From the Archives ...

Tidal Talk April 2001

Look after the Easter Stocks

So Easter is upon us again - another great chance to do some fishing and a great time for rabbits (unless they are chocolate)  
But it's not such a great time of the year if you happen to be a fish.
This year for Easter, let's take particular care to do the right thing and let's all do our bit to make sure we have fish for the future.
If I may, I'd like to offer just a few pointers...... nothing new, but every bit helps.  

Read more ...

When you have finished for the day, why not have a brag about the ones that didn't get away! Send Mike an article on your fishing (Click here for contact details), and we'll get it published here. Have fun fishing - tasfish.com

Please check all relevant authorities before fishing.
htttp://www.ifs.tas.gov.au and http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/sea-fishing-aquaculture/recreational-fishing
Don't forget http://issuu.com/stevenspublishing for years of back issues !

Presented from Issue 101
Fishing with other people is an interesting experience. Fishing with someone new can be like going on a first date, while a day out with a long time mate is more like putting on a comfortable pair of old shoes. A good thing about fishing with someone else is that you get to learn by watching, which can open your mind up to new ideas and techniques.

Something else that shows through is that how personality and character can influence flyfishing style. Do you know any two people who are exactly the same? You know what it’s like. Among your friends, you might have the energetic, extroverted type, who fills in all the awkward silences, the jester, or the quiet reserved one, who doesn’t say a lot, but when they do, everyone listens (or at least should).

My own circle of fishing buddies is a diverse bunch. We do share set of values and interests - otherwise we wouldn’t be friends I guess. A common love of rivers and streams, wild trout, dry flies, and of course, total catch and release binds us. There are some basics that we all adhere to in terms of technique, but there is a lot of variation in other than key areas. We all catch our share of fish, but don’t count them, certainly not in a “I got five, he got three” type of competitive way.

Here is an insight into my fishing mates, what I’ve learnt from them, and proof that there’s more than one way to skin a trout (so to speak)!

2017 04 17 2017 04 17 735 gram brown mersey riverWith a very light breeze blowing I was in two minds all day whether to go and have a session on the Mersey River or not. Finally around 2:30pm I decided I would go for a late spin session after all. I was in the river by 3:00 pm in what was really good conditions even though the river was running low and clear, not only that I would be fishing in full sun for the first 400 meters of river until I reached the shaded areas on the river. I started off using a hard body for a while without any sign of a trout before I changed to the gold Aglia spinner when I reached a 300 meter shallow fast water stretch of river that varied in depth from (4'' to 6'') 10cms to 20cms.

101 surf fishing salmon fast actionPresented from Issue 101
For as long as people have been coming to the East Coast of Tasmania, surf fishing its beaches has been one of the most popular pastimes. Whilst not always the most productive form of fishing it certainly is one of the most relaxing. Its something that the whole family can be involved in and I have to say its quite something to see a group of families on the beach, dads with a couple of surf rods out, wives sunbaking on the white sand in the sun and the kids either playing happily, building sandcastles or trying their hand at a bit of light surf fishing.

The chance to have a holiday on the beach, put a smile on the children’s face and wet a line at the same just can’t be overrated. Add to that the chance of putting a fresh feed of fish on the dinner table and you have wonder whether heaven could be better than this

All that is need is a basic range of gear, some comfy camp chairs , an esky full of ice, drinks and food — and of course a separate esky for the bait, sunscreen, hat and sunnies and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Many of the East Coasts beaches offer very easy access and often some great free camping facilities right on the beach as well as some light rock fishing in some areas.

2017 04 13 Golden brown... there's still some beauties to be caught - Adrian Webb 2017 04 13

Today I decided to have a trip to a small stream/creek in the upper reaches of Gunns Plains it's one that I haven't fished for six years. The reason I decided to check it out was because I was going back through my diaries and came across a report of one of my trips to it. I have no idea if it's has a name or not as it's one I stumbled onto one day while checking out a few back roads that crossed over small creeks & streams in the area that flow into the Leven River. It's very over grown in most sections and calls for some accurate casting.

101 wigglePresented from Issue 101
Over the last couple of months I have traveled to some of Australia’s most remote red sand country where there were fish in remote billabongs.

These are fed by the northern waters flowing into Lake Eyre Basin. To be invited onto a million acre station catching golden perch (yellow belly) and grunter was a great privilege and is another fishing adventure ticked off.

101 mersey lea rainbowPresented from Issue 101
I am a fly fisher living on the banks of the Mersey River in Latrobe in northern Tasmania. Some, close to me, think I am obsessed. I get to see close hand the cycles of the river and its inhabitants throughout the changing seasons. For me the most exciting time of the trout fishing season is late spring and early summer when the aquatic insects, like the caddis flies, stoneflies and above all the majestic mayfly, are going through their hatching stages. What follows is a story of a spring morning’s fishing on my favourite stream.

