Lake Gordon, Tasmania

Lake Gordon is a vast impoundment in southern Tasmania, topped up by nearby Lake Pedder to provide hydro electricity.

These two impoundments together make up Australia’s largest water storage.

Both lakes contain brown and rainbow trout, and Gordon has redfin, which will likely eventually become established in Lake Pedder.

Lake Gordon is characterised by fast-changing water levels from hydro draws, which leave much of the bare bank exposed.

Lake Pedder’s water level fluctuates far less.

Both lakes have tannin-stained water that is usually clear enough for lure and fly fishing.

In recent Lake Gordon has been drawn down to almost empty because of low rainfall, but it rises fast during rain events.

The lake is vast at about 272sqkm when full, and is not heavily fished, so the fish are not educated and often aggressively take lures.

However distances to the best spots by water are great, and submerged timber is a navigation hazard, especially near low water.

Lake Gordon fishes best with rising water levels, and can be a difficult location to find fish when it is falling.

After rain, try the arms of shallow bays, with fish feeding anywhere water is rising over new ground.

For boaters, the locations where streams flow in are worth a try.

A good spot is Adams Bay, which has a spectacular waterfall entering from Adams River.

The Gordon River inflow is a great area that tends to fish well regardless of the lake level, unlike other spots. Huge boulders lie on the bottom here and there are large eddies in the current.

Fish with lures where the river enters the lake, and expect some big fish.

Lake Gordon is chockers with small redfin, and large trout feed on these.

Strangely, the trout here do not seem to go mad on summer gum beetles as they do on other lakes, and mudeye and other insect hatches are rare because the water levels change so much.

Insect hatches are better on nearby Lake Pedder because of the more stable water level.

Other good fishing areas to try include:

Ragged Basin – empty at low levels but otherwise a good spot. It is popular mainly because it has a boat ramp off the Gordon River Road.

The north end of Holley Basin and Pokana Bay fish well when the level is rising.

If you launch at the power station ramp between the water intake and the dam wall then Knob Basin is good with a rising water level.

Boyes Basin is perhaps the best area of all, accessed from Clear Hill Road.

Launching here is done off the loggers road and it can be hard even with 4WD. Take a chainsaw in case trees fall over the track.

You made need to obtain a key from Forestry Tasmania – ask if the track gate will be locked.

Trolling Boyes Basin can be successful. Use deep trolling methods if the fish are hanging low.

Elsewhere, the former river bed fishes well and at low levels this can be done followed simply by going through the timber.

For many, redfin are a highlight of the lake rather than a nuisance feral fish. There are some big redfin, to 2kg+, but a lot of small ones mixed in.

Book your fishing stay early at

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Private Tasmanian trout fisheries
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