The new Tasmanian trout season started really well. The weather at the moment is a little challenging though. The fish above are stocked by the Inland Fisheries Service in stillwaters that do not have natural spawning facilities. The rainbow will be from a previous year stocking and the brown would be a fish transferred from Great Lake this season.
Waters such as Four Springs and Penstock lagoons are two that have fished really well and have received a lot of angling pressure.
Blackmans and Waterhouse lagoons are very productive at the moment and Curries River Reservoir is a hidden gem with some outstanding fishing. Fish Curries from a small boat if you have one and remember it is electric power only.
A sink 3 (3 inches per second) line is almost an essential item for all these shallow lagoons early in the season and the flies below will serve you well.
Champion angler Jonothan Stagg shares his thoughts on why a 10 foot rod is his 'go to' rod
"When it comes to fly rods it is easy to become confused with what rod is most suitable for your style of fishing. The different models, weights, lengths, styles and combinations are endless. There are rods designed to suit almost any situation you may encounter on either lake or stream.
As a competition angler I am always looking to use the best style of rod to suit the type of water and conditions I am fishing. When fishing a river, I could have up to 7 rods set up for nymph, dry fly, nymph under dry, streamer, spiders etc. I use rods from 8ft to 11ft in length and from 0 weight to 6 weights. Why?..... Because I can……you are allowed as many rods as you like set up on a river in a competition so I take advantage of this rule. There is a whole other story in explaining why I have each rod set up, but the main reason is it is impossible to have one rod successfully meet every situation you will encounter on a stream session. Sure, you could make do with one rod and still catch a good few fish but dependant on the water your performance would dramatically decrease if restricted to one rod
When fishing lakes from a boat it is a different story, you may only fish with one rod set up in a boat at any one time in a competition. For this reason, I use one rod of 10 feet in length in either a 6 or 7 weight. Why a 10 foot rod? Well after nearly 30 years of fly-fishing and 20 years of serious competition I have come to the realisation that a 10 foot rod is by far the most versatile, efficient and effective fly rod for boat fishing that there is. By the way if I could have 7 rods made up in the boat I would, and they would all be 10 foot!!
Let’s have a look at the positives
I first began my fly fishing using an 8’6” rod then progressed to using a 9 foot rod for quite some time. I remember receiving a 10 foot, 5 weight Thomas and Thomas rod for what I thought would be a good river rod for nymphing. This was very early days of the Czech nymph technique hitting the scene and even though this rod was ok for this style of fishing I soon came to realise how brilliant this rod was to fish with from a boat. Although it was a 5 weight it was fast action and acted more like a 6 weight, I soon found myself using this rod regularly when fishing from a boat.
I loved to fish the morning wind lanes on Dee Lagoon or Lake Leake. When chasing these rainbows, it is critical to be able to throw a long fast line well in front of the feeding fish. Then if the fish changes direction, which it often does, you need to quickly pick up the line from the water and re-present your cast. The easier and faster you can accurately present your fly the more success you will have. A 10-foot rod is so much better for this style of fishing than a 9-foot rod. You will lift a much longer line from the water due to the extra length than any 9 foot rod and then you will have added power to allow you to aerialise and re-present your cast at distance much easier. With long delicate leaders that I use for wind lane fishing I find the 10-foot rod turns them over beautifully while still being accurate.
