Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
Christopher Bassano fishes over 250 days a year. This interview was recorded just before he headed off to fish for Australia in the World Fly Fishing Championships in Norway 14-17 August 2013.
I live on a small stream and at the start of the season I like to go off on a bit of a discovery mission and fish the headwaters of the creeks and rivers I feel an affinity with.
These small rivers include the St Pats, Meander, Forester, Little Forester and others. The further up you go on these rivers the clearer and lower the levels. They are often less affected by the rain and runoff and you get some good opportunities. Get as close to the source as you can and you will find some good dry fly fishing. Don’t limit yourself to those I have mentioned. Most headwaters will hold trout.Read more ...
I headed back to the Meander River again this morning to fish a stretch of river I haven't fished for quite some time mainly because it's pretty tough on the body. Seeing as the fishing has been reasonably good over the past few trips to this river I thought this area is probably worth putting up with a bit of pain. The weather was ideal again with hardly any breeze and a cloud scattered sky, couldn't have asked for better conditions.
I was in the river by 8:00 am and started off from the shallow LHS of the river and cast the little ghost brown up and across the river with a slow to medium retrieve. It didn't take very long before I had my first strike, one that I missed. A little further up I had a small brown take the lure, it was gone as quick as it took the lure. The only good thing about not catching both of those fish was that at least the trout are here, it's only a matter of time before I'd have one in the net. Well, it wasn't all that long (8:40 am) when I picked up my first brown a little further up the river, this solid fish was taken from under overhanging foliage in the shallows on the LHS of the river.
With the weather still being fine I headed back to the Meander River this morning for another spin session. I was much later starting off today after having a doctors appointment & didn't hit the river until 10:45 am. Good thing was the area I fished still had plenty of shade along it for quite some distance. The river level was down by around five inches but still had good flow and running clear and cool. It wasn't all that long when I had a brown have a go at the hard body lure but it missed getting hooked. It was very similar to a trip to the river a couple of days ago when the trout weren't really all that aggressive in the slow/medium runs.
Presented from Issue 113, December 2014
The Meander River is another one of the many rivers in the north of Tasmania that until a few years ago was a free flowing natural river.
This beautiful waterway that starts its journey from the Central Plateau area of the Great Western Tiers and into the new Huntsman Dam above the small township of Meander.
With its flow now regulated it continues on down through Meander, from here it travels on down through Deloraine and on for another thirty five kilometers to Hadspen where it enters the South Esk River.
Well, BM (Tim) & his partner Joanne arrived safely on Tuesday morning after sailing over on the Spirit of Tasmania, they called in around 12.30 PM that afternoon. We were organising where to go the following morning and I suggested the Meander River would be best suited for the two of them. With Joanne having her first real spin session in a river I knew a stretch of river that wouldn't be too difficult wading for the first time.
The next morning was very calm and also pretty foggy, the conditions were perfect for river fishing once again. The rivers was at least four inches higher than my last trip here which wasn't going to be a problem any way.
Still needing two more trout to reach the 500 mark which I want to do before the end of February and given there is rain on the way today I hit the Meander River at 7:30 am in the hope of getting the two fish required before the weather arrives later on. I'm going fish a two kilometre stretch that has a mix of medium & fast flowing water, it a nice peaceful area to fish too and it does hold some nice browns. This trip I'll only be using hard body lures too because I feel they'll do the job for me today, if they don't then it's on with the Mepps spinners.
Woke up to see the sky heavy with cloud cover so I headed off to the Meander River for a spin session in the fast water stretches. The river was up by some four inches which was good to see as it meant there could be some trout for the taking so to speak as I catch and release mine any way. I'm fishing a 1.5km stretch of river that can make or break most trout fishers but I've fished it plenty of time so I know where the easiest areas are. It's still tough and with the water being up it will be even tougher going & there's no room for mistakes, once you slip and fall in then you're going for a bumpy ride downstream. I've been lucky in all my years of river fishing I'm yet to fall in a fast water run and I don't intend too on this trip either.
