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 ...
Dull cool overcast weather with rain due around midday saw me heading to a small tannin water this morning for a spin session. Over the past three days we had just on 15 mms of rain, most of which soaked into the ground, the water level did rise a little bit which was enough to turn the trout on. I didn't walk down stream as far as I usually do because I wanted to end the spin session further upstream than where I normally finish fishing on other trips.
Well after a weeks lay off from fishing due to some good rain and gale force winds (plus hip & back problems) it was time to head back to try the tannin waters again. I was hoping the small tannin waters that I'm heading to will still have some good flow to it as well as holding a few trout. Once there I found it to be a little on the low side and wasn't sure if it was worth having a spin session in it or not. Seeing as I had driven all the way to this little tannin water I thought I may as well give it a go so in I hopped and started flicking the little gold Aglia around in water that was so dark I could hardly see the gold blade spinner as I retrieved it. It wasn't all that long before a small 260 gram brown swooped on the lure, I soon had that little fish in hand, released and back in the water. A little further on I had a couple of solid hits on the spinner but missed both fish. It was time for a change of lure so I went for the F3 Rapala in the brown trout patten.
Presented from Issue 113, December 2014
Tasmania has some of the best wild trout fishing in the world; there is a time of the year where the dedicated trout fisherman can look forward to more than most kids do at Christmas. The run of the sea runners,
Between the months of mid-September and December sea runners will make their way up any river systems that white bait congregate in! The bait sometimes moves up in big numbers making an easy feed for the silver predator! These fish put on a lot of weight in a short amount of time making them a very powerful fish! Even on a firmly set drag I’ve had screaming runs of up to 50 metres or more in seconds from powerful fish! You will struggle to find a trout that pulls harder!
The best waterways in my opinion for these fish are the Pieman River, Arthur River, Henty River and last but not least the Gordon river. While the first three rivers are easy to access, the Gordon River is a different story.
Well the weather this morning was no where near what was originally forecast, there wasn't any wind and now the rain isn't supposed to get here until late afternoon. I headed back to the Wilmot River seeing as the Mersey River is still on the high side and not safe enough to wade at the moment. The Wilmot River was running at the same level as it was on my last trip here over a week ago which was good to see. Today I decided on using the Daiwa ghost gill brown hard body lure as that's what got the trout going on the last spin session here. But that was a week ago and a lot can change in a week with the trout fishing, even more so in the rivers.
The first stretch of water fished was a wide slow flowing run and I had a follow from a decent size brown within the first few casts. That brown did show some interest in the lure but not enough to attack it, no matter what I tried. It wasn't until I was getting close to the top end of this stretch of water when I had my first take on the hard body. It was a well conditioned rainbow, this was the same start I had on my last trip here. The first fish that day was also a rainbow trout, this one was a little smaller than last weeks fish. Twenty meters further on I picked up a medium size brown from a bubble line close to the river bank, this fish was taken close to where I caught the rainbow last week. With two trout caught in quick time I'm thinking it's going to be a good session with quite a few trout being led into the landing net by the time I call it a day.
The next small fast water I flicked the lure into I was soon onto another nice brown, that fish tossed the lure on the second head shake. It was quiet over the following run but the next one gave up a solid brown that fought all the way into the net. I was on a high now and feeling pretty cocky that these trout are in for a hammering today.. How wrong I was, it went dead from here on with not a sign of a trout for over forty minutes as I worked my way upstream. It wasn't until I came to a long medium to fast water run when I hooked another brown, that one stayed on until I went to slip the net under it when it gave one more head shake and tossed the lure. Yes, I did have a little tantrum before moving on and continued fishing.. The strong winds that was earlier forecast finally arrived and it was really gusting now so I decided I would fish one more small fast water run ahead of me then call it a day. Good decision it was too because it was this piece of water that gave up the fish of the day. This solid brown took the ghost brown on the first cast and retrieve. It certainly gave me a run for my money too as it did everything to try and toss the lure. It made at least five of six leaps from the river and at the same time putting in some massive head shakes. I keep saying, “Stay on big fella, just stay on” and he did. After what seemed like five minutes but was only one & a half this fish was finally in the net. It was certainly a beautiful wild brown in the best of condition and colour and went 620 grams. A nice finish to what was really a short session, one that was also a bit of a let down after such a good start.. Still that's trout fishing isn't it and that's what it's all about, taking the good with the bad.
