Fly Fishing At Penstock Lagoon in Tasmania

Needing no introduction, fly fishing at Penstock Lagoon is ever common among anglers in Tasmania - known for both its wet and dry fly options.

Situated within the landscapes of Tasmania's Central Highlands, Penstock Lagoon offers a tranquil escape into nature, destined as a premier fly-fishing destination,
Penstock Lagoon is about an hour and 45 minutes from Hobart.

Originally constructed in 1916 for the now-decommissioned Waddamana power station, this shallow, man-made lake is renowned for its high-quality trout fishing.

Managed by Hydro Tasmania and the Inland Fisheries Service, Penstock Lagoon offers a mix of weedy marshes and forested rocky shores, providing a variety of habitats for anglers.

Fishing is restricted to fly-fishing only, ensuring a premium experience with both brown and rainbow trout populations supported by regular stocking.

Matt shared his thoughts on the day's fishing prospects by saying, "We're early in the season, doing a bit of loch style wet fly fishing. What are we expecting in the boat today?

We're just going to be drifting along, casting some wet flies along, and hopefully, we pick up a couple of fish. So you can just get a nice drift in the boat along a good shoreline and have some success.”  

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Water Type

Lake (Lagoon)

Key Attractions for Fly Fishers

Protected Waters: Surrounded by trees, Penstock Lagoon offers shelter from the wind, making it ideal for boat-based fishing with a nice drift along the shoreline.

Seasonal Variety: Early in the season, anglers can enjoy wet fly fishing, transitioning to prolific hatches of mayfly and caddis from November, enhancing dry fly-fishing opportunities.

Accessible for All: Good access for shore-based fishing and excellent boat ramp facilities for launching.

Fish Size: Penstock Lagoon is well known as a trophy trout fishery, with fish averaging 3 - 6 pounds.

drone image overlooking penstock lagoon
Penstock Lagoon's sheltered nature makes it a popular location for fly fishing in Tasmania's Central Highlands.

Species To Catch

  • Brown Trout (Salmo trutta)
  • Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Prime Seasons for Target Species

Penstock Lagoon is a great early season option with excellent numbers of fish caught with wet flies by both shore and boat based anglers. Throughout the summer months and into autumn, the lagoon features prolific mayfly hatches in the right weather conditions, and being there on a day when mayfly are hatching will be result in some of the most memorable days of dry fly fishing imaginable. With the average fish being around 3lb, it is a fantastic place to catch that fish of a lifetime.

Characteristics of Penstock Lagoon’s Waters

Shallow, fertile lake with a mix of weedy marshes and forested rocky shores.

fishing guide matt stone standing in boat holding rodd at penstock lagoon
Penstock Lagoon offers a range of different fishing opportunities across the season.

Getting There & Exploring Penstock Lagoon

By Road: Accessible via Waddamana Road, with the boat ramp located at the northern end by the canal.

Shore Access: Multiple signed parking areas along the road provide short walks to the water. The entire bank of the lake is accessible for land-based anglers.

Boat Fishing: The lake's shallow nature means you're always covering fish, with various drifts recommended to encounter patchy fish distributions.

For the non-motorized zone in Beginners Bay, where only manual propulsion is allowed. Anglers operating petrol outboards are encouraged to use four-stroke or low-emission two-stroke motors to reduce environmental impact. Additionally, it's advised that petrol-powered boats on Penstock Lagoon do not exceed 5 metres in length.

A speed limit of 5 knots is enforced throughout the lagoon, including within the motorised boating corridor, to ensure safety and minimise Penstock Lagoon, known for its relatively shallow waters with an average depth of around one metre, has specific boating guidelines to minimise environmental impact and ensure the safety and enjoyment of all users. These include rules on the type of motors used and the size of boats, as well as designated areas for different types of boating activities.

To accommodate petrol-powered boats, a 50-metre-wide navigational corridor has been designated. This corridor stretches from the northern boat ramp, across to Crisp's Point on the eastern side, and then down the middle of the lagoon towards the Lily Pond at the southern end. When navigating the lagoon with petrol power, boats must stay within this marked corridor, adhering to a path defined by white buoys. Boaters are required to keep these buoys to their port side and stay within 25 metres of a conceptual line that connects them.

For areas outside this corridor, boating should be powered by electric motors or human effort, such as paddling or rowing. This is especially a wake disturbance. Furthermore, to respect the space and experience of shore-based anglers, boating within 100 metres of an individual fishing from the shore is not allowed unless the boat is securely anchored. Lastly, it's important to avoid parking or blocking the boat ramp to allow smooth access for all users.


In Conclusion

Sheltered within the landscapes of Tasmania's Central Highlands, Penstock Lagoon, a quiet spot where you can hear the water softly touching the shore and the occasional splash of a trout breaking the surface. The lagoon's clear, shallow waters, surrounded by lush vegetation and rugged shorelines, create a picturesque setting for fly fishing.

If you're looking for a fly fishing trip to Penstock Lagoon or surrounding areas, check out Trout Tales guided fly fishing in Tasmania packages or book your fly fishing trip today.

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