From the Archives ...

The secret to catching more fish

by Greg French

There was a time when I found it easy to brush aside criticism of my casting performance - I simply asserted that I am an angler, not a caster, and proved the point by catching trout.

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When you have finished for the day, why not have a brag about the ones that didn't get away! Send Mike an article on your fishing (Click here for contact details), and we'll get it published here. Have fun fishing - tasfish.com

2017 04 13 Golden brown... there's still some beauties to be caught - Adrian Webb 2017 04 13

Today I decided to have a trip to a small stream/creek in the upper reaches of Gunns Plains it's one that I haven't fished for six years. The reason I decided to check it out was because I was going back through my diaries and came across a report of one of my trips to it. I have no idea if it's has a name or not as it's one I stumbled onto one day while checking out a few back roads that crossed over small creeks & streams in the area that flow into the Leven River. It's very over grown in most sections and calls for some accurate casting.

101 mersey lea rainbowPresented from Issue 101
I am a fly fisher living on the banks of the Mersey River in Latrobe in northern Tasmania. Some, close to me, think I am obsessed. I get to see close hand the cycles of the river and its inhabitants throughout the changing seasons. For me the most exciting time of the trout fishing season is late spring and early summer when the aquatic insects, like the caddis flies, stoneflies and above all the majestic mayfly, are going through their hatching stages. What follows is a story of a spring morning’s fishing on my favourite stream.

100 north east trout2Presented from Issue 100
Having moved to the North East of Tasmania several years ago I set out to explore my local rivers and found them to be vastly different from the Mersey where I grew up. The rivers up this way tend to be much smaller, shallow sandy-bottomed streams. One of the first rivers I fished was a tributary of the George River, the Groom. It was early October and a nice sunny day as I headed north out of St Helens. As I went I stopped on each of the river bridges to have a look. I found the George River to be a little higher than what looked to be normal and discoloured so I continued on.

A few kilometres up the road I came to the Groom River and once again parked the car and had a look downriver from the bridge. This stream was also a little higher than normal but most sections flowed over a broad flat sandy bottom ranging between 30 and 50 cm deep. Much to my surprise looking downriver from the bridge I could quite clearly see five or six small fish feeding over the sand.

Presented from Issue 96
I have spent most of my life growing up in close proximity to the Mersey River and its wonderful trout fishing. Over the years I have got to know the river and its denizens quite well and this particular season to date has certainly been one of the best I that I can personally remember. What follows is my take on the fishing action on this water for the first half of the 2011/2012 trout fishing season.

Presented from Issue 95
The Dorset River is a magic little stream that flows through Pera Flats at the foot of Mount Paris situated on the northeast corner of Tasmania near the town of Ringarooma. The “Dorset” is just one of the tributaries that flows into the very productive Ringarooma River. This small stream meanders its way down through a mix of farmland and native forest that generates all kinds of land based trout food which inevitably finds its way into the river for an opportunistic brown trout. When you add to this the ongoing aquatic lifecycles of a small stream and the competition for food amongst the fish that inhabit it, the trout become very willing to take a variety of well presented flies, lures or baits with this being one of the great attractions of fishing small streams such as this in Tasmania.

2016 09 10 great colours in this meander river brownA heavy frosty morning meant for a nice sunny but cool day and also a good one to go fishing in a river somewhere.. I decided it would be the Meander River which is 45 kms from Sheffield. I'm hoping the river level has dropped low enough so I can get in and fish it. I couldn't get a reading of the river levels online due to the gauge still being out of order since the June floods. So I'm going to take the chance and hope it will be okay. Once there I could see it was down and just wade-able going by a log the juts out from the river bank. I have used this log as a gauge for many years now and I know when the river is at a safe level for wading. Today it's borderline, so I decided I would have a session in the river. I'm not going to take any chances though, if I get to a stretch of water that doesn't feel right then I won't be going any further. Besides I'm not sure what has changed on the river bottom either, has it been washed out in places or is it still as it was before the floods. I could see how high the river had been during the floods, the good thing is that there's still plenty of undamaged foliage along both sides of the river.

