117 donut one
Sometimes getting
one in the boat
can be a 
challenge.

Presented from Issue 117, August 2015

For those of you who love to trout fish, there will have been a time, some stage during your fishing ‘career’, where you lucked out and didn’t catch anything! Most of you will also know that in the ‘fishing world’, this is what is commonly known as a ‘donut’! It is the same shape as a zero of course. Now while the usual ‘donut’ means that no fish were caught, it doesn’t mean that there were no missed takes or bites. While this might seem bad at the time, there is something worse. That something is the ‘big fat donut’. This is where you go a whole day and don’t even get a sniff!

Iwill be brave here and admit to having taken home many ‘donuts’ during my time as a trout angler. I have also done the same during a bream competition some time back; however, given that it is the start of a new season, our focus here will be on trout. There are many factors that can influence the feeding behaviour of trout, with weather a significant one. While rain, or any other form of precipitation such as snow or hail, does not make for enjoyable fishing, such weather events do require the presence of clouds, and cloudy conditions generally mean good fishing conditions.

A short video from Adrian Webb.

2018 09 21 1 4 kg 3 lb 1oz wild brown troutWith the rivers still running high and the weather being fine for a change I decided I was going to chase the trout by hook or by crook.. I didn't have an early start either as it wasn't until 10:30 am when I finally slipped into the river. The water was running at a medium to high level so I had fished the stretches of water that I knew were safe enough to wade. After many years of fishing the rivers this is where knowing every bit of the each river I fish pays off. I never take any risks when fishing rivers as life is too short plus it's not worth drowning one's self either. One good thing was the water temp today was up to seven degrees and that's the warmest it's been since the end of the last trout season. I set myself a small target of catching & releasing five trout for the session this trip mainly because of the water flowing high & fast in most stretches if river.. I was a little undecided of what Mepps lure to start off with today, I finally made the choice of going with the Aglia Tiger Fluoro mainly because of the water temp still being a little low. Once the water temp gets to nine degrees and above then the Mepps gold or copper blades spinners will be given a good workout.

2018 09 05 Close up of the best fish of the dayMore rain forecast again later in the day saw me head off to fish the tannin water again today in what was a much milder day than what we've previously been having. The reason I decided to fish the small stream was because the larger rivers are still running very cold & high, this little stream will be a little warmer than them. I arrived to see the level was lower than my last trip here back on 22nd August when it was cold and running at a medium height. I had a one & a half kilometre walk to where I started off the spin session & the lure of choice was a Mepps #0 Aglia tiger fluoro blade spinner.

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.

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