During the trout off-season I tend to spend a bit of time chasing bream, to continue getting a fishing fix, and spend time tying flies and dreaming about the trout season to come. It’s a time to spend doing tackle maintenance, stocking up on lures and dreaming up new challenges and goals for the trout season ahead. When the new season comes around I usually spend the first few months targeting sea runners. Sea run trout are simply brown trout that spend much of there lives out to sea and come in to the estuaries for spawning and to feed on whitebait and the other small endemic fishes that spawn in late winter through spring. Mixed in with the silvery sea runners you can also expect to catch resident fish that have the typical dark colours of a normal brown trout as well as atlantic salmon in some of our estuaries that are located near salmon farm pens. Living in Hobart it is quick and easy to do a trip on the Huon or Derwent and is a more comfortable proposition compared to a trip up to the highlands with snow and freezing winds to contend with.Read more ...
Today's weather is not as good as I was hoping for as it was bright sunny conditions with a North Easterly wind blowing at 15 kph which will make for a tough time in the small tannin stream I'm heading to this morning. It's also a day to be on the lookout for snakes, perfect weather conditions for them to be out and about. I was a little slow of the mark in heading to the stream due to the long spin session I had yesterday the body was a little on the sore side this morning.
By the time I walked (1.5kms) and reached the stream it was 9:20 am, a little late given the conditions that were forecast. The stream had dropped in level as I had expected it to, any lower and I wouldn't have fished it. Today I started off using a gold #00 Aglia Mouche Noire just for something different to see if the trout would take it in the low, light tannin waters. This 1.5 kms of is very tight fishing as it's pretty narrow over the distance and the foliage isn't as thick, it's more open than other areas I've previously fished.
This trip today required a forty minute walk to where I started off the spin session in what was quite good conditions, apart from the lack of cloud it was a top morning to be chasing trout. It was 8:50am when I hit the river and started the session off with a well used #00 copper Aglia mainly because I was fishing in shade & the water was still reasonably dark in colour, if it doesn't catch a trout then I'll make a change. The water level had already dropped by a few inches since my last trip so I have to make the most of fishing these tannin waters while there's still some decent water flowing in them. Casting up and across the stream into the flat water near the river banks I had a few light hit and misses on the Aglia, I wasn't sure whether to stick with it or give it a bit longer. I did the latter and it wasn't all that long when I had my first hook up and trout in hand, a small/medium brown and a plump fish it was. I continued working the spinner from one side to the other in the stream as I slowly fished my way up it and had a couple more hook ups but lost both fish. I don't mind losing the odd trout every now and then but when I lose two in a row then it's time for a lure change, it was off with the Aglia and on with a #00 March Brown Bug spinner.
Wild windy weather is going to hit later today and it's going to hang around for the next few days so I thought I'd better get a spin session in before it arrives. When I arrived at 9:05am the first thing I noticed the water level had risen by around three inches which was great to see, yesterdays much needed rain did the job.
The rise in water level meant the trout should be in a aggressive mood with any luck. With the water being higher meant I could also use the anti-kink today and my spinner of choice was the Mepps #00 White Miller the same lure that caught thirteen of the fourteen trout a few days ago. The tannin coloured water was only marginally darker so everything was looking good for a spin session here today. By the time I had my wading gear on and hopped in the stream the wind had arrived, even though it was still sunny the air temperature wasn't all that warm.
Today is the day I'm going for my 10,000th Tasmanian wild trout since we moved here back in March 2000 & I'm going to catch it in one of my favorite tannin waters. Looking through a few of my past trout seasons records I found that these tannin waters fished extremely well at this time of the season so that's a good enough reason to head there. It proved correct yesterday when I fished a new tannin water, the trout were there and pretty aggressive and with cooler weather and recent rains they'll be on the take today.
After having around 5-6 mms of rain and with the morning being quite humid I thought a trip to tannin waters would be well worth it this morning. I was just about to leave when the rain arrived again so I had to sit around for an hour before heading off. This trip involved a long walk and plenty of bush bashing to reach a new tannin water, one I came across while looking around on Google Earth. With nineteen trout still needed to be caught for me to reach a milestone of 10,000 Tasmanian wild trout I thought the change to a new water may help bring it that much closer and maybe a little quicker.
More lousy weather forecast for the next few days I thought I would get a few hours of trout fishing in today seeing most of the day was going to be reasonably good before the change arrives later on. I was in two minds whether to head over to the Meander River at Meander or to the shorter trip to the Mersey River at Weegena, I chose to head to the Meander River. I was originally going to fish at Weegena then after checking the BOM site to see that the water level at Meander had dropped to a decent wading height helped me decide where to go.
With poor weather forecast over the next few days I thought I would get one more trip into the tannin water before the change arrives, at the moment the conditions were perfect for trout fishing. I wasn't sure how much lower the water level had dropped in the small stream until I arrived (11:45am) to find it was very low and it was going to be quite a challenge chasing the trout. In low water levels the trout are very alert and will dart off with the slightest bit on movement, even when using a lightweight 1.5 gram Mepps spinner is enough to send them heading for cover.
It's been a week since my last fishing session due to a trip to the hospital & today I was finally well enough to head off in the hunt for some wild brown trout. The weather was sitting on 17 degrees when I arrived at my destination, once in the water I knew that I would get a few trout seeing as the water temp was touching seven degrees. The water level was down by around three inches since my last visit but it still had enough depth and flow for a spin session. The Okuma Finesse ULS 6' 1-3kg trout rod couple with the Helios SX20 reel was already set up with the small Mepps #00 gold Aglia spinner and that's what I started the session with.
A light breeze and a forecast temperature had me heading off to fish another tannin water, it's one I had partly fished sometime ago but really would like to fish a lot more of it. Today was the day because that's the area I felt would fish well and give up a few wild brown trout. The water level was around the same as last time, running at a medium to low level and a good rich tannin colour with a water temp of four degrees. There's been some more snow falls in the highlands and we've also had some heavy frosts, that's why the water temperature had dropped two degrees since the last trip.
Beautiful warm (17 degrees) conditions saw me heading off for another spin session in a small stream this afternoon. This trip was one to a stretch of water I haven't fished since the 12th August so with the warmer temps I felt it was time to give it another go. The last trip this area only gave up two small browns, today I'm looking for a big improvement with the fishing. I had a twenty minute walk to where I started the spin session off and found the water was still running at a nice wading height. The water temp sitting on six degrees, a rise of three degrees which was good, three degrees doesn't sound a lot but it is when chasing trout.
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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 ...