvenile hoppers – let the ‘hopper fishing fun begin!
Hatches: Terrestrials, Caddis, mayfly
Past season highlights. Polaroiding 2lb+ fish sipping duns in front of the lodge whilst platypus swam around our feet. Fishing the Brumby’s Creek flats for large selective browns from the raft. Diary entry 5 January ‘The client and I polaroided a large fish, perhaps 3lbs, sipping small duns from a foam line running along a grassy overhang. The cast was perfect, and the fish ate the fly – client struck way too early in anticipation though and missed it completely. Redemption came in the next pool however when the client made another excellent presentation to a rise, this time timing the strike perfectly and landing a 52cm, 21 inch 3lb+ brown, the biggest to come from the lodge river this season. Fishing to polaroided rising fish was the real highlight, regardless of whether we landed the fish in the end’
February sees the potentially explosive grasshopper induced fishing continue. Mid-February marks the start of the autumn mafly fishing, which continues through until April.
Hatches: Grasshoppers, mayfly, terrestrials
Past season highlights. Diary entry 9 Feb ‘Raised ten fish for two hours on the North Esk at the lodge using a hopper. Lots of wind which actually helped’. 10-13 Feb ‘ three days of excellent small stream fishing, small fish but lots of them. 16-20 Feb ‘ Rafted the Mac, Excellent hopper fishing. The 19th saw us land nine fish on the single dry, seven of which were over 2lbs, with the biggest in the weight net going 3 3/4lbs! This is as good as the Mac gets! Went to Brumby’s on the 20th and saw the biggest hatch I have ever seen of caddis. Three pounders everywhere, but almost impossible to catch due to the numbers of naturals on the water, it was unbelievable just to sit back and watch the organised chaos that mother nature presented for the day’.
A month that in a good year can produce world-class grasshopper and mayfly induced dry fly fishing.
Hatches: Grasshoppers were the major hatch for March 2006, but when they weren’t around, or began to slow, the fish switch to sipping duns!
Past season highlights. Diary entry 7-8 March ‘landed 12 on hoppers wading the South Esk, then 5 from 20-25 takes rafting the Macquarie the following day. The biggest was a three pound sipper on the Mac which was actually on a Black Spinner.’ Diary entry 19 March ‘Caught and released about 20 browns whilst wading ‘the secret run’, including the biggest of the season, a brown in excess of four pounds!’ Diary entry 25 March ‘Caught and released 12+ fish on hoppers wading. Julian got the big fish he was hoping for, a beautiful three pounder, and newbie Paul landed his first four fish ever – one was polaroided and another was three pounds!’ Though the numbers describe the action, the real highlight is the predominant sight fishing opportunities available in March and early April.
April fishing is generally great on the rivers, with classic mayfly fishing. Good sight fishing was encountered until the last day of each season during 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Hatches: The mayfly duns and ants are the highlights, lasting right through the month though becoming at times sporadic.
Past season highlights. Diary entry 8-10 April ‘We spent some time polaroiding a small rainforest creek, excellent fun. Followed this by wade fishing a larger river where we encountered a steady minor mayfly hatch. Classic dry fly fishing ensued, skilled clients managed plenty of fish from twice as many takes! Returned to the same spot the next day and my experienced single angler client landed a dozen or so again sight fished feeding on the duns.’ Diary entry 28th April ‘The fish in front of the lodge were feeding on nymphs in water shallow enough that you could make out their fins. Other fish were sipping spinners. The fish demanded a good presentation, so the riser we fooled was very satisfying, as was landing the fish we found swirling in the backwater’.
May has great river and lake fishing for rainbow trout as the brown trout season closes. Last year saw us polaroiding cruising rainbows for three days in a row, as they snaffled gum beetles and other terrestrisls off the top. May can also see the capture of the season’s biggest fish as lake fish move into the rivers, while the weather can feature beautifully settled days.
Hatches: Gum beetles, mayfly, chironomid and jassids
Past season highlights. 2008 – Stalking along the shores of a north western lake, chasing consistent sippers for three days straight. Rainbow and brown trout were the targets, averaging 1 3/4lbs, and reaching 4lbs. Excellent sight fishing with calm autumn weather. 2009 – Polaroiding a rainbow river, targeting trout up to 5lbs. The fishing was challenging, but visually exciting. Can’t wait for May 2010 to target these larger fish again!
Guided Tasmanian fly fishing – the choices
Guided Tasmanian fly fishing options – wading the streams, raft-fishing the rivers or maybe a wilderness Western Lake campout.
