Tassie fly fishers and regular "blow-ins" like myself will remember the 2006-7 Tasmanian trout season for the late season dry fly bonanza that took place on the lowland rivers in the northern midlands. The only thing preventing the fish from rising every day was inclement weather and even then a few fish could usually be picked up by visiting notorious insect hatching "hot spots'.
Some of the hatches were immense and the dry fly fishing was outstanding. Every single fish we caught during March and April was stalked, seen or ambushed. On certain days the fish were working themselves into a feeding frenzy likened to the spectacle of bronze whalers rounding up pilchards in the surf. We couldn't even reel in our fly lines without fish slashing and smashing dry flies as they skidded and waked across the surface. The late season fly fishing in northern Tasmania completely eclipsed the early and mid-season's sport.
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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.
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