With the rivers still running high and the weather being fine for a change I decided I was going to chase the trout by hook or by crook.. I didn't have an early start either as it wasn't until 10:30 am when I finally slipped into the river. The water was running at a medium to high level so I had fished the stretches of water that I knew were safe enough to wade. After many years of fishing the rivers this is where knowing every bit of the each river I fish pays off. I never take any risks when fishing rivers as life is too short plus it's not worth drowning one's self either. One good thing was the water temp today was up to seven degrees and that's the warmest it's been since the end of the last trout season. I set myself a small target of catching & releasing five trout for the session this trip mainly because of the water flowing high & fast in most stretches if river.. I was a little undecided of what Mepps lure to start off with today, I finally made the choice of going with the Aglia Tiger Fluoro mainly because of the water temp still being a little low. Once the water temp gets to nine degrees and above then the Mepps gold or copper blades spinners will be given a good workout.
It wasn't all that easy working my way upstream in fast water that was above the knees where I started fishing.. The fishing was pretty slow to start with too until I came to a small flat water that was between the river bank and a large old fallen tree that was in the river. The first cast and retrieve into this little flat water resulted in a medium size brown being caught and released. A little further up there was another fallen tree on the right hand side of the river, it too had a nice flat water behind it. It took three casts and retrieves into that flat water before another medium size brown took the spinner and was landed. A little further up I started to cross the river where some recent work had been done in it and that work had exposed some large runs of solid rock. The river height here was halfway between my knees and waist and it was quite tough pushing my way across the river here. It was still safe enough but the footing underneath wasn't great since the work had been done on it. As I went to step onto the solid rock my left foot slipped and I went down heavily on my left knee. Hell it hurt, at first I thought I had cracked my knee cap but with a bit of a rub & massage it wasn't all that bad so I fished on.. I had to bypass a deep stretch of river before I re-entered into a nice long wide medium flowing run which was perfect for the cast and drift method I like use. A few casts up and across the river while letting the spinner drift with the flow & a very slow retrieve I had a take from a medium size brown. That brown made a couple of solid runs before tossing the spinner on it's second head shaking leap from the river. After that I had a few light hits and follows from a two more browns before I decided it was time to try a hard body lure. I went for a new small 5 cm/3 gm HRT lure in a brook trout pattern that I picked up a few weeks ago from Justackle in Burnie. It only took a few casts across the river with it before it was taken by a nice solid brown that put up one hell of a fight in the fast flowing water. This wasn't a massive fish but the flow was helping it win the battle while it was midstream, once I managed to get it in closer it slowly tired and was soon in the net. It weighed 540 grams and was in excellent condition as have all the trout been that I've caught so far this season.
I fished on for another thirty minutes with no sign of a fish so it was time to head back to the car which was around a kilometre away. With a lot of deep fast water ahead of me it wasn't worth fishing it until the river level drops by at least 20 cms.. Once back at the car I remembered I had to cross over a small creek on the way home so I left the wading gear on because I thought I'd have a quick flick it before heading back to Sheffield. Twenty minutes later I was in the creek flicking the Fluoro Aglia around, I had quite a few follows from some nice medium size browns. That's all they were doing though was just following the spinner with no signs of aggression. I slowed the retrieve, twitched the lure, nothing I did enticed them to take the spinner. This meant for a change of lure, it was on with the gold/black f3 Rapala hard body because it has caught trout here before when nothing else has. Nothing happened over the first hundred meters of water and I was about to call it a day, but like all fisho's I thought the next stretch of water looked fishy and worth flicking the lure into.. That was my best decision of the day. The first cast directly upstream & as soon as the lure hit the water it was taken hard and fast by a ripper of a brown trout. This was a beauty for such a small creek and it gave me quite a battle that lasted for close on five minutes before I had it in the net.. The reason it took me so long to land it took me into a fast water run and with thin 4 lb mono one can't rush it. It had run down past me, then turned and came back up stream before turning and running downstream again. It did this a few times plus I lost count of how many times it leaped from the water, it even crocodile rolled a couple of times which always worries me because that's normally when one will lose the fish. Luckily it unrolled its self and swam back up past me before it turned and headed back downstream again. This fish was still full of fight, I new this was my best & maybe my last chance of netting it in this fast water. As it passed me I placed the net in front of it and it went straight into it. Thankfully I had my deep landing net with me today, otherwise I feel it would have jumped straight out of the smaller net which I frequently carry. This is when '' Lady Luck '' was on my side, no sooner was it in the net the fine 4 lb mono parted ways some 50 mms above the lure. So had I not slipped the net in front of the fish when I did I doubt it would have been caught in the end. A couple of quick photos and that lovely 1.4 kg (3lb 1 oz) brown was back in the water and on it's way.. That was the end of my day's fishing, one that lasted a total of four hours & fifteen minutes in the water.. It was nice to see a platypus in the water as it means the creek is in a very healthy state.
1.4-kg 3 lb 1oz wild brown trout
Beautiful conditions today
First brown caught here small flat water
First trout of the day
Solid 540 gram brown
Spin fishing the fast water