Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
Christopher Bassano fishes over 250 days a year. This interview was recorded just before he headed off to fish for Australia in the World Fly Fishing Championships in Norway 14-17 August 2013.
I live on a small stream and at the start of the season I like to go off on a bit of a discovery mission and fish the headwaters of the creeks and rivers I feel an affinity with.
These small rivers include the St Pats, Meander, Forester, Little Forester and others. The further up you go on these rivers the clearer and lower the levels. They are often less affected by the rain and runoff and you get some good opportunities. Get as close to the source as you can and you will find some good dry fly fishing. Don’t limit yourself to those I have mentioned. Most headwaters will hold trout.Read more ...
Today I decided I would head on over to the Leven River seeing as I haven't given a thought to fishing it all season for one reason or another. Last season I only had the one trip here and that was early February 2017 after we had 20 mms of rain, that day I caught & released 10 browns and 1 rainbow. Since we had some good rains a week or so ago I checked the river levels and it had a reasonable flow of water in it so I felt it's worth a shot. I'm well over due for a good bag of fish so I was hoping this may be the day as I new exactly the stretch of river I'll be fishing too. It's fished well before for me and I'm reasonably confident it will do so today. The hardest thing will be the choice of lure to use, the gold & copper Aglias & Black Fury spinners have worked well here before, so have the f3 Rapala rainbow & brown trout hard body lures.
Another beautiful day was forecast so I headed over to the Meander River again today for a spin session in the hope of catching a few more trout. I forgot to check the river level on the BOM site before I left and after a drive through heavy fog I finally arrived at the Meander only to find it was running at the same height as my last trip here. Right away I knew I was in for a tough few hours in the river with so much water coming down. I decided to drive to another area that meant for a long walk to the river, but I didn't have to cross it, I could fish it from the side that I entered the river. There are a couple of deep stretches of water that I can bypass quite easily, the rest of it is mainly fast water with a few medium runs thrown in the mix... After a forty minute walk I reached my entry point and started casting the Rapala brown trout lure around without all that much success over the first couple of hundred meters.
Another beautiful day had me heading over to the Meander River for a spin session, one that didn't last all that long. Why it didn't last all that long was when I arrived there I found the water level was pretty high and the area I was to fish wasn't looking all that safe for wading. Seeing how well I know the river here I still thought it may be worth having a go to see if I could still catch a trout or two. The hardest part was crossing the above waist deep water, a couple of times I thought of turning back but knowing it was only going to get shallower I kept going.. Where I crossed wasn't really fast water but it was deep and had quite a bit of force in the flow and that was my main concern at the time... Once I had reached the other side and using a brown trout F3 Rapala I slowly fished my way upstream.
Well after a weeks lay off from fishing due to some good rain and gale force winds (plus hip & back problems) it was time to head back to try the tannin waters again. I was hoping the small tannin waters that I'm heading to will still have some good flow to it as well as holding a few trout. Once there I found it to be a little on the low side and wasn't sure if it was worth having a spin session in it or not. Seeing as I had driven all the way to this little tannin water I thought I may as well give it a go so in I hopped and started flicking the little gold Aglia around in water that was so dark I could hardly see the gold blade spinner as I retrieved it. It wasn't all that long before a small 260 gram brown swooped on the lure, I soon had that little fish in hand, released and back in the water. A little further on I had a couple of solid hits on the spinner but missed both fish. It was time for a change of lure so I went for the F3 Rapala in the brown trout patten.
Met up with good friend Clint for a spin session on the Meander River this morning and I'm hoping to catch the three trout required to reach the 600th trout, a target that I set myself at the start of the 2017/18 trout season. With nice warm weather conditions and the river running some five inches higher than my previous trip to the river we decided to fish from well below the Chestnut Road bridge and work our way back upstream to it. Once there I started off with the bloody tiger prawn coloured Greedy Guts lure and Clint also had a lure of a similar colour with his set up. I told Clint to have a few casts into a large flat water at the tail end of the stretch of river we were starting from, it's always given up a trout or two on my previous trips here. I think it was on his second or third cast when he was onto a nice solid brown that gave him a good start to the spin session.
