Best Fly Fishing in Australia

A serene river flowing through an Australian landscape, with overhanging trees and clear water, perfect for fly fishing
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Australia offers a diverse and exciting fly fishing experience that captures the hearts of anglers worldwide. With over 4,000 marine species, your fly fishing adventures down under promise not just variety but also the thrill of targeting some of the most unique and aggressive fish on the planet. From the pristine freshwater rivers and lakes stocked with trout to the expansive saltwater flats teeming with exotic species, Australia provides year-round opportunities for fly fishing enthusiasts to test their skills.



Tasmania

Tasmania, often referred to as the jewel in the crown of Australian fly fishing, boasts an incredibly diverse range of fishing experiences. If you’re heading to Tasmania to fly fish, there are a few spots you simply can’t miss.

Little Pine Lagoon: Renowned for its ‘loch-style’ fishing, Little Pine Lagoon is your go-to for large brown trout in a unique highland setting. It’s a sight not to be missed, with fish often spotted rising to mayflies.

Tyenna River: Just an hour’s drive from Hobart, the Tyenna River offers some of the most scenic river trout fishing in Tasmania. Here you’ll find wild trout in a picturesque valley backdrop, a true fisherman’s paradise. More details can be found at Trout Tales Tasmania.

Nineteen Lagoons: Accessible via the Central Plateau, the Nineteen Lagoons offer a varied landscape, teeming with trout ready for the taking. Ideal for those seeking both adventure and an ample catch. For an overview, visit Discover Tasmania’s Fly Fishing Spots.

Key Rivers for Fly Fishing:

  • Mersey and Meander Rivers: Expect mayfly and caddis hatchings.
  • North and South Esk Rivers: Notable for long glides over sand and weed bottoms.

For guided experiences and tailored fly fishing trips, consider reaching out to Tailing Trout, offering expertise in Tasmania’s best fishing areas. Tasmania Fly Fishing Destinations – FlyLife Magazine.

Victoria

In Victoria, you’ll find some of the most public access to water suited for fly fishing on the mainland of Australia. The diversity and beauty of the trout fisheries in Victoria are quite surprising to visitors. You have options ranging from mountain high plain creeks to larger tailrace rivers.

  • Mountain Streams: Clear streams flowing from mountainous areas are prime spots for fly fishing.
  • Tailrace Rivers: The Goulburn and lower Mitta Mitta are larger rivers that offer abundant fishing opportunities.

For a comprehensive guide to fishing in Victoria’s northeast, consider Philip Weigall’s book, which comes highly recommended. To refine your fly selection, “Australia’s Best Trout Flies” by Crosse & Sloane offers insight into local fly patterns.

Here are some spots within a two-hour drive from Melbourne:

  • Steavenson River: Offers some of the best fly fishing close to a major urban center.
  • Goulburn River: Home to a luxury fishing lodge with direct access to premium fishing spots.

Victoria’s fly fishing scene caters to both seasoned anglers and those new to the sport, ensuring that your experience out on the water is not only successful but also memorable.

New South Wales

In New South Wales (NSW), you can experience a remarkable variety of fly fishing environments due to its diverse climate. The alpine and temperate regions in the south contrast with the sub-tropical zones to the north.

Trout Fishing
You are most likely to enjoy trout fishing, particularly in the streams, rivers, and lakes of the Snowy Mountains and Monaro regions.

Some notable fishing spots include:

  • Thredbo River
  • Eucumbene River
  • Lake Jindabyne
  • Lake Eucumbene

These locations are renowned for their clear waters and abundant trout.

Learning and Guides
If you are new to fly fishing or want to hone your skills, consider engaging with local guide services that offer instruction from qualified instructors. They can provide you with lessons and guided experiences ranging from half to full days.

Seasons and Regulations
Before you plan your trip, be sure to check the latest regulations and seasons, as they can vary and are crucial for a responsible and legal fishing experience.

Fly Patterns and Strategies
For more insights on fly patterns and fishing strategies, look into regional literature. Books like Australia’s Best Trout Flies or The Seven Rivers offer valuable information for both novice and seasoned anglers.

Queensland

A tranquil river flows through lush rainforest, with a fly fisherman casting their line into the clear water. The sun shines down on the picturesque landscape of Queensland, Australia

When you explore the realm of fly fishing in Australia, Queensland stands out as a premier destination. Its coastline stretches for about 7,000 kilometers, providing an expansive fishing playground that includes both saltwater and freshwater environments.

