Tasmanian trout fishers have braved chilly conditions to celebrate the opening of the state’s 150th season.
Recent rain and snow meant many rivers were too flooded for the season opening, with New Norfolk calling off its annual competition.
Anglers braving the single digit temperatures at Craigbourne Dam, north-east of Hobart said the fish were scarce, but they did not hold back on the fishing tales.
“He leapt out of the water and he dived, and took me around a snag and broke off… but that’s the luck of the draw,” said one.
To which the response came from another: “I had one good one on, about five or six pound and broke me line. Got away. That’s the way it goes.”
The first 300 brown trout arrived in Tasmania from England in 1864, after three unsuccessful and expensive attempts.
Well-stocked waterways herald good trout season
Rob Freeman of the Inland Fisheries Service said despite the slow start, he was expecting a good season with well-stocked waterways.
“Generally speaking, we’d only stock around 8,000 to 10,000 brown trout out each year,” he said.
“This year it’s now up to around 32,000, so that’s a substantial increase.”
As proved by this morning’s crowd, undeterred by a chilly breeze blowing off the snow-capped Mount Wellington, there will be plenty of takers.
“Didn’t think all week I was going to come but then I woke up this morning and thought, why not?” said an angler.
“Getting old and silly I think, in this weather!”
The season runs for nine months.