Pink Things and Goodoo Gurglers

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Last October I gave a presentation at our local TU Chapter on a different type of kayak fishing—Fishing the Last Mile First. This year I’ve been asked to talk about our 2017 trip to Australia. I am not sure that the program chair asked me because I am a good speaker, or he just needs to fill a slot. So, this year in October I’ll be giving my perspective on fly fishing for trout in Australia. As I’ve pieced together the skeleton of a presentation, I wish I had taken far more photographs than I did. Despite clearly not being any kind of expert on Australian trout fishing, talking about my fly fishing experiences in Victoria and Tasmania isn’t all that challenging. We tossed out a few different flies and caught fish in rivers and lakes that are much different than those I am used to. As I wrote about several times in this blog, fly fishing for trout in Australia isn’t all that different than here in the U.S. except that the trout swim on the left side of the river instead of the right.

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Mitta Mitta – Too Late for Blackberry Pie

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman MT

The Murray River is Australia’s longest—some 1500 miles. The Mitta Mitta, flowing out of the Great Dividing Ranges in Victoria is the Murray’s largest headwater tributary. Hydro schemes, gold mining, dairy farming and logging has long transformed the Mitta Mitta valley into what it is today. Although Australian anglers are quick to praise the introduction of brown and rainbow trout into the Victorian mountains in the 19th century, they are also quick to show complete disgust for the introduction of the European Blackberry, Rubus fruticosus. Blackberries were introduced into the Sydney region in New South Wales in 1830 by early settlers. However, in a fateful decision that continues to plague trout anglers well into the 21st century, in 1851 the Government Botanist in Victoria, Baron von Mueller, and the first Curator of the Gardens at Melbourne University, Alexander Elliot recommended blackberries be planted along stream banks to prevent erosion. It didn’t take long for everyone to realize how bad a decision that was.

Gorge section of Mitta Mitta is choked with bramble

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Day Trip – Penstock Lagoon

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman MT

Called the Jewel of the Highlands by Australian angler Malcolm Crosse, Penstock Lagoon is one of those idyllic angling spots that will stay etched in your memory. Our hosts in Tasmania, Peter and Karen Brooks of Driftwater chose a perfect day for the journey and fishing on Penstock Lagoon. Nestled in a gum forest high on the Tasmanian Central Plateau, Penstock, at 900 acres is not a large lake. There is very little development along the shoreline. Maybe a dozen or more small fishing shacks, most of which have been along the eastern shore hidden among the gums for decades. The lagoon was formed in the 1950s as part of a Tasmanian Hydro scheme by damming a small tributary of the Shannon river. Average depth might be 10 feet, but there is a lot of shallow, wadable water along the shorelines.

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