Presented from Issue 100
Considering the world class quality of our sea trout fishery, these fish are not sought after by enough anglers. Sea runners live in the salt water and run up our estuaries and rivers from the start of August to the middle of November. At this time of the year, they are here to eat the many species of fish that are either running up the rivers to spawn or are living in and around the estuary systems. Trout, both sea run and resident (Slob Trout) feed heavily on these small fish which darken in colouration as they move further into fresh water reaches.
The majority of these predatory fish are brown trout with rainbows making up a very small percentage of the catch. They can be found all around the state but it would be fair to say that the east coast is the least prolific of all the areas. They still run up such rivers as the Georges (and many others) but their numbers along with the quality of the fishing elsewhere make it difficult to recommend the area above the larger northern, southern and western rivers.Read more ...
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.
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.
The forecast this morning (Weds) was for the winds to be easing off so I had decided I would head off later in the afternoon to see if I can crack the 500th trout for the season. Well, by 2.30pm here in Sheffield the wind had dropped right off to a nice light breeze which I was happy with. I was soon on the road heading on over to the Meander River once again. Trying another area quite some distance away from where I have recently been fishing. I arrived at the river just on 3.30pm to be greeted with another howling gale. I just couldn't believe it and did seriously think about turning around and heading back home. Not being one for giving in easily I decided I'd give it a go even though the wind was blowing straight down the river. Catching the nine trout required to reach the target wasn't going to be easy at all.
Headed off again this afternoon for another spin session in a rocky fast water stretch of the Meander River that's fished very well on my previous trips here. When I arrived the weather wasn't all that bad. The wind was a little gusty but nothing to worry about as I could see it wasn't going to effect my casting all that much. The river was reasonably sheltered from the wind too which made it that much easier. The first fifty meters was a little quiet as I just had the one hit and miss. Then over the next eighty meters I caught three nice browns. I'm thinking to myself I'm going to have another good catch of trout in this long fast water run again today. Then all hell let loose, the wind suddenly picked up a blew a gale. It was howling and there were small branches, twigs, leaves and all shapes and sizes of bark flying everywhere. I knew then it was going to be very difficult fishing from now on. This is as tough as I have ever experienced when fishing a river in these conditions.
The forecast wasn't all that flash today with winds reaching 45-55 kph during the day and I had intended to have a day at home after hearing that report. It was 7.30 am and the wind here in Sheffield wasn't all that bad so I quickly got into my fishing clothes and headed of to the Meander River to have a session before the wind picked up. After a forty five minute drive I was in the river flicking the little black fury around by 9.00am. There was plenty of smoke from the bush fires being blown across the area too, it was really thick and this wasn't going to make the day any easier either. It seemed more like 8.00pm it was that dark here and it wasn't all that warm, in fact the air was quite cool.
After a week's lay off from lower back & hip problems I finally felt good enough to head off to the Meander River for spin session. Well, that was after my weekly (every Weds.) dose of around 40+ injections that help to keep me trout fishing the rivers. I had wanted to have an early morning stint but that didn't happen. I didn't hit the river until just on 3.00pm. When I arrived the sun was full on the river and the wind was howling from the north, not only that the river was running low and crystal clear. I wasn't too fussed about it because it was just great to be able to get back into a river again.
Now that the Mersey River has dropped to a safe wade-able depth I decided to have an afternoon session on it. I thought that with the rain we've had it may be just what was needed to bring it back to giving up a few nice fish. I headed on up to Weegena and after a 35 minute walk through the bush d a few paddocks I was soon in the river flicking the little black fury around. It only took five minutes if a fast water run before I had a nice medium (390 gm) size rainbow take the spinner. It wasn't long before I had this well conditioned fish in the net, quick photo and it was soon on it's way.. Things were looking good catching a fish so early into the session and a rainbow too, something I haven't caught in the Mersey since November last year.
I had intended having a 6.00am start on the river this morning but I didn't hit the river until 10.00am for some reason. Had a bit of trouble getting the body to loosen up today was half of the problem. With the sun high and full on the water I wasn't sure if the trout would be on the take in these conditions. Well they were on, with the very first cast I had a small brown take the copper black fury. Two casts later in the same run I had another small brown in hand. The sun on the water isn't going to be a problem at all by the looks of it. The next three stretches of river all gave up 6 fish ranging in size from 240gms up to 360gms. I had also hooked and lost four others in those runs too, so with eight caught from 12 hook ups I was still pretty satisfied with the fishing so far.
I had around two hours before the wife came home before I had to take her up to the daughters at Cradle Mountain, so I decided to get in a quick session on a small river 10 minutes from home.. Once there I started flicking the little black fury around in the tannin coloured river and had a hit & miss on the second cast. The next little stretch gave up three nice little river browns with the best one going around 290gms and beautifully conditioned too.
Rain & thunder storms were the forecast for today and I was unsure whether to go fishing today or not. At 5.20am I decided I'm going and hopefully get a couple of hours in before the weather sets in. I headed on over to the Meander River once again as it's been the river that's been fishing well for me so I'm sticking with it. I was in the river by 6.35am and picked up a small (270gm) brown on the very first cast. Can't beat that for a start to the session that's for sure. Today I was back to using the black bladed black fury as it did the job for me the last time I fished this area on the Meander.
This three kilometer run of river has a mix of fast and medium/fast water so I'm hoping it will fish as good as my last trip here when I caught & released 21 browns back on the 6th January.
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Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
Christopher Bassano fishes over 250 days a year. This interview was recorded just before he headed off to fish for Australia in the World Fly Fishing Championships in Norway 14-17 August 2013.
I live on a small stream and at the start of the season I like to go off on a bit of a discovery mission and fish the headwaters of the creeks and rivers I feel an affinity with.
These small rivers include the St Pats, Meander, Forester, Little Forester and others. The further up you go on these rivers the clearer and lower the levels. They are often less affected by the rain and runoff and you get some good opportunities. Get as close to the source as you can and you will find some good dry fly fishing. Don’t limit yourself to those I have mentioned. Most headwaters will hold trout.Read more ...