Another warm day was forecast so I had an early start this morning and was in the Meander River just as the sun was on the rise at 6:10 am. I'm fishing a stretch of river that hasn't fished all that well lately, today I'm hoping it will all turn around for the better. The weather conditions were perfect as it was quite overcast and very muggy, but the small flies were an absolute pain in the butt.
No amount of swearing and cursing them sent them on their way either, each cast into the clear cool water still had them crawling over my face. I started the session off with a small gold Aglia spinner to see if it may do the job early in picking up a trout for me. It did attract several browns but no takers, they just followed it. After fifteen minutes I changed to the ghost brown lure, same result follow after follow. I then tried a F3 rainbow Rapala and that didn't even draw the attention of a trout at all and after ten minutes it was time for another change. This time I went for the Mepps black Aglia Mouche Noire spinner and managed to have three light hit and misses, still the trout weren't aggressive.. A light breeze had popped up and those small flies had finally disappeared which was a relief, now all I needed was for the trout to come on the take.
A hot day was forecast with light NE winds early then gusting later in the day so I had an early start on the Meander this morning. I was in the river flicking a gold Aglia spinner around by 6:15 am in what was beautiful cool conditions with some cloud cover. The river had good flow and was running very clear, now all I needed was for the trout to be in an aggressive mood. It wasn't all that long before the little gold spinner drew the attention of a couple of browns, but they were only interested in it for a short distance before moving off. I replaced the spinner with the small ghost brown hard body seeing as that's got them going several times here before. Well it wasn't any better than the gold spinner, I had follow after follow from some nice browns and that was it. Another change of lure, the rainbow Rapala was the choice this time. I had a repeat of what has been going on so far this morning with the lures, more follows but no takers. I have now been in the river for forty five minutes and all I've had is a dozen follows from a lot of non aggressive browns.
With cloud moving in making conditions quite humid I decided to head on over to the Meander River for an afternoon session. The river was running some 4-6 inches higher than my last trip here which was back on Tuesday 28th November and it was little discoloured too. By the time I had walked 1.5 kms to the river it was 3:30 PM when I had my first cast with the little #00 gold Aglia into a long wide medium stretch of river. There was a reasonably strong North Easterly breeze blowing from behind me so I was getting good distance with the light weight spinner, I was reaching the opposite side of the river with ease. I used the cast and drift method and had my first take within three minutes, it was a nice solid 460 gram brown. After it making several runs and leaps I slowly led it into the net, once in it out popped the spinner.
Well I did manage to hit the Meander River just on 6:40am this morning in what was beautiful calm cool conditions. The river was running at a nice height with very clear water, there were a few insects out and about as well as the odd trout on the rise. I started off with a gold Aglia and picked up a solid 450 gram brown in the first ten minutes of fast water fishing. The flowing stretch of water was a wide deep slow piece of river so I just worked the spinner down the shallow left hand side of it where I had a solid hit but missed it. It was all quiet over the next couple of stretches of river until I reached the top end of the second run after changing over to the small ghost brown hard body lure.
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Presented from Issue 100
Considering the world class quality of our sea trout fishery, these fish are not sought after by enough anglers. Sea runners live in the salt water and run up our estuaries and rivers from the start of August to the middle of November. At this time of the year, they are here to eat the many species of fish that are either running up the rivers to spawn or are living in and around the estuary systems. Trout, both sea run and resident (Slob Trout) feed heavily on these small fish which darken in colouration as they move further into fresh water reaches.
The majority of these predatory fish are brown trout with rainbows making up a very small percentage of the catch. They can be found all around the state but it would be fair to say that the east coast is the least prolific of all the areas. They still run up such rivers as the Georges (and many others) but their numbers along with the quality of the fishing elsewhere make it difficult to recommend the area above the larger northern, southern and western rivers.Read more ...