by Sarah Graham
Many anglers are preparing for the opening of the new angling season on Saturday 7 August and it's shaping up to be another good one with the fishery in excellent health as a result of last year’s drought breaking rains. There are many great fishing locations around the State from which to choose for the opening weekend and early season fishing but here are a few suggestions.
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.
After having a doctors appointment this morning I had a pretty late start on the Meander River in what was beautiful fishing conditions and the river level had dropped which made it even better. I received a few new Austackle lures that I picked up for half price from MO-Tackle last week and they arrived this morning so I'm itching to give them a workout. I was in the river by 11:10 am and started off using the ''Wolf '' 50 mm hard body lure which has a narrow body and is practically the same patten as the Daiwa ghost brown one that I use. It took me around fifteen minutes before I had my first follow from a medium size brown and that's as far as it went, just a follow.
Given it was a nice cool morning with a heavy overcast sky I headed off (at 7:25am) to the Meander River again this morning for another spin session. The river was still running clear and had good flow even though it was a little lower than my last trip here. This trip I'm trying a couple of new lures that I picked up from an online fishing tackle store that has quite a few lures on special at the moment. The ones I bought were the Pontoon 21 GagaGoon 45 mm suspending lures named MI perch and MI gold perch and they're only 3 grams in weight too much like the little ghost brown lures I use. So it will be interesting to see how these lures go on the trout... So I started working my way upstream and over the first one hundred meters of never I never sighted a fish.
Good thing was that I found the lures worked a little differently to the ghost brown lures and it took around ten minutes to get used to them. Then the following one hundred I had three light hits and misses from some non aggressive trout, they was the last fish I saw before I decided to get out and and try my favorite stretch of river a few kilometers further upstream. Once there it didn't take all that long before I had a couple of follows, even those trout had no aggression in them either. They just sat back behind the lure for a short distance before moving off. It didn't matter what I tried, slow retrieve, light twitch and even stopped the retrieve and still they wouldn't take the lure.
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.
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Recently Atlantic salmon seems to be a very hot topic amongst local anglers, especially those in the south of the state in the D'Entrecasteaux area. Northern anglers should take a close look at the Tamar as there are opportunities here as well.
The recent "great escape" has provided a perfect opportunity for fresh and saltwater anglers alike to experience some truly memorable sport. Tasmania's pristine, clean and cool waters are the perfect nursery for the Atlantic Salmon and as our local fish farms produce more and more fresh quality seafood it is a fact that there are going to be tangible consequences.