Currawong Lakes

Leighton Adem visits a private fishery in eastern Tasmania

Currawong Lakes is an exclusive 2000-acre private estate, nestled in the eastern highlands of Tasmania. Richard and Meryn Krimmer warmly welcome us as we arrive at their oasis in the forest. The Krimmers moved here on a whim from Brisbane, after they fell in love with the serenity of the property – and it’s easy to see why.

Meryn takes us down to The Lakehouse where we’ll be staying, a stunning house literally perched over the lake. The house is beautifully appointed and I can see my wife Meg’s delight at the prospect of relaxing in the surrounds while I head off in a fishing frenzy later on. Our son Max, who’s six, has already headed out onto the deck where cruising trout are immediately visible directly below. “This is awesome,” he beams as he races off to check out his room.

Half an hour later Richard shows at the door as promised, waders on and ready to go. We head off to explore Long Marsh Lake, one of three lakes, while Meg and Max head off to spot the numerous deer and see if they can find one of the resident wombats and her baby.

Coming out of winter, the lakes are all full and it doesn’t take long stalking the margins before we find some decent sized trout mooching in less than a foot of water. Fly anglers often associate private waters with stocked dams full of silly rainbows and easy fishing. There is nothing easy about these browns though. They are wild fish that spawn in the creek beds linking the lakes, and they are not just tempted by the first object that lands in front of them.

The fishing is exciting, polaroiding cruising trout with consistent regularity within comfortable casting range. Their condition is perfect, and it’s hard to fathom that we have this entire place to ourselves!

A tour of the property with Meryn later on reveals the expansive delights of Currawong. A world-class clay shooting range is notable for its elaborate setup. There are also other cabins and accommodation options, all thoughtfully appointed with Meryn’s clear sense of style. Currawong limits the number of guests to ensure everyone enjoys the tranquil isolation without interruption.

With the sun rapidly sinking, the lake starts to boil with midging trout that are visible from the deck of the Lake House. Right on cue Richard turns up and we take advantage of this short but intense event, with local knowledge taking the day and Richard landing several very nice browns in the fading light. We won’t mention the three that I hooked and promptly dropped. Richard assures me that side-striking is the only way to ensure a solid connection.

The Lake House is aglow on returning home and with a glass of pinot in hand we relax into the comfortable surrounds for the evening.

The valley is blanketed in a thick mist in the morning, before the chilly start quickly gives way to a stunning sunny day and clear blue skies. We head off among the mist to explore Long Marsh Lake, the bottom lake. The partially submerged grey gums among the mist and the mirror-like still water remind me of a Frederick McCubbin painting, with soft greys and greens everywhere. 

There are some very large trout in Lake Macquarie and we spot a few ghostly shapes, but with the crisp start, the fish are clearly having a sleep in, so we return to Long Marsh Lake just as the sun hits it. Trout are promptly visible again working the margins and we spend the rest of the morning teasing them into taking an interest in our offerings. Sometimes there are several fish within a few metres of each other and a stealthy methodical approach lets you have a shot at each of them.

Our stay is short, but by the time we say goodbye we feel like we’ve known Currawong and its hosts for a lot longer. Meryn reassures us that we have passed muster and that we are now ‘friends of Currawong’ and welcome back any time. An offer we plan to take up, bringing some close friends for a longer stay to share this magical property.