Popular Fly Fishing Spots in Queensland:

  • Hervey Bay: It’s a gateway to Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Straits Marine Park, offering tailing flats fishing for species like golden trevally.
  • Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands: Ideal for chasing tropical species on the fly. Target the elusive Giant Trevally or the acrobatic Queenfish.

If you are a trout enthusiast, there are trout-filled rivers and lakes where fly fishing can be incredibly rewarding. Queensland’s climate also means you can enjoy fly fishing for most of the year, with more than 300 days of sunshine.

Queensland Fly Fishing Services:

  • Guided Tours: With the guidance of experienced local fly fishing experts, improve your chances of a successful outing.
  • Charter Services: Including those from the Sunshine Coast offering diverse target species.

To make the most of your fly fishing adventure in Queensland, consider connecting with local guides in the area you plan to visit. They offer invaluable insights into local hotspots and the best fishing techniques for the region. Whether you’re after a serene freshwater experience or a rugged saltwater challenge, fly fishing in Queensland is sure to present you with opportunities for both excitement and relaxation.

Northern Territory

When you’re looking for the pinnacle of fly fishing experiences in Australia, the Northern Territory (NT) beckons with its sprawling waterways and abundant Barramundi. The NT is renowned for its fishing opportunities, especially targeting Barramundi, which is not only a local favorite but also a prized catch for anglers worldwide.

One of the most famous spots you’ll want to visit is the Daly River. Approximately 250km south of Darwin, it’s esteemed for hosting prestigious competitions such as the Barra Classic and Barra Nationals. Make your trip unforgettable by engaging in the thrill of hooking a ‘Barra’ in these championship-proven waters.

Guided Fishing Safaris are incredibly popular and provide you with local knowledge that can be invaluable. Engage with experts, like those at Cobourg Fishing Safaris, who have a wealth of experience and can assist you in honing your fly fishing skills.

If luxury is what you’re after, consider WATERLINE CHARTERS on Phoenix One. They specialize in top-tier fishing experiences along the pristine beaches and flats of East Arnhem Land.

Finally, don’t forget safety. The NT is home to estuarine crocodiles. Always be aware of your surroundings and heed local advice.

Checklist for Fly Fishing in the NT:

  • Gear: 7 to 9 weight fly rod
  • Target species: Barramundi, Trevally, Queenfish
  • Safety: Watch out for crocodiles
  • Experience: Consider guided charters

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to the sport, the Northern Territory presents you with a fly fishing adventure that you won’t find elsewhere.

Western Australia

When you explore the realm of fly fishing in Western Australia, you are stepping into a diverse world of aquatic opportunities. In particular, areas like Exmouth offer year-round fishing allure, boasting species such as the iconic bonefish at the Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth Gulf.

  • Ningaloo Reef: This destination is not just about sizeable catches but also scenic beauty, thanks to being a World Heritage Listed site. Expect to encounter clear waters and flats teeming with marine life.
  • Exmouth Gulf: As a complement to Ningaloo, the Gulf provides a rich fishing experience with its own unique challenges and rewards.

Logistics:

Your adventure starts with a flight to Learmonth (Exmouth) airport, where services often include complimentary airport transfers. Remember that weather conditions in Western Australia can be quite hot and dry, so prepare accordingly.

Getting Your Gear: If you don’t have your equipment, local operators provide rental options, ensuring you have the right gear for your expedition.

Best Time to Visit: While the fishing season is open year-round, your experience may vary based on the time of year, with certain seasons offering optimal conditions for specific fish species.

South Australia

When you consider the art of fly fishing, South Australia might not be the first place that springs to mind, but it holds a tranquil appeal for both novice and experienced anglers alike. With a diverse range of freshwater and saltwater fishing options, you can look forward to a fulfilling experience.

Hills Streams and Rivers: Your fly fishing adventure might take you to the small hills streams, which are a prime haunt for trout. In these parts, a 7-8ft, 3-4wt rod armed with floating lines is ideal, offering you coverage for most scenarios you’ll encounter. During the warmer months, you may have success with small size 16-14 dry flies, making for a rewarding challenge.

Fishing Clubs: For a more communal experience, you can engage with clubs like the South Australian Fly Fishers’ Association (SAFFA). Since its establishment in 1948, SAFFA has been an advocate for the sport, providing invaluable insight and fostering a sense of camaraderie among anglers.

