University Of Tasmania

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A long entanglement with nature: flyfishers in the wild

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 17:17 authored by Busola AdedokunBusola Adedokun, Melinda McHenryMelinda McHenry, James KirkpatrickJames Kirkpatrick
Large wild areas are important for both nature conservation and nature-based recreation. Information on the reciprocal relationships between recreators and the environments in which they recreate can help both conservation and recreation management. We considered motivations, perceptions, environmental concerns, and social concerns among flyfishers who recreate within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area on the Central Plateau of Tasmania, Australia. Using semi-structured interviews with 27 participants, we established that they were motivated by a love of nature, desire for experience, escapism, connection, and challenge. On the basis of motivations and attitudes, we discriminated four groups of flyfishers: “social” (those who fish with friends), “trophy” (lone fishers who are goal-oriented), “outdoor enthusiast” (those who enjoy the outdoor experience, fishing optional), and “hunter-gatherer” (those prepared to travel long distances for catch). Nonetheless, all groups perceived environmental and social problems related to fishing and visitation behaviours, from littering to climate change. Fishers perceived environmental problems included identifying exotic weeds and pests but did not specifically include trout as a pest, despite their exotic status and adverse effects on native ecosystems. However, flyfishers were aware of most of their impacts and were willing to help mitigate them. Such insight is significant for geographers and those in associated disciplines and professions seeking to manage wild protected areas.


Publication title

Geographical Research






School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Place of publication


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Environmentally sustainable commercial services and tourism not elsewhere classified; Recreation and leisure activities (excl. sport and exercise)