The 39th FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships (WFFC) in 2019 took place in Tasmania, Australia, from November 30 to December 8, 2019. This international fly fishing competition attracted teams from around the world. The event’s venues included various fishing spots across Tasmania, such as Penstock Lagoon, Meander River, Woods Lake, Mersey River, and Little Pine Lagoon, offering a diverse range of fishing experiences.
The species targeted in the competition were brown trout and rainbow trout. These species have unique histories in Australia, with brown trout being introduced from England in 1864 and rainbow trout from North America in 1894. Tasmania, with its rich fishing heritage and unique ecosystem, provided a challenging and picturesque setting for the championship.
The team event was won by France, showcasing their prowess in fly fishing. Additionally, Howard Croston of England earned the individual title, demonstrating his skill and expertise in the sport. The event was a significant gathering for the fly fishing community, combining competitive spirit with a deep appreciation for nature and angling skills.
The championship was marked by challenging conditions, including changeable weather that ranged from snowy to sunny, adding an extra layer of difficulty to the competition. Despite these challenges, the event was deemed a success, providing a platform for top fly fishing talent to showcase their skills and adaptability.
This championship is often considered the “Olympics in the Fishing World,” highlighting its significance and the high level of competition among the participants.
Tasmania, Australia, offers a diverse and exciting sport fishing experience, catering to both freshwater and saltwater anglers. The region’s pristine wilderness areas, including the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, provide some of the world’s most outstanding trout fishing opportunities. Tasmania’s lakes, tarns, rivers, and streams are renowned for their trout fishing, particularly brown trout, which were introduced to the island in the 19th century.
For saltwater fishing enthusiasts, the eastern waters of Tasmania are particularly appealing. These waters offer excellent game fishing opportunities, including the sought-after southern bluefin tuna. Tasmania’s coast is equally wild and unspoiled, making it a perfect destination for those looking to explore marine fishing in a breathtaking natural environment. I did not have much luck there. The other is my group were having success. I found that the coastal views were excellent. I was able to land some nice fat wild Brown Trout on the fresh waters using spinning lure with gold plates, 1/8 oz.
To ensure the sustainability of Tasmania’s unique aquatic ecosystems, certain areas are designated as marine reserves, where fishing is off-limits. It’s important for anglers to be aware of and respect these conservation measures.
Regarding licensing, anglers should be aware that different types of fishing in Tasmania may require a license. It’s advisable to check the requirements on the Inland Fisheries Service or Fishing Tasmania websites before setting out on a fishing trip.
My journey to Tasmania, Australia
It was fueled by a dream that had long been simmering in my heart: to come face-to-face with the majestic striped marlin. These waters are a mecca for anglers, and the thought of hooking one of these behemoths had me brimming with anticipation.
I remember stepping onto the charter boat—a robust vessel of 45 feet, its hull painted a crisp white that shone against the cobalt sea. The twin engines hummed with a promise of power as we set out from the coast, cutting through the waves with a determined grace. Our destination was the deep offshore waters, where the continental shelf plunges into the depths, creating the perfect hunting grounds for the striped marlin.
The tackle was formidable, befitting the quarry we sought. We rigged heavy-duty rods, each paired with a reel capable of holding hundreds of yards of high-test line. The lures we used were a spectacle in themselves: large, shimmering artificial baits designed to mimic the marlin’s natural prey, skipping across the water’s surface with an alluring dance.
The air was electric with the thrill of the chase as we trolled through the marlin’s domain. Hours passed with the sea’s rhythm, a mix of tension and tranquility, until the calm was shattered by the scream of a reel. The line whizzed out at an alarming rate, and I knew in that moment, we had found what we were searching for.
I took my place in the fighting chair, the rod now an extension of my will. The marlin was a force of nature, each leap and dive a testament to its raw power. The first sight of it took my breath away—a striped goliath, its body glistening with the hues of the ocean, easily over 10 feet in length and likely tipping the scales at more than 300 pounds.
The duel with the marlin was a dance of give and take. My arms ached as I worked the rod, trying to keep the pressure constant, while the marlin fought with a primal desperation for freedom. Time lost meaning as we battled, the sun tracing its arc across the sky, until at last, the marlin’s strength began to wane.
With the help of the skilled crew, we managed to bring the marlin alongside the boat. It was a moment of reverence, seeing such a creature up close, its stripes a vibrant contrast against the deep blue.