2016 08 22 mersey river brown taken on muzzas lureAfter lunch I thought I would take the trout gear and head on over to Merseylea in the hope I may finally get to wet a line in it for the first time this season. Once there I could see it was still running very high and there was no way I would be hopping in for a wade. Still on with the waders etc and off I went walking down through the paddocks to where I knew there would be some nice back water that I could hop in and wade. After a brief fifteen minute walk I was soon at the bottom end of it where it flowed back into the Mersey River. There was plenty of water running down it too and I had that feeling there would be a few trout holding in a few stretches of it as well. Just before I entered the back water I flicked the little Muzza's hard body into a small flat piece of water close to the river bank, this type of water quite will often have a fish in it. It was on the second cast when I had a nice solid brown take the lure. It headed straight out into the main flow and then off downstream for some thirty meters before I managed to turn it then slowly lead it in towards the river bank. With the river running so fast even a small brown is going to peel line off the reel once it enters the main flow. Any way, after a brief tussle I soon had this nice solid brown in the landing net. As always, after quick photo it was soon back in the river. That fish went 430gms.

by Justin Causby Presented from Issue 93

Such are the busy lifestyles these days it seems no sooner has the brown trout season closed and it is already July once again. And with that, the mind starts to ponder the first Saturday in August; where will the trout be this year in the Derwent River, what will they be focused on, will it rain between now and then, just how much baitfish will be through the system and last but certainly not least, searunners?

After the recent floods, Adrian has mad available pictures of the damage in the Mersey and nearby rivers.

Trying to warm little Lucy upThe rain did finally ease off and I did go for a fish in a small river close to home on private property. After walking around 800 meters through the paddocks then being chased by around 20 young bulls, I finally made it to the river which was just the right height for a wade. Then from nowhere up popped a little Shihtzu dog that was wet, cold and frightened as ever. I knew it was lost and I just couldn't leave the poor little thing there so I picked it up and carried it back to the car. Had to go back via the river as not to be chased by the bulls again which were following us all the way back to where I could get back into the paddocks. I was glad there was an electric fence between us.

2016 04 29 Mersey River rainbowNot a breath of wind with as just a sprinkling of light rain had me darting off to the Mersey River this morning. A session that I'm hoping will last a while before the rain gets heavier and sets in for the day as forecast. The forecast is for 15-25mms across the North of the state today which is very much needed. This will also gives the rivers a lift that should bring the trout on over the last two days of the season which ends at midnight Sunday 1st May.

2016 04 28 Mepps gold black fury Mersey River brown

Low cloud and light rain had me setting off to the Mersey River again this morning in what were ideal conditions for trout fishing. This time I was fishing at the top bridge which is around three kilometers upstream from where I fished yesterday. It wasn't one bit cold this morning, probably because it was 10.00am before I was in the river. Today I'm using the #00 gold black fury, only because it's the spinner that's already set up on the rod I'm using today. I'll change it if need be.

2016 04 24 Gold 00 black fury brown trout Meander River

Woke up to hear that it was going to be 21 degrees here in Sheffield today, then when I looked outside there was just a full on pea soup fog to be seen. I had decided yesterday that I would fish the Meander River as I thought with only seven browns needed to reach the 800 trout for the season then this river would be my best chance of doing it. Once there I had a one & a half kilometer walk through thick fog to where I was going to enter the river. It's just as well I know this area like the back of my hand as visibility was pretty low when I headed off through the paddocks. By the time I reached my entry point the fog was a little lighter and the river was like glass, there wasn't a breath of wind. I love fishing in these conditions as eerie as it is.

2016 04 23 Wild rainbow trout Mersey River

Headed off again this afternoon for another of those late spin sessions I've been having lately on the Mersey River. The conditions were perfect once again with very little breeze and clear skies. I started off with a rapala in a deeper run before moving onto the fast water stretches. It worked out reasonably well as I did manage to pick up two nice browns on it.

