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Nine times Australian Casting Champion, Peter Hayes believes a little bit of work and concentration on casting techniques makes a lot of difference when fishing. "Good casters get to cover more fish more quickly, and consequently get more chances" he says.
Presented from Issue 104, June 2013
Macca and I were kicking back in my tying room in early January this year tying a few flies, having a beer and talking about the seasons exploits. He was filling my head with stories of his Western Lakes adventures and big golden brown trout. Eventually I couldn’t stand it any longer, the images that were being painted in my head became unbearable.
It had been mid-December since I had been to the Julian Lakes area on a three day mission and I just had to get fishing again. Doing my best to sound polite I said “Macca please shut up with all the stories old pal its killing me, lets just get a trip organised and get out West to polaroid some of those trophy browns”. He didn’t take a whole lot of convincing that it was a good idea, so first things first we got the calendar out to settle on some dates that would work for both of us. Sounds easy, but I can assure you when both parties work and you factor in family, sport etc. it’s not always so.
Well it was an earlier start on the river today than yesterday, this time I was back in the water by 10:00 am. Yesterday it was sunny and windy whereas today it's very dull with low cloud and a cool South Westerly breeze. I prefer it like this too with no sun on the water, it gets the trout out and about more often than not. Stuck with the same set up that I finished with yesterday and the session started off very quiet. Not a sign of a fish over the first three hundred meters at all. Where the hell have they gone I said to myself, they were every where yesterday.
Still can't worry about it, just continue to work my way upstream as I'm sure I'll pick up one sooner or later. I came to a large fallen tree across the river that had a nice pocket of water under it and with a back hand cast into it I was soon onto my first trout of the morning. This was a solid fish too and one that was in a fighting mood as it fought hard all the way into the net. This female trout went 540 grams and was in excellent condition.
Not having fished the Meander River since the 31st March I thought it's time I went back there and give it a go. By the time a got there then walked for some 1.5 kms before I hopped in the river it was 10:35 am, not that it really matters at this time of year any way. The river was the lowest I have seen it since the Hyrdo turbine broke down back in 2012, not only that, there was still plenty of the cotton like green algae covering most of the river bottom. Any way I started the session off using a gold black fury and fished a couple of sections of river for just the one hit and miss.
Presented from Issue 102, February 2013
One of the most appealing things about fishing is the endless opportunity to lean or discover something new. This is what keeps me keen. Trying something new in fishing and have it pay off is like adding another tool to your fishing arsenal. It could be a new technique or type of lure, fly or bait that sparks an idea to try something new in your own backyard. Knowledge and ideas are gained through your own experiences on the water and through your interaction with other anglers. Some may have had 40 years of experience on the water while others could be just discovering the sport for the first time.
Either way, you can learn something from anyone, as long as you’re willing to listen and share your own humble thoughts and experiences.
Shot off to Weegena for another afternoon session because it's the only time I have the chance to wet a line lately. This trip was to private property where I have a decent old walk to the river which is usually well worth it. It was quite warm this afternoon and by the time I reached my entry point into the river I was already knackered. I started off with the usual gold Aglia spinner and worked a couple of fast water runs that normally give up a fish or two. They didn't give up a single fish or even a follow which was a real surprise.
Presented from Issue 102
We all love the onset of summer, don’t we? Warm weather, cold beer and of course dry fly polaroiding for trout. But it’s not only the highland polaroiding that gets me excited at this time of year, because it is also closing in on hopper time on my favourite local streams.
As you wander the edge of your secret stream hotspot take a look in the long dry grass as you go, if you are kicking out a few of the resident grasshoppers then its time for a change of fly boxes. Tuck away that nymph/dry box and bring out the one loaded with big, fat foam flies. I guess you can also have some other hopper style patterns in there as well if you wish, not every fly has to have some foam in it, does it?.
Presented 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”.
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.
Presented 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 99
For most East Coast anglers the thought of chasing a few trout usually conjures up images of an extended trip to the central highlands, hours of driving, cool temperatures and long hours on the water to make the most of the trip.
However there is some great trout fishing options a lot closer to home than many would think with more than enough variety to satisfy even the most discerning of trout anglers.
With a good mix of river, lake and dam fishing there is something for everyone.
If heading to the rivers my early season recommendations would be definitely some upstream worm fishing in the faster water and small Wattyl Grubs and worms in the slower pools for those wishing to bait fish. A big bunch of scrub worms thread onto a #6 bronze bait holder hook and lobbed unweighted upstream into the tail of runs and eddies is a dynamite technique. If there has been some seasonal rain and the river has broken its banks then its prime time for the worm fisherman, take advantage of the water rising into normally dry drains and into paddocks as the Trout follow and gorge themselves on drowned insects and worms.
Presented from Issue 99
Lake Pedder. It used to be a good fishery right? Wrong, it was an exceptional fishery. Through the late 70s and early 80s the trout from this iconic south west water averaged an astonishing 4kg. That was the average weight not the good fish but the average weight. There has never been a fishery like it and there never is likely to be ever again.
What does surprise many is it’s a great fishery now. The trout are nothing like those of years gone by but they are in great condition, fight hard and in numbers that would be astounding if it could ever be calculated. Large bags are common and the quality of fish is very good. So often when it comes up in conversation people are surprised to hear it offers some great fishing to all artificial methods. And most always add that they’ve never been but have always wanted to make the trip out.
It’s well worth it, the scenery alone is unparalleled, panoramas that extend 360 degrees when you’re out on the water. Some areas of the lake it’s breath taking at times. For someone new to the water the fishing possibilities are much the same. You can round a point and be mesmerized by the bay in front of you, flooded tea tree sloping banks into weed rich water, fish rising, sometimes clear of the water chasing damselfly on the wing, only to go around the next point and see it open up again into a better looking bay and another and so on.
Presented from Issue 97
Most fisherman I know have a spot or two that when they go there they get that same sense of feeling that occurs when you arrive back home after a lengthy absence. One area that never fails to generate this nostalgic feeling for me is when I journey out to the two diminutive lakes located roughly north east of Arthurs Lake named Gunns Lake and Little Lake.
A chance meeting….
My Gunns and Little Lake odyssey started approximately 20 years ago on a calm and sunny September morning when long time fishing companion Todd Lamprey and I journeyed out to the two shallow natural lagoons on a purely exploratory mission. Todd and I had been in the highlands for a few days already on a multi day trip and we had decided on looking for a location for the days sport that didn’t require a lot of walking to get to. The preceding days had been spent hiking in the Western Lakes district and Todd and I both really needed to rest tired legs.
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