During the trout off-season I tend to spend a bit of time chasing bream, to continue getting a fishing fix, and spend time tying flies and dreaming about the trout season to come. It’s a time to spend doing tackle maintenance, stocking up on lures and dreaming up new challenges and goals for the trout season ahead. When the new season comes around I usually spend the first few months targeting sea runners. Sea run trout are simply brown trout that spend much of there lives out to sea and come in to the estuaries for spawning and to feed on whitebait and the other small endemic fishes that spawn in late winter through spring. Mixed in with the silvery sea runners you can also expect to catch resident fish that have the typical dark colours of a normal brown trout as well as atlantic salmon in some of our estuaries that are located near salmon farm pens. Living in Hobart it is quick and easy to do a trip on the Huon or Derwent and is a more comfortable proposition compared to a trip up to the highlands with snow and freezing winds to contend with.Read more ...
Presented from Issue 113, December 2014
Tasmania has some of the best wild trout fishing in the world; there is a time of the year where the dedicated trout fisherman can look forward to more than most kids do at Christmas. The run of the sea runners,
Between the months of mid-September and December sea runners will make their way up any river systems that white bait congregate in! The bait sometimes moves up in big numbers making an easy feed for the silver predator! These fish put on a lot of weight in a short amount of time making them a very powerful fish! Even on a firmly set drag I’ve had screaming runs of up to 50 metres or more in seconds from powerful fish! You will struggle to find a trout that pulls harder!
The best waterways in my opinion for these fish are the Pieman River, Arthur River, Henty River and last but not least the Gordon river. While the first three rivers are easy to access, the Gordon River is a different story.
I headed back to the Meander River again this morning to fish a stretch of river I haven't fished for quite some time mainly because it's pretty tough on the body. Seeing as the fishing has been reasonably good over the past few trips to this river I thought this area is probably worth putting up with a bit of pain. The weather was ideal again with hardly any breeze and a cloud scattered sky, couldn't have asked for better conditions.
I was in the river by 8:00 am and started off from the shallow LHS of the river and cast the little ghost brown up and across the river with a slow to medium retrieve. It didn't take very long before I had my first strike, one that I missed. A little further up I had a small brown take the lure, it was gone as quick as it took the lure. The only good thing about not catching both of those fish was that at least the trout are here, it's only a matter of time before I'd have one in the net. Well, it wasn't all that long (8:40 am) when I picked up my first brown a little further up the river, this solid fish was taken from under overhanging foliage in the shallows on the LHS of the river.
With the weather still being fine I headed back to the Meander River this morning for another spin session. I was much later starting off today after having a doctors appointment & didn't hit the river until 10:45 am. Good thing was the area I fished still had plenty of shade along it for quite some distance. The river level was down by around five inches but still had good flow and running clear and cool. It wasn't all that long when I had a brown have a go at the hard body lure but it missed getting hooked. It was very similar to a trip to the river a couple of days ago when the trout weren't really all that aggressive in the slow/medium runs.
Presented from Issue 113, December 2014
The Meander River is another one of the many rivers in the north of Tasmania that until a few years ago was a free flowing natural river.
This beautiful waterway that starts its journey from the Central Plateau area of the Great Western Tiers and into the new Huntsman Dam above the small township of Meander.
With its flow now regulated it continues on down through Meander, from here it travels on down through Deloraine and on for another thirty five kilometers to Hadspen where it enters the South Esk River.
Well, BM (Tim) & his partner Joanne arrived safely on Tuesday morning after sailing over on the Spirit of Tasmania, they called in around 12.30 PM that afternoon. We were organising where to go the following morning and I suggested the Meander River would be best suited for the two of them. With Joanne having her first real spin session in a river I knew a stretch of river that wouldn't be too difficult wading for the first time.
The next morning was very calm and also pretty foggy, the conditions were perfect for river fishing once again. The rivers was at least four inches higher than my last trip here which wasn't going to be a problem any way.
Still needing two more trout to reach the 500 mark which I want to do before the end of February and given there is rain on the way today I hit the Meander River at 7:30 am in the hope of getting the two fish required before the weather arrives later on. I'm going fish a two kilometre stretch that has a mix of medium & fast flowing water, it a nice peaceful area to fish too and it does hold some nice browns. This trip I'll only be using hard body lures too because I feel they'll do the job for me today, if they don't then it's on with the Mepps spinners.
Woke up to see the sky heavy with cloud cover so I headed off to the Meander River for a spin session in the fast water stretches. The river was up by some four inches which was good to see as it meant there could be some trout for the taking so to speak as I catch and release mine any way. I'm fishing a 1.5km stretch of river that can make or break most trout fishers but I've fished it plenty of time so I know where the easiest areas are. It's still tough and with the water being up it will be even tougher going & there's no room for mistakes, once you slip and fall in then you're going for a bumpy ride downstream. I've been lucky in all my years of river fishing I'm yet to fall in a fast water run and I don't intend too on this trip either.
Another warm day was forecast so I had an early start this morning and was in the Meander River just as the sun was on the rise at 6:10 am. I'm fishing a stretch of river that hasn't fished all that well lately, today I'm hoping it will all turn around for the better. The weather conditions were perfect as it was quite overcast and very muggy, but the small flies were an absolute pain in the butt.
No amount of swearing and cursing them sent them on their way either, each cast into the clear cool water still had them crawling over my face. I started the session off with a small gold Aglia spinner to see if it may do the job early in picking up a trout for me. It did attract several browns but no takers, they just followed it. After fifteen minutes I changed to the ghost brown lure, same result follow after follow. I then tried a F3 rainbow Rapala and that didn't even draw the attention of a trout at all and after ten minutes it was time for another change. This time I went for the Mepps black Aglia Mouche Noire spinner and managed to have three light hit and misses, still the trout weren't aggressive.. A light breeze had popped up and those small flies had finally disappeared which was a relief, now all I needed was for the trout to come on the take.
Presented from Issue 111, August 2014
Three effective river techniques for early season success
The trout season opening is upon us again. This time of year nowadays is, for me, a real quandary. I know that the really reliable fishing of spring is still weeks if not months away, but ever since I started trout fishing all those years ago I have looked forward to the first Saturday in August with a real hunger. The night before for me was always like Christmas Eve, I couldn’t wait to see what ‘gifts’ the river would bring each year.
A hot day was forecast with light NE winds early then gusting later in the day so I had an early start on the Meander this morning. I was in the river flicking a gold Aglia spinner around by 6:15 am in what was beautiful cool conditions with some cloud cover. The river had good flow and was running very clear, now all I needed was for the trout to be in an aggressive mood. It wasn't all that long before the little gold spinner drew the attention of a couple of browns, but they were only interested in it for a short distance before moving off. I replaced the spinner with the small ghost brown hard body seeing as that's got them going several times here before. Well it wasn't any better than the gold spinner, I had follow after follow from some nice browns and that was it. Another change of lure, the rainbow Rapala was the choice this time. I had a repeat of what has been going on so far this morning with the lures, more follows but no takers. I have now been in the river for forty five minutes and all I've had is a dozen follows from a lot of non aggressive browns.
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It has been an epic journey of learning and discovery and I am indebted to Mike Stevens for his help, support and patience.
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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 ...