For the Tasmanian trout fisher October - November is options time. With everything firing at once, you can give yourself ulcers just agonizing over where to fish. Let's run through the highlands:Read more ...
It was early start once again on the Meander River this morning and it was one of those beautiful mornings too. No wind, overcast and 5 degrees, absolutely great conditions for another session on the river. Today I'm fishing a different stretch of river, one that I haven't fished for around four years at least. I felt that with the way the river has fished below the bridge then perhaps it's time I gave the four kilometres of river above it a go. I was in the river at 5.40am and started off with the black fury today because the first one hundred meters was all shallow fast water. I was onto a small brown on the second cast but lost the little fella. That was the only hit for the first twenty meters, after that is when the fishing really picked up. Over the rest of this fast water stretch I caught & released seven nice browns from eight hook ups with the best brown going 540 gms. This was a great start, one I haven't had like this for some time.
Mainly overcast conditions plus a forecast with the chance of a shower or two I decided I would try a section of river at Weegena that I haven't fished for close on twelve years. The reason I haven't been near it is because I had completely forgotten about it. Once there I soon remembered why I had wiped it from my mind, it is one of the toughest sections that the Mersey River can throw at you. It is very rocky and always as slippery as an ice skating rink. It was no different today either, as soon as I hit the river it all came back to me.. The last time I fished here I went in for three dives during that session up here. Back then I only had the old waders with the rubber soled boots and they're a death trap in any river that's rocky and slippery. But today is another day, besides I now have the proper wading gear with the Korkers spiked felt soled wading boots, it wasn't going to be as bad as twelve years ago.
Well wasn't I a fool today as I forgot it was a holiday weekend here when I headed off this afternoon for a session on the Mersey River in what were perfect conditions for trout fishing. It was a very dull humid overcast day, conditions that I love to trout fish in. My first stop was at Kimberley just ten minutes from Sheffield. Once there I saw there were campers set up next to the river, that's when it hit me..''HOLIDAY WEEKEND.'" that meant most access areas are going to be busy for the next three days and won't be worth fishing at all. So I headed on up to Weegena only to find both access areas had cars parked there as well.. I knew of one more spot that may be okay so off I went once more in the hope of finding a spot to fish.
Well at last I had a day when I managed to be on the water by 9.00am in what was absolutely beautiful conditions. The Mersey River was much lower up at Weegena than my last trip four days ago, it was also crystal clear. There were quite a few large browns surface feeding in several slow flowing sections of the river too. These fish were all in the 1.5kg – 2.5kg range which was nice to see as there's been plenty of little browns around of late. I started of flicking the black fury (1.5gm) into the shaded areas along the opposite river bank and managed to get a few follows from some decent sized browns, but not one hit to go with it. It's always going to be tough getting into a few browns when you see others surface feeding, this is when I will often pick them up in the fast water runs.
I left home at 12.30pm in overcast and coolish conditions in what I thought were perfect for being in a river today. I was on my way to fish the Mersey River on a friends property and now with the river being lower it was going to be wade-able in every stretch of river. Well, once there the clouds had all but disappeared and it was nice and bright. Not what I was hoping for at all. Any way it was on with the gear and off on a two kilometre walk to where I'll start fishing. The river was now in full sun which was going to make the fishing interesting today that's for sure, especially in low clear water. I could see that the rocky river bottom was covered in a brown algae and that's going to make wading very tough too. Fishing the Mersey River is always hard on the body, the algae covered rocks just makes it that much harder. With the river being low and clear means I'll be starting the session off with the little black fury (black blade) again today.
I headed on over to Mersylea this afternoon in what was beautiful weather conditions with just a light breeze and clear skies. I didn't arrive there until 3.00pm and then had a chat with a couple of young fella's having a spin from the river bank. They hadn't caught anything up to then, but had managed a couple of follows for the time they'd been there spinning. The river was clear and much lower today and was also in full sun. I recommended that they spin the shaded areas as that's more than likely the best place to pick up a trout in the bright conditions. I had to use my old Horne waist waders today as my breathables are down in Hobart at Fly & Dry having new stocking feet put on them as I've worn the other's out. Still they've lasted just over three years of some pretty heavy fishing days and months of continual river fishing. So today it was back to the old way of how I waded the rivers and fished for trout for quite a lot of years in the heavy rubber waders and boots.
