Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
We did a bit of a runaround Tasmania’s tackle stores to see what their tips for the first month or so of the tackle season were. We asked what the top three places to fish were, plus lures, flies, baits and a few other things.
Here is a rundown on their answers Whenever, and wherever you fish - anywhere, or for any fish in the world - ask the locals and especially ask at the local tackle store. They know what was caught today, yesterday and on what.
I said I would write about fly lines. I think it is Simon Gawesworth from RIO fly lines coloured string - and if you ever get the chance to listen to him, please do it. He is passionate about fly lines and helps explain them simply.
Realistically though fly lines are a hugely complex, so I will just give my very brief overview on floating trout lines.
Most fly lines sold are floating weight forward lines. There are a few double taper, spey, switch and sinking lines sold, but mostly they are floating WF. Lines are generally 90 feet, with a couple of lines used for tournament casters at 120 feet.
|Free living Caddis larva
The Peeping Stick Caddis
Presented from Issue 117, August 2015
Caddis larva are very high on trouts’ diet. They come in two forms, those that build portable homes (Stick Caddis) and free living. All caddis larva have a hardened section near and including the head, whilst the bodies are soft and range in colour from off white through to a dirty yellow and green in a variety of shades. They also have claws to cling onto the inside of their portable case. Caddis can be found in water from fast flowing streams to marshlands and lakes. Case building caddis use leaves, sticks, reeds or spun silk as a home. These are generally found in slow moving or still waters: others use sand or very small stones and these are normally found in streams.
Presented from Issue 116, June 2015
Winter is a great time for tackle tinkering… Reel maintenance, fly tying, replacing the rusty trebles on lures, or even pimping up your soft plastics for the coming season! As Starlo explains, customising the colours of your plastics isn’t hard. It’s also great fun, and can be highly effective!
In this occasional series of features, I want to look at the fascinating subject of customising soft plastic lures. In my opinion, this is an avenue of tackle tinkering that far too few anglers explore. Most buy their supplies of soft plastics from the tackle store and seem to assume that these versatile lures must be used in exactly the form they were packaged in by the manufacturer. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth!
Perhaps this notion that the maker knows best and that anglers shouldn’t “fiddle” with their products is a carry over from the world of hard-bodied luring. Beyond perhaps upgrading or replacing hooks and rings, very few anglers actively modify hard-bodied lures made from metal, plastic or timber. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. For example, some switched-on trout chasers have been adding bright, pea-sized red spots with lighter-coloured halos to their minnows, plugs and spoons for years, especially when fishing the pre-spawn and post-spawn runs of trout in autumn and spring. I first helped to popularize this custom colouration more than three decades ago, and gave it the name “spotted dog” in my writings. That label has stuck, and has even been picked up by some commercial lure makers. But I certainly can’t claim to have “invented” the actual spotted dog pattern. In fact, it was first shown to me by a very canny Finnish trout fisher named Erkki Norell in the early 1980s, and it had been used in his home country (with great success) for at least a generation or two prior to him telling me about it. There is very little under the sun that is truly “new”!
Presented from Issue 115, April 2015
While the action on the saltwater has been okay, the Tasmanian trout season has been far from great. Over the summer, I have fished many of the highland lakes, using both dry fly and micro-sized plastics. Although some of my trips have been productive, there have been many trips where I have put in long hours and plenty of effort, for only a few fish. It is with particular sadness, that Arthurs Lake - my favourite place to fish, has also let me down on a number of occasions. As with any fishing trip, I always endeavour to find a ‘silver lining’, and for me it has been that the few fish I have caught were noticeably larger, and in better condition, than the ones I caught the previous year.
Presented from Issue 115, April 2015
Lots of anglers seem to be deeply challenged when it comes to selecting that first soft plastic to tie on at a new location, or even to start a new day’s fishing at a well-known spot. In this feature I want to share with you some basic rules of thumb that will greatly ease the burden of this important decision making process:
Over the course of a year, I get to talk to a lot of soft plastics fishers from around the country. Some I meet at seminars and shows. Others I chat with via the various pages on Facebook that I run or help to administer (especially the StarloFishing and Squidgy Soft Plastics pages), or through my blogs on www.starlofishing.com Still others send their letters or emails to me via the various magazines I write for. However, no matter what the source of the enquiry, one question (or variations of it) dominates the calls for advice that I receive. Typically, that query begins with the words: “What’s the best soft plastic to use for…?”
