by Sarah Graham
Many anglers are preparing for the opening of the new angling season on Saturday 7 August and it's shaping up to be another good one with the fishery in excellent health as a result of last year’s drought breaking rains. There are many great fishing locations around the State from which to choose for the opening weekend and early season fishing but here are a few suggestions.
With poor weather forecast later on this afternoon & with the conditions being overcast & cool this morning I thought a trip to the upper Mersey River may be worth the trip. Half way to where I was heading I came across some light fog which I didn't mind as it meant there wouldn't be any sun on the water for an hour or two. I hit the river at 7:10 am and the first thing I came across was water weeds & plenty of it. Not the ideal thing one wants to see when lure fishing that's for sure as it restricts the fishing quite a lot.
I was starting the session of with the Mepps #1 March Brown bug spinner to see if it may attract a trout or two, it did the job in the Meander two days ago so why not try it here. The water was clear and glassy, there were plenty trout feeding on a massive hatch of midges that covered the wide slow flowing water ahead of me. With thousands of these small midges floating on the surface as well as in the air, the trout were going to be hard to catch this morning.
Seeing as we had a Angling Club fishing day at Huntsman Lake at Meander I thought I'd get a few hours of fishing the Meander River in before heading to the lake. I was still dark when I arrived & headed off through the paddocks on a 1.5 km walk to where I was starting the spin session in the river.
By the time I reached the river it was light enough to hop in and start fishing where I had a couple of follows from a solid brown at the tail end of a long slow flowing run. I tried several different lures but that fish just wasn't in an aggressive mood. The next stretch of river gave up nothing and it wasn't until I reached a nice narrow medium/fast flowing run when I had my first take. A small (280 gm) brown took the Mepps Aglia brown spinner from a cast & drift under the willows close to the river bank, I had my first trout of the morning.
With some light cloud around this morning I thought I would head over to the Mersey River and have a short spin session before the sun burnt the cloud off. Conditions were quite nice with hardly a breath of wind and the river was at the perfect wading height. As I entered the river (7:40am) I noticed a few trout on the rise just ahead of me so I flicked the Aglia Furia well past the fish and retrieved the spinner back a little faster that the flow.
Mild overcast morning saw me heading off to the Meander River for a spin session in a 1.5km stretch of river I haven't fished since before the 2016 June floods. When I last fished this area I averaged 15 plus trout each trip and most trout were all in the 450 gram range with many larger ones taken as well. I wasn't expecting much today, I just felt it was time to see if the trout are back in this stretch of river. The rest of the river is slowly coming back with trout but they're mainly all small fish this season with the odd few reasonable fish taken from time to time. I hit the river at 8:05 am and had my first trout on within the first three casts up and across the fast water.
I though a trip back to the Leven River may be worthwhile now the river level has dropped backed to a safe wading height after some heavy rainfall a couple of weeks ago. My last trip there was a good one with nineteen trout being caught & released, today the water level is lower than that trip was. When I arrived it was very foggy and the conditions were great, cool and not a breath of wind, just perfect for chasing trout. There were a few campers set up on the property where I started off the spin session, good thing was I had arrived at 6:00 am and they were still in their beds.
Took another trip over to the Meander River again to day to see if there was to be any improvement in the trout fishing. The forecast was good with light winds & a temp of around 21 degrees, I was in the river by 7:00 am & the air was damn cold as was the water temp. It was also running at 70 cms which is on the high side for wading but still safe enough when you know the river. I started off with the lure that's been working the best in the rivers & that was the Mepps #1 Aglia Furia. I had a trout take it in the first five minutes and I thought I was in for a good day.
Hit the Mersey River just on 7:00 am in what was cool foggy conditions to start with, but a good mild 19 degree day was forecast. My last trip here was back on the 5th December when I had a tough spin session chasing trout in similar conditions. As soon as I hit the water I could see plenty of trout on the rise in a wide long slow flowing flat water which meant I was in for another tough spin session. I fished a short fast water to start with just like I did on the last trip with the same result, no fish. As I headed into the wide long stretch of river with the fog slowly lifting there was a line of trout rising ahead of me which was quite good to watch. Trout were rising everywhere,
I Headed over to the Mersey River and walked down through several paddocks for a good kilometre or so below the Union Bridge then started fishing my way back upstream. I haven't fished here for quite some time due to the lack of trout being in the river, today I mainly wanted to see if it has improved with trout stocks. The river was running at a nice wading height and a dark tanning colour. I started off with a Mepps #1 gold black fury working it in several fast water and medium flowing runs without a sign of a trout over the first two hundred meters of river. I changed over to the #1 Aglia Furia and the first stretch of water I used it in I had a couple of follows from brown trout that were mainly out of interest, not a sign of aggression from either fish. Then decided to try hard body lures in that same stretch of water, all to no avail as I never had a follow on any of the five different hard body lures I tried.
Very wet & windy weather was the forecast here today, well by 2:30 PM I was sick of waiting for it to arrive so headed over to Merseylea for a short spin session. As soon as I arrived so did the rain, thankfully it was only light and wasn't a problem. As the time passed by so did the rain, the trout were few and far between here too. All I could manage was three hook ups for just the one small brown landed. Another one had its revenge with me as I went to lift it from the water it tosses the lure which in turn sliced through my finger. All good in the end as I always carry a small first aid kit in my vest for this very reason. I often have to yank a treble hook from a lure that has embedded itself in a finger or some other part of my hand from time to time.
With overcast damp conditions today I headed over to the Mersey River, soon as I arrived (5:45am) I saw trout surface feeding in the wide slow flowing water. Seeing that always means I'm in for a tough session & as it turned out it was just that. I still flicked the Mepps spinners & a few hard body lures around in the slow flowing water for just the one follow. Heavy rain was forecast for later in the day, at the moment it was just a light drizzle on and off which I didn't mind. I decided the only place I'll catch trout today was the fast water runs, that's where I headed.
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The first Atlantic salmon eggs used to begin Tasmania's Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry were introduced into Tasmania in 1984. From these humble beginnings a valuable Tasmanian industry has evolved with a worldwide reputation for having a premium disease free product. This industry provides a spin off to all anglers in the form of regular escapes of salmon from the farms.