Tyenna River

By Leigh

The Tyenna River is situated about 1hr North West of Hobart and follows the road to the Gordon Dam. It is a medium sized river, fast flowing and full of slippery rocks ranging in size from a football to dining table size. Reference to this river is on Tyenna and Wedge Tasmaps.

According to Tasmanian Trout Water, by Greg French, the river was stocked with trout in 1870 and as it runs into the Derwent River natural recruitment would have taken place as well. There are reports of large fish in this river; I would guess close to the mouth of the Derwent as the river is more inclined to hold fish around the pound mark further up.

As our trip was a family holiday, fishing was not priority to all in the party. Our days plan was to leave base camp at Cambridge (near Richmond) and head to the Salmon Ponds which is of course famous for starting our trout populations. The Ponds were very interesting but a little disappointing as well. There are of course plenty of large fish to see but the water was murky. The Rainbows rose freely to the pellets but as in the wild the browns were much more cautious. I was really keen to view some Brook trout but it was difficult with the water condition. It was nice to play with the big Atlantic salmon and get them rising for the camera. By the way the pancakes are worth the trip.

Next stop was Russell Falls and along the road to the falls you get your first views of the Tyenna which at first glimpse my thoughts were totally on the rocks I would need to tackle all the way along the river. Russell falls is only a 10 minute walk through magnificent tree ferns and native bush. A secondary fall above Russell is another 15 minutes but this is up steep steps and when you have to carry your 5 month old it is a small effort but a very rewarding walk. The falls are beautiful and the small river that feeds it is full of little trout. I think I counted 15 to 20.

After lunch I had the afternoon to fish while the rest of the crew headed back to camp for some rest. I headed to Tyenna Township but drove straight through it without noticing a town, I was nearly at Maydena before I realized and turned around to find a starting point. I found a bridge crossing around Tyenna and geared up. It was now around 3.30, there was a good track along the edge of the river so access was easy I walked downstream for a while with the intentions of fishing back to the car.

When I got into the river it was crystal clear, not stained in any way, and I spotted two fish along the edge, not large, but beautiful mountain trout. I cast to the first but it only resulted in both fish fleeing the seen. The river is fast pocket water with many different currents across the width so it is a matter of short casts to different suspected lies. From 3.30 to around 7pm I landed nine lovely trout the biggest of around a pound.

This fish was actually caught on a heavily weighted nymph through a larger and deeper run, all the other fish were caught on small para duns. It was slow going along the river as the rocks are the slipperiest I have encountered.

My legs by now were weary and I thought I would move downstream in the hope of finding some easier water for the evening rise. I drove back to Westerway and found some deeper pools which ran through some willows. I moved through the run up to the end of the pool were I could see trout rising, the pool was probably 20 meters long and in it there was 6 to 8 trout rising. After having a great day on willow grubs just prior to leaving for Tassie I was sure I had these fish sorted out.

There was no interest in the grub but they were not easily spooked so for sure there was a good hatch on under the surface. My fly of choice was the Shaving brush. I had three fish within a short cast, maybe three to four rod lengths away. First cast over the trout and I was onto a lovely brown of around the pound mark. The fish were moving around a little up and down the current and timing was very important for any success but when right there was no refusals. I landed another two trout before dark without moving both around the pound.

The rest of the pool was undisturbed but with the slippery rocks I did not wish to be in there after dark and after all I had a great day in the channels which is great fun and it keeps us casting and practicing our skills.

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