Mike Fry doesn’t only live on the Wild Side of Tasmania, but also goes fishing in probably the wildest boat ever to troll for trout—certainly in Tasmania.
When your mate says ‘What are you doing tomorrow, want to come up the Gordon for the night?’ it would be pretty hard to say anything else except “you bet” and start checking out your tackle box and packing your overnight bag. But if your mate was Troy Grining and he wanted to give his new 52ft, high speed cruiser a run across Macquarie Harbour, test the new onboard dory with a chance of landing a nice Gordon River Brown you would have to feel privileged. I didn’t say anything about getting on my hands and knees and kissing his feet…just having a lend of ya’ but I did feel very appreciative.
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Fine sunny weather, hardly a breeze and lower river levels gave me the opportunity to head to the upper reaches of the Mersey River at Weegena for a couple of hours of spin fishing. On my arrival (11:05 am) I found it was running a little higher than I thought it would be, good thing was it was still at a safe wading height. The water was a nice light/medium tannin colour and the water temp was sitting on 4-5 degrees which was much better than the two degrees on my last trip here. My main concern was if the trout were here and are they here in good numbers yet, or is it going to be one of those fish-less days that happens more often than not early in the season.
With the weather still being unstable and more rain forecast as the days goes on I thought it worthwhile to head to the Dasher River on private property close to home. Once there I could see the river was on the rise and running a little on the cloudy side, not enough to put me off fishing it though. After a twenty minute walk to my entry point I was soon in the river (11:15am) flicking a small #00 gold Aglia around. The water temp like the air was very low and cold, today I did wear a waterproof jacket which helped to keep my upper body warm. As I slowly made my way upstream I found the river bottom was pretty slippery and there was quite a lot of green cotton like algae covering them.
With fine weather this morning with rain forecast for later this afternoon I thought I would get a spin session in before the rain arrived. This trip was to the upper Mersey River, an area on private property and one I haven't fished for a couple of months. The reason I haven't fished here all that often this trout season is because it's a rough & tough area to get into, plus the river itself has to be one of the toughest stretches of water to fish. The rocky river bottom is always covered in a brown slime and so slippery under foot at times it's near impossible to stay upright, not only that the rocks roll underfoot. Another problem here is the water weed growth that has spread along the river making spin fishing near in possible in most stretches of water. Another reason I headed here was that I wanted to give the tannin waters a rest as well as a change of scenery, another reason for heading to the upper Mersey. It was close to 9:20 am when I arrived & parked the car on a narrow bush track on private property, then after a lot bush bashing followed by a long walk I was at the river by around 10:00am. The river was running a little higher than I had expected and still at a safe wading depth, the water was a light tannin colour, the river bottom was it's normal poor condition as I stated earlier.
Seeing as it's been around ten or eleven weeks since I've fished the upper Mersey River I thought today would be the ideal day to do it with light winds & overcast conditions forecast. Getting to the river where I'll be fishing is one that's as tough as it can get, it requires bushing bashing though dense scrub and steep hills. It's also an area than runs hot and cold with the trout fishing too, they're either on in big numbers or they're few and far between. I'm hoping it's going to be a day when the trout are out and about and full of aggression, I'm not fussed about the size as long as they are in big numbers over the one and a half kilometres of river I'll be fishing.
Calm humid conditions today that were ideal for trout fishing saw me head up to Weegena to chase the trout in the fast waters of the Mersey River. I wasn't in a rush to get there seeing it was overcast and humid, it was 8:10 am when I arrived at Weegena. From where I parked the car I had a fifteen minute walk to the fast water I was going to fish, on the way I bypassed a long wide slow flowing stretch of river that had a lot of trout surface feeding in it. There were black spinners hovering above the water surface that had quite a few trout fired up as they were leaping from the river trying to grab a few.
Dull overcast conditions and a gusty South Westerly helped me make the easy decision to fish the lower Mersey River this morning mainly because I knew it would be reasonably sheltered from the winds. It wasn't an early start either because the air temp was only eight degrees when I left home, so there was no rush to get in the river. I was on the river bank by 9:05 am and spotted several trout on the rise plus a few small jumpers as well. As always the first lure of choice was a Mepps spinner, the #0 Stone Fly Bug was what went for starters as it's the lure that's done a great job on several trips lately. I spotted a trout on the rise close to the opposite river bank so that's where the first cast headed.
With the lower back and hips not feeling all that good this morning I thought I'd have a break from river fishing for a few days to give the body time to recover from a couple of tough river trips two days ago. Then seeing how good the weather was and with some windy conditions forecast again I decided not to rest up but to go a chase a few trout in the upper Mersey River again.
After placing eight heat pads on the lower back & hips and taking a few pain killers I was on my way, this trip wasn't in the same area where I caught ten trout from eighteen hook ups a few days ago, it was further downstream from there.
The weather this morning was absolutely beautiful, probably the best day for some time with no wind, clear skies, it couldn't have been better. It was around 7:05 am when I hit the dead flat glassy crystal clear waters on the Mersey, the first thing I noticed was trout surface feeding on small Mayfly duns and midges.
Feeling the effects this morning of the long stint in the upper Mersey River yesterday I was going to have a rest day then when I saw how overcast it was I just had to go chasing trout. Trout fishing in these conditions is what I like best and I couldn't sit home and let it pass me by. After taking a couple of pain killers and placing several heat patches on the lower back and left hip I was on my way to the lower reaches of the Mersey River.
I did think of heading to another area in the upper reaches but with the body being on the sore side I thought it best to go closer to home. As I approached the river I spotted several trout surface feeding in a wide slow flowing stretch of water, perfect for a fly fisher, not so good for the spin fisher such as me.
Fine warm weather was forecast for today but when I looked out the window this morning it was windy, very overcast and quite cool. I had intended to fish the upper reaches of the Mersey River then changed the trip to a small tannin stream. I was hoping it may still be at a reasonable wading height after the 6mms of rain we had a few days ago but I wasn't expecting too much. No sooner had I arrived the cloud started to break up something I didn't want to happen after seeing how low the water level was.
With another change due plus not having wet a line for a week I headed back to give the Mersey River another crack, this time I was there much earlier too. Still a little later than I would have liked given the conditions were nice and cool as well as being heavily overcast it was the perfect morning to be chasing trout in a river. The river level was around the same height as the last trip and it was still running nice and clear, I felt the fast water runs would be the ones that would give up the trout again today.
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Hello everyone, I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself.
My name is Stephen Smith and I have been managing the website tasfish.com since May 2009.
It has been an epic journey of learning and discovery and I am indebted to Mike Stevens for his help, support and patience.
I am developing a new venture Rubicon Web and Technology Training ( www.rwtt.com.au ). The focus is two part, to develop websites for individuals and small business and to train people to effectively use technology in their everyday lives.
Please contact me via www.rwtt.com.au/contact-me/ for further information - Stephen Smith.
Presented from Issue 100
Considering the world class quality of our sea trout fishery, these fish are not sought after by enough anglers. Sea runners live in the salt water and run up our estuaries and rivers from the start of August to the middle of November. At this time of the year, they are here to eat the many species of fish that are either running up the rivers to spawn or are living in and around the estuary systems. Trout, both sea run and resident (Slob Trout) feed heavily on these small fish which darken in colouration as they move further into fresh water reaches.
The majority of these predatory fish are brown trout with rainbows making up a very small percentage of the catch. They can be found all around the state but it would be fair to say that the east coast is the least prolific of all the areas. They still run up such rivers as the Georges (and many others) but their numbers along with the quality of the fishing elsewhere make it difficult to recommend the area above the larger northern, southern and western rivers.Read more ...