From the Archives ...

"Angling is an art - Hannah Ledger

and an art worth your learning.."

Presented from Issue 112, October 2014
So said Izaak Walton in the 1600s. It seems that Burnie’s Hannah Ledger has combined angling with art rather well. Hannah is a fish fanatic, outdoor enthusiast and budding, self-taught artist. From as young as she can remember, she has always had crayon in hand, colouring book under arm and as she’s grown as a painter, jars full of paintbrushes and cupboards full of ready-to-go blank canvas’.

A country girl at heart, Hannah was schooled at Yolla District High School, a small ‘farm’ school in the states North West, then went on to Hellyer College where she was given the opportunity to really grow her art skills; And by grow, that meant skipping the classes that would probably have more an impact of getting her somewhere in life, like English and Math to spend every spare minute with the art teacher, painting or drawing.

As typical teenagers do, they make poor decisions- and after being accepted in to one of the countries top art schools, turned down the offer and decided to move to the big island, where she lived for 5 years working in what seemed ‘dead end’ retail.

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2017 11 08 Close up of Mersey River rainbow troutWarm weather forecast with a cool morning saw me having an early start in the Mersey River this morning in what was beautiful conditions. I was in the river by 6:45 am and picked up a nice 530 gram rainbow with the Mepps gold Aglia in the first small fast water I fished. The next run of water I'm moving into was a long wide run that's close to one and a half kilometers in length and has a few small fast water runs in it too.. It was here I changed over to the ghost brown hard body lure to fish this clear water. As I approached this stretch of river I could see several trout surface feeding so I thought I may be in for a tough session if the trout are concentrating on surface feeding.

I checked the water surface to find it had hundreds if little midges floating on it and that's what they were sipping down. It took some twenty minutes of working my way upstream before I finally had a take on the hard body lure, a nice 420 gram brown that made several hard runs before I had it in the net. Ten minutes on and a cast from the river bank to a deeper shaded area on the opposite side of the river saw a large brown smash the little lure as soon as it hit the water. This was a very nice brown that made several runs before I had it in the net. That brown went 1.25 kgs and was in excellent condition, so two of my best trout for the season have been taken in this stretch of river.

A little further up and I had another solid brown take the lure in quick time, that fish went 600 grams and it was also in top condition. Here I was thinking I was going to be in for a tough time in catching a few trout today because of so many of them surface feeding. So far it's been going along reasonably well for me. The fish were coming in on a regular basis now as I worked my way upstream and there were still plenty of them surface feeding at the same time. I had now picked up another four browns and one solid rainbow since catching the 600 gram brown. A couple of the browns where surface feeders too, what I did was to cast the little lure ahead of them a slowly retrieve it back towards them and they took it. I was now at the top end of this very long stretch of river and heading into some fast water runs, it was here the fishing really picked up.

At one stage I had caught and released six rainbows in ten casts before I picked up three more browns in ten minutes plus hooking and losing three others. The trout had really come on the attack in this fast water stretch. I had two more small runs to fish before I was going to finish off the session, those two runs also fished well and I managed to catch and release two more browns and two rainbows making a great finish to the morning. It was just on 11:30 am when I hopped out of the river and headed back to the car feeling quite happy how the session went with 12 browns & 10 rainbows being caught and released. This was one of my best days on any of the rivers I have fished so far this season and the trout like all the others I've caught this season were all in top condition. Today's catch of 22 trout has taken my seasons tally to 216 for the season so far which I'm reasonably happy with at this stage.

Adrian Webb (meppstas)

Mersey River

2017 11 08 Mersey River.2


Mersey River

2017 11 08 Mersey River 1


Mersey River rainbow trout

2017 11 08 Mersey River rainbow trout


Mersey River brown trout

2017 11 08 Mersey River brown trout


Close up of Mersey River rainbow trout

2017 11 08 Close up of Mersey River rainbow trout


Another nice Mersey River rainbow

2017 11 08 Another nice Mersey River rainbow


1.25 kg Mersey River brown trout

2017 11 08 1 25 kg Mersey River brown trout

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