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Sea-run trout fishing this year got off to a cracking start in most areas, with the majority of anglers employing nearly every trout fishing technique to secure fish in local estuaries statewide.
Even those anglers fishing the "off-season" lower down in our estuaries for sea-trout commented on the number of fish moving in early August.
Well for the first time this season I was in the Meander River by 5:00 am this morning in what was a beautiful cool morning with plenty of water flowing down the river. The day was supposed to reach 27 degrees, that's the reason for the early start. I was hoping the trout fishing would be better early morning than the later starts I have had on this river. I do prefer the early morning starts on the rivers as it is the best time to be on the water, the trout fishing is usually at it's best then, especially in the Summer months. This river hasn't fished all that well this season and this is another reason I wanted to have the early start on it. There was only one thing I wasn't happy with and that was the water level, the river was running at 70 cms which is a little on the high side where I'm fishing.
Finally I managed to get to a river earlier that I normally do, though it wasn't all that much earlier as it was 7:00am when I was finally in the Mersey River. This trip was to the same area that gave up 22 trout six days ago, I'm hoping it will again today. There was only a few problems I had to contend with, that was clear sky, clear water & thousands of insects hovering above the river & on the water surface. The trout were there in large numbers too, they were all surface feeding, so today wasn't a day for the spin fisher at all. A top morning for the fly fisherman providing they can match the hatch with a trout fly. There was still plenty of good flow in the river & with the trout surface feeding, fishing the fast water runs will be where I'll have the best chance of catching a few trout.
Headed off around 8:00 am for a spin session in the river this morning only to find the river was running a little on the high side and it wasn't safe enough for me to cross over. That's what I get for not checking the river levels before I left home. I decided to head on up to the upper reaches of it where I knew it was safe enough to hop in and wade. This is when it's handy knowing the rivers I fish so after so many years of fishing in them, one gets to know them like the back of your hand. I headed to one of my favourite areas only to find someone else already in the river fishing which meant I had to fish elsewhere.
Another overcast and windless morning saw me in the Meander River by 7:20 am when I started casting the Mepps Aglia Furia up & across the river. Using the cast & drift method it was on the second cast that I had a follow from a medium size brown. Even though it didn't take the s[inner it was a good sign seeing a trout so early into the spin session. The river height was running at 62 cms which was fine for where I was fishing at this stage, though I would have preferred it to have been five to ten centimetres lower.
Perfect weather conditions for trout fishing today saw me head to the upper reaches of the Mersey River chasing the trout. It was a dull overcast day with a light shower of rain every now & then, it couldn't have been a better days for chasing trout. The area I headed to is probably one of the toughest to get to and also not the easiest on the body either.
The river bottom is always slippery, even worse the rocks roll under foot making it so hard when wading up the river. Just staying upright in the river is a bonus. In saying that, the fishing has been great for the majority of trips I've had here, it can also have it's off days too. Those off days are usually when the river is low and clear with full sun on it. Today is the ideal day to fish this area, it's in these humid, damp conditions when this area fishes really well. I arrived at 7:50am then headed off to the river,I started fishing just after 8:30am.
A gusty Easterly wind was forecast as the day went on so I hit the Mersey River just after 8:00 am in what was a lovely morning with overnight fog lifting and no wind to worry about for now. I spotted several trout on the rise in a wide open stretch of water which was a good sign. Seeing them on the rise meant there were a few insects around, so I'm hoping the fishing may improve here at last. I started of using a #1 Mepps Aglia TW Streamer spinner, mainly because it has a small fish like streamer attached to the main body.
Dull cool overcast weather with rain due around midday saw me heading to a small tannin water this morning for a spin session. Over the past three days we had just on 15 mms of rain, most of which soaked into the ground, the water level did rise a little bit which was enough to turn the trout on. I didn't walk down stream as far as I usually do because I wanted to end the spin session further upstream than where I normally finish fishing on other trips.
Storms were forecast to hit around midday do I headed over to the Mersey River for a quick spin session before it hit. Started of with the #1 Aglia furia and picked up a very tiny brown trout on the very first cast, it was that small I didn't bother to photographed it. The less these little trout are handle the better their survival rate is. From there I decided to head downstream for some three hundred meters and fish my way back upstream. As I made my way over a very rocky old back water I spotted a few cormorants fly over head which wasn't a good sign, then when I arrived to where I was about to start fishing two more of them took off from the edge of the river.
It's been a week since my last spin session so today I thought I would give the Meander River another chance of giving up a few trout. The weather when I left was quite reasonable with N/NWesterly breeze at around 15 kph and there was quite a bit of cloud cover too which is how I like it. We had reasonable few showers of rain a few days ago so if the river doesn't give up any fish I new I could always fish Western Creek. I was at the river edge by 9:50 am and it was at the ideal wading height and running very clear, my lure of choice was the Aglia Furia.
As I entered the river I spooked a medium size brown which gave me some confidence there may finally be a few trout around today. It took me thirty five minutes before I had my first solid hit but the fish missed taking the spinner. I fished on upstream for at well over four hundred through some beautiful looking trout water without having a single follow. So far the spin session has been a real low for me with having just the one hit and miss over an hour in the river. I had made my mind up to fish two more stretches of river before heading back to the car going to Western Creek. I felt I had to try something different with the lures so I changed the larger #1 Furia for a small gold #00 Aglia spinner, one that I had placed a black fury sticker on the spinner blade. This is when the spin session turned around for the better, the following stretch of river gave up four medium size browns in nine casts.
I don't know what the odds are but just over two years ago I lost a small Atomic shad40 lure in the Meander River when for some reason the line parted & the lure kept going and lobbed in the middle of the medium flowing river. It was a slow sinking lure & I did go and have a look for it all to no avail, it had more than likely disappeared between the rocks on the river bottom. A week later I was back in the river and while fishing the same stretch of water and decided I'd have another look for the little ghost gill brown lure. I roughly stood in the same area from where I had cast the lure a week earlier and sort of had an idea of where the lure had landed. I then had a guess of where in may have drifted to as it slowly sank. Good thing was that the sun was out this time where as the day I lost it it was a dull overcast day. Any way I headed out to where I thought it may have drifted to.
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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.