Our guided fly fishing days are tailored to suit your requirements. We guide and teach complete beginners right through to advanced fly fishers.
Wading rivers is the traditional way of fishing rivers, and for some people this remains the preferred style. RiverFly guide’s cumulative knowledge of Tasmania’s rivers is used to provide our clients with the best chance of hitting the hatch, and sight fishing to feeding fish.
Guides Daniel and Patrick often guide on historic sections of the North Esk, South Esk, Macquarie or St Patricks rivers, written about and fished by the likes of David Scholes and Dick Wigram. These sections of river feature some of Tasmania’s best mayfly hatches. Another alternative is to wade one of Daniel’s favourite wilderness rivers (such as parts of the Meander or Mersey rivers), fishing the fast pocket water as you go.
If wade fishing is your preference then let one of our guides apply their considerable knowledge of isolated river stretches to design a program to meet your expectations. A Three Rivers Package can incorporate fly-fishing over three days, on three distinct river locations, offering three different experiences.
River raft fly fishing
The lowland river fly-fishing experience includes mayfly hatches, casting to rising fish and stalking polaroided fish. These features of Tasmania’s river fisheries are at times only fully utilised on the bigger rivers by using specialised rafts and an expert guide.
Whilst raft fishing with Daniel you may cover up to 25 kilometres of water a day, all whilst relaxing from the seats of the raft – or if you prefer, use the raft as a taxi to take you from wading hot spot to hot spot.
Daniel has access to over 75 kilometres (and growing each season) of lowland rafting runs and utilises the very latest generation raft to do so. He has been the first person to ever raft fish sections of many rivers in Tasmania, locating new magical weedy glides and great hatches that later develop in to new guiding locations.
The raft provides an extremely stable platform for beginners and experienced fly fishers alike, and can take you through waters that prove too shallow or tight for noisy and heavy fibreglass drift boats. Drifting silently downstream, the raft is at one with the surrounding environment. Cattle, sheep and platypus, even deer at times, remain unaffected by the passage of the raft. See our rafting slideshow here to see what to expect during your trip.
Small stream trout hunting
For many guests, this can be the ultimate in river fly fishing. The challenges presented by small streams, grasses, trees and wind can be the most demanding of all environments for trout anglers.
The wild brown are typically spotted rising or through the use of Polaroid glasses, thereafter the hunt is on with the weapon of choice being a single dry fly or nymph.
Reach casting, aerial mending, roll casting – whatever it takes to get the fly in between the obstacles and to the trout, all the while not showing yourself or spooking the fish.
Western Lake campouts
Complimenting our river-based fly fishing, RiverFly are pioneering wilderness based fly fishing campouts in Tasmania. Using our knowledge of remote stretches of river, and the wilderness Western Lakes, we are developing a niche for those that want to fly fish and camp in the wilderness. Click here for more information.
RiverFly Tasmania guides
Daniel started fishing for trout as a four-year-old, in the streams of the Snowy Mountains. A few years later and half a world away, now living in Ireland where he spent his formative teenage years, Daniel started fly fishing. His favourite location was poaching on the local Bishop’s Estate.
Daniel became a full-time professional guide in 2002, at the same time becoming the youngest full-time guide in Tasmania. Previous to this, Daniel was a fish-farm hand, raising and breeding rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon for Tassie’s clean & green aquaculture industry. You’ve probably ate his handywork!
Daniel served his first two seasons as a guide with a larger guiding group, where his main role was to raft-guide clients on the famous Brumbys Creek and Lower Macquarie River, as well as taking guests on boat-based guiding days on Arthurs Lake, Great Lake and Penstock Lagoon in the Central Highlands. Daniel enjoyed his first few seasons of guiding, and went on to start RiverFly Tasmania in 2005.
Since forming RiverFly Tasmania, Daniel has put Tasmania’s rivers back on the map, re-discovering famous streams such as the St Patricks, North Esk and South Esk Rivers. He pioneered fishing on forgotten rivers such as the Mersey River, and among the headwater creeks of north eastern Tasmania. His articles have been published in FlyLife Magazine, Australian Traveller Magazine, Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News and Tasmanian Sportsfisher Magazine. In 2007 Daniel co-authored the award winning coffee-table book ‘In Season Tasmania – A Year of Fly Fishing Highlights’ with FlyLife staff photographer Brad Harris, and in 2009 featured in the dvd ‘The Source-Tasmania’.
Daniel is now firmly rooted as Tasmania’s leading river-guide. Working from this success, he continues to work hard at discovering and promoting Tasmania’s hidden fisheries, and is busy finding, fishing and sustainably developing Tasmania’s under-utilised World Heritage listed wilderness fisheries.
