Chance to cast minds back 150 years

JUSTIFYING a fishing getaway should be simple for inland anglers this weekend.

Not only is the 2013-14 season set to close on Sunday, but this weekend is also the closest date anglers can get to truly celebrating the 150th anniversary of brown trout in Tasmania.

The historic ordeal proves that no matter how touchy the fish may be, others have had more trouble attempting to land the lively breed.

It took Englishmen James Youl and William Ramsbottom five attempts and many thousands of pounds to successfully transport and hatch pioneering brown trout at Plenty's Salmon Ponds on May 4, 1864.

Youl and Ramsbottom battled public and media scrutiny to achieve success, a move which has since established Tasmania as a fishing destination.

Tasmanian angling expert and Clarendon Fly Fishing Museum curator Mike Stevens said the journey was significant beyond the state's streams and lakes.

``They're still here 150 years later, they don't seem to threaten other species, they're a good environmental barometer - they're nice to catch, nice to eat,'' Mr Stevens said.

``Pretty much all the brown trout in the southern hemisphere came from these fish - we even supplied New Zealand.''

He said the presence of brown trout in Tasmania meant there were viable fishing waters within 20 minutes of most towns.

``There's thousands of places you can go fishing - you can be as remote as you want to be,'' Mr Stevens said.

``You can walk in the Central Highlands protected area and you don't see anyone for weeks if you want to do that.

``It is the outdoor experience I'd say.''

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