101 making trophy headPresented from Issue 101
Catching the fish of a lifetime was one thing, but preserving it as a trophy was going to be another. Since the capture of the massive 147kg Southern Bluefin Tuna which we had now affectionately called ‘Charlie’, the desire to have the fish immortalised grew.

But just how do you freeze a fish head and backbone that weighed over 50 kg and measured over 2 metres long? Most of the flesh had been shared among friends, family and neighbours and in the first week alone it was calculated that over 140 people had eaten a meal from “Charlie”. Some had commented “best sashimi ever” whilst others had preferred the taste of the smaller, tastier, softer school bluefin tuna. Charlie had been grilled, fried, curried, marinated, smoked, baked, battered, mornayed, and yes…even eaten raw.

Presented from Issue 101
It’s warming at last! The weather is becoming more predictable and water temperatures have accordingly risen. Along with this comes the hatches and falls of insects which bring trout to the surface. The sinking lines can be put away for a while and the excitement of top of the water fishing can take its place. Not only does static dry fly come to the fore, but also top of the water loch style techniques particularly on rougher days.

101 kayak troutPresented from Issue 101
Introduction

A kayak can be a very cost effective alternative to purchasing a boat. In terms of fish catching ability, a kayak can also be more effective than a boat. The ability of a kayak to be taken in very shallow water, combined with the kayak’s overall manoeuvrability, are the reasons for this. It is also no secret that often these shallow, hard to reach places also hold the best fish.

It is no wonder that, in recent years, the sport of kayak fishing has taken off all around the world. In the United States, this style of fishing has become somewhat of a craze, and many anglers are embracing the sport with a similar level of passion here in Australia. We now have kayak- fishing tournaments that are a national affair, with regular coverage in magazines and on television. Tournaments aside, many recreational anglers are choosing to fish this way simply because its a fun, cost effective and a productive way of fishing.

101 bream headPresented from Issue 101

What is it about Bream?

While growing up I had the fortune of spending summer holidays at arguably one of the best bream fishing waters in Australia in Ansons Bay. Being young and eager just to feel the weight of a fish on the rod, catching bream was often derailed by chasing the abundant cocky salmon and silver trevally. While these species were on the chew, getting the buzz out of hooking and landing a fish was too much of a temptation. Often schools of bait fish would be busted up in the bay given away by the tell tail signs of seagulls and terns diving in to pick up the scraps left by the salmon as they slammed the abundant anchovies, or what the locals called “sardines”.

101 mayfly flies mechutePresented from Issue 101

That time of year has finally arrived. The rivers start to settle after a winter full of cold weather and rains. The water of the highland lakes warms. Combine this with warmer weather patterns and you little beauty it all begins to happen. What am I talking about, well I reckon you have guessed it by now, the mayflies will be starting to hatch.

The famous hatches from the slow, flat lowland rivers of Tasmania’s Northern Midlands area should be well under way and the mayfly waters of the central plateau should follow, if they haven’t already started.

100 sea run slamon head

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.

100 lake echo 3 pounder cropPresented from Issue 100
It’s been five years since I last did an article on Lake Echo so time for an update on my still favourite water. Each year I manage several trips which due to the distance from home are usually one or two night excursions. The spring months from September through till November still rate as the best times however the month of April in ideal conditions can be brilliant. By ideal conditions I mean rough as hell, in fact during April the rougher the better. Most Tassie autumns can be quite mild and some seasons I haven’t even gone as it was just too calm.

Presented from Issue 100

As the years progress and the fishing gods pull you further under their spell (and your partner allows you) somehow you seem to gather quite a collection of gear. Fly rods are no exception to this rule and I have even had to build an outside room so I am able to keep my collection away from certain eyes, if you know what I mean!. In recent years light line fishing has become more and more popular. With the number of people now going “Twigging” increasing, so to is the availability of the lighter line weight rods in varying lengths. Twigging is commonly referred to as fishing with 3 weight rods or lighter. You can now buy rods right down to a 000 line weight, and by the time you read this I will have one in the rod rack ( thanks Nick). Until that rod arrives at Essential Fly Fisher from the US the 3wt is as light as I own. Over the past few years I have become a lot more interested in the smaller stream fishing. There is just so many of these streams all around the state that are full of hungry fish it seems crazy not to fish them. As a result of this stream and river fishing I have built a small collection of 3wt rods.

Presented from Issue 100
Most of us have learned the various basic fish cleaning techniques passed down over the years. I am always on the lookout for faster and better methods and have picked up a few that I will describe in detail in this article. Once you have practised them I,m sure you will use some of these new methods in preference to your old ways.