620 gram brown caught here
Best trout of the day
Brown taken here
Calm conditions on the river
Ready for release
With another change on the way I left for the river earlier than I normally would at this time of year, with 60-70 kph winds & rain forecast I thought it best to hit the river early. Once there I could see it was running higher than normal so I'm thinking I may be in for a tough time on the water today. This trip I'm using a brand new 5'6'' Daiwa Presso ULS spin rod coupled with a new Daiwa 16 crest reel spooled with 98 meters of 4 lb clear Kast King copolymer line and a new #00 gold Aglia.. I wanted to try the short rod out today as a test run for when I head back to some of the small tight streams at a later date. The first thirty minutes of fishing was fairly quiet before I had my first small brown in the net.
Another beautiful day gave me the chance to head off and try a section of a small river, one that I haven't fished for around five years. I thought seeing as we had a good flood back in June 2016 and some reasonable rainfall this Winter it may have a few nice trout back in it. The only problem is getting into it because it is well hidden with heavy foliage and requires a four to five hundred meter bush bash to reach it. Once there I could see the bush was a lot thicker now than it was back when I last fished here. I was in two minds whether or not to venture into the bush, but I did. Nothing better than a challenge that's for sure even it is going to be a tough one. Half way into it I was having second thoughts if I had made the right decision, I did think about turning back. I didn't though, I pushed on then finally heard the sound of the water rushing over the rocks in a shallow section of the stream. Then it was only a matter of finding an entry point and not slip down the steep bank that was covered with blackberry bushes.
Still needing three more trout before the 2016/17 season closes this coming Sunday I thought I'd better go and hop in a river to see if I can pick up the three trout required to reach my seasons target. We had some very good rains a few days ago so the rivers should be flowing really well now and the trout will certainly be out and about as well. This time of year they are quite aggressive and will take just about any type of spinner or lure thrown at them. Once at the river and having a thirty minute chat with a landowner I was soon in the river flicking the little spinner around. Today I started off with a Mepps #00 gold Aglia Mouche Noire as I feel this will do well in the tannin coloured water that I'm fishing. It only took two casts before I had my first fish on, like I have been doing lately I lost it once it leapt from the river.
Finally a day I've been longing for with misty rain, humid and no wind which is the perfect conditions for trout fishing. Well they are for me because they're the conditions I love fishing in and not only that, the trout are usually on the take. After parking the car then having a thirty five minute walk through the paddocks I was soon in the river.
The light misty rain wasn't enough to bother me, all it did was to make me a little damp & the sunglasses fogged up so I had to fish without them. The river I'm fishing is small and has very low water level too but it still is good enough to fish today. Starting off with the usual gold aglia as I normally do it wasn't long before I had my first trout on the river bank seeing as I didn't take the landing net.
Presented from Issue 95
The Dorset River is a magic little stream that flows through Pera Flats at the foot of Mount Paris situated on the northeast corner of Tasmania near the town of Ringarooma. The “Dorset” is just one of the tributaries that flows into the very productive Ringarooma River. This small stream meanders its way down through a mix of farmland and native forest that generates all kinds of land based trout food which inevitably finds its way into the river for an opportunistic brown trout. When you add to this the ongoing aquatic lifecycles of a small stream and the competition for food amongst the fish that inhabit it, the trout become very willing to take a variety of well presented flies, lures or baits with this being one of the great attractions of fishing small streams such as this in Tasmania.
The rain did finally ease off and I did go for a fish in a small river close to home on private property. After walking around 800 meters through the paddocks then being chased by around 20 young bulls, I finally made it to the river which was just the right height for a wade. Then from nowhere up popped a little Shihtzu dog that was wet, cold and frightened as ever. I knew it was lost and I just couldn't leave the poor little thing there so I picked it up and carried it back to the car. Had to go back via the river as not to be chased by the bulls again which were following us all the way back to where I could get back into the paddocks. I was glad there was an electric fence between us.
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Presented from Issue 100
Considering the world class quality of our sea trout fishery, these fish are not sought after by enough anglers. Sea runners live in the salt water and run up our estuaries and rivers from the start of August to the middle of November. At this time of the year, they are here to eat the many species of fish that are either running up the rivers to spawn or are living in and around the estuary systems. Trout, both sea run and resident (Slob Trout) feed heavily on these small fish which darken in colouration as they move further into fresh water reaches.
The majority of these predatory fish are brown trout with rainbows making up a very small percentage of the catch. They can be found all around the state but it would be fair to say that the east coast is the least prolific of all the areas. They still run up such rivers as the Georges (and many others) but their numbers along with the quality of the fishing elsewhere make it difficult to recommend the area above the larger northern, southern and western rivers.Read more ...