Three Great Days on a Couple of Rivers
Day One, 18/11/2014
Headed on over to Lake Leake to catch up with Samuel and Connor who are also well known as the "'Lake Leake Boys'" to have a couple of days spin fishing the Elizabeth River. I checked in at the Lake Leake Inn with mine hosts Jan & Walter Milner who always greet their guest with a warm and friendly smile. After lunch (which was great & very filling) I headed on over to catch up with the Evans family and was met with another warm welcome at their household too. It was good to see them once again as well. Samuel wasn't around as he's working two days a week now with his Uncle in the building trade doing work experience as a carpenter which is a great trade to get into.
So it was just Connor and myself that were off for a spin session on the Elizabeth River in warm and gusty conditions. When we arrived at the river I noticed it was running clear and some 8 inches higher than the last trip here which made it much better for spinning now. It was close to three o'clock when we got to where we started our session with the little Mepps copper black fury's and it wasn't long before I had my first brown on the line. This was a nice solid fish that went around
400 gms this was just the start we needed. As we worked our way upstream we had several hits and follows from some small browns and many very small redfin perch. But it wasn't too long before Connor had his first fish on the bank as well. It was a nice little river brown that would have been close to 240gms.
The further we worked our way up the river the better the fishing became and after catching four browns on the copper black fury I then changed to a Aglia Mouche Noire (red tag) and this worked a treat as I had another 10 hookups for five browns landed. These weren't big fish either and the majority of them were in the 230-240gm range, but still plenty of fun on light tackle. Young Connor managed to catch one more brown and lost a few others too. We called it a day (6.30pm) when his mum sent him a message to let us know that tea was just about ready. So day one was a good start that's for sure. The one thing that I did forget was to take my camera with me, some thing I rarely leave in the car.
Day Two, 19/11/2014
Today with Samuel not having to work we were off to the Elizabeth River once again and this time we decided to walk some 2 kms down the road and through several paddocks to the river and start from an area we hadn't fished before. The main problem today was the strong gusty Nth Westerly wind that was just howling across the paddocks and hitting the river close to 90 degrees making it near impossible to get a cast in. Not only that, but the river here has been excavated and was more of an irrigation channel now that a river. All the tea trees along it have been removed as well and so we slowly walked back to where we could see the river had plenty of cover.
We worked our way up the river for quite some distance before Samuel finally had a fish on and yes this was his first trout for some time, around two or three months I think it's been. It wasn't a big fish but it had finally broken the drought for him. The smile on his face said it all and I could see the relief in it too, which was great to see. Wasn't long after that when Connor picked up a nice brown that went close on 440ms, a couple of quick pic's by Samuel and it was back in the river. I managed a couple of small browns and the boys also picked up another couple as well.
Samuel cast upstream into a very tight headwater that had tea trees hanging over it, but the wind carried his spinner to the left and straight into the tea trees. He didn't want to go and get it straight away as had he gone to retrieve it then any trout in the area would soon be spooked. So I had a cast and lobbed it dead centre in the narrow strip of water and within two turns of the reel it was fish on. It was a nice solid brown the made several runs before Connor slipped the net under it. This was also a nice fish that went close on 500gms and a quick photo again by Samuel and it too was back in the river. I did feel for Samuel as this should really have been his fish had the wind not taken his little silver Aglia off line. Well we worked our way on upstream hooking the odd small browns but all tossed the lures.
We finally had reached the dam wall and Connor was into a large brown that had to be close to
800 gms I reckon, but it spat the spinner before he could get it close enough to slip the net under it.
This fish would have been the fish of the day too had he landed it, but it wasn't to be. It was then that we decided to call it a day and head back to their house where his mum (Melissa) had cooked up a beautiful lamb roast with home made mint sauce. Boy it was a great meal that's for sure. With the hospitality of Evans family (Melissa, Paul, Gracie-Mae, Ellie-May & Lake Leake Boys) plus the Milner's of the Lake Leake Inn, it was a great couple of days spent at Lake Leake and one that will stay with me for some time. I will definitely be returning there again sometime early in the New Year too.
Day Three, 20/11/2014
I was up and had a breakfast of two poached eggs on toast with a pot of coffee into me before heading off to the Meander River at 7.45am. I reached the river at 9.30am and it looked really good as it had dropped back to the perfect wading height since my last trip here back on the 7th November. The first couple of hundred meters it was pretty quiet with only just the one small brown spotted but then the next thirty meters I picked up two nice browns on the little copper black fury.
After catching those two browns it was quiet again for the next hundred meters or so with out a sign of a trout. I decided to get out of the river and head on further upstream to another stretch of river that I knew would fish pretty good in today's overcast and humid conditions. It's never let me down yet and so I was very confident that it would fire up today as well.
It wasn't too long before I was there and working the river from one side to the other and was spotting quite a few medium size browns following the spinner. So it was now only a matter of putting a little more work into the spinner to get them to take it. Slow retrieves with a light twitch of the rod worked a treat as I picked up three nice browns from four hookups. These were all good solid well conditioned fish too with the biggest going 510gms. The next few short stretches of river I couldn't get them to take the spinner and it didn't matter what I tried they just kept on nudging it with their snout.
I thought I would now try a Rapala F-3 rainbow patten to see if they would have a crack at these hard body lures. They have worked okay for me here a few times when they've gone off the blade spinners. Well it was on the second cast I had a fish take the lure and it was an aggressive take too. I soon had this brown in the shallows where I took a photo and released it back into the Meander. It after this when it went sour. Over the next four hundred meters of river I had ten more hookups and lost every trout after they had made any thing from one to four leaps from the river. They just would not stayed hooked and I was getting a little cranky too. I tossed in the towel and decided to head on back to the "'Trout Stalker 2'" and head for home.
I have since done a bit of homework on the Rapala's by checking out a few sites around the country and there's been several other fishers who have had the same problem. They all seem to put it down to the hooks that are on the Rapala and have since changed them to another brand and now they're not having as many lost fish on them. So today I'm changing every Rapala lure with a different brand of hook. Even though I did lose so many fish on the day it was still a very good session really, one that showed the spot I fished is still a very reliable one at that. One that I will return too again very soon.