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 ...
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With another change due plus not having wet a line for a week I headed back to give the Mersey River another crack, this time I was there much earlier too. Still a little later than I would have liked given the conditions were nice and cool as well as being heavily overcast it was the perfect morning to be chasing trout in a river. The river level was around the same height as the last trip and it was still running nice and clear, I felt the fast water runs would be the ones that would give up the trout again today.
After checking out the rivers levels on the BOM site I noticed the Mersey River had dropped to a lower level that made it ideal for wading in the area I like to cross over and fish. When I arrived to where I cross the river I noticed that the river bottom wasn't looking all that good, I'd have to make sure to take it slow & steady as I crossed over. The water was nice a clear, but the rocky river bottom was covered in a brown slimy algae and heavily silted.
The morning was a low three degrees as I was heading to the upper reaches of the Mersey River, then I had a change of mind and decided to head to the small tannin stream I fished several days go. On my arrival I found the water level was the same as the last trip (a little on the low side) so I thought I would be in for another tough time fishing here. This trip I thought I'd start the session using a copper blade #00 Mepps Aglia Mouche Noire to see how it would go on the trout in the tannin water, not that the copper colour would be a problem as it's worked well before in tannin waters.
With poor weather forecast later on this afternoon & with the conditions being overcast & cool this morning I thought a trip to the upper Mersey River may be worth the trip. Half way to where I was heading I came across some light fog which I didn't mind as it meant there wouldn't be any sun on the water for an hour or two. I hit the river at 7:10 am and the first thing I came across was water weeds & plenty of it. Not the ideal thing one wants to see when lure fishing that's for sure as it restricts the fishing quite a lot.
I was starting the session of with the Mepps #1 March Brown bug spinner to see if it may attract a trout or two, it did the job in the Meander two days ago so why not try it here. The water was clear and glassy, there were plenty trout feeding on a massive hatch of midges that covered the wide slow flowing water ahead of me. With thousands of these small midges floating on the surface as well as in the air, the trout were going to be hard to catch this morning.
With some light cloud around this morning I thought I would head over to the Mersey River and have a short spin session before the sun burnt the cloud off. Conditions were quite nice with hardly a breath of wind and the river was at the perfect wading height. As I entered the river (7:40am) I noticed a few trout on the rise just ahead of me so I flicked the Aglia Furia well past the fish and retrieved the spinner back a little faster that the flow.
Hit the Mersey River just on 7:00 am in what was cool foggy conditions to start with, but a good mild 19 degree day was forecast. My last trip here was back on the 5th December when I had a tough spin session chasing trout in similar conditions. As soon as I hit the water I could see plenty of trout on the rise in a wide long slow flowing flat water which meant I was in for another tough spin session. I fished a short fast water to start with just like I did on the last trip with the same result, no fish. As I headed into the wide long stretch of river with the fog slowly lifting there was a line of trout rising ahead of me which was quite good to watch. Trout were rising everywhere,
I Headed over to the Mersey River and walked down through several paddocks for a good kilometre or so below the Union Bridge then started fishing my way back upstream. I haven't fished here for quite some time due to the lack of trout being in the river, today I mainly wanted to see if it has improved with trout stocks. The river was running at a nice wading height and a dark tanning colour. I started off with a Mepps #1 gold black fury working it in several fast water and medium flowing runs without a sign of a trout over the first two hundred meters of river. I changed over to the #1 Aglia Furia and the first stretch of water I used it in I had a couple of follows from brown trout that were mainly out of interest, not a sign of aggression from either fish. Then decided to try hard body lures in that same stretch of water, all to no avail as I never had a follow on any of the five different hard body lures I tried.
Very wet & windy weather was the forecast here today, well by 2:30 PM I was sick of waiting for it to arrive so headed over to Merseylea for a short spin session. As soon as I arrived so did the rain, thankfully it was only light and wasn't a problem. As the time passed by so did the rain, the trout were few and far between here too. All I could manage was three hook ups for just the one small brown landed. Another one had its revenge with me as I went to lift it from the water it tosses the lure which in turn sliced through my finger. All good in the end as I always carry a small first aid kit in my vest for this very reason. I often have to yank a treble hook from a lure that has embedded itself in a finger or some other part of my hand from time to time.
With overcast damp conditions today I headed over to the Mersey River, soon as I arrived (5:45am) I saw trout surface feeding in the wide slow flowing water. Seeing that always means I'm in for a tough session & as it turned out it was just that. I still flicked the Mepps spinners & a few hard body lures around in the slow flowing water for just the one follow. Heavy rain was forecast for later in the day, at the moment it was just a light drizzle on and off which I didn't mind. I decided the only place I'll catch trout today was the fast water runs, that's where I headed.
Finally I managed to get to a river earlier that I normally do, though it wasn't all that much earlier as it was 7:00am when I was finally in the Mersey River. This trip was to the same area that gave up 22 trout six days ago, I'm hoping it will again today. There was only a few problems I had to contend with, that was clear sky, clear water & thousands of insects hovering above the river & on the water surface. The trout were there in large numbers too, they were all surface feeding, so today wasn't a day for the spin fisher at all. A top morning for the fly fisherman providing they can match the hatch with a trout fly. There was still plenty of good flow in the river & with the trout surface feeding, fishing the fast water runs will be where I'll have the best chance of catching a few trout.
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Here is a list of all of the Article Categories. The number in Brackets, eg (13) is the number of articles. Click on Derwent River and all articles relating to the Derwent will be displayed in the central area.
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.
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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.