by Sarah Graham
Many anglers are preparing for the opening of the new angling season on Saturday 7 August and it's shaping up to be another good one with the fishery in excellent health as a result of last year’s drought breaking rains. There are many great fishing locations around the State from which to choose for the opening weekend and early season fishing but here are a few suggestions.
Another day with heavy cloud cover and strong gusty South Easterly winds wasn't keeping me home today, the Meander River level was sitting on 78cms which was still too high for safe wading the fast water in the upper reaches but reasonably okay for the lower reaches. Where I fished today was a mix of very clear fast to medium flowing water that I had to take it slow and easy in, one slip and I would have been in a bit of trouble. The river bottom is very rocky and slippery underfoot and it's easy to take a tumble or be spun around in the fast water runs, it's not an area for the inexperienced fisher person. It is okay for fishing from the rocky river banks, but not when one had to cross the river four times like I did today. Before I could even wet a line I had a six hundred meter walk to reach my entry point. This one and a half to two kilometres of river I fished today is one I only fish two or three times each trout season mainly because of the distance I have walking to the river. It's not that I mind the walk at all, it's when I've finished fishing this rocky, slippery river over a long distance my body is knackered. Once out of the river I then have approx a two and a half kilometre walk back to the car.
** Here's how my trout fishing session went :
Beautiful weather conditions forecast today had me heading off to the Meander River for a spin session, the river was running much higher than I liked but I was well overdue to have a fish in it. It wasn't an early start at all, it was just on ten thirty when I hit the river, the water temperature was a low four degrees which wasn't good to see. It was also running at 75cms which is 15cms higher to make for much easier wading conditions, care is a must in most fast water runs when it's running at this level. I would have liked to have given the fast water runs above the main road bridge but it wasn't safe enough for my liking so I had to settle for fishing a lower stretch of the river where it was much safer. My lure of choice was a Mepps #1 Aglia Furia, a great all round inline spinner that works well on the trout in most of the larger rivers I fish.
It was back to the Meander fast waters again this morning for another spin session to see if I can add a few more trout to my season's tally of 370 trout. I wasn't intending to fish the fast waters today mainly because of the right hip but then decided what the heck get in there and see how you go, if fishing there aggravates it then I'll get out and head to the slower flowing waters. The conditions were quite overcast and a cool six degrees when I hit the clear flowing river at 10:10am, the water temp was sitting on ten degrees and it was cold on the legs too. I started the session off with a small #00 White Miller Bug spinner, it's not a colour I would normally start off using but I wanted to see how it would perform in the dull conditions and clear water. Well, not a lot happened for around fifteen minutes or so before a cast directly upstream into a flat water a small brown took it. Two head shakes from that little brown and it was gone, it tossed the White Miller as quick as it took it.
After missing out not having a spin session yesterday, this afternoon I decided to head back to the fast waters of the Meander River. It was 2:25pm when I hit the water in what was perfect weather conditions with a light breeze and patches of scattered cloud.
The river level was a little lower than my last trip here, it was still running nice and clear, lure of choice for starters was the #1 Stone Fly Bug spinner. The first area I fished was a large wide deep stretch of medium flowing water, it was here I had a follow from a nice brown.
After having such a great fast water spin session a few days ago I headed back to the Meander to have another crack at getting a double figure catch. This time it was a mid morning start, a morning that had clear skies, light breeze and a temperature of 22 degrees later in the day.
It was 9:45 am when I hit the river above the Chestnut Road Bridge to fish a long nice stretch of fast water, the first thing I noticed was green algae covering the most of the river bottom. Soon as I had seen that I knew then and there it wasn't going to be a good day on the trout here. I did fish around four hundred meters of river without seeing a trout so headed back to the car and drove to the fast waters in the upper Meander River.
The weather today was supposed to be fine and windy with rain due later in the day, well it was 2:00pm and the sky was still clear, there was hardly any wind blowing so I headed off for a spin session. This trip was to the upper reaches of the Meander River to fish the fast water, a long stretch of water that holds quite a few trout at this time of the year. It was 3:40 PM when I hit the river that was running clear and in full sun which didn't bother me all that much, as the day goes on it will be shaded by the trees and foliage that line both sides of the river.
A cool morning with light drizzle, what a top day to head of for a spin session, yes you guessed it I was on my way to the Meander River again to have another spin session in the fast water. When I arrived (7;35am) the drizzle had gone but it was still quite cool with heavy cloud cover which made it near impossible to see the river bottom. On heavy overcast days the cloud cover acts like a mirror on the water and polarised sunglasses don't work either, they're okay in close to the river bank with the cover of foliage but that's as far as it goes. Any way I started the morning off using a copper #00 Aglia Mouche Noire and picked up a small brown mid stream in the first five minutes, just the start I was wanted. The river was down a little since my last trip here six days ago which was good as it meant the trout should be well spread out across the river.
Finally the weather arrived that I've been wanting for quite some time now, a day with light drizzle and very humid conditions were here at last. Even though I was up at 5:00 am I was a little slow of the mark before heading off to the Meander River. By the time I put a dozen heat patches on the old body & loosened up it was 6:10 am when I was in the '' Trout Stalker 2 '' and on my way to the river.
Today my plan was to head to the fast water runs, one of the toughest stretches of water one can fish in the upper reaches of the river. It's a very long rocky fast water that tests the best of any river fisher, a fast water full of very slippery rocks/boulders that has sent many trout fisho's home much earlier than they would have liked. As tough as it is on the body the upper Meander River fast water is at the top of my favorites list to chase brown trout. I was in the river by 7:05 am and found it was running a little higher than I preferred, this meant it was going to be that much harder work fishing my way upstream.
Seeing as it's a new year and I haven't wet a line since the 24th December I thought it was time to go and have a session in a river this morning. I left home at first light and on the way I saw a fiery sunrise, one that was bright orange due to the air being filled with smoke from bush fires here in Tasmania as well as the mainland bush fires.
Here I was heading off chasing trout in a river when there are people battling to save homes as well as their lives, it really makes one think how lucky many of us are. My thoughts go out to all of those people as well as the volunteers who have and are still being effected by those horrific bush fires around Australia. I arrived at the Meander River just before 6:30am in what was a beautiful cool morning, the river was running clear and at an ideal wading height, all I needed was the trout to be here and in an aggressive mood.
Thanks to Anglers Alliance Tasmania stalwart John Broomby for initiating discussion with two landowners at Porters Bridge on the Meander River near Westbury. As a result anglers access has now been established to 4km of river up and downstream of a newly created parking area on the southern side of the bridge. Ideal for bait fishing with a lightly weighted worm in spring or a grasshopper later in the season and lure casting with small hard bodies the river has deep pools interspersed with rock riffles. Steep banks in places make access challenging but the sheltering trees and quiet ambience make the effort worthwhile. As always please respect the generosity of the landowners and do the right thing!
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Hello everyone, I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself.
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Recently Atlantic salmon seems to be a very hot topic amongst local anglers, especially those in the south of the state in the D'Entrecasteaux area. Northern anglers should take a close look at the Tamar as there are opportunities here as well.
The recent "great escape" has provided a perfect opportunity for fresh and saltwater anglers alike to experience some truly memorable sport. Tasmania's pristine, clean and cool waters are the perfect nursery for the Atlantic Salmon and as our local fish farms produce more and more fresh quality seafood it is a fact that there are going to be tangible consequences.