116 fish mount restoration restored bFish mount restoration

Presented from Issue 116, June 2015
I’ve been practising fish taxidermy for several years, starting with skin mounts and fibreglass reproductions, and more recently have taken on the restoration of old mounts.

With modern day products and techniques there is no reason why a properly crafted fish skin mount should not last a lifetime. However, we’ve all seen old (and some not so old) mounts hanging on pub walls, in fishing shops or in mates sheds that have weathered badly over time . Not all old mounts need a make over. Those with least deterioration may still look rather discoloured but are best left alone with the vintage look and have a charm, character and history of their own. The worse for wear jobs with the curled fins and shrivelled heads can certainly be brought back to life.

115 cold rewardsPresented from Issue 115, April 2015
As April and May progress the days are shorter and they for one thing sure are colder. But the trout angler in many of us still ‘needs’ to head up top chasing those that challenge us.

End of season trout should, as a general rule, be hungry. Either pre or post-spawn. They generally feed well pre-spawn. Feeding before they move up the many streams, creeks, rivers and canals that provide the breeding grounds. The process sees the trout with little or no food for some time hence the need to add condition for energy during this very strenuous spawning period.

115 fish more fly boxPresented from Issue 115, April 2015
Well this season is passing before my eyes. Maybe I’ve been working too conscientiously, but for some reason I have fished less this last season than in recent years. There are still some golden Autumn fishing to be had, if I can make it out there, but even here on the mainland, where the rivers are open until early June, the dry fly action slows right down by the end of April. With that in mind, I’m already thinking of what I might do differently next season.

114 drainsPresented from Issue 114, February 2015
It’s your day off work and you’ve been awaiting its arrival, pondering thoughts of blue-sky days, huge hatches and chubby trout. Reality closes in and as soon as you awake from your slumber, the cold front arrives before the coffee is even brewed. A quick trawl of Internet-weather forecasts worsens your enthusiasm – howling winds, occasional showers and plummeting temperatures. There are still options out there but would you be comfortable? Would you enjoy success? Should you stay at home constantly checking the social media feed to fill the void of your miserable woes? No, you should fish!

Tasmania boasts a diverse trout fishery, as you might know, renown for amazing sight-fishing on shallow lakes and historical mayfly rivers but in between all of this hides some little-known gems, smaller than a river and closer to being defined as a creek. A place where wading is optimistic only due to the lack of water, not its risky depth. These are creeks and rivers on a micro- scale and they are tight enough to tangle great numbers of your flies! These are positively enticing and there are hundreds of kilometres of them winding their way throughout Tasmania - enough for you to fish for the rest of your life, probably.

I like to call them drains, though that term lacks the romance they truly deserve. Decadent drains would be more apt. Technically, some are given the name ‘river’ or ‘creek’ but some of these allocations are open to interpretation! Whatever they are called, they allegedly hold water and if they have water, there’s a good chance they have trout.

2018 04 03 Wild brown trout 6050Today thought I would give the small tannin water stream another go today as I was interested to see how it would fish seeing it's been a week since we had some decent rain. I was fairly late heading off this morning due to severe lower back pain and couldn't do much until the pain killers kicked in. I didn't arrive at the stream until 11:15 am only to find the water level had dropped by around five inches (125 mms) to what it was on my last visit here. I knew then I was in for a tough couple of hours here today with low water and full sun on it as well. It's nothing like my last trip when the water was like black coffee, the water was now a light tannin colour and I could see the river bottom quite easy now.

114 summer river troutPresented from Issue 114, February 2015
Well now with the Summer weather well and truly here it’s time to change a few tactics fishing the rivers during these warmer months. Lower water levels and warmer water temperatures is something that the trout don’t like all that much. I have found the best water temperature for trout is between 11 deg C and 18 deg C above and below these temperatures and the fishing can become quite tough and even more so in Summer if the water temp reaches above 20 deg then the trout tend to shut down.

Spin fishing with lures for trout during the warmer weather can be quite frustrating, you have to keep persisting to catch a few fish. There are so many insect hatches all over the rivers and lakes that makes it very tough fishing for the spin fisher. Great conditions for the fly fisher though. The fly fisher will always do better than the spin fisher during the Summer months. You’ll see trout rising, sipping insects from the surface in most sections of long slow flowing runs. Then you will come across trout leaping from the river trying to snap up a caddis moth, dun or black spinner that is hovering above the water. I have seen some massive hatches of insects during my trout fishing days on rivers during the Summer. It’s these days on the river when you know you’re going to do it tough.

That’s when the fast water runs come into play as these will still be holding both browns and rainbow trout. It will be your best chance of catching a trout with a lure. Fishing fast water is not easy, it is rocky, slippery and very hard going in most sections of the river. Tough it out and you will be rewarded with some fine trout.

113 wizzing echo shorePresented from Issue 113, December 2014
25 years experience chasing poachers, trout and carp....

Chris Wisniewski has spent the past 25 years working for IFS – much of it in the Central Highlands based at Tarraleah, Liawenee and Lake Crescent Chris is known to many, simply as Wiz and as well as being the face of the carp eradication program, he is also a passionate angler. Here are some tips, suggestions and observations on some lesser known waters that he believes are under fished.

 

113 jimHighlands - and Arthurs Lake tips, tactics and secrets

Presented from Issue 113, December 2014
I am probably the most frustrating angler someone could get stuck with. Why? because my very strong view is it is better to get four hours of good fishing in, rather than eight hours of poor fishing. I am a weather tragic and can spend hours in the mornings dawdling around my shack, serving coffee, drinking coffee, and holding court about where to go and what to do. Mostly everyone gets frustrated about not fishing and off they go.

The weather in Tasmania can take time to settle during the day and what is happening at 7am is often completely different to the settling weather at 11am. Many anglers drive forty five minutes only to find, as the weather settles, the location is far from ideal. However, I try to make no such mistake, and I head out when I’m reasonably sure the fishing will be good.

Photos are at the end of the article.

112 tailing trout flysPresented from Issue 112, October 2014

The sight of a taking a floating fly is an image that will stay with you forever. It’s not just the act of a trout taking a floating fly that makes this so special, it’s every second leading up to that point followed by that crucial pause before finally lifting the rod to set the hook and hopefully, feel the weight of a hooked fish. When it all comes together, there’s no better feeling in fly-fishing.

112 art hannahand 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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