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Sea-run trout fishing this year got off to a cracking start in most areas, with the majority of anglers employing nearly every trout fishing technique to secure fish in local estuaries statewide.
Even those anglers fishing the "off-season" lower down in our estuaries for sea-trout commented on the number of fish moving in early August.
Seeing as the Meander River level had dropped to 62 cms on the BOM river levels chart I thought it was worth heading there to see if the trout are out and about. The previous two trips here when the river was running at 77 cms to 80 cms weren't all that flash with just one brown being caught on the first trip and four on the second. Today I'm fishing a different stretch of river, so I'm hoping for a few trout to be around seeing as the day is warm and the water temp should be around 10-11 degrees which is 6-7 degrees better to what it was.. No sooner had I arrived when the wind picked up and started blowing a gale, this wasn't forecast for later in the afternoon (3:00pm) not at 10:00 am.
With the Meander River level dropping to 73 cms in the Meander area I decided to head over there for a spin session. Even at 73 cms it's still a little on the high side and until it drops to 65 cms the water is still quite unsafe to wade in several areas along the river. Any way after arriving and then having a forty minute walk to the river I was finally in it flicking a little Mepps #00 gold aglia around in the river. The water temp here was sitting on six degrees which is still on the cold side for trout, hopefully things will turn around over the following weeks ahead. It only took ten minutes before I had a follow from a small brown before it made a dash at the spinner, it had one go at the gold aglia and missed taking it then darted off.
Another beautiful day was forecast so I headed over to the Meander River again today for a spin session in the hope of catching a few more trout. I forgot to check the river level on the BOM site before I left and after a drive through heavy fog I finally arrived at the Meander only to find it was running at the same height as my last trip here. Right away I knew I was in for a tough few hours in the river with so much water coming down. I decided to drive to another area that meant for a long walk to the river, but I didn't have to cross it, I could fish it from the side that I entered the river. There are a couple of deep stretches of water that I can bypass quite easily, the rest of it is mainly fast water with a few medium runs thrown in the mix... After a forty minute walk I reached my entry point and started casting the Rapala brown trout lure around without all that much success over the first couple of hundred meters.
Another beautiful day had me heading over to the Meander River for a spin session, one that didn't last all that long. Why it didn't last all that long was when I arrived there I found the water level was pretty high and the area I was to fish wasn't looking all that safe for wading. Seeing how well I know the river here I still thought it may be worth having a go to see if I could still catch a trout or two. The hardest part was crossing the above waist deep water, a couple of times I thought of turning back but knowing it was only going to get shallower I kept going.. Where I crossed wasn't really fast water but it was deep and had quite a bit of force in the flow and that was my main concern at the time... Once I had reached the other side and using a brown trout F3 Rapala I slowly fished my way upstream.
Met up with good friend Clint for a spin session on the Meander River this morning and I'm hoping to catch the three trout required to reach the 600th trout, a target that I set myself at the start of the 2017/18 trout season. With nice warm weather conditions and the river running some five inches higher than my previous trip to the river we decided to fish from well below the Chestnut Road bridge and work our way back upstream to it. Once there I started off with the bloody tiger prawn coloured Greedy Guts lure and Clint also had a lure of a similar colour with his set up. I told Clint to have a few casts into a large flat water at the tail end of the stretch of river we were starting from, it's always given up a trout or two on my previous trips here. I think it was on his second or third cast when he was onto a nice solid brown that gave him a good start to the spin session.
After having a doctors appointment this morning I had a pretty late start on the Meander River in what was beautiful fishing conditions and the river level had dropped which made it even better. I received a few new Austackle lures that I picked up for half price from MO-Tackle last week and they arrived this morning so I'm itching to give them a workout. I was in the river by 11:10 am and started off using the ''Wolf '' 50 mm hard body lure which has a narrow body and is practically the same patten as the Daiwa ghost brown one that I use. It took me around fifteen minutes before I had my first follow from a medium size brown and that's as far as it went, just a follow.
Given it was a nice cool morning with a heavy overcast sky I headed off (at 7:25am) to the Meander River again this morning for another spin session. The river was still running clear and had good flow even though it was a little lower than my last trip here. This trip I'm trying a couple of new lures that I picked up from an online fishing tackle store that has quite a few lures on special at the moment. The ones I bought were the Pontoon 21 GagaGoon 45 mm suspending lures named MI perch and MI gold perch and they're only 3 grams in weight too much like the little ghost brown lures I use. So it will be interesting to see how these lures go on the trout... So I started working my way upstream and over the first one hundred meters of never I never sighted a fish.
Good thing was that I found the lures worked a little differently to the ghost brown lures and it took around ten minutes to get used to them. Then the following one hundred I had three light hits and misses from some non aggressive trout, they was the last fish I saw before I decided to get out and and try my favorite stretch of river a few kilometers further upstream. Once there it didn't take all that long before I had a couple of follows, even those trout had no aggression in them either. They just sat back behind the lure for a short distance before moving off. It didn't matter what I tried, slow retrieve, light twitch and even stopped the retrieve and still they wouldn't take the lure.
I headed back to the Meander River again this morning to fish a stretch of river I haven't fished for quite some time mainly because it's pretty tough on the body. Seeing as the fishing has been reasonably good over the past few trips to this river I thought this area is probably worth putting up with a bit of pain. The weather was ideal again with hardly any breeze and a cloud scattered sky, couldn't have asked for better conditions.
I was in the river by 8:00 am and started off from the shallow LHS of the river and cast the little ghost brown up and across the river with a slow to medium retrieve. It didn't take very long before I had my first strike, one that I missed. A little further up I had a small brown take the lure, it was gone as quick as it took the lure. The only good thing about not catching both of those fish was that at least the trout are here, it's only a matter of time before I'd have one in the net. Well, it wasn't all that long (8:40 am) when I picked up my first brown a little further up the river, this solid fish was taken from under overhanging foliage in the shallows on the LHS of the river.
With the weather still being fine I headed back to the Meander River this morning for another spin session. I was much later starting off today after having a doctors appointment & didn't hit the river until 10:45 am. Good thing was the area I fished still had plenty of shade along it for quite some distance. The river level was down by around five inches but still had good flow and running clear and cool. It wasn't all that long when I had a brown have a go at the hard body lure but it missed getting hooked. It was very similar to a trip to the river a couple of days ago when the trout weren't really all that aggressive in the slow/medium runs.
Presented from Issue 113, December 2014
The Meander River is another one of the many rivers in the north of Tasmania that until a few years ago was a free flowing natural river.
This beautiful waterway that starts its journey from the Central Plateau area of the Great Western Tiers and into the new Huntsman Dam above the small township of Meander.
With its flow now regulated it continues on down through Meander, from here it travels on down through Deloraine and on for another thirty five kilometers to Hadspen where it enters the South Esk River.
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