2016 04 07 Finally trout No 700 is in the net Mersey River aTrout number 700 for the 2015/16 season caught today. 7/4/2016

Only needing two more trout to reach my target of 700 before the end of the 2015/16 season I headed off to the Mersey River at 4.00pm to see if I could pick up the two required fish. I had three sections of river already picked out that I thought would give up the fish that I needed. I was certain that if one section didn't then one or both of the others would. There was a strong gusty Westerly wind blowing with plenty of cloud about as well. I started off with the black fury (black blade) as I wanted to reach the 700 on the Mepps black fury seeing as these spinners have caught around 95% of my catch this season. They've also done this over the past 50 plus years of my trout fishing as well.

by Craig Vertigan - Presented from Issue 91

It’s easy to forget what a great sports fishery we have on our doorsteps living here in Hobart. When I have a full day or a weekend to spare for a fishing trip nine times out of ten it will be somewhere other than my local system. This leaves me doing shorter trips from an hour to a half day on the Derwent. Some of those trips can be just awesome and it leaves me wondering how good it could get if I concentrated my efforts for a whole day or two.

by Craig Rist - Presented from Issue 91

By the time the month of April has arrived, the end of the brown trout season on our rivers is steadily coming to an end. Those magic days of trout rising to a hatch of insects are all but over. To the avid dry fly fisher, this is a reality that is hard to take at the end of every season. For me, it’s time to change tact, just like the trout in a river have to do to survive. As the amount of fly life in the river starts to taper off, more and more trout in the lower Mersey revert back to feeding on the native galaxia (baitfish), just as they do at the start of the season.

2016 03 10 Trout No 600 for the 2015 16 trout season Mersey RiverMersey River gives up trout number 600 - 10/3/2016

With light drizzle on the way this afternoon I thought I would give the Mersey River a quick session at Kimberley. I haven't fished here for quite some time as the fishing went right off. I'm hoping to pick up at least three trout today to bring up my 600th trout for the 2015/16 season. Once there I found the river to be running very low and crystal clear, being a dull over cast day it didn't really bother me all that much. In fact I thought it would probably be a good day to fish here. I headed down to a fast water run that always gives up a few rainbows and I'm hoping it will again today. I started off with a small copper black fury flicking it up and across the river and letting it drift with the flow as I slowly retrieved it. It took ten minutes of working this run before I had my first sign of a trout. It just sat some 3'' behind the spinner and followed it without any sign of aggression at all. It was off with the black fury and on with the F-3 Rapala rainbow pattern to see if it would entice the trout to take it. I spent another ten minutes in the run without a sign of that trout, so I moved on.

2016 03 08 Trout number 15 for the daySlow start, but a good finish 8-3-2016

Humid conditions again today saw me heading off to the Meander River this afternoon in the hope of adding a few more trout to my season's tally. I thought I'd try a different area today, one that's fished reasonably well on other trips. Started off using the copper black fury without any success, then tried a Rapala, and after that a black bladed black fury. All I could manage over the first 600 meters of river was two follows and one light hit & miss. Things weren't looking all that good and I'm thinking it's not going to be a good day on the river. 

2016 03 07 Lucky find 1Top day on the Meander River 7/3/2016

After a three day break from trout fishing I thought a trip to the Meander River would be the place to get back into it. Conditions today were how & humid which makes for good fishing, but also is a drain on the body. I started off in a nice fifty meter fast water run and using a black bladed black fury I had caught & released eight browns from nine hook ups by the time I reached the end of it. The river is still higher than normal due to Hydro Tasmania running the power turbines at Huntsman Dam, this has really helped make the fishing much better than usual. Things went a little quiet over the next hundred meters or so as the trout were only following the spinner and weren't showing any signs of aggression.

Fast water best place for fishing at the moment. 3-3-2016

Headed back for another spin session on Meander River this afternoon (3.15pm) in what was pretty warm conditions. It was still pretty humid and boy there was some heat in that sun. I was fishing the fast water on the Meander River and with the sun full on the water it was like I was standing in an oven. Not a breath of wind to be had either. I used the black bladed black fury today given the bright conditions and clear water. It wasn't too long before I had my first brown take the spinner and five casts later I had another two browns caught and released.

2016 02 25 Solid river brown aShort sharp session yields eight browns - 25/2/2016

After having 23mms of rain yesterday I thought I'd check out a river that runs through a friends property around 15 kms from Sheffield to see if it had risen enough to have a spin session.. It had risen by a couple of inches and was just fish-able in my opinion.

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