Tasmanian East Coast trout fishing spots

Tasmania’s East Coast is warmer and drier than the rest of Tasmania, and is best known among fishos for its great beaches and bluewater fishing.

However, there is trout fishing to be had.

Because it is warmer, trout fishing spots here tend to fire earlier after the season opening, with early insect activity.

Late in summer and autumn, low rainfall and heat can slow trout activity on some waters, especially the smaller lakes and rivers.

The river fish tend to be small, so arm yourself with an ultralight fly or spin outfit and small flies and lures.

Bigger fish are caught in the stillwater locations.

Keep in mind each location changes with annual seasonal variations.

Here are the best spots.

Georges River

This river begins west of popular St Helens and is made up of North George and South George Rivers.

The upstream sections have clear water running through forest, with abundant insect life.

There are many brown trout to be caught, but mostly small.

Insect activity picks up earlier here because it is a warm area, so you’ll get a chance at dry fly fishing soon after season opening.

The rivers join at Pyengana and flow through a combination of farmland, forest and plains before reaching St Helens’ Georges Bay.

Bigger fish are caught in the lower reaches, with sea trout in the tidal section in late winter/spring, and black bream.

Ringarooma River

This river starts in the Ben Lomond ranges and flows through farmland through to Brankholm, Ringarooma and Derby.

The upper river above Branxholm has many mostly small brown trout that usually respond well to flies and small lures.

From Branxholm the river gets bigger, with Maurice River, Legerwood Rivulet, Federal Creek, Dorset River and New River adding more flow, however access becomes difficult, and below Derby there are problems from legacy tin mining.

Big and Little Waterhouse Lakes and Blackmans Lagoon

These lakes are north-east of Bridport and very near the coast.

They have tannin-coloured water and thick weed growing around the banks.

Blackmans Lagoon and Big Waterhouse Lake have abundant insect life and consequently produce big fish.

The shorelines are tricky when the level is up because of the weed, so a boat helps.

Little Waterhouse Lake is smaller and tends to drop low in summer, but it has better bank access.

All three of these locations are stocked with brown and rainbow trout.

Lake Leake

This lake north-west of Swansea has historically produced big rainbow trout, but in recent times is producing more brown trout.

Read more about Lake Leake fishing here.

Tooms Lake

This lake south-west of Swansea produces great fish at times.

The lake was a marsh before the dam wall was built.

The lake is in woodland but there aren’t many snags throughout much of the lake, with weedbeds in some areas and clear rocky banks in others.

The water is often slightly cloudy.

Neck Inlet is one of the best fishing areas, with some fallen timber.

Insect activity in summer is usually good, and lure fishing works from the deeper shorelines.

There is easy vehicle access from Midlands Highway, with a 4WD track to Neck Inlet.

Boats can be launched at various spots, and there is informal camping.

Frome Dam

The impoundment is on Kent Hill near Moorina. The water is tannin stained and full of old stumps.

A boat is needed as there is not much bank that can be fished except when the water level falls.

There is good summer insect life and usually plenty of fish as the dam has a spawning stream.

Cascade Dam

The dam is on the Cascade River upstream of the Ringarooma River inflow.

The track in is rough and there is little shoreline to fish unless the water is low, so a boat is needed.

Once again, the water is tannin coloured, with many tree stumps.

Expect mostly small brown trout, this dam also has spawning streams.

Pioneer Mine Dam

The Pioneer Mine Dam is an old mine site filled with water, located near the town of Pioneer.

It is stocked with brown and rainbow trout.

There is good vehicle access and bank that can be fished.

Big trout can be caught here, but expect water skiiers in summer on the weekends.

Scamander River

The upper river produces brown trout, but tends to run low in summer and is far better known as a black bream location in the tidal section.

Read more about Scamander River fishing here.


Outside of the East Coast, here’s some of Tasmania’s best trout fishing spots.

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Tasmanian fishing regulations
Tasmanian marine reserves
Tasmanian saltwater fishing seasons
Trout fishing spot access programs
Fisheries assessment reports
Buy a freshwater fishing licence
Tasmanian lake levels (hydro)
Tasmanian river flows (govt)
Tasmanian lake webcams
Tasmanian river flows
Bag and size limits
Private Tasmanian trout fisheries
Return to the Tasmanian Fishing Map

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