Will I or wont I go fishing, that was what was going on in my head this morning. In the end I did go and headed over to Merseylea for a spin session. It was only going to be a short one as I had several things to do at home that I haven't got around to lately. When I arrive at the river I was surprised not to see any cars parked near the bridge seeing as it was quite a nice morning to be on a river. After a twenty minute walk through a few paddocks and a dried up back water I was at my starting point only to find it wasn't the same here any more. There has been quite a lot of work done along the river and my fast water run I loved to fish was now a wide deep stretch of water. Any way I put on a F3 rainbow Rapala lure and started casting to the opposite river bank while slowly retrieving the lure at the same time letting it go with the flow. After the forth of fifth cast & retrieve I had a follow from an interested trout that followed the lure right up to where I lifted the lure from the water. That's where it ended, it turned and slowly moved away. Onto the next stretch of water, this one was more to my liking as it hadn't had a lot of work done to it. It had been made a little deeper but two thirds of it was still okay for wading my way up the river. Before I entered this stretch of water I had a change of lure, it was the Daiwa ghost brown lure I went for.
After having a doctors appointment this morning I had a pretty late start on the Meander River in what was beautiful fishing conditions and the river level had dropped which made it even better. I received a few new Austackle lures that I picked up for half price from MO-Tackle last week and they arrived this morning so I'm itching to give them a workout. I was in the river by 11:10 am and started off using the ''Wolf '' 50 mm hard body lure which has a narrow body and is practically the same patten as the Daiwa ghost brown one that I use. It took me around fifteen minutes before I had my first follow from a medium size brown and that's as far as it went, just a follow.
After having some decent rainfall over the past couple of days I thought I would try one on the small tannin waters above Weegena. I was hoping it had enough flow in it to be good enough to fish, once there I found it was flowing quite nice and it was good enough to have a spin session in it. I was using the gold Aglia today as it always works well in most of the tannin waters I fish. It was a little on the quite side over the first fifty meters or so before I had a small brown take the lure only to see it toss it once it leapt from the river.
After two days of gale force winds the weather turned around for the better today, it was around 11:30 am when the wind eased off to a SSE at 16 kph which was enough to have me heading off to the upper reaches of the Mersey for a spin session. I had lunch first before I left and arrived at the river at 1:10 PM, I had a fairly decent walk to where I was going to start the spin session. It was 1:55 PM when I was finally in the river and started flicking the little Mepps #00 gold Aglia around amongst the fast water that flowed between the rocks. It was 2:01 PM when I had my first brown in the net, that was followed with another two browns caught and released in quick time too.
The second brown was caught and in the net at 2:04 PM and the third one was in the net at 2:13 PM, how I know that is by the time that's set by the camera when a photo is taken. So with three trout caught and released in twelve minutes I couldn't have had a better start to the session.
Given it was a nice cool morning with a heavy overcast sky I headed off (at 7:25am) to the Meander River again this morning for another spin session. The river was still running clear and had good flow even though it was a little lower than my last trip here. This trip I'm trying a couple of new lures that I picked up from an online fishing tackle store that has quite a few lures on special at the moment. The ones I bought were the Pontoon 21 GagaGoon 45 mm suspending lures named MI perch and MI gold perch and they're only 3 grams in weight too much like the little ghost brown lures I use. So it will be interesting to see how these lures go on the trout... So I started working my way upstream and over the first one hundred meters of never I never sighted a fish.
Good thing was that I found the lures worked a little differently to the ghost brown lures and it took around ten minutes to get used to them. Then the following one hundred I had three light hits and misses from some non aggressive trout, they was the last fish I saw before I decided to get out and and try my favorite stretch of river a few kilometers further upstream. Once there it didn't take all that long before I had a couple of follows, even those trout had no aggression in them either. They just sat back behind the lure for a short distance before moving off. It didn't matter what I tried, slow retrieve, light twitch and even stopped the retrieve and still they wouldn't take the lure.
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Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
We did a bit of a runaround Tasmania’s tackle stores to see what their tips for the first month or so of the tackle season were. We asked what the top three places to fish were, plus lures, flies, baits and a few other things.
Here is a rundown on their answers Whenever, and wherever you fish - anywhere, or for any fish in the world - ask the locals and especially ask at the local tackle store. They know what was caught today, yesterday and on what.