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 ...
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Perfect weather conditions for trout fishing today saw me head to the upper reaches of the Mersey River chasing the trout. It was a dull overcast day with a light shower of rain every now & then, it couldn't have been a better days for chasing trout. The area I headed to is probably one of the toughest to get to and also not the easiest on the body either.
The river bottom is always slippery, even worse the rocks roll under foot making it so hard when wading up the river. Just staying upright in the river is a bonus. In saying that, the fishing has been great for the majority of trips I've had here, it can also have it's off days too. Those off days are usually when the river is low and clear with full sun on it. Today is the ideal day to fish this area, it's in these humid, damp conditions when this area fishes really well. I arrived at 7:50am then headed off to the river,I started fishing just after 8:30am.
A gusty Easterly wind was forecast as the day went on so I hit the Mersey River just after 8:00 am in what was a lovely morning with overnight fog lifting and no wind to worry about for now. I spotted several trout on the rise in a wide open stretch of water which was a good sign. Seeing them on the rise meant there were a few insects around, so I'm hoping the fishing may improve here at last. I started of using a #1 Mepps Aglia TW Streamer spinner, mainly because it has a small fish like streamer attached to the main body.
Storms were forecast to hit around midday do I headed over to the Mersey River for a quick spin session before it hit. Started of with the #1 Aglia furia and picked up a very tiny brown trout on the very first cast, it was that small I didn't bother to photographed it. The less these little trout are handle the better their survival rate is. From there I decided to head downstream for some three hundred meters and fish my way back upstream. As I made my way over a very rocky old back water I spotted a few cormorants fly over head which wasn't a good sign, then when I arrived to where I was about to start fishing two more of them took off from the edge of the river.
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.
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 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.
Will I or wont I go fishing, that was what was going on in my head this morning. In the end I did go and headed over to Merseylea for a spin session. It was only going to be a short one as I had several things to do at home that I haven't got around to lately. When I arrive at the river I was surprised not to see any cars parked near the bridge seeing as it was quite a nice morning to be on a river. After a twenty minute walk through a few paddocks and a dried up back water I was at my starting point only to find it wasn't the same here any more. There has been quite a lot of work done along the river and my fast water run I loved to fish was now a wide deep stretch of water. Any way I put on a F3 rainbow Rapala lure and started casting to the opposite river bank while slowly retrieving the lure at the same time letting it go with the flow. After the forth of fifth cast & retrieve I had a follow from an interested trout that followed the lure right up to where I lifted the lure from the water. That's where it ended, it turned and slowly moved away. Onto the next stretch of water, this one was more to my liking as it hadn't had a lot of work done to it. It had been made a little deeper but two thirds of it was still okay for wading my way up the river. Before I entered this stretch of water I had a change of lure, it was the Daiwa ghost brown lure I went for.
After having some decent rainfall over the past couple of days I thought I would try one on the small tannin waters above Weegena. I was hoping it had enough flow in it to be good enough to fish, once there I found it was flowing quite nice and it was good enough to have a spin session in it. I was using the gold Aglia today as it always works well in most of the tannin waters I fish. It was a little on the quite side over the first fifty meters or so before I had a small brown take the lure only to see it toss it once it leapt from the river.
After two days of gale force winds the weather turned around for the better today, it was around 11:30 am when the wind eased off to a SSE at 16 kph which was enough to have me heading off to the upper reaches of the Mersey for a spin session. I had lunch first before I left and arrived at the river at 1:10 PM, I had a fairly decent walk to where I was going to start the spin session. It was 1:55 PM when I was finally in the river and started flicking the little Mepps #00 gold Aglia around amongst the fast water that flowed between the rocks. It was 2:01 PM when I had my first brown in the net, that was followed with another two browns caught and released in quick time too.
The second brown was caught and in the net at 2:04 PM and the third one was in the net at 2:13 PM, how I know that is by the time that's set by the camera when a photo is taken. So with three trout caught and released in twelve minutes I couldn't have had a better start to the session.
The weather was fine when I left home this morning for a spin session on the Mersey River at Weegena even though the forecast was for rain & thunderstorms the sky was clear. Once there & after a forty minute walk to where I was to start my spin session, it was then I noticed some heavy cloud building up and it seemed to be moving in at a steady rate. I knew then I would have to get in the river and get a move on before the weather hit this area.. I was using the ghost brown lure and was having plenty of follows but no takers which was becoming quite frustrating.
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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.
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and an art worth your learning.."
Presented from Issue 112, October 2014
So said Izaak Walton in the 1600s. It seems that Burnie’s Hannah Ledger has combined angling with art rather well. Hannah is a fish fanatic, outdoor enthusiast and budding, self-taught artist. From as young as she can remember, she has always had crayon in hand, colouring book under arm and as she’s grown as a painter, jars full of paintbrushes and cupboards full of ready-to-go blank canvas’.
A country girl at heart, Hannah was schooled at Yolla District High School, a small ‘farm’ school in the states North West, then went on to Hellyer College where she was given the opportunity to really grow her art skills; And by grow, that meant skipping the classes that would probably have more an impact of getting her somewhere in life, like English and Math to spend every spare minute with the art teacher, painting or drawing.
As typical teenagers do, they make poor decisions- and after being accepted in to one of the countries top art schools, turned down the offer and decided to move to the big island, where she lived for 5 years working in what seemed ‘dead end’ retail.Read more ...