When fishing from a boat I rarely find myself casting a single fly unless it is to trout rising to Caenids or possibly when polaroiding. Otherwise I am fishing dries, nymphs or wet flies using at least 2 flies and usually 3 flies. This means I am fishing with quite long leaders of 16 to 20 feet with flies 5 to 6 feet apart. I am also fishing not only floating lines but a full range of sinking lines from intermediate right through to a fast sinking DI 7. The 10 foot rod will out-perform any other rod when it comes to sinking lines. The added power will allow you to cast further with less effort and minimalize your false casting which means more time with flies in the water and more fish. The ten-foot rod will throw a wider loop in your cast than a 9-foot rod which aids in turning over the long leaders and weighted flies, this will reduce tailing loops which is a common problem with people trying to cast 3 flies. Try to widen your casting loop when casting 3 flies, especially when using a sinking line. Sure, it doesn’t look as pretty as that nice tight looped arrow cast that you see in the magazines but it will be so much more efficient as you will not be getting frustrated untangling your 3-fly cast! The 10-foot rod will do this so much better
The extra length in the rod will also benefit landing your fish from a boat especially when using 3 flies 5 to 6 feet apart. If you have hooked a fish on the point there will be less likely hood of the top dropper getting stuck in the rod ring when you go to net the fish. Believe me that extra foot makes a huge difference when you are trying to get that four pounder in the net!
Finally, when fishing sinking lines I like to have hang markers on my fly lines at 10 feet and 20 feet from the end of the fly line. With a ten-foot rod I know that when the first hang marker at 20 feet hits my hand I have 10 feet of line out the end of the rod. This is the perfect length to hang your flies and know that your top dropper will be it the right spot just below the water. Also If using a floating line the added length will enable you to dibble your top dropper on the surface further from the boat and with greater control.
This may sound strange as I have just told you why the length of a 10 foot rod is an advantage. But it is also the disadvantage. I have done a bit of competition casting in the past where you try to cast your fly into a series of hoops. It is all about accuracy and this is where I believe a 9 foot rod has a slight advantage over the 10 foot. If I was still casting at hoops, I would use the 9 foot rod but I am talking about casting from a boat in a fishing situation and this is where the 10 foot rod excels.
Another may be the 10 foot rod not being long enough. I played around with 11 foot rods back in the glory days of Arthurs lake when the top of the water loch style fishing was superb. The rods were heavy and pretty average to cast but if the fish want your flies dibbled on the surface an 11 foot or even longer rod is an advantage in being able to control your flies further from the boat and for longer periods which means you are holding your flies in the hot zone for longer.
The only other would be the weight. Yes, a 10 foot rod is heavier than a 9 foot rod but these days rods are so light it is hard to justify. You may notice your arm is a little more tired after a day’s fishing with the 10 foot rod if you are used to a 9 foot. But maybe that is from playing all the extra fish you have caught!!
I am not going to go into the brands of rod you should go out and buy as I really have no idea. I love the rods I use but some aren’t being made any more and I am not up to date with the latest and greatest. I suggest you head into your favourite tackle store and talk to the professionals; they are there to help you get what you need. Have a cast with all the different types, they may even let you take one out for a fish."
Jon Stagg reviewed the Airflo 10' #6 rod.
"I recently had the opportunity to try the Airflo 10 foot 6# Blade fly rod. My first impression was it certainly felt nice in the hand, had good fittings, was quite light but I also felt the power straight away. I decided to give it a try on a local water that holds some big strong rainbows where it would certainly be put through its paces. As a fishing rod it certainly is powerful, it handles playing fish well and loves to cast a long line so for boat fishing it is ideal. It may not become my favourite dry fly rod but with sinking lines it excels and will belt out long smooth casts effortlessly over and over again. This rod is excellent value for money and I would highly recommend it for any wet fly fishing from a boat."
Regards, JON STAGG
10' rods available include:
Airflo Blade #6 - $265 rod only or $295 with reel
Echo ION XL #5, #6 - $295
TFO Professional #6 - $295
Innovator #6 - $395
TFO BVK #4, #5, #6, #7 - $450
Hanak Superlight #7 - $785
Sage X #5, #6 - $1414
Scott Radian #4, #5, #6, #7 - $1349
Orvis Helios 3F #4, #6 - $1479
Try these rods with lines such as Scientific Anglers MPX or Infinity, RIO Grande or the new Airflo DASH would also be great. All these have an aggressive and overweight head that these rods handle easily - especially turning over big, weighted or a combination of several flies.
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