Presented from Issue 94
Tasmania has some of beautiful rivers from small slow flowing waters to large rivers such as the Huon and Derwent.
In this article we are going to take it back to the basics and explain the different lures and techniques for catching trout in these waters.
Despite your level of experience our streams offer fabulous lure fishing. You need to expect that one minute you will be fishing deep pools and 20 metres further down the river you might only have half a metre of water. The lures you use need to take this into account.
I find the ideal way to fish most rivers is to wade upstream; this method in theory allows you stay behind the trout that are generally always facing upstream into the current.
As you proceed up the river you need to look for patches of still water and any cover that trout may be hiding in. For example over hanging branches or submerged logs. These often still parts of the river can hold multiple fish. Trout are never far from cover of some sort, so keep that in mind. Overhanging banks are a prime hidey hole.
Where river fishing will vary from lakes is that often you may not make a cast for 20 metre stretch of water, instead moving quietly through that stretch to reach a particular still piece of water. You will often need to make less casts but more accurate.
Lures I like
There are myriad of different lures that can be used so I will mention a few that have stood the test of time.
Celtas – These blade style lures have been around for many years and their fast moving action often pulls trout out for a look. They require a steady slow retrieve with out to much pausing and rod tip action.
Soft plastics – There are many brands but the most popular for Tasmanian streams are as follows.
Berkley – Most people know this iconic brand and their TTail minnows are certainly responsible for many trout. The 2.5” in Black n Gold and Pearl Olive seem to be the most consistent.
Yep – Only on the market for the last few years Tasmanian lure brand Yep has become one of the leading trout soft plastics in the state. Yep’s paddle tails in Red Rascal and Black and Gold would be my suggestions.
Rapala – Rapala lures have stood the test of time and their F3 Brown trout is one of my favorite bibbed lures on trout. It has a great action and great colour pattern. With the F standing for floating this little but deadly lure will allow you to fish around structure and let your lure float up slowly away from snags.
There are many lures on the market for this style of fishing and with the big influx of premium hard body lures from Japan and other countries we are spoilt for choice. If you do decide to splash out and buy an upmarket lure my suggestion would be a Nories Lay Down Minnow. A bit more costly but a great investment.
By now most of us have had the opportunity to have a look at braided lines. Some love it, some hate it. Either way it’s here to stay and for this sort of fishing I would recommend any braid around 5lb. Personally I like 5lb Power pro but most brands will be fine.
When using braid always use a leader and in crystal clear rivers I like to use a long leader of approximately 4lb and 2-3 metres in length. This may seem long but trust me it is worth it. Also make sure your leader is made of Fluorocarbon. I have been asked time and time again can I just use Mono leaders and of course you can but this is why I prefer fluorocarbon. One of the main advantages of fluorocarbon is its near invisibility when it is submerged under water. Fluorocarbon line is extremely close to the light refractive index of water so it is virtually invisible when submerged. This fact alone makes this line very useful in situations that have a clear water environment.
Rod and reel
As far as a rod and reel setup goes any lightweight outfit will do. There are some great budget priced outfits on the market today. When buying an outfit for this style of fishing try a graphite 6’ rod with a reel in the size ranges 1000 – 2000. A good price point to start at is around $100 and you will get a good serviceable outfit for that. You can pay less, but it is unwise to spend too little. Or you can go as high as $1500.
The best times of year are often at the start of the trout season in August and in the warmer summer months. August is often good as many of the trout have not seen a lure for quite some time as the season had been closed and are often harder to scare. The summer months offer some great fishing and for the main reason that this is when the trout feed heavily on insect due to all the hatches from the warm weather. How ever all though the trout may be feeding and moving often they can be hard to get on a lure as they focused on the surface taking insects. This is where fly fishing can be a better option. But more on fly fishing in another article.
Some popular rivers
Tyenna – The Tyenna river is situated approximately an hour north west of Hobart. This river was stocked in 1870 and ever since then has produced some great fishing.
The Tyenna runs into the Derwent and this huge waterway has many kilometres that can be fished from the shore.
Brumbys Creek – Brumbys Creek is situated 40 minutes south of Launceston near Cressy. Brumby’s had 3 weirs that were constructed to slow the water flow from Poatina power station.
South Esk - From the top to the bottom the South Esk is a great river for lure fishers.
Meander - Since the headwaters were dammed the Meander has a more regulated flow. It seems this has been a real bonus to the fishery and with good access through the ‘Angler Access’ program it is one of the best.
There are many other rivers but these are favourites.
In conclusion Tasmania’s rivers offer great fishing and are well worth a go. As mentioned above the ‘Angler Access’ program gives you a lot of options for fishing our rivers. Most tackle stores have these brochures that will help you get on the water. I hope you can give it a go over the next couple of month’s leading into summer. If you have any more questions please feel free to contact me on the number below.
Tom Crawford, Tackle Us, Kingston 62272400