Another day with heavy cloud cover and strong gusty South Easterly winds wasn't keeping me home today, the Meander River level was sitting on 78cms which was still too high for safe wading the fast water in the upper reaches but reasonably okay for the lower reaches. Where I fished today was a mix of very clear fast to medium flowing water that I had to take it slow and easy in, one slip and I would have been in a bit of trouble. The river bottom is very rocky and slippery underfoot and it's easy to take a tumble or be spun around in the fast water runs, it's not an area for the inexperienced fisher person. It is okay for fishing from the rocky river banks, but not when one had to cross the river four times like I did today. Before I could even wet a line I had a six hundred meter walk to reach my entry point. This one and a half to two kilometres of river I fished today is one I only fish two or three times each trout season mainly because of the distance I have walking to the river. It's not that I mind the walk at all, it's when I've finished fishing this rocky, slippery river over a long distance my body is knackered. Once out of the river I then have approx a two and a half kilometre walk back to the car.
** Here's how my trout fishing session went :
Today I did bypass some heavy fast water runs that just weren't safe enough to fish, I settled for the slower flowing water for starters. Using a Mepps #1 Aglia Furia to start off all I managed was a follow from a nice solid brown, several changes of lures didn't do a thing either, that was it for that long stretch of water. Once at the time end of that long run I had to cross over in a knee deep fast water run, the force of the water on my legs here made it a slow crossing that's for sure. Once across the river I knew I had around seven hundred meters of river that I could fish from the rocky river banks and only had to cross the river twice, both crossing shallow fast waters. I had another change of lure, this time it was a #1 Aglia Fluo brown spinner that I went for, a lure colour that's done well on the trout on several trips this season.
To the right of me was a small side water, one that's given up a few trout on previous trips here over the years. With the river running on the high side there was quite a lot of water pushing down it. I spotted a small flat water by a fallen tree branch that was well worth flicking the spinner into, first cast and retrieve into it I had an instant hook up. Nothing big, just a small/medium size 275 gram brown, still nice to finally have caught one after and hours fishing. That was the last sign of a fish for just over thirty minutes and one more river crossing where I hooked and lost a small trout in a shallow flat water straight ahead of me. I was now back on the left hand side of the river, ahead of me was one of my favourite stretches of water, a long wide fast flowing run that has always given up some nice trout when I've fished here from time to time. This long stretch of water was flowing beautifully for the cast and drift method I love doing with the Mepps blade spinners, it was the perfect water for it. Even better was the gusty South Easterly was coming from behind too which made it a lot easier for casting up and across the river. I was in knee deep water knee deep hard up against the tea trees and I could easily reach the opposite side of the river from here on every cast.
On the second cast and retrieve I had a solid hit but missed it much to my disappointment. Still the early signs were there that the trout may well be on in this stretch of water. My next cast was directly upstream from where I was standing, on the retrieve I continued to give the road a light twitch every now and then, it wasn't all that long before I was onto my second trout. This one was a solid fish and played merry hell with me as it made several runs into the middle of the river where the flow was much faster, it took a while before I had it in close enough to slip the net under it. That trout was in top condition and a decent size (355gms) to go with it and much lighter in colour than the tannin water trout I've been catching. Ten minutes on and I was onto my third trout, this one was picked up using the cast & drift method after a long cast up and across the river, it was a smaller (310gms) fish than the previous one. With plenty of water ahead of me that I'm yet to fish things were looking good for a few more trout to be had, and there were more trout caught too.
It was eleven minutes later when the forth trout was hooked and landed, another one that was lured from the opposite side of the river. That trout was a beautiful 370 gram fish, nine minutes after it's release I was onto another trout, this like the last one was a nice solid (365gm) fish too, even better it was my one hundredth trout for the season. I didn't want to say anything before when I was filming my session that I only needed five trout to reach the ton for the season just in case it didn't happen today, even when I was on ninety nine I wasn't saying anything. A few casts later I had a hit and miss then a couple of minutes after that I caught the sixth trout of the day, a medium size brown that fought as hard as the other bigger fish did mainly because it was near the fast flowing headwater of this stretch of river. I was starting to get a little tired of pushing my way upstream and with one very fast water ahead of me to cross over if I wanted to fish on any further I decided it was time to call it a day here. I still had to cross that fast water to exit the river anyway, once I had crossed it I was totally buggered.
My day was done here, all I had now was a very long walk back to the car. With half a dozen trout caught and released here today was very satisfying, better still was reaching the 100th trout of the season. The #1 Aglia Fluo had done its job well today in catching every trout, the 4lb Platypus Super 100 mono line did a great job in the windy conditions & the Okuma Finesse ULS 1-3kg rod, Okuma Epixor 20 reel held there own as well. On the walk back to the car I thought I would leave the waders on and pop into Western Creek on the way home and see if I could pick up a trout or two there. It's a small creek that I love to fish and as tired as I was I couldn't drive past it without having a fish in it. It was close to 1:55pm when I got back to the car and headed off to Western Creek and after a fifteen minute drive followed by a short walk I was in the creek at 2:16pm.The very first cast straight up the creek I had a follow from a non aggressive medium size brown, the next cast was different as the spinner was taken (@ 2:18pm) by a small brown, a real tiddler of a fish.
I had several more casts with the Aglia Fluo and had a couple of follows from some nice browns, for some reason the trout here weren't aggressive at all. I tried a few different spinners as well as a couple of small hard body lures, plenty of follows but not one aggressive fish amongst them. It wasn't until 2:56pm after changing to a #0 StoneFly Bug spinner when I caught the second trout in the creek, this one was a much better fish (315gms) and in very good condition. I had a couple more follows after that without any strikes, it was back to the Aglia Fluo again. It was nearly 3:30 pm when I was about to call it a day then decided to have a few more casts before heading back to the car, it was on the third cast that another small trout was caught and landed. My day was done here, after a long day it was time to head back to the car. With nine trout caught and released all up for the day wasn't all that bad in the end. I thought I was probably around forty to sixty trout down for the same time last season, then once home and checking last season's sheets I'm only six short for the same time. Last season on the 29th October I had caught 110 trout in 20 trips, this season 104 trout caught in 22 trips. In saying that, from the 2nd November 2019 in five trips I caught and released 60 trout, I can't see that happening over the following week.
** Equipment used during my trout season: Okuma Celilo Finesse ULS 1-3kg trout rods, Okuma LRF Split Grip rod 1-3kg, Okuma Inspira ISX-20B, Okuma Helios HSX-20, Epixor EXPT-20 & Okuma Ceymar C-10 spinning reels, Mepps inline spinners, Platypus Super 100 UHT mono, Platypus Pretest premium grade mono, Platypus Stealth FC lead line & Boomerang Tool Products.
Adrian Webb (meppstas)
A resident of the creek
A solid brown that fell to the Aglia Fluo spinner
First trout caught here
Quality wils brown trout
The 100th trout of the season