Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
Bob is a professional fishing guide and guides for trout and estuary species. Check him out at www.fishwildtasmania.com
There are several things we look for in our early season trout waters. It is still winter and cold, so some of the things to consider are: Altitude as this dictates the water temperature and therefore feeding activity. Food for the fish. Availability of trout food is generally dictated by the quantity and quality of weed beds.
Quantity of fish.
Three waters which I believe fit all three requirements are:Read more ...
Seeing as we had a Angling Club fishing day at Huntsman Lake at Meander I thought I'd get a few hours of fishing the Meander River in before heading to the lake. I was still dark when I arrived & headed off through the paddocks on a 1.5 km walk to where I was starting the spin session in the river.
By the time I reached the river it was light enough to hop in and start fishing where I had a couple of follows from a solid brown at the tail end of a long slow flowing run. I tried several different lures but that fish just wasn't in an aggressive mood. The next stretch of river gave up nothing and it wasn't until I reached a nice narrow medium/fast flowing run when I had my first take. A small (280 gm) brown took the Mepps Aglia brown spinner from a cast & drift under the willows close to the river bank, I had my first trout of the morning.
Mild overcast morning saw me heading off to the Meander River for a spin session in a 1.5km stretch of river I haven't fished since before the 2016 June floods. When I last fished this area I averaged 15 plus trout each trip and most trout were all in the 450 gram range with many larger ones taken as well. I wasn't expecting much today, I just felt it was time to see if the trout are back in this stretch of river. The rest of the river is slowly coming back with trout but they're mainly all small fish this season with the odd few reasonable fish taken from time to time. I hit the river at 8:05 am and had my first trout on within the first three casts up and across the fast water.
Took another trip over to the Meander River again to day to see if there was to be any improvement in the trout fishing. The forecast was good with light winds & a temp of around 21 degrees, I was in the river by 7:00 am & the air was damn cold as was the water temp. It was also running at 70 cms which is on the high side for wading but still safe enough when you know the river. I started off with the lure that's been working the best in the rivers & that was the Mepps #1 Aglia Furia. I had a trout take it in the first five minutes and I thought I was in for a good day.
Well for the first time this season I was in the Meander River by 5:00 am this morning in what was a beautiful cool morning with plenty of water flowing down the river. The day was supposed to reach 27 degrees, that's the reason for the early start. I was hoping the trout fishing would be better early morning than the later starts I have had on this river. I do prefer the early morning starts on the rivers as it is the best time to be on the water, the trout fishing is usually at it's best then, especially in the Summer months. This river hasn't fished all that well this season and this is another reason I wanted to have the early start on it. There was only one thing I wasn't happy with and that was the water level, the river was running at 70 cms which is a little on the high side where I'm fishing.
Another overcast and windless morning saw me in the Meander River by 7:20 am when I started casting the Mepps Aglia Furia up & across the river. Using the cast & drift method it was on the second cast that I had a follow from a medium size brown. Even though it didn't take the s[inner it was a good sign seeing a trout so early into the spin session. The river height was running at 62 cms which was fine for where I was fishing at this stage, though I would have preferred it to have been five to ten centimetres lower.
It's been a week since my last spin session so today I thought I would give the Meander River another chance of giving up a few trout. The weather when I left was quite reasonable with N/NWesterly breeze at around 15 kph and there was quite a bit of cloud cover too which is how I like it. We had reasonable few showers of rain a few days ago so if the river doesn't give up any fish I new I could always fish Western Creek. I was at the river edge by 9:50 am and it was at the ideal wading height and running very clear, my lure of choice was the Aglia Furia.
As I entered the river I spooked a medium size brown which gave me some confidence there may finally be a few trout around today. It took me thirty five minutes before I had my first solid hit but the fish missed taking the spinner. I fished on upstream for at well over four hundred through some beautiful looking trout water without having a single follow. So far the spin session has been a real low for me with having just the one hit and miss over an hour in the river. I had made my mind up to fish two more stretches of river before heading back to the car going to Western Creek. I felt I had to try something different with the lures so I changed the larger #1 Furia for a small gold #00 Aglia spinner, one that I had placed a black fury sticker on the spinner blade. This is when the spin session turned around for the better, the following stretch of river gave up four medium size browns in nine casts.
I don't know what the odds are but just over two years ago I lost a small Atomic shad40 lure in the Meander River when for some reason the line parted & the lure kept going and lobbed in the middle of the medium flowing river. It was a slow sinking lure & I did go and have a look for it all to no avail, it had more than likely disappeared between the rocks on the river bottom. A week later I was back in the river and while fishing the same stretch of water and decided I'd have another look for the little ghost gill brown lure. I roughly stood in the same area from where I had cast the lure a week earlier and sort of had an idea of where the lure had landed. I then had a guess of where in may have drifted to as it slowly sank. Good thing was that the sun was out this time where as the day I lost it it was a dull overcast day. Any way I headed out to where I thought it may have drifted to.
After checking the BOM river heights I saw that the Meander River had dropped 50mms since my last disastrous trip there with just the one trout being caught. I thought with it being lower plus the air and water temp on the rise it was worth another visit. My only worry was the East/North/East winds that were forecast for most of the week, not a good wind direction for fishing. It's okay if it's just a very light breeze but once it picks up one may as well head for home. Today's weather conditions were ideal with it being a dull cool to mild overcast day & the lightest of an Easterly breeze. Being so overcast I didn't hit the river until around 10:00 am and commenced casting the Mepps Aglia Furia around in the clear cool flowing water. It was quite nice to finally be fishing the river at the perfect wading height for a change..
Seeing as the Meander River level had dropped to 62 cms on the BOM river levels chart I thought it was worth heading there to see if the trout are out and about. The previous two trips here when the river was running at 77 cms to 80 cms weren't all that flash with just one brown being caught on the first trip and four on the second. Today I'm fishing a different stretch of river, so I'm hoping for a few trout to be around seeing as the day is warm and the water temp should be around 10-11 degrees which is 6-7 degrees better to what it was.. No sooner had I arrived when the wind picked up and started blowing a gale, this wasn't forecast for later in the afternoon (3:00pm) not at 10:00 am.
With the Meander River level dropping to 73 cms in the Meander area I decided to head over there for a spin session. Even at 73 cms it's still a little on the high side and until it drops to 65 cms the water is still quite unsafe to wade in several areas along the river. Any way after arriving and then having a forty minute walk to the river I was finally in it flicking a little Mepps #00 gold aglia around in the river. The water temp here was sitting on six degrees which is still on the cold side for trout, hopefully things will turn around over the following weeks ahead. It only took ten minutes before I had a follow from a small brown before it made a dash at the spinner, it had one go at the gold aglia and missed taking it then darted off.
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