Met up with good friend Clint for a spin session on the Meander River this morning and I'm hoping to catch the three trout required to reach the 600th trout, a target that I set myself at the start of the 2017/18 trout season. With nice warm weather conditions and the river running some five inches higher than my previous trip to the river we decided to fish from well below the Chestnut Road bridge and work our way back upstream to it. Once there I started off with the bloody tiger prawn coloured Greedy Guts lure and Clint also had a lure of a similar colour with his set up. I told Clint to have a few casts into a large flat water at the tail end of the stretch of river we were starting from, it's always given up a trout or two on my previous trips here. I think it was on his second or third cast when he was onto a nice solid brown that gave him a good start to the spin session.
That was the only fish hooked and landed for the following two stretches of river. While Clint was fishing the third long wide stretch of river I went inland to get at least one hundred meters further upstream from him, that way I wouldn't disturb any trout that may be ahead of where he's fishing. Where I wanted to get back to the river I had to get down on my hands & knees to crawl through the thick tea tree bushes that lined the river banks. Still on hands & knees when I reached the rivers edge I spooked a Lowland Copperhead snake that was warming itself in the early morning sun. It darted straight into the river and headed towards the center of the river before it turned around and headed back my way. I stood in the shallows and watched it make it's way back to the river bank where it stayed with it's head out of the water while keeping it's body in the river. I reckon it turned back due to the water being so cold it wouldn't have made it across the river. I took a few photos then let Clint know to keep and eye out for it as he fished his way upstream while I moved on up the river.
Clint picked up a small brown in a deep run of medium flowing water and I finally caught my first brown some ten minutes later a little further up the river in a fast water run. Needing three trout to hit the 600 that fish took me a little closer to it, now all I need to do is catch another two and I'll be happy. We both moved into a nice shallow to medium depth of water and Clint picked up a couple more browns there while all I could manage was plenty of green cotton like algae from the shallow side of the river I was on. It was just too shallow for the hard body lure on the side I was fishing so I moved onto the next stretch of river and left Clint to fish the rest of the water ahead of him.. It was in this next stretch of river where I picked up a small brown & not long after that I was onto a solid trout that had taken the little Greedy Guts lure hard and fast.
This fish played up and fought like hell to toss the lure as it made four or five leaps from the river at the same time giving some massive head shakes. I was feeling nervous but held my cool and played this fish out until it tired & I slipped the net under trout number 600. It was a beautiful well conditioned 520 gram fish, a nice one to reach the set target. A little further up I hooked another brown, this one was only a little 290 gram fish. Then while fishing a very fast water run I had four hits from trout with every one of them missing the trebles on the hard body lure. I should have changed over to the little Mepps gold Aglia in that fast water run but I was too slack in doing so. Clint was ahead of me once more and was fishing along narrow stretch of medium/fast water so I headed into the bush to get well upstream from him so he could fish that stretch of river. I waited for him to catch up and we worked the next six hundred meters of river together with him fishing the left hand side while I fished the right hand side.
We both picked up fish as we worked our war upstream, I managed to catch and release another five browns (one of them the best of the day) from eight hook ups while Clint caught and released another seven trout without losing a single fish. My last trout was taken in a fast water run and this time I had changed over to the gold Aglia spinner which did the job. In all it turned out to be a pretty productive day in the river with some very nice trout being caught and released with *my best brown weighing in at 580 grams*
Adrian Webb (meppstas)
600th Trout for the season 2017 2018