Notable Rivers: Explore the Broughton River for its unique charm and potential catches of brown and rainbow trout. Such rivers have been showcased in mediums such as YouTube, illustrating the vibrant fly fishing culture and the picturesque landscapes that await you.

Popular Fishing Events:

  • Kingston SE Surf Fishing Contest: An annual event drawing a large crowd of enthusiasts.
  • Coorong National Park: Offers a serene backdrop for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

By focusing on technique and local knowledge, you can capitalize on the rich fishing experiences that South Australia has to offer. Whether you’re wading through a clear stream or participating in a community event, the region offers ample opportunities for you to refine your fly fishing skills.

Australian Capital Territory

A serene lake surrounded by lush greenery, with a clear blue sky overhead. A fly fisherman stands in the shallows, casting his line into the water

When you’re searching for exceptional fly fishing experiences within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), you’ll find that the region, although not vast, offers a unique charm. The ACT is home to numerous rivers and streams that are populated with a variety of fish species.

Notable Waters:

  • Murrumbidgee River: Arguably the most significant watercourse in the area, where you can pursue rainbow and brown trout.
  • Cotter River: Another trout haven; it’s perfect for those who enjoy the challenge of catching in a pristine environment.
  • Ginninderra Creek: For a more urban fishing experience within the bounds of Canberra itself.

Pro Tip: Make sure to check the local fishing regulations as some areas may be catch-and-release or have seasonal restrictions.

What You’ll Catch:

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Carp (mostly considered a pest)

In terms of your fly selection, it’s wise to carry a versatile range. Local patterns often work well, but having a selection of nymphs, dry flies, and streamers will increase your chances of a successful outing.

The best times to visit these waters are typically spring and autumn, as cooler temperatures make for more active fish. However, the year-round fishing season in the ACT means that even in winter, with the right gear and persistence, you can still enjoy the solitude of the river and the possibility of a rewarding catch.

Remember to gear up with the correct fly fishing equipment – a balanced rod and reel setup, waders for the colder waters, and polarized sunglasses for spotting fish.

Kimberley Region

Crystal clear river winds through rugged Kimberley landscape, surrounded by lush vegetation and towering cliffs, offering the best fly fishing in Australia

When you visit the Kimberley region, you’re exploring one of Australia’s premier fly fishing destinations. The pristine and remote waters here are teeming with a variety of fish species, making it an exceptional spot for anglers seeking both challenge and tranquility.

Notable Species:

  • Giant Trevally
  • Barramundi
  • Queenfish

Areas to Fly Fish:

  • Coastal waters
  • Creeks
  • Mangroves
  • Rivers

For a truly adventurous experience, consider fly fishing in the Berkeley River. The area provides not just a beautiful backdrop but also boasts exhilarating fly fishing opportunities. Alternatively, join a guided tour to navigate the numerous fishing locations Kimberley has to offer.

Equipment Tips:

  • Sturdy rod and reel
  • Various flies to match local species
  • Strong leaders to handle powerful fish

Make sure to respect the local marine park regulations to ensure the sustainability of this incredible fishing region. Your Kimberley fishing adventure awaits, offering a chance to catch the revered Barramundi or witness the strength of the Giant Trevally.

Best Season: Generally, the months from late July to September are prime times to fish, with fewer operators in the area and a higher chance of a big catch.

Prepare yourself for a unique fishing experience in the Kimberley, where the rugged wilderness meets the thrill of the catch.

Snowy Mountains

When exploring the best fly fishing Australia has to offer, your adventure would not be complete without a visit to the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. This region is celebrated for its trout fishing, especially due to the high-quality waters and the variety of fishing spots available to enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Locations:

  • Lake Eucumbene
  • Thredbo River
  • Lake Jindabyne
  • Murrumbidgee River

In the Snowy Mountains, you have the opportunity to fish in both lake and river environments, each offering a unique experience. Lake Eucumbene, the largest lake in the area, provides year-round fishing prospects. If rivers are more to your taste, the Thredbo River is a prime spot for catching both brown and rainbow trout, especially during the spring and summer months.

Fishing Tours & Schools:

  • Snowy Monaro Fly Fishing
  • Fly Fishing Tumut
  • Lure Casting School at Lake Crackenback Resort

Numerous guided fishing tours are available, suitable for all skill levels. These tours often include lessons on various techniques, ensuring you can make the most of your alpine fishing experience. The Snowy Mountains Trout Festival, held annually, invites anglers to participate in competitions in a display of skill and camaraderie.

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