100 north east trout2Presented from Issue 100
Having moved to the North East of Tasmania several years ago I set out to explore my local rivers and found them to be vastly different from the Mersey where I grew up. The rivers up this way tend to be much smaller, shallow sandy-bottomed streams. One of the first rivers I fished was a tributary of the George River, the Groom. It was early October and a nice sunny day as I headed north out of St Helens. As I went I stopped on each of the river bridges to have a look. I found the George River to be a little higher than what looked to be normal and discoloured so I continued on.

A few kilometres up the road I came to the Groom River and once again parked the car and had a look downriver from the bridge. This stream was also a little higher than normal but most sections flowed over a broad flat sandy bottom ranging between 30 and 50 cm deep. Much to my surprise looking downriver from the bridge I could quite clearly see five or six small fish feeding over the sand.

100 kayak troutPresented from Issue 100
Have you ever driven over the South Esk River bridge at Perth? I am sure that most of us have. On every trip to Hobart, the idea of fishing this section of river has been in the back of my mind. As a child, I often fished the adjoining ‘Charles Berryman Picnic Reserve’ with my father. It was close to Launceston and had very good access to a small side-water that branched off the main river. Being European, we targeted species that would normally be considered as pests, such as redfin perch and tench. Sounds crazy I know, but prepared the correct way, tench were actually pretty good eating.

Most of the time we fished the old fashioned way, using worms suspended under a float. I also used small redfin-patterned Celtas on the odd occasion. The traditional red-coloured ones seemed to give the best results, with many trout caught on these metal spinners in the picnic reserve side-water. However, access to good fishing spots in the river itself was difficult, as the banks were overgrown with willows.

Presented from Issue 100

How it was

Shore based angling

Over 20 years ago I was lucky enough to be taught to fish lakes like Arthurs by the great angler Shayne Murphy. One of the great lessons that I learnt from Murf was that in many cases you should simply use your boat to get to the best shore fishing locations quickly and efficiently. In those days we would pick the eyes out of the best locations then quickly move on to fresh and similar waters.

A few years later I started my guiding career and I bought a beautiful tri hull boat. For many years, just like Murf had taught me, I used this boat for transporting my clients to the best shore fishing locations for the weather and wind conditions. I well remember many times when my wading clients were ‘catching the clappers out of them’ as other anglers and guides drifted by flogging the water for little obvious results.

Presented from Issue 100
Weather - It’s the determining factor for most anglers in working out where to fish on a given day. “Too bright for here” ,”They won’t be tailing in this wind”, “It’s Easterly today so it’s going to be tough” these saying are all too familiar and they do have implications if we want success at catching a trout.

Picking the right weather can make or break an outing, a good decision can produce a red letter day while a bad decision can make chasing a trout hard work. So often I’ve spoken to visiting anglers who have struggled to catch fish without the all important local knowledge, they made decisions to visit waters which don’t fire in the wrong weather.

100 aust salmon cPresented from Issue 100

In Tasmania, larger Australian Salmon over two pounds are often called Black Back Salmon while the smaller models are known as Cocky Salmon. These fish are a valuable and much loved light tackle sports fish that are enjoyed by both land based and boating anglers all around Tasmania. They are a common catch in our estuaries, along our beaches and rocky headlands, and around the many small islands. They are a schooling fish that are constantly on the move along our coastlines, feeding predominantly on krill and small baitfish. They can be found in an estuary or along a particular part of the coast one week and then gone the next, as they move with the changing tides that influence the food they eat. Their presence rarely goes unnoticed when they turn up, as reports of anglers success quickly filters through the local angling community who gather in large numbers to make the most of these fantastic fish.

Presented from Issue 100
For adventurous trout anglers springtime and early summer is the time to start thinking about heading out to the area officially known as the Central Plateau Conservation Area or simply to most of us as the Western Lakes.

This area boasts world class angling opportunities in rugged wilderness setting. For many fishermen their sole exposure to the western lakes region is the pocket of waters in the eastern edge of the CPCA known as the “19 Lagoons”. While these lakes and lagoons always provide reliable fishing opportunities, in this modern age it is hard to get a water or even a short section of shoreline to yourself particularly if you are restricted to weekend trips. For those of us seeking solitude and also adventure, venturing further out into the wilderness is a must.

Simon Tueon (Chewy) and I recently shared one such adventure in to this magnificent wilderness fishery. Here is our story….

Airflo Nemesis#6 ROD AND 7/8 ALLOY REEL SALT OR FRESHWATER OUTFIT
$280.00 (Was $420.00) - 33% Off. Hurry, there are only 11 item(s) left!
This is outstanding value for money. It is a great outfit for lake fishing as a longer rod gives great control.
Perfect for lake fishing, using sinking, or sink tip lines from a boat. Casting floating, sinking or sink tip lines is a breeze. You also get and better lift and hang at the boat. This is a strong #6 that will cast a line into the next postcode and will cope with a #7 line easily.

Purchase it here at the Essential Fly Fisher

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