karen_brooks_fly_fishing_tasmania_australia

Anchored Podcast:

Unlike many guides, Karen Brooks started fly fishing later in life and took up guiding as a second career. Karen and her husband Peter guide out of Tasmania, Australia. On this episode of Anchored Karen and April enjoy a light-hearted conversation about fishing for trout in Tasmania, loch style fishing, and what it’s like to start over. Learn why she and her husband started their guiding business, and what fishing is like in Tasmania. Press play to hear her story.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:15] Karen loved the outdoors 
  • [8:37] A gap year in her 40s!
  • [16:03] Advice to those considering pivoting later in life
  • [18:37] The beauty of trout fishing in Tasmania
  • [28:14] River fishing has its joys as well
  • [32:18] What is loch style fishing?
  • [37:18] The biggest surprise of fishing Tasmania

Karen didn’t start fly fishing until later in life

Karen Brooks was born in Victoria and grew up riding horses. Through this hobby, she developed a love for the outdoors. As she grew up, she took up bushwalking. She didn’t start fly fishing until her late 30s, but once she did she became passionate about the sport. She remarks that fly fishing is like bushwalking with a purpose. 

Karen’s flower export business kept her busy and she and her husband would look forward to their weekend fly fishing getaways so that she could make all the worries of the week disappear. They took many weekend trips to Tasmania and fell in love with the place.

When she was in her 40s, Karen and her husband decided to take a gap year as their kids had done before university. That was when they booked a round-the-world trip. On this once-of-a-lifetime trip, they fished in spectacular locations like Patagonia, Venezuela, Alaska, and North America’s Pacific Northwest. 

What came first, the boat or the guide business?

While fishing in Bozeman, Montana on their gap year, Karen and Peter came across two beautiful matching wooden drift boats for sale and decided that purchasing them would be a great way to start a guide business. They had been tossing around the idea of opening a fly fishing guide business in Tasmania and these North American wooden boats came as the sign they needed to get started. The deal was made and they shipped the two boats halfway around the world. They then purchased a property in Deloraine, Tasmania and opened a lodge and guide service. 

Fishing Tasmania’s rivers and glacial lakes

While Tasmania isn’t known for having large fish, you can fish the world-class, shallow glacial lakes for big brown trout. However, fishing these lakes takes precision and skill. Long delicate leaders can help you achieve a light presentation that is essential to not spook the fish. Listen in to hear how Karen uses loch style fishing with static nymphing to fish the rivers of Tasmania. 

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Resources mentioned on this episode

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