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Sea run trout tactics – Craig Vertigan

Sea run trout tactics – Craig Vertigan

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.

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2017 12 13 Solid little brownI was originally going to head to the upper Mersey River at Liena at 4:30 am this morning when I woke up but after laying there for a while I decided not to. As much as I wanted to get up I just couldn't be bothered because of a couple of sleepless nights. As the day went on and there was some good cloud cover around I then decided to head up there around 2:10 PM.

I arrived at Liena just on 2:45 and soon had the wading gear on and headed off on my 1.5 km walk to where I'll start my spin session. Once there I was soon in the river flicking the little gold Aglia around and it wasn't all that long after having two hit and misses before I had my first brown in hand. It was only a little one but it was still a fish and that's all that mattered.

The weather here was quite humid and I was still hot from my walk so I moved into a deeper run to help cool my body temp down a little. As I worked my way upstream I picked up two more small browns from five hook ups which wasn't all that bad. Once I was out of the fast water I changed over to the small ghost brown hard body to fish the next long slow to medium stretch of river. It took around five minutes before I had a medium size brown take the lure and after a short tussle this fish was soon in the net.

After that it was pretty slow going with just a hit and miss over some sixty meters of river until I reached the head water. This head water is the same one that gave up quite a few trout back on the 2nd December when I fished here. It did it again today as I caught and released three small rainbows and two medium size browns as well as hooking and losing two others. I was now back into the fast water so this time I went for the black bladed Aglia mainly because the sun had broken through the clouds and was full on the clear water. It was the second short fast water where I did a cast and drift with the spinner and picked up another plump 380 gram brown.

The next run was a nice one at the tail end of a wide stretch of the Mersey that flowed into it over a mass of boulders, it was here I picked up a solid 390 gram rainbow as well as hooking and losing another small brown. From here on it was a mix of shallow fast water runs and a few medium flowing stretches of river. I fished these waters with the gold Aglia given that the cloud cover had moved back again. I finished up catching and releasing another six small to medium size browns before calling it a day at 6:20 PM. The fishing did turn out to be much better than I had expected really, just a shame the trout were not as large as my last trip here. Still, with thirteen browns & four rainbows caught and released as well as hooking and losing several others I shouldn't complain.

Adrian Webb

 End of the trip

2017 12 13 End of the trip


Fast water Mersey River

2017 12 13 Fast water Mersey River


Ghost brown hard body lure

2017 12 13 Ghost brown hard body lure


Mersey River brown

2017 12 13 Mersey River brown


Nice Mersey Brown

2017 12 13 Nice Mersey Brown


Rainbow trout taken on gold Aglia Mersey River

2017 12 13 Rainbow trout taken on gold Aglia Mersey River


Solid little brown

2017 12 13 Solid little brown

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