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Sea run trout tactics – Craig Vertigan

Sea run trout tactics – Craig Vertigan

During the trout off-season I tend to spend a bit of time chasing bream, to continue getting a fishing fix, and spend time tying flies and dreaming about the trout season to come. It’s a time to spend doing tackle maintenance, stocking up on lures and dreaming up new challenges and goals for the trout season ahead. When the new season comes around I usually spend the first few months targeting sea runners. Sea run trout are simply brown trout that spend much of there lives out to sea and come in to the estuaries for spawning and to feed on whitebait and the other small endemic fishes that spawn in late winter through spring. Mixed in with the silvery sea runners you can also expect to catch resident fish that have the typical dark colours of a normal brown trout as well as atlantic salmon in some of our estuaries that are located near salmon farm pens. Living in Hobart it is quick and easy to do a trip on the Huon or Derwent and is a more comfortable proposition compared to a trip up to the highlands with snow and freezing winds to contend with.

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Well even though my back was only around 60% okay, I decided it was time to hit a river and have my first session for the 2014-15 season. Weather conditions were great in the Sheffield area today with overcast conditions and only a light breeze, so I headed off to the Dasher River around 1.15pm and was in the river by 1.40pm. The river was a slight light tannin colour and was flowing reasonably fast and much higher than I would have preferred. But I wasn't too fussed as it was just great to finally be able to get in a river and have a spin session. I chewed on a couple of Panadol as I started to work my way upstream casting the little Mepps #00 Black Fury gold upsteam and working it back and across the medium flowing sections of the Dasher.
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The first three hundred meters of river didn't give up a single fish even after trying several different coloured black fury spinners. I decided to try a copper #00 Aglia spinner as it has a slightly larger blade and it usually works well early in the season. It wasn't long before I had my first fish on for the 2014-15 season, in fact it only took around five minutes before I had it on. I was happy now that I had broken the ice and I was ready for more. The next section was a shallow run of fast water that had a slow run next to the river bank. I flicked the Aglia into the slow run and had a hook up almost the instant the lure hit the water, but it was gone after one leap from the river. Even though it didn't stay hooked I was happy that the copper Aglia was the lure to stay with for now.
Ahead of me was a nice forty meter stretch of medium flowing water and this gave up another three browns in five casts. They weren't big fish and would have averaged around 300 gms which is a good size for this little river. Over the next four hundred meters I managed to catch another six browns all around the same size in what turned out to be a fairly good start to the season for me. 
With ten fish caught and released from eleven hook ups in just over two hours, I went home very satisfied on how my first session for the season went.
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