Mersey River, Low Enough At Last 26/8/2015
Finally after not having any rain for four days the Mersey River was just low enough for me to get in and have a spin session. Not that it was real low, but it was just low enough for fishing if one took care in doing so. There was still plenty of water coming down and with the river bottom being so slippery it was a matter of knowing the river and where it was safe enough to fish without being swept away. In saying that, I did have a one moment when I thought I may have been body surfing the fast water in the spot where I chose to cross over to get to a backwater run. It was well above my knees and with the rocky bottom being slimy it was hard trying to get a good footing even with spiked felt sole wading boots on. Any way I did make it across to the backwater in the end without taking a plunge.
I started off using a spotted brown trout 6cm slim hard body lure that I had just recently purchased to see how it would go down here in the rivers. I worked my way up the backwater that still had plenty of water pumping down it, but I could only manage two hits for just the one hook up. The hooked fish was gone as fast as it hit the lure too, with one head shake it was all over. Still this was a good sign as I finally had my first decent take in the Mersey for the season, this only being my second session on it though in two weeks. I kept on working this back water right up to where the Mersey flowed into it. I did get one more hit and miss at the point where the Mersey spilled into this backwater and that was it.
I was now back into the main river so I had to pick the wide slower flowing run that I thought would be holding a fish or two. I decided I would have a change of lure pattern, it was on with a rainbow trout 6cm slim hard body for this stretch of river. Now this wide section of river was only around 150 metres in length, if it was even that long. The good thing is that it wasn't more than a meter deep here too so I could position myself in the middle of the river and work the lure off the opposite bank. After some ten minutes of casting in every direction possible I was finally onto a solid fish which put up a reasonably good fight in this run of river. It wasn't over long before it tired and I had it in close enough to slip the net under it. You beauty!! I have finally caught my first Mersey River brown for this season (not that it's been open that long, just over 3 weeks) which was great. It was a very nice well conditioned brown that tipped the scales at 540 gms. it was soon back in the river after a couple of photos. The one thing I love about catching a trout in a river is that it doesn't matter what size they are they always put up a great fight. It still gives me a buzz today as it did some 50 plus years ago when I caught my first trout in the Finnis River in South Australia.
I had now been in the river for close on 1-1/2 hours and I couldn't feel my feet any more because the water was just so cold. It was time to get out and head back to the car. On my walk back I decided I would leave the waders on and try another backwater at Kimberley on the way home. This is another backwater that just happens to be on the other side of the river. Knowing this area as well as I do I knew where I could cross over here too. This crossover is much easier than where I have just been, so I was now on my way to Kimberley. Once there it wasn't long before I was in the river and over to the other side. After a little bush bashing I was soon in the backwater run which was at a nice height for spin fishing. I had changed rods for this area because it is such a tight area to fish. I had gone from a 6'6'" light weight rod down to a 5'6'" light weight spin rod and a gold comet (1.5gm) blade spinner. After several cast and a few follows without the trout taking the spinner it was time to change to another colour. It was on with a copper black fury to see if this spinner may do the trick. It did, as the next small run of backwater I was onto a small 300gm brown which I soon had on the river bank. Unhooked this little fella and back into the water it went.
I came across a narrow run of water that flowed out into a wider shallow section and this is one piece of water that more often than not gives up a trout when it's flowing. It does require an accurate cast if success is to be achieved, if it's not accurate then the lures in the shrubs or overhanging branches. Once in them it's all over as you go to retrieve the lure because you will spook the fish, so the cast has to be spot on. My first cast was a little short of the mark but it was still in the right direction, just needed a little more power in the cast. Next cast was hard and fast and it was spot on. Within two turns of the reel a bow wave appeared behind the little copper black fury then whack!! It was fish on. This was another solid brown which gave up as good of a fight as the one at Merseylea. This one took a little longer to land than the that fish as it was running in and out of shallow section of fast water, then back into a snaggy small deep section. This fish took just under two minutes before I could finally get it into the net, several times I just about had the net under it when it took off again. It went just on 500gms and like the others, was soon on it's way after a quick photo. I fished on for another 50 metres for two more takes but lost both fish before calling an end to the session at 5.20pm. In what I thought may be a day of not catching a trout, it did turn out to be a reasonably good session after all. Now all I hope for is that the weather will hold up for a while now so the river levels can drop a little more and I can cover more water.
Wide section of the Meresey River at Merseylea
Muzza's lure catches another solid Mersey Brown trout
Black fury catches another 500gm Mersey River brown from backwater