Presented 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.
Presented from Issue 96
I have spent most of my life growing up in close proximity to the Mersey River and its wonderful trout fishing. Over the years I have got to know the river and its denizens quite well and this particular season to date has certainly been one of the best I that I can personally remember. What follows is my take on the fishing action on this water for the first half of the 2011/2012 trout fishing season.
Presented from Issue 95
The Dorset River is a magic little stream that flows through Pera Flats at the foot of Mount Paris situated on the northeast corner of Tasmania near the town of Ringarooma. The “Dorset” is just one of the tributaries that flows into the very productive Ringarooma River. This small stream meanders its way down through a mix of farmland and native forest that generates all kinds of land based trout food which inevitably finds its way into the river for an opportunistic brown trout. When you add to this the ongoing aquatic lifecycles of a small stream and the competition for food amongst the fish that inhabit it, the trout become very willing to take a variety of well presented flies, lures or baits with this being one of the great attractions of fishing small streams such as this in Tasmania.
A heavy frosty morning meant for a nice sunny but cool day and also a good one to go fishing in a river somewhere.. I decided it would be the Meander River which is 45 kms from Sheffield. I'm hoping the river level has dropped low enough so I can get in and fish it. I couldn't get a reading of the river levels online due to the gauge still being out of order since the June floods. So I'm going to take the chance and hope it will be okay. Once there I could see it was down and just wade-able going by a log the juts out from the river bank. I have used this log as a gauge for many years now and I know when the river is at a safe level for wading. Today it's borderline, so I decided I would have a session in the river. I'm not going to take any chances though, if I get to a stretch of water that doesn't feel right then I won't be going any further. Besides I'm not sure what has changed on the river bottom either, has it been washed out in places or is it still as it was before the floods. I could see how high the river had been during the floods, the good thing is that there's still plenty of undamaged foliage along both sides of the river.
After lunch I thought I would take the trout gear and head on over to Merseylea in the hope I may finally get to wet a line in it for the first time this season. Once there I could see it was still running very high and there was no way I would be hopping in for a wade. Still on with the waders etc and off I went walking down through the paddocks to where I knew there would be some nice back water that I could hop in and wade. After a brief fifteen minute walk I was soon at the bottom end of it where it flowed back into the Mersey River. There was plenty of water running down it too and I had that feeling there would be a few trout holding in a few stretches of it as well. Just before I entered the back water I flicked the little Muzza's hard body into a small flat piece of water close to the river bank, this type of water quite will often have a fish in it. It was on the second cast when I had a nice solid brown take the lure. It headed straight out into the main flow and then off downstream for some thirty meters before I managed to turn it then slowly lead it in towards the river bank. With the river running so fast even a small brown is going to peel line off the reel once it enters the main flow. Any way, after a brief tussle I soon had this nice solid brown in the landing net. As always, after quick photo it was soon back in the river. That fish went 430gms.
by Justin Causby Presented from Issue 93
Such are the busy lifestyles these days it seems no sooner has the brown trout season closed and it is already July once again. And with that, the mind starts to ponder the first Saturday in August; where will the trout be this year in the Derwent River, what will they be focused on, will it rain between now and then, just how much baitfish will be through the system and last but certainly not least, searunners?
The rain did finally ease off and I did go for a fish in a small river close to home on private property. After walking around 800 meters through the paddocks then being chased by around 20 young bulls, I finally made it to the river which was just the right height for a wade. Then from nowhere up popped a little Shihtzu dog that was wet, cold and frightened as ever. I knew it was lost and I just couldn't leave the poor little thing there so I picked it up and carried it back to the car. Had to go back via the river as not to be chased by the bulls again which were following us all the way back to where I could get back into the paddocks. I was glad there was an electric fence between us.
Not a breath of wind with as just a sprinkling of light rain had me darting off to the Mersey River this morning. A session that I'm hoping will last a while before the rain gets heavier and sets in for the day as forecast. The forecast is for 15-25mms across the North of the state today which is very much needed. This will also gives the rivers a lift that should bring the trout on over the last two days of the season which ends at midnight Sunday 1st May.
Low cloud and light rain had me setting off to the Mersey River again this morning in what were ideal conditions for trout fishing. This time I was fishing at the top bridge which is around three kilometers upstream from where I fished yesterday. It wasn't one bit cold this morning, probably because it was 10.00am before I was in the river. Today I'm using the #00 gold black fury, only because it's the spinner that's already set up on the rod I'm using today. I'll change it if need be.
Woke up to hear that it was going to be 21 degrees here in Sheffield today, then when I looked outside there was just a full on pea soup fog to be seen. I had decided yesterday that I would fish the Meander River as I thought with only seven browns needed to reach the 800 trout for the season then this river would be my best chance of doing it. Once there I had a one & a half kilometer walk through thick fog to where I was going to enter the river. It's just as well I know this area like the back of my hand as visibility was pretty low when I headed off through the paddocks. By the time I reached my entry point the fog was a little lighter and the river was like glass, there wasn't a breath of wind. I love fishing in these conditions as eerie as it is.
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