Another top day weather wise today had me heading on up to Weegena to give the Mersey River a fish. The wind was switching from the Sth.West to the Nth West and back again so this wasn't going to be a problem either as where I was fishing it's reasonably sheltered in most places on the river. The area I'm fishing is on private property and there's a 2.0km walk before I get to my starting point in the river, but it's always worth the walk. The fishing here is normally quite good most times and there's rarely a trip here that I don't miss on catching a few browns & rainbows.
With overcast and pretty cool weather this afternoon I headed on over to the small township of Kimberley to give the Mersey River a fish from below the main road bridge. I haven't fished this area since we started holidaying over here from Sth Aust while visiting the daughter and family some 18 years ago. There was a cold wind blowing straight down the river which meant I would be working my way upstream against it, something I'm never happy with any time. But I'm here now so might as well push on. With the river being much wider with a little more depth to it I decided to fish with hard body lures today. Plus they're a little heavier and will cast better into the wind than the little #00 mepps black fury, I could have gone up a size with the black fury's but decided not to. Besides I have a few hard body lures that I still have to test out for an overseas company that I promised to do. Before I tried their lure I started off with a rainbow rapala and worked my way up and along the river without a sign of a fish. I'm thinking have I picked another poor section of river to fish, or is it just going to be one of those very slow days again with the trout few and far between. I seem to be having a few of these over the past couple of weeks of just catching one or two fish each trip to the Mersey. Any way I stuck with the rapala for another ten minutes before I changed over to a test lure that was much heavier than I normally use in the rivers. I thought I would work this lure in a deep water run just ahead of me to see how it goes.
With a change forecast for later on tonight I thought I would get a spin session in this afternoon at Merseylea once again. I headed to the middle bridge this time and walked on down through the paddocks to the river. It was still running at a medium to high level but still just wade-able in most sections. I kept with the little black bladed black fury from the other day to see how it would go in today's dull conditions. The first couple of runs didn't give up a fish bit the next run was much better. After flicking the spinner up into the headwater several times and letting it drift into a large eddy it was finally taken by a nice 430gm brown. I fished several more runs some of which I changed over to the hard body lure as they were much deeper runs. Nothing at all was taken over the next two stretches of river where I decided to cross the river to a backwater run.
Another ripper of a day much the same as yesterday so I was off to Merseylea once again, this time I left at 1.00pm and went too the lower bridge. Being a Monday I was hoping that no one would be there, but when I arrived there was a 4wd parked some 200 meters on a track below the bridge. This was good as it meant he had headed downstream or was sitting in the bush bait fishing. I was heading upstream to fish any way so there's not a problem. I only had a short walk through the paddocks to where I could cross over to get a backwater that I like to fish. It wasn't long before I was there flicking the same hard body lure that I used yesterday. This backwater didn't give a yelp again this trip either. That's two trips here without it giving up a fish, I have no idea why it didn't because it normally gives up a few trout.
I left home just on 1.30pm in beautiful weather conditions and headed on over to the Mersey River at Merseylea. I went to my usual spot only to find a couple of cars parked there and being a Sunday with such great weather I don't blame them for having an outing on the river.
I did bother seeing if they were bait fishing or if they had headed off for a session in the river with lures or the fly. I drove on up to the top bridge and found it clear of vehicles which was unusual as this area is normally busy. Parked the car, on with the waders etc and I was soon in the river working my way upstream.
The river was still a little higher than I would have liked but it was wade-able and that's all that mattered to me. I was using the same rainbow pattern slim 6 cm Muzza's hard body lure that worked for me on the last trip to the Mersey River. The river bottom was like an ice skating rink here as it well and boy it's tough going and even more so in waist high water.
Finally after not having any rain for four days the Mersey River was just low enough for me to get in and have a spin session. Not that it was real low, but it was just low enough for fishing if one took care in doing so. There was still plenty of water coming down and with the river bottom being so slippery it was a matter of knowing the river and where it was safe enough to fish without being swept away. In saying that, I did have a one moment when I thought I may have been body surfing the fast water in the spot where I chose to cross over to get to a backwater run. It was well above my knees and with the rocky bottom being slimy it was hard trying to get a good footing even with spiked felt sole wading boots on. Any way I did make it across to the backwater in the end without taking a plunge.
