This coming year, 2014, will mark the 150th anniversary of the successful transportation of brown trout ova to Tasmania, the birthplace of fly fishing in the Southern Hemisphere. To mark the historic event a huge range of fishing experiences in Tasmania is now available through a UK-based Tasmanian travel specialist, Tasmanian Odyssey, with details listed on its website, www.tasmanianodyssey.com.
A century and a half after the first ova were brought to Tasmania, which had been known as Van Diemen's Land less than a decade earlier, Australia’s only island state is regarded by those who have fished there as one of the greatest trout fishing destinations in the world. Spectacular scenery and an impressive variety of guiding with the Tasmanian Trout Guides and Lodges Association create endless opportunities for fishing in Tasmania – yet it remains one of the least known destinations for the wider angling community.
In 1864, after two previously unsuccessful attempts, the ova was packed in moss and ice to make the long voyage by ship from the UK, around Cape Horn, to the Salmon Ponds in Plenty, just north of Hobart in Southern Tasmania. The ova spawned and it was carried by horseback around the island, which is the size of Ireland or Sri Lanka and one of the most mountainous on earth.
It is from the Salmon Ponds, where the Museum of Trout Fishing is based, that the rest of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere were to receive brown trout ova.
Tasmania has one of the world’s most unspoilt and beautiful landscapes, and it is considered to be one of the world’s last true frontiers. It has unique geography that offers several different trout fisheries, from the mild lush meadows and rushing rivers of the Low Country and The Midlands to the huge reservoirs and deep lakes of the remote Central Highlands – the Land of 3000 Lakes – and the wild, World Heritage listed Western Wilderness, which also inspired the birth of world’s first Green Party.
Tasmania’s extraordinary diversity in a relative compact landmass, the southernmost before Antarctica, makes it absolutely unique in that anglers can experience fly fishing of astonishing contrasts yet be within just a couple of hours of outstanding Tasmanian hospitality, even in the most remote areas. Accommodation is charmingly eclectic from Red Tag Tours use of historic 1823 Somercotes Estate cottages in Ross, famous for its original convict-built sandstone architecture, to the luxurious 28 Gates farm stay with its four private lakes, and the most recently opened RiverFly Wilderness Huts, just metres from the uninhabited Walls of Jerusalem National Park, part of the World Heritage Western Wilderness.
There are few places in the world where it is possible to sight-fish to cruising wild trout over 10 pounds, a sport which the local Tasmanians call "polaroiding." The scenery is nothing short of spectacular with eagles soaring in cerulean skies, starry nights unpolluted by civilisation, and mountain range after mountain range punctuated with ancient forested valleys. With a population a ninth of Ireland’s, fishermen and women will find themselves accompanied only by their guide, and Tasmania’s abundant and often endemic species of wildlife from the plump, playful platypus to the spiny echidna, wombats, wallabies, pademelons, quolls and even Tasmanian devils.
For advice, further itinerary suggestions, information and bookings call: 01534 735449 or visit the website, www.tasmanianodyssey.com