Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
We did a bit of a runaround Tasmania’s tackle stores to see what their tips for the first month or so of the tackle season were. We asked what the top three places to fish were, plus lures, flies, baits and a few other things.
Here is a rundown on their answers Whenever, and wherever you fish - anywhere, or for any fish in the world - ask the locals and especially ask at the local tackle store. They know what was caught today, yesterday and on what.
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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.
After giving the elbow a two day rest since the acupunture last Friday I thought I would put it to the test with a short spin session on the Mersey River at Merseylea. I was on the water by around 10.00am which was really not the best time to be starting a session seeing it was warm, clear water and sunny. But I was only here to see how the elbow would hold up. The first run I fished was a long slow flowing section and I didn't spot a fish at all, not even a follow. So it looked like being on the river at this time of the morning exactly what I expected and if I was going to catch a fish today, then I was going to have to work for it. I noticed a chap watching from the bridge some 100 meters behind me and I was wondering if he had wanted to fish this area. The next time I looked around he was gone and I assumed he had gone below the bridge to fish a lower part of the Mersey.
After bombing out with my sweeps in the Melbourne Cup today I headed off to the Dasher River for a few hours in the hope that it would fair much better than today's sweeps did. Arrived at the Dasher around 3.40pm and after a 30 minute walk I was soon in the river casting the well used little copper black fury spinner into the very tannin coloured water.
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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.
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.