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.

103 black and orange bugPresented from Issue 103, April 2013
Recently I fished with a friend on Arthurs Lake. It is always interesting fishing with other people — not only to have some different company, but to learn some new techniques. I fish a nine foot, six weight for dries and if there are no fish moving off come the dries and I change to semi-wets or full wets with a sinking line. A DI3 is my favourite on a ten foot, six weight rod. I like the longer rod when lifting the flies to the surface on the retrieve — especially if using 2-3 flies and a long leader. Back to fishing with my friend though - who happens to be a dry fly purist for some reason. It was pleasant looking for fish, but there was not much moving so we were prospecting as much as anything.

103 preserving tuna tunaPresented from Issue 103, April 2013

The day dawned overcast, grey and warm with just the hint of a northeaster wafting through. We delayed our arrival at the ramp to allow the post-competition flotilla to depart, launching the boat around 8:30. As we rounded St Helens Point we started to push into a moderate, south-east swell making our way out to the 100 metre line, the point we would start trawling. After dropping back a green and yellow skirt and a Mackbait on two old Penn 330s loaded with 15kg fireline, a third rod was a 6kg spinning outfit with a green and yellow feather jig set well back on the port side. With this spread we proceeded to trawl towards the shelf.

2017 04 30 Wading boots now retired 

 Wading boots
now retired

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.

2017 05 29 Another brown in the netWith just the two days of the 2016/17 trout season left I'm giving the small streams a go as they'll be full of well conditioned aggressive trout by now. Well that's how I see it any way. It was another afternoon session on a stream in the Gunns Plains area, another stretch of water that I have never fished before. I hit the river at 2:00pm today and the first thing I noticed was the water was a very dark tannin colour with good flow. I started off flicking the spinner into a deepish pool without having a touch or a follow from a trout.

103 late season troutPresented from Issue 103, April 2013
The months of April and May can offer very good trout fishing opportunities. Brown trout are well aware of the need to put on weight leading up to their annual spawning cycle. Now that many of the hatches are coming to an end, they are becoming more opportunistic feeders, once again.

As the brown trout season nears its end on the Sunday nearest to the 30th of April, male brown trout become very aggressive as they begin to pair up with potential females. Big wet flies, plastics and lures are often hit, just to get them out of their territory. Rainbows on the other hand, usually spawn later in the year with their closing season reflecting this by finishing one month later on the Sunday closest to the 31 st of May. So rainbows are mostly unaffected by the urge to spawn and continue to feed as normal right through to May.

103 barbless Ian DonnachyPresented from Issue 103, April 2013

There’s lots of different anglers out there, lure bait and fly. There’s those who like to put a fish on the table, those who only catch and release. We all catch fish and we all need to be able to release a few or a lot of fish with as little harm as possible, so we can hopefully return and meet again one day.

As a group we are more aware of the need to conserve fish stocks and responsively harvest according to bag limits. Being a competition fly fishing angler, over the past decade I have seen catch rates amongst my peers soar, where once 3 fish would win a 3 hour session and a single fish in each of the 4 sessions would see you finish in the top 5. Now 6 fish a session is the norm and you need between 20 and 30 trout to win a competition.

Catching the bag limit is often reached and releasing fish is an every outing occurrence.

2017 04 28 Brown Daiwa ghost brown lureNot 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.

103 game fishing teamPresented from Issue 103, April 2013

The 2013 Tuna season has opened with a tremendous head of steam. The west coast was treated to spectacular a sighting of Bluefin Tuna smashing bait from Macquarie Harbour all the way to Point Hibbs. These fish have fed well and are turning up in good numbers and good size. In this month’s issue we look at a few hints and tips that should have a few of those 30 plus kilo Bluefin with one of your lures in its mouth. The rest is up to you and your crew.

Team PENN – DOUBLE BLACK has started the year well and loves fishing off the East and South coasts of Tasmania for Tuna. We have many years’ experience on board and would love to share some advice that may have you catch a few as well.

2017 04 26 Brown trout falls the the Aglia Mouche NoireStill needing three more trout before the 2016/17 season closes this coming Sunday I thought I'd better go and hop in a river to see if I can pick up the three trout required to reach my seasons target. We had some very good rains a few days ago so the rivers should be flowing really well now and the trout will certainly be out and about as well. This time of year they are quite aggressive and will take just about any type of spinner or lure thrown at them. Once at the river and having a thirty minute chat with a landowner I was soon in the river flicking the little spinner around. Today I started off with a Mepps #00 gold Aglia Mouche Noire as I feel this will do well in the tannin coloured water that I'm fishing. It only took two casts before I had my first fish on, like I have been doing lately I lost it once it leapt from the river.

2017 04 29 First trout of the day

Finally a day I've been longing for with misty rain, humid and no wind which is the perfect conditions for trout fishing. Well they are for me because they're the conditions I love fishing in and not only that, the trout are usually on the take. After parking the car then having a thirty five minute walk through the paddocks I was soon in the river.

The light misty rain wasn't enough to bother me, all it did was to make me a little damp & the sunglasses fogged up so I had to fish without them. The river I'm fishing is small and has very low water level too but it still is good enough to fish today. Starting off with the usual gold aglia as I normally do it wasn't long before I had my first trout on the river bank seeing as I didn't take the landing net.

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