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.
Another day that is forecast for fine weather with a E/NE winds that will pick up as the day goes on so I had a slightly earlier start on the river today. It was 9:25 am when I first stepped into the Mersey River to wet a Mepps spinner and maybe, just maybe get into a few trout. The conditions were perfect as was the river level, though it wasn't as clear as what I thought it would have been. Still good enough to fish, see the lure & even fish in it and that's all that mattered. This trip I started off using a Mepps #1 Aglia TW Streamer gold blade lure just for something different, hopefully it will be the lure that will do the job today in picking up a few trout. I have used it here before and caught a small brown on it, that day the fishing was very tough going so I had to make a change of lure. Today I started out using it in a headwater where a back water entered the river & never had a single touch or follow from a fish. From there I moved into a large back water and fished my way upstream for close on fifty meters, all I could manage was a few follows from non aggressive trout.
After checking the BOM river heights I saw that the Meander River had dropped 50mms since my last disastrous trip there with just the one trout being caught. I thought with it being lower plus the air and water temp on the rise it was worth another visit. My only worry was the East/North/East winds that were forecast for most of the week, not a good wind direction for fishing. It's okay if it's just a very light breeze but once it picks up one may as well head for home. Today's weather conditions were ideal with it being a dull cool to mild overcast day & the lightest of an Easterly breeze. Being so overcast I didn't hit the river until around 10:00 am and commenced casting the Mepps Aglia Furia around in the clear cool flowing water. It was quite nice to finally be fishing the river at the perfect wading height for a change..
Seeing as the Meander River level had dropped to 62 cms on the BOM river levels chart I thought it was worth heading there to see if the trout are out and about. The previous two trips here when the river was running at 77 cms to 80 cms weren't all that flash with just one brown being caught on the first trip and four on the second. Today I'm fishing a different stretch of river, so I'm hoping for a few trout to be around seeing as the day is warm and the water temp should be around 10-11 degrees which is 6-7 degrees better to what it was.. No sooner had I arrived when the wind picked up and started blowing a gale, this wasn't forecast for later in the afternoon (3:00pm) not at 10:00 am.
It's been a week since my last trip to a river due to crappy weather & high river levels & I was over due for a spin session in a river. Today was one of our better days with mainly clear blue skies and a West - Nth Westerly breeze blowing, so it was good enough to go & wet a Mepps spinner. Firstly I went & checked out a small river near home only to find that there had been a lot of cattle in the river. Walked along it for around a kilometre without spotting a single trout, so I headed back to the car to try another river. So I headed on over to the Mersey River to find it was still running a little high and for some reason or another it wasn't all that clear either.
With the Mersey, Meander & Leven rivers still running very high and a day without rain plus a temperature of 15 degrees had me heading off to the tannin water for a spin session after a nine day lay off. Until the larger rivers drop to a safe wading level I have no choice but to fish the little tannin water again. There was only one problem today and that was the wind, it was gusting at 50/60 kph from the North West so it wasn't going to be all that great for spin fishing. When I arrived I found the stream was running much higher than my last trip but still good enough to hop in and try and catch a trout or two. Like the past couple of river trips I started with the Mepps #0 Aglia tiger fluoro, it was on the forth cast when I picked up my first little wild brown trout in small flat water under some overhanging tea trees.
With the Meander River level dropping to 73 cms in the Meander area I decided to head over there for a spin session. Even at 73 cms it's still a little on the high side and until it drops to 65 cms the water is still quite unsafe to wade in several areas along the river. Any way after arriving and then having a forty minute walk to the river I was finally in it flicking a little Mepps #00 gold aglia around in the river. The water temp here was sitting on six degrees which is still on the cold side for trout, hopefully things will turn around over the following weeks ahead. It only took ten minutes before I had a follow from a small brown before it made a dash at the spinner, it had one go at the gold aglia and missed taking it then darted off.
I headed over to the Leven River only to find it was like the rivers closer to home, running to high & fast to fish so I went and checked out a small stream that flows into the Leven. I wasn't sure if it was worthwhile getting the wading gear on to give it a go or not. After standing there for at least ten minutes looking the stream in two minds should I or shouldn't I give it a go I finally decided to get the wading gear on. A twenty minute walk though down through some paddocks and thick bush I was in the river just on 2:15 PM.
With it still overcast, cool and light rain falling I decided that this hanging around waiting for the weather to clear up was over. I headed off to the Mersey River to fish a small stretch of back water that I felt would be holding at least one trout and may one or two more.. After arriving at the river I saw it was still running high and very fast then after a fifteen minute walk I was finally in the backwater at 10:15 am. This back water is now only around 60 meters long now as the 2016 June floods changed it from a 200 meter stretch to what it is today.
Seeing it's the last day of the 2017-18 trout season I headed back to the Leven River to finish off what's been a reasonably good trout season for me and maybe add a few more trout to my seasons tally. As I got closer to Gunns Plains I noticed there was a large layer of fog running along the whole length of the river so it won't be all that warm once I get there. With no wind it will still be nice in the river and hopefully there will be a few trout in the area I'm fishing today below & above Marshall's Bridge. It wasn't very long before I was there and headed of for a five to six hundred meter walk downstream where I would hop in the river and slowly fish my way back upstream. It was quite weird walking in the thick fog and the only sounds I heard was from several birds singing, magpies warbling and of course a few cows bellowing away every so often.
Hit the Leven River again this morning and had a great start to the spin session. On my last trip here I had a follow and a few hits from one very nice large and solid brown. I was a little worried that day as I thought had he taken it and done the crocodile roll I would see the fine 4 lb mono giving way. It's not so much as the line breaking, it's the knot where it will break as that's the weakest point. Even it it didn't roll the size of that fish was enough to test out the knot any way.
Today I went back to the same area where I had seen that large brown, this time I have a 6 lb leader set up to the little GagaGoon MI Perch hard body lure. It wasn't all that long when that large brown came out from a shallow flat water (a little further upstream from last time here) and had three goes at the lure and like the other day it missed taking the lure.. I watched the big bugger move off and went in behind a large rock in the river. I couldn't see him at all after that so I decided to cast the lure downstream past the rock then slowly retrieve the lure up past where I felt it was sitting.
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