Personal Best Brown on the Meander

     With a Nth Easterly wind this morning I wasn't even thinking of going fishing today until around 1.00pm when it died off. It was cloudy and now even a little humid and so it was on with the fishing clothes and off to the Meander River. Once there the sun had broken through, but there was also a reasonable amount of cloud around as well still making it pretty good for a spin session. The river was medium to low in height and running clear making me stick with the small Mepps black bladed Black Fury. 
    Today I was going to be working the fast water and nothing else as that's where the trout will be holding in these conditions for sure. The first section that fished didn't give up a fish, but the next section did. It was only a small (240 gm) brown, but it was a start and that's what counts. The next section was a deep run of fast water that tapered off at the lower end of it before it then ran off much faster. I flicked the little black fury to the opposite bank and on the second turn of the reel the lure what hit hard and fast from a massive brown. Now I wasn't expecting a fish of this size as the majority of trout have been averaging around the 300 gms and smaller this season, but this one looked ten times that size. 
   This brown then made a run straight into the fast water below once I hooked it, and I thought the  4 lb line will not hold this fish in this run of fast water. Then it turned and started heading back upstream  turning the odds in my favour which was a relief for now. Any way after battling this fish for around three minutes (seemed like 30 minutes) and still not knowing if the line was going to hold on until I could slip the net under this beautiful brown, it tired and was soon in the net. 
   Wow!! What a start to the afternoon session this was. I have seen and had a few hit and misses from from large trout here from time to time, but never this size. After a few quick photos and then it was back in the water with this well conditioned female brown. It took several minutes working her in the water before I was satisfied to let her go on her way. She slowly moved off into the deeper run of this long section of fast water and looked okay. This brown went 2.9 kgs ( probably around 6-1/4 lbs) which is a PB for me in a river here in the Northern rivers of Tassie as my previous PB was 5-1/4 lb Brown taken in the Mersey River around 10 years ago. My best in the Meander was 1.3kgs. I was over the moon now and didn't care if I even caught another fish today, but I wasn't calling it a day as there's a lot more fast water ahead of me still to be worked.
   The next couple of sections gave up five more medium sized browns and a very small Redfin Perch, plus hooking and losing three other browns. This is the first Redfin that I have caught in this area since Huntsman Dam was completed. I have caught them in the lower Meander River but not this far up in the fast water. I had now been in the river for close on and hour and a half and was reasonably happy with having caught and released the seven browns. I still had a lot of fast water to go though and was looking forward to increasing my catch a little (or a lot) more. I did just that as over the next three sections of the river I did pick up another six browns with the best one going 560gms and a few others that went 540gms, and also hooking and losing another four fish. So the river was fishing well and the fish were really aggressive to go with it which was great. 
    On to the next piece of fast water and I flicked the much battered and worse for wear black fury across the river and quack it was smashed by another big brown. Now this fish just screamed off downstream and was peeling of line quicker that I could move with it. With this area being so rocky it was impossible to keep up with this fish and it just kept on going with the flow. All I could do was keep the pressure on, but not to much as I didn't want a break off. I now only had half a spool of line left on this little Okuma reel (it only holds 110mtr x 4lb) and was starting to get a little worried what the out come is going to be. I just could not control this fish at all in this flow and after a couple of minutes of battling this big fish it was gone. It didn't bust me off as I thought it had at first, the spinner had come away from the fish as it must have been lipped. I was a little relieved in one way but also disappointed in another as I would have loved to have battled this one to the end. I reckon this fish was not as big as the other that I had caught and I reckon it would have been close to 2kgs plus. 
     Over the next two fast water runs I managed another brown (530gms) and a nice solid (620gm) rainbow that gave up a great battle before coming to the net. This fish I had to keep as it had engulfed the Black Fury and the gills were damaged. There was still a lot more fast water ahead of me that I would loved to have kept on working, but the body was starting to get a little too sore and so it was not worth pushing it over the limit and making it any worse for wear. There's always another day to come back and fish the area, plus it was now 6.30pm and it had been a very good session too. Fourteen browns and a nice rainbow was a pretty rewarding afternoons fishing that I was pretty happy with. The best thing was that the trout were in the bigger size range than most trips so far this season which was a good sign.
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