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 ...
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I headed on over to Mersylea this afternoon in what was beautiful weather conditions with just a light breeze and clear skies. I didn't arrive there until 3.00pm and then had a chat with a couple of young fella's having a spin from the river bank. They hadn't caught anything up to then, but had managed a couple of follows for the time they'd been there spinning. The river was clear and much lower today and was also in full sun. I recommended that they spin the shaded areas as that's more than likely the best place to pick up a trout in the bright conditions. I had to use my old Horne waist waders today as my breathables are down in Hobart at Fly & Dry having new stocking feet put on them as I've worn the other's out. Still they've lasted just over three years of some pretty heavy fishing days and months of continual river fishing. So today it was back to the old way of how I waded the rivers and fished for trout for quite a lot of years in the heavy rubber waders and boots.
Another top day weather wise today had me heading on up to Weegena to give the Mersey River a fish. The wind was switching from the Sth.West to the Nth West and back again so this wasn't going to be a problem either as where I was fishing it's reasonably sheltered in most places on the river. The area I'm fishing is on private property and there's a 2.0km walk before I get to my starting point in the river, but it's always worth the walk. The fishing here is normally quite good most times and there's rarely a trip here that I don't miss on catching a few browns & rainbows.
With overcast and pretty cool weather this afternoon I headed on over to the small township of Kimberley to give the Mersey River a fish from below the main road bridge. I haven't fished this area since we started holidaying over here from Sth Aust while visiting the daughter and family some 18 years ago. There was a cold wind blowing straight down the river which meant I would be working my way upstream against it, something I'm never happy with any time. But I'm here now so might as well push on. With the river being much wider with a little more depth to it I decided to fish with hard body lures today. Plus they're a little heavier and will cast better into the wind than the little #00 mepps black fury, I could have gone up a size with the black fury's but decided not to. Besides I have a few hard body lures that I still have to test out for an overseas company that I promised to do. Before I tried their lure I started off with a rainbow rapala and worked my way up and along the river without a sign of a fish. I'm thinking have I picked another poor section of river to fish, or is it just going to be one of those very slow days again with the trout few and far between. I seem to be having a few of these over the past couple of weeks of just catching one or two fish each trip to the Mersey. Any way I stuck with the rapala for another ten minutes before I changed over to a test lure that was much heavier than I normally use in the rivers. I thought I would work this lure in a deep water run just ahead of me to see how it goes.
With a change forecast for later on tonight I thought I would get a spin session in this afternoon at Merseylea once again. I headed to the middle bridge this time and walked on down through the paddocks to the river. It was still running at a medium to high level but still just wade-able in most sections. I kept with the little black bladed black fury from the other day to see how it would go in today's dull conditions. The first couple of runs didn't give up a fish bit the next run was much better. After flicking the spinner up into the headwater several times and letting it drift into a large eddy it was finally taken by a nice 430gm brown. I fished several more runs some of which I changed over to the hard body lure as they were much deeper runs. Nothing at all was taken over the next two stretches of river where I decided to cross the river to a backwater run.
Another ripper of a day much the same as yesterday so I was off to Merseylea once again, this time I left at 1.00pm and went too the lower bridge. Being a Monday I was hoping that no one would be there, but when I arrived there was a 4wd parked some 200 meters on a track below the bridge. This was good as it meant he had headed downstream or was sitting in the bush bait fishing. I was heading upstream to fish any way so there's not a problem. I only had a short walk through the paddocks to where I could cross over to get a backwater that I like to fish. It wasn't long before I was there flicking the same hard body lure that I used yesterday. This backwater didn't give a yelp again this trip either. That's two trips here without it giving up a fish, I have no idea why it didn't because it normally gives up a few trout.
I left home just on 1.30pm in beautiful weather conditions and headed on over to the Mersey River at Merseylea. I went to my usual spot only to find a couple of cars parked there and being a Sunday with such great weather I don't blame them for having an outing on the river.
I did bother seeing if they were bait fishing or if they had headed off for a session in the river with lures or the fly. I drove on up to the top bridge and found it clear of vehicles which was unusual as this area is normally busy. Parked the car, on with the waders etc and I was soon in the river working my way upstream.
The river was still a little higher than I would have liked but it was wade-able and that's all that mattered to me. I was using the same rainbow pattern slim 6 cm Muzza's hard body lure that worked for me on the last trip to the Mersey River. The river bottom was like an ice skating rink here as it well and boy it's tough going and even more so in waist high water.
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.
2-12-2014 Trip One
On Monday the 1st December I headed on over to the Mersey River at Kimberley & Merseylea. The conditions were overcast,humid and with light drizzle on and off, but the only downfall was the wind coming from the Nth East something I never like fishing in. Once in the river at Kimberley I was lucky enough to hook a nice rainbow on the second cast, but as they've been doing lately this one did the same. It tossed the hook on the second or third jump I think it was. There were quite a few fish leaping from most sections in the river and this is always a sign that it's going to be a tough session.
Seeing that the day was nice and fine with just a light Nth Easterly I headed on over to the Mersey River at 5.00pm for a late session. It wasn't worth going any earlier as it was to bright plus the sun was still on the water, so by around 5.00pm there is usually plenty of shade on the river from the masses of willows that line the banks.
After having a few good showers of rain this morning and with the cloud now high overhead I decided to go on over to Merseylea for an afternoon spin session. There wasn't a breath of wind, but the air temperature had dropped quite a few degrees from earlier in the day but that wasn't a problem any way.
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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.
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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 ...