By Adrian Webb
Well with daylight saving and Easter out of the way it was back to work for me today. What a great day is was to be back at the office with no wind, clear skies and crisp air. Couldn't have been a better day to go back at all.. This morning I had to travel to one of my other offices some 45 kms from Sheffield. Still it was a beautiful morning for a drive in the country side and it helps to get the brain into gear for the work ahead of me. My office today was the Meander River.. No better place to start off my first day back after a brief break.
2-12-2014 Trip One
On Monday the 1st December I headed on over to the Mersey River at Kimberley & Merseylea. The conditions were overcast,humid and with light drizzle on and off, but the only downfall was the wind coming from the Nth East something I never like fishing in. Once in the river at Kimberley I was lucky enough to hook a nice rainbow on the second cast, but as they've been doing lately this one did the same. It tossed the hook on the second or third jump I think it was. There were quite a few fish leaping from most sections in the river and this is always a sign that it's going to be a tough session.
After having an hour of acupuncture this afternoon I was off to the Meander River for another (4.00pm) afternoon session. The last trip here the brown trout really won out by tossing the hooks more times than I can remember ever happening during a session. I don't normally lose more than I catch, but that trip (20-11-14) I did when I hooked and lost ten in a row before spitting the dummy and headed for home.
Seeing that the day was nice and fine with just a light Nth Easterly I headed on over to the Mersey River at 5.00pm for a late session. It wasn't worth going any earlier as it was to bright plus the sun was still on the water, so by around 5.00pm there is usually plenty of shade on the river from the masses of willows that line the banks.
After having a few good showers of rain this morning and with the cloud now high overhead I decided to go on over to Merseylea for an afternoon spin session. There wasn't a breath of wind, but the air temperature had dropped quite a few degrees from earlier in the day but that wasn't a problem any way.
Day One, 18/11/2014
Headed on over to Lake Leake to catch up with Samuel and Connor who are also well known as the "'Lake Leake Boys'" to have a couple of days spin fishing the Elizabeth River. I checked in at the Lake Leake Inn with mine hosts Jan & Walter Milner who always greet their guest with a warm and friendly smile. After lunch (which was great & very filling) I headed on over to catch up with the Evans family and was met with another warm welcome at their household too. It was good to see them once again as well. Samuel wasn't around as he's working two days a week now with his Uncle in the building trade doing work experience as a carpenter which is a great trade to get into.
With Adrian Webb up our way for a few days, we decided to give the Elizabeth River a smashing session using the Mepps spinners. We arrived at the river at around about 2pm, where we got the gear out of the car, threw on the waders and started walking down the river. We walked a good 2.5km past the Weir, where we worked our way back up the river
The first 1.2km was unsuccessful, with only seeing 4 small trout that were easily spooked. Where I then swapped to a silver Aglia, and cast in to the faster running water where this little fish started playing up! First fish for the day, a nice little brown that was about 200grams. Back in the river he goes. We then walked through a heap of long grass, where Connor had caught a lovely brown that was about 340grams. A few photos and back in to the water he goes. In this time Adrian had caught a lovely brown around the 200gram mark as well.
After giving the elbow a two day rest since the acupunture last Friday I thought I would put it to the test with a short spin session on the Mersey River at Merseylea. I was on the water by around 10.00am which was really not the best time to be starting a session seeing it was warm, clear water and sunny. But I was only here to see how the elbow would hold up. The first run I fished was a long slow flowing section and I didn't spot a fish at all, not even a follow. So it looked like being on the river at this time of the morning exactly what I expected and if I was going to catch a fish today, then I was going to have to work for it. I noticed a chap watching from the bridge some 100 meters behind me and I was wondering if he had wanted to fish this area. The next time I looked around he was gone and I assumed he had gone below the bridge to fish a lower part of the Mersey.
With the wind coming from a variety of directions today I headed on over to the Meander River for a spin session. I arrived there at 1.20pm much earlier than I would normally hit a river, but I new the area I was going to fish would have good shade along most of the 1.5 kms of river from thick vegetation along the river banks. On my arrival I found the river was running around six inches higher than my last trip here as well. It just meant that some of the areas where I cross over will take a little longer than they normally do due to the stronger flow.
After bombing out with my sweeps in the Melbourne Cup today I headed off to the Dasher River for a few hours in the hope that it would fair much better than today's sweeps did. Arrived at the Dasher around 3.40pm and after a 30 minute walk I was soon in the river casting the well used little copper black fury spinner into the very tannin coloured water.
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