Presented from Issue 93 by Christopher Bassano
Winter can seem to drag on as mayfly hatches and beetle falls become a distant memory. I hate sitting around and waiting and although we are still able to fish some waters during the cold, dark months, ‘opening day’ holds a special place in all fisherman’s hearts and minds. The usual decisions on where to go and what to use will no doubt demand deep thought but it is the preparation for the coming season that can influence your success for the ensuing months.
Here's my 2015/16 trout season report & stats.... This was the third best season that I've had since moving to Tasmania.. It was a pretty good season considering how dry it was here in Tassie, I reckon I did the right thing by concentrating on the two rivers that have a regulated environmental flow on them all throughout the year. They were the Mersey & Meander Rivers. The ** Dasher river which is close to home always fishes well early season and a day after a dose of 20 mms or more later in the season. The fish weren't over large this season as the rivers are still recovering from the dry seasons and the influx of cormorants we had three years ago. But they are on the way back which is good..
I have been fishing for as long as I can remember and my passion for this sport is still as strong today as it was way back then, when I was a young boy.
I grew up in the rural township of Deloraine, with the Meander River flowing through its heart. Many hours were spent along the river banks with a tin of worms and infinite patience. Sometimes I would be rewarded for it, many times I wouldn’t, and upon reflection there were far too many times when I arrived home with an empty creel and nothing to show for my efforts.
That being said, and ‘once again upon reflection’, with every trip I ventured out on, I think I learned a little more, soon my luck began to change ‘dramatically’ for the better. I had learned the “basics of fishing”.
Todd Lambert's season 2010/11 review - Presented from Issue 91
Todd Lambert offers this reflection on five of Tasmania’s more popular fisheries and how he as an ‘everyday angler’ felt they performed. Below is his season 2010/11 review.
Even though most of our Lakes and rivers are about to close, there are still a few trout waters remaining open for those keen enough to venture out in a cold Tasmanian winter, but for the majority of us it’s time to sit back, turn our interests to other things and reflect back on the season past.
Many people ask me when the best time to come to Tasmania fishing is. There is only one answer as far as I am concerned – Autumn.
March and April are what I call the wedding months. All the girls want to get married then. Why ? Because the weather is the most settled and they are almost guaranteed a beautiful day.
I like it because the river fishing can be exception and I like river fishing. Grasshopers have been prolific the last couple of seasons with unprecedented grass growth no doubt helping the populations.
Grasshoppers obviously provide a ‘meal in a mouthful’ for river trout – they must be like a Big Mac for them and trout often swim meters to violently scoff one from the surface.
Mike Fry doesn’t only live on the Wild Side of Tasmania, but also goes fishing in probably the wildest boat ever to troll for trout—certainly in Tasmania.
When your mate says ‘What are you doing tomorrow, want to come up the Gordon for the night?’ it would be pretty hard to say anything else except “you bet” and start checking out your tackle box and packing your overnight bag. But if your mate was Troy Grining and he wanted to give his new 52ft, high speed cruiser a run across Macquarie Harbour, test the new onboard dory with a chance of landing a nice Gordon River Brown you would have to feel privileged. I didn’t say anything about getting on my hands and knees and kissing his feet…just having a lend of ya’ but I did feel very appreciative.
In Tasmania, trout have found their way into just about every trickle of water around the state. Many of these are very small tributaries of larger more popular rivers. The majority of the fish in these smaller streams are by no means monsters, with the average fish being somewhere between half a pound and a pound. Small brown trout dominate most of these small streams with the exception of a few rainbow only waters that are isolated from the dominant brown trout population.?The upper Mersey River between Lake Meston and Junction Lake is a classic example of this with its huge impassable waterfalls preventing any further migration of brown trout up stream.
The highlight of any season usually revolves around the best days sight fishing. Memories of the hunt, approach, cast and hook set will remain in your mind long after those of another ‘flogged up’ have gone. The main prerequisite for this style of fishing are sunshine and cloudless days – two things that should become more plentiful from now until the end of the season. Good polaroiding water is not hard to find but some places are easier than others in which to find fish while others are simply better.
Too windy, not windy enough, wrong wind direction. Too bright, too dull, too wet, too dry: excuses—or are they? Farmers and fishing guides have two things in common: firstly, they’re both in the weather everyday, working with Mother Nature. Secondly, both groups will tell you that the animals in their lives all react differently according to subtleties and vagaries of wind direction, atmospheric pressure and lunar cycles. In the case of fishing guides and experienced anglers, you can add a list of hatch and water level factors to the nuances of Mother Nature, vagaries which become plausible excuses at the end of a tough day. After the question of weather patterns and their affects on fishing came up on the FlyLife internet forum, I thought it might be a good time to do a bit of myth-busting with the aid of my fishing diary.
The surface is just about the most fun you can have as an angler. Whether chasing giant trevally in the coral sea, bream in the estuaries, or dry flying trout here in Tassie you can’t help but get excited watching something come up and slurp or smash your top-water offering. Although they have been around for many years, surface hardbodies for trout have never really hit a spotlight but with the new methods and gear being developed at the moment it’s only a matter of time before people begin to look more seriously at top-water options. It takes some time to perfect your technique but it is essentially easy to get started and can be a very effective tool in your trout fishing arsenal.
There is no better sight in fly-fishing than seeing your dry fly taken off the surface. Seeing a fish rise up from the depths, then its mouth close over the fly is truly magical. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Sometimes other methods have to be used to fool our target species. When conditions are bleak and cold, early or late in the season, then sometimes we have to resort to blind fishing big wet flies. Some fisherman like to refer to it as blind flogging, but I don’t think that gives enough credit to it, so we will stick to blind fishing.
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