by Sarah Graham
Many anglers are preparing for the opening of the new angling season on Saturday 7 August and it's shaping up to be another good one with the fishery in excellent health as a result of last year’s drought breaking rains. There are many great fishing locations around the State from which to choose for the opening weekend and early season fishing but here are a few suggestions.
Woke up to see the sky heavy with cloud cover so I headed off to the Meander River for a spin session in the fast water stretches. The river was up by some four inches which was good to see as it meant there could be some trout for the taking so to speak as I catch and release mine any way. I'm fishing a 1.5km stretch of river that can make or break most trout fishers but I've fished it plenty of time so I know where the easiest areas are. It's still tough and with the water being up it will be even tougher going & there's no room for mistakes, once you slip and fall in then you're going for a bumpy ride downstream. I've been lucky in all my years of river fishing I'm yet to fall in a fast water run and I don't intend too on this trip either.
Another warm day was forecast so I had an early start this morning and was in the Meander River just as the sun was on the rise at 6:10 am. I'm fishing a stretch of river that hasn't fished all that well lately, today I'm hoping it will all turn around for the better. The weather conditions were perfect as it was quite overcast and very muggy, but the small flies were an absolute pain in the butt.
No amount of swearing and cursing them sent them on their way either, each cast into the clear cool water still had them crawling over my face. I started the session off with a small gold Aglia spinner to see if it may do the job early in picking up a trout for me. It did attract several browns but no takers, they just followed it. After fifteen minutes I changed to the ghost brown lure, same result follow after follow. I then tried a F3 rainbow Rapala and that didn't even draw the attention of a trout at all and after ten minutes it was time for another change. This time I went for the Mepps black Aglia Mouche Noire spinner and managed to have three light hit and misses, still the trout weren't aggressive.. A light breeze had popped up and those small flies had finally disappeared which was a relief, now all I needed was for the trout to come on the take.
Presented from Issue 111, August 2014
Three effective river techniques for early season success
The trout season opening is upon us again. This time of year nowadays is, for me, a real quandary. I know that the really reliable fishing of spring is still weeks if not months away, but ever since I started trout fishing all those years ago I have looked forward to the first Saturday in August with a real hunger. The night before for me was always like Christmas Eve, I couldn’t wait to see what ‘gifts’ the river would bring each year.
A hot day was forecast with light NE winds early then gusting later in the day so I had an early start on the Meander this morning. I was in the river flicking a gold Aglia spinner around by 6:15 am in what was beautiful cool conditions with some cloud cover. The river had good flow and was running very clear, now all I needed was for the trout to be in an aggressive mood. It wasn't all that long before the little gold spinner drew the attention of a couple of browns, but they were only interested in it for a short distance before moving off. I replaced the spinner with the small ghost brown hard body seeing as that's got them going several times here before. Well it wasn't any better than the gold spinner, I had follow after follow from some nice browns and that was it. Another change of lure, the rainbow Rapala was the choice this time. I had a repeat of what has been going on so far this morning with the lures, more follows but no takers. I have now been in the river for forty five minutes and all I've had is a dozen follows from a lot of non aggressive browns.
The weather was fine when I left home this morning for a spin session on the Mersey River at Weegena even though the forecast was for rain & thunderstorms the sky was clear. Once there & after a forty minute walk to where I was to start my spin session, it was then I noticed some heavy cloud building up and it seemed to be moving in at a steady rate. I knew then I would have to get in the river and get a move on before the weather hit this area.. I was using the ghost brown lure and was having plenty of follows but no takers which was becoming quite frustrating.
With nothing on this morning and being Christmas Day I new where ever I fished I'd more than likely have the rivers all to myself. So I headed off to the Mersey River for a spin session in what was beautiful calm conditions and with the sun already well up I didn't hit the river until 7:15 am. The river was like a sheet of glass and there were quite a few trout already on the rise surface feeding on midges. Seeing the trout surface feeding I knew I was in for another tough few hours chasing the brown trout this morning.
I left home just after 5:30 am this morning and headed to the upper reaches of the Mersey River for an early spin session in what was a reasonably cool morning with the lightest of breeze. As soon as I arrived it was on with the wading gear and off for a forty minute walk to where I would start the spin session. I was trying a new stretch of river (that I checked out on Google Earth) for the first time this trip so I didn't know what to expect.
I was originally going to head to the upper Mersey River at Liena at 4:30 am this morning when I woke up but after laying there for a while I decided not to. As much as I wanted to get up I just couldn't be bothered because of a couple of sleepless nights. As the day went on and there was some good cloud cover around I then decided to head up there around 2:10 PM.
With cloud moving in making conditions quite humid I decided to head on over to the Meander River for an afternoon session. The river was running some 4-6 inches higher than my last trip here which was back on Tuesday 28th November and it was little discoloured too. By the time I had walked 1.5 kms to the river it was 3:30 PM when I had my first cast with the little #00 gold Aglia into a long wide medium stretch of river. There was a reasonably strong North Easterly breeze blowing from behind me so I was getting good distance with the light weight spinner, I was reaching the opposite side of the river with ease. I used the cast and drift method and had my first take within three minutes, it was a nice solid 460 gram brown. After it making several runs and leaps I slowly led it into the net, once in it out popped the spinner.
With the Australian National Fly Fishing Championships on over the next three days I decided to give the upper reaches a fish. I arrived just after 7:00 am in what was overcast conditions, no wind and it was quite mild, really good fishing conditions. I did have a tough 1.5 km walk ahead of me to reach my starting point which I reached just after 7:30 am. With the river running very clear I was in two minds whether to go for the hard body lure or my ever reliable little Mepps spinners. I decided to go with the Mepps, now would be a black or gold blade spinner to start with. I went for the #00 (1.5g) gold blade Aglia for starters to see how that would go, if it didn't then I'd change to the black one.
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Recently Atlantic salmon seems to be a very hot topic amongst local anglers, especially those in the south of the state in the D'Entrecasteaux area. Northern anglers should take a close look at the Tamar as there are opportunities here as well.
The recent "great escape" has provided a perfect opportunity for fresh and saltwater anglers alike to experience some truly memorable sport. Tasmania's pristine, clean and cool waters are the perfect nursery for the Atlantic Salmon and as our local fish farms produce more and more fresh quality seafood it is a fact that there are going to be tangible consequences.