From the Archives ...

Tiny creeks and sea run trout - Christopher Bassano

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.

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2018 01 18 Meander River wild brownA 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.

I tried three other hard body lures one being a Atomic Hardz Tim's prawn & the other two being the gold/black Rapala as well as a brown trout Rapala, I had the same result with all three lures. Another thirty minutes had now passed without a single hit on any of the three lures. Frustration was setting in now and I wasn't as happy chappy at all, but I wasn't ready to give into these stubborn trout. Another change of lure and this time I went for the small Daiwa bleeding tiger pattern mainly because it did pick up the last two of the sixteen browns I caught & released the last time I fished this stretch of river a couple of weeks ago. The sun had burnt off the cloud and was now hitting the water in several areas along the river so I'm thinking the fishing isn't going to get any easier. Ten minutes on after the lure change I had my first brown take the bleeding tiger hard body, this brown had made several leaps & a few hard runs before it tired & I had it in the net. At last the drought was broken and I had a score on the board, the ''donut day'' has been eluded once again. So far this season I have not had a day when I haven't caught a fish, though I have been very close to it several times.

Over the following ten minutes I picked up another two medium size browns, things were looking up as those two fish were both very aggressive. One of them I picked up in just 10 cms of water close to the river bank after I noticed a bit a movement in the water. I flicked the lure up past where I had seen the movement and with a slow stop & go retrieve the trout charged the lure and took it hard & fast. I was now thinking why the hell didn't I try this lure earlier this morning. Instead of having some fifteen or so follows I may have at least caught half of them with any luck. It was a little quiet over the next two stretches of river where I hooked and lost a small brown before picking up the best two browns of the session in a narrow deep fast water run that was now in full sun. The biggest of the two trout went 540 grams and the other 480 grams. With the river now in full sun and a gusty wind it was also getting hot so I called it a day at 9:40 am. I don't think I've had a more frustrating spin session in all of my years of river fishing for trout.. Well, I probably have but just blocked them out.

Adrian Webb


The Meander River

2018 01 18 Meander River a

2018 01 18 Meander River b

 

Meander River brown

2018 01 18 Meander River brown

 

Meander River Trout

2018 01 18 Meander River Trout

 

Meander River wild brown

2018 01 18 Meander River wild brown

 

The Daiwa bleeding tiger lure that did the job today

2018 01 18 The Daiwa bleeding tiger lure that did the job today

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