See the below links to some of the articles Daniel has featured in:
Australian Traveller Magazine, The Walls of Jerusalem
Brumby’s Creek article, Flylife Magazine
Tasmanian River Renaissance, FlyLife Magazine
In 2002 Daniel was the Tasmanian fly casting champion and runner up in 2003 and 2004. Daniel is also a proficient casting instructor and has a relaxed and concise manner when teaching or improving your casting.
Daniel’s academic qualifications are also impressive; he has an MBA in Marine Resource Management near completion to add to a Diploma in Aquaculture, a Graduate Diploma in Fisheries Management and a Graduate Certificate in Fisheries Management. Daniel knows trout from the inside out and back again as both a scientist and as an angler – a unique combination.
Patrick Horan Patrick Horan begins his first full season as a professional guide in 2009, after being head-hunted for the job by RiverFly owner, Daniel Hackett. Daniel has known Pat for seven years, back to a time when Patrick was competing in and winning the junior Tasmanian Fly Fishing championships, while Daniel was winning the seniors.
Patrick served an apprenticeship with RiverFly during 2008/2009, where he took to guiding as predicted – like a duck to water, providing the same excellent guiding service that Daniel Hackett and RiverFly Tasmania have become known for. For the past four years Patrick has taught fly fishing Adult Ed. classes with the Fly Fishers Club of Tasmania, and along with his younger brother, is very well known in the Tasmanian fly fishing scene.
Patrick is an awesome fly tyer, with innovative parachute flies and hoppers being a specialty. Daniel can be found pilfering Pat’s best flies at the start of many days. As with the rest of the RiverFly team, Patrick is also an avid explorer and wilderness fisher, and as the son of an agronomist, Patrick has gained access to and explored many isolated stretches of river in the agricultural midlands that goes otherwise un-fished throughout the seasons. Some of these hidden jewels are now part of his guiding location reportoire.
Like Daniel, Patrick also knows trout from the inside and out after completing a Degree in Aquaculture in 2008. Read more about Patrick joining the RiverFly Team here
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Trout fishing Tasmania – The river fisheries
Tasmania has a range of river fly fishing, where you can fly fish for wild trout in solitude.
Large slowing moving meadow streams are the setting for raft fly fishing, mixed with larger riffle and run rivers where a mixture of rafting and wading can occur. Freestone waters, and the headwaters of the larger rivers provide the settings for those choosing specifically to wade rivers.
Small stream ‘trout hunting’ venues are just that, streams small enough to jump across with typically open, undercut banks and all day sight-fishing opportunities.
Highlights of a day’s fishing are aimed at including a large proportion of dry fly fishing, whether it’s sight fishing to rising or tailing fish, or polaroiding trout on the brighter days.
The fish in our larger rivers are typically both rainbow and brown trout, averaging between one to one and a half pounds, with a good mixture of two to three pounders (20+ inches) available to the persistent and skilled. There are opportunities to target occasional 4 pound plus fish for the skilled angler.
Read Daniel’s FlyLife Magazine article on Tasmania’s riversAny fish larger than two pounds on the Tasmanian streams can be a real challenge for the angler to land, and as such, a three pounder or better is considered a ‘trophy trout’ for these waters.
On our smaller rivers the average size is closer to half to one pound, with a sprinkling of two to three pound fish. The trout are predominantly brown trout, though rainbow trout and even brook trout under special circumstances can be targeted.
Small stream (creek) stalking can provide for a large range of fish sizes to target. Most of these little gems house thousands of 8-12 inch trout and the occasional fish of up to two or three pounds, however a couple of secret streams house extremely challenging trophy sized fish in gin clear water – we reserve these for our repeat customers.
Prime spring-creek runs
Trout Fishing Tasmania – The Western Lakes wilderness fishery
Tasmania’s Centreal Plateau hosts a World Heritage listed region that anglers refer to as simply, the Western Lakes. This is a vast area of remote lakes, lagoons and tarns, situated among an area of open moorland and sub-alpine woodland. Like many of the world’s great wilderness fisheries, the Western Lakes is an area of harsh weather and geography – but the sight-driven trout fishery is well worth it. Most of the lagoons and lakes are crystal clear, shallow, and often with a sand or silt-flat bottom. The trout are clearly visible as they cruise these flats, looking for mayfly and other invertebrates, or whilst ‘tailing’ for amphipods and caddis in water too shallow to conceal their tails – hence the term. RiverFly Tasmania is pioneering fly fishing guiding in the Western Lakes.