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 ...
The conditions this morning looked okay with a maximum of 14 degrees, mainly overcast and a light North Westerly breeze with a change late this afternoon.. Given that we haven't had rain for a couple of days I thought a trip to a tannin waters of a small stream in the upper reaches of the Mersey River was worth a go.
With another change on the way I left for the river earlier than I normally would at this time of year, with 60-70 kph winds & rain forecast I thought it best to hit the river early. Once there I could see it was running higher than normal so I'm thinking I may be in for a tough time on the water today. This trip I'm using a brand new 5'6'' Daiwa Presso ULS spin rod coupled with a new Daiwa 16 crest reel spooled with 98 meters of 4 lb clear Kast King copolymer line and a new #00 gold Aglia.. I wanted to try the short rod out today as a test run for when I head back to some of the small tight streams at a later date. The first thirty minutes of fishing was fairly quiet before I had my first small brown in the net.
Finally after checking the online river plots one of the rivers I fish had dropped low enough for me to hit it for a spin session. That river was the Meander, this will be my first trip of the season to it. Once there it was still a little higher than expected but still safe enough for wading. The area I'm going to fish today is probably the only one that is safe enough to fish at the height it is at this stage. That's the good thing about knowing everything about the rivers I fish which has come from many years of fishing them. With rain forecast later in the day I hit the river just after 10:20am in what was cool and heavy overcast conditions with a light North Westerly breeze. I started the session off with a #1 Aglia-e red & silver blade spinner, another new one that I wanted to see if it could attract a trout.
I decided to have an afternoon trip to the river (private prop) in what was pretty cool overcast conditions with a very light breeze. I'm fishing a one kilometer stretch of river that runs through a friends property and I'm hoping it's running clear enough for a spin session. After a twenty minute walk through his paddocks it wasn't long before I was at the river. It was running a little higher than I had expected, but it was clear enough to spin fish and that's all that mattered. I started off with a Mepps #00 gold blade Aglia mainly because at this time of year it's the best colour to use in cold water. A silver or fluoro coloured spinner are good too and will catch fish in cold water early in the season.
Another beautiful day gave me the chance to head off and try a section of a small river, one that I haven't fished for around five years. I thought seeing as we had a good flood back in June 2016 and some reasonable rainfall this Winter it may have a few nice trout back in it. The only problem is getting into it because it is well hidden with heavy foliage and requires a four to five hundred meter bush bash to reach it. Once there I could see the bush was a lot thicker now than it was back when I last fished here. I was in two minds whether or not to venture into the bush, but I did. Nothing better than a challenge that's for sure even it is going to be a tough one. Half way into it I was having second thoughts if I had made the right decision, I did think about turning back. I didn't though, I pushed on then finally heard the sound of the water rushing over the rocks in a shallow section of the stream. Then it was only a matter of finding an entry point and not slip down the steep bank that was covered with blackberry bushes.
After having physio this morning and given the weather conditions were absolutely beautiful I headed off to small stream in the upper reaches of the Mersey River near Weegena.. This little river quite often fished well early season while there's good flow in it, I'm hoping it will do so this trip too. Once the water level drops it's a tough little stream to fish, so now is the time to give it a go. I started off using a small gold bladed #00 Aglia and had a follow in the first five casts. That brown came up and nudged the trebles with it's nose a few times before it turned and moved off. I knew then and there the spinners weren't going to work here today so changed over to a gold/black F-3 Rapala to see if that would get the result I was after. Well, I had only moved upstream some twenty meters when I was onto my first brown for the session. It was a well conditioned fish that went just on 350 grams, like 98% of the fish I catch it had it's photo taken and was soon back in the river.
It's been two weeks now since I damaged the hamstring and I felt it was time to put it to the test. Even though I have to see the physio again on Thursday, to me it feels good enough to have a short spin session in a river. Left Sheffield at 1:15 PM and arrived near the river just before 2:00 PM. I soon had the waders & boots on then off for leisurely forty minute walk that included a little bush bashing before I was finally at the rivers edge. All I had to do then was to find an easy entry point, instead of sliding down a steep river bank. It only took me a couple of minutes before I found one that was good enough, providing I took it easy. At last I was back to what I love doing most, spin fishing a river for that elusive trout.
Presented from Issue 109, April 2014
The lower Derwent River and North West Bay can be great places to catch a feed from the shoreline throughout the year. The bays in South Eastern Tasmania boast an impressive head of cockie salmon, sand flathead, squid, wrasse, barracouta well as the odd shark or two, all available to the keen landbased angler. As you move further along the headlands, the species become larger and competent anglers can often take good bags of black-back salmon and nice sized flathead, great fun for the family while catching a feed, all within thirty minutes of home. While this article focus’ on spots thirty minutes from the Kingborough district, the techniques and lures discussed will prove effective all over the state for an array of species.
After being out for lunch I thought I would dart of for a few hours to check out a couple of rivers, if either one was running at a reasonable height and clear enough I'd have a go at catching a trout. After a forty five minute drive I was soon bush bashing my way through some heavy scrub to check out the first river which I found to be running too high and a little dirty. A bush back to the car and it was onto the next small stream which I found was a nice dark tannin colour & just the right height to hop in for a spin session.
Finally after two very wet, windy days I had a chance to go for my first spin session of the season. This trip was to the Mersey River in the Union Bridge area. I wasn't even thinking of going today even with the fine weather but I thought what the heck go wet a line. Once there I found the river to be running reasonably high and fast with a colour that was like the black coffee I have in the morning. The area I'm fishing today is one that hasn't fished all that well over the past season or two either so I'm not expecting too much this trip. Today is all about getting out and wetting a line for the first time in over three months since the trout season closed. Not that I minded the closure of the season either because it gives me time to get the old body back in some sort of working order for the start of the next one. Each year it gets that little bit tougher on the body for me. With the water still being very cold I thought it was a good time to test out one of the new model Mepps Aglia-e Fluro spinner that I had sent to me to try out on the trout here in Tasmania. I tried several deep long medium flowing stretches of river without a sign of a fish, I was starting to wonder if my trip here was going to be a waste of time. I did try a couple of hard body lures in these long deep runs too before going back to the fluro spinner.
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