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 ...
The conditions weren't ideal for trout fishing today seeing the wind was gusting up to 30kph, the good thing was it was sunny so I decided to head off to have another go at catching trout in tannin waters. I knew once I was in the water I would have some shelter from the wind, though there would be times when I won't as well.
The water level was much lower than my last trip back August, it still had a reasonable flow and was a nice light tannin colour, plus the water temp was seven degrees, much better than the two/three degrees that it's been. I started off using a small #00 Aglia gold, and yes it was a well used spinner which I prefer to use as often as possible.
I hate breaking in new lures for some reason, even though I know they'll do the same job, I just like the old used ones. Seeing as this tannin water has only given up one trout for the season I wasn't feeling all that confident of catching all that many trout this trip.
Trip one: Sunday 30th August
Poor weather forecast again today and with the larger rivers still running high it was back to the small tannin streams for the next two days. The first trip was to my favourite one on private property, a small tannin water that really fished well last season, but for some reason it's been on the quiet side to date. The other small stream is also on private property and closer to home, this one has only given up the odd trout from time to time. It was 9:45 am by the time I hit the water in what was reasonable weather conditions given the forecast. Looking to the South West I could see there was a build up of dark clouds slowly moving my way so I had to get a move on as quick as I could. The water level was down to what it was a week ago, the flow was still good and the water was a light tannin colour. I started the session off with a small well used #00 gold Aglia Mouche Noire spinner, it's an oldie and a goody, it's also caught quite a lot of trout in it's time of use.
While the weather is still cold & damp I'm not fishing all that far from home at the moment, plus the larger rivers I would like to have a fish in are running too high for my liking. There are several areas on them where I could fish from the river banks, but for now I'll settle for fishing the smaller streams & creeks. This spin session was done in two different stretches of water on private property where permission to gain access is a must. The weather wasn't looking all that flash when I headed off, looking towards the mountains it was pretty dull with dark, heavy clouds moving in. By the time I arrived at my destination it had started raining, only lightly though, which was okay as I had a lightweight rain jacket in the car. After putting on the waders and wading boots as well as the waterproof jacket I decided not to wear the fishing vest.
Like the previous season I had a late start to this trout season which is mainly due to the body not being quite right for river/stream fishing. Towards the end of last season I was struggling more than ever with hip and lower back problems, that's the reason for only having 63 river trips over the nine month season. My average since moving to Tasmania in March 2000 is 85 trips per season. During the off season I had x-rays & scans that showed I require having hip replacements & lower back discs (3 of them) removed, hence the late start to this season. Anyway, a few days ago I hit a small stream one day and a large river the next day for a trial run to see how the body would stand up to a sixty minute spin session in them. I pulled reasonably well, it was good to get some practice in to hone up the casting skills, nice to be back in the water even though the water temperature was around the three to four degree mark.
This report covers two consecutive days fishing tannin waters after some decent rains that got the streams up and running to a good fishing height again.
After five days of not being able to fish due to windy and wet conditions today I headed back to the same little tannin stream in the hope the trout may be out and about seeing as the river is running a little higher than my last visit. The weather today wasn't all that bad either, plenty of cloud cover with patches of sunlight every now and then, the cool air temperature ( 9 degrees ) was also bearable for a change. It was a late morning start as well, just on 11:10 am when I finally hit the water after a nice long walk to get there. Seeing as the little well used gold #00 Aglia did the job a few days ago I stayed with it to start off the spin session. With the water level running a little higher and faster I did think about going for the larger #0 gold Black fury but decided to wait and see how the little gold Aglia performed first.
With most of the larger rivers running high & fast I thought it best to head over and hit the small streams again as they're much safer to fish, even though there's plenty of water in them they are still okay to hop into and chase trout.
The weather was damp with light drizzle showing up every few minutes and a very cool air temperature of just eight degrees. I arrived at the area I was about to fish when a couple of young boys (7&10) who were helping their parents repairing a paddock fence wandered over for a chat and wanted to know how to catch trout.
I spent around thirty minutes giving them all the info they could take in, before heading off through the bush I gave them a couple of Mepps booklets plus several Mepps spinners to get them started. It was 2:40 pm by the time I hit the water and started flicking a #0 Aglia Fluo rainbow spinner into the cold dark tannin water.
Headed off for another afternoon spin session in a tannin stream, hit the water just on 1:45 pm in what was reasonably good conditions. The water level had dropped by a few inches since yesterdays trip so I'm hoping there will be a few more trout out and about today. When I left home it was nice and overcast, by the time I hopped in the water the clouds had parted and the sun was out, good thing was there was plenty of insect life hovering above the water. The first thing I noticed was a small trout jumping in the pool I had just entered which was a good sign. After several casts around this knee deep tannin water with the copper Aglia I finally had a hit from a small trout and that's as far as it went so I moved on to the next narrow stretch of water.
After some decent rain a few days ago I felt a trip back to the tannin waters may be the go, with plenty of water in them there should be a few hungry trout around. This trip was to a stretch of water I haven't fished since the 8th March which is exactly a month ago, on that trip I caught and released nine trout. If I can catch that amount again on this trip I'll be pretty stoked seeing as this tannin stream has slowed down with the trout on my previous trips. Seeing as it's been a month since I've actually fished this stretch of water it will be interesting to see how it fishes this afternoon.
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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.
Mike Fry doesn’t only live on the Wild Side of Tasmania, but also goes fishing in probably the wildest boat ever to troll for trout—certainly in Tasmania.
When your mate says ‘What are you doing tomorrow, want to come up the Gordon for the night?’ it would be pretty hard to say anything else except “you bet” and start checking out your tackle box and packing your overnight bag. But if your mate was Troy Grining and he wanted to give his new 52ft, high speed cruiser a run across Macquarie Harbour, test the new onboard dory with a chance of landing a nice Gordon River Brown you would have to feel privileged. I didn’t say anything about getting on my hands and knees and kissing his feet…just having a lend of ya’ but I did feel very appreciative.