Presented from Issue 114, February 2015
Crafting something with your own hands can be incredibly fulfilling. I have a trade background as a fitter, machinist and toolmaker and have made many things from metal, timber and other things over many years.
Some time ago I thought I would build a small drift boat and searched the internet for some plans. There are hundreds of plans online from free to a few hundred dollars. Like most things in life it is wise to spend enough to get what you need.
Drift boats are most common in the USA and used there mostly for floating downstream on rivers. The design is characterized by a wide, flat bottom, flared sides, a narrow, flat bow, and a pointed stern. A rocker is designed into the bottom along an arc from bow to stern of the boat. They are sort of back to front and can be rowed either way depending on the situation and speed of water. Drift boats have a very shallow draft and are very easily manoeuvred, spun around and held in fast water.
Drift boats have become more popular in recent times in Tasmania and we have many waters for which this style of boat is ideal. At least a three guides now use them and a few locals have either built or imported different styles.
Many pictures are at the end of the article.
Please click here or on the image for a full size form
Presented from Issue 111, August 2014
By the end of the brown trout season I’m usually ready for a change, try to catch a tuna, stock up on some flathead or garfish. But by the first weekend in August I am refreshed and ready to go again. Early season is a great time of year in Tasmanian lakes, high water levels with cruising browns in shallow water, wet fly polaroiding, fishing with sinking lines to get to weed beds where the fish are holding and feeding, all great ways to catch an early season fish.
We all have our favourite flies and some great early season patterns. These are a few I like to fish early in the season.
Presented from Issue 111, August 2014
Anti-kinks are a unique piece of inexpensive tackle. They can be very useful used correctly. By definition they are design to stop your line twisting and developing ‘kinks’ which are the result of line twist.
As a rule I tend to go by the KISS principal. Keep It Simple Stupid. That is to have as little clutter as possible on my line at all times. Line tied directly to the lure or snap and that’s it. But there are times when it is necessary to use an anti-kink.
There are several different types, mostly plastic for want of a better word, although there are weighted lead, aluminium and brass version floating around but these tend to be older styles. All are designed to act as a keel and track straight through the water. All are shaped like a semi-circle or half-moon probably the best description.
Presented from Issue 111, August 2014
If you’re anything like me, your tackle box is overflowing with various trout lures that you have hardly used. I insist on keeping them however, just in case ‘the right time’ happens. However, realistically it is pretty much the same six lures that get tied on every trout season, simply because I have the most confidence in them. This confidence has come from years of these lures constantly producing good results; it is not easy for a lure to make the cut at being one of the six. There are so many good trout lures on the market today, lures that grab your eye as soon as you walk along the lure wall, however these six lures don’t just catch fisherman, they catch trout.
Click above for current issue content. The current issue of TFBN is extensive and topical. In Tackle Stores, Newsagents and by subscription.
Delivered to your door for $48 for 2 years (8 issues). To subscribe, send Mike $48 via www.paypal.com.au . (Basic instructions are here) The email is at Contact Us. Your address will be included from PayPal.
Or phone Mike with your c/c handy on 041812994
Please ensure your details are correct, for Mike to organise delivery.
Here is a list of all of the Article Categories. The number in Brackets, eg (13) is the number of articles. Click on Derwent River and all articles relating to the Derwent will be displayed in the central area.
Hello everyone, I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself.
My name is Stephen Smith and I have been managing the website tasfish.com since May 2009.
It has been an epic journey of learning and discovery and I am indebted to Mike Stevens for his help, support and patience.
I am developing a new venture Rubicon Web and Technology Training ( www.rwtt.com.au ). The focus is two part, to develop websites for individuals and small business and to train people to effectively use technology in their everyday lives.
Please contact me via www.rwtt.com.au/contact-me/ for further information - Stephen Smith.
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 ...