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 ...
Even though I was a little stiff and sore from the short spin session yesterday, as the morning went on the better I felt so a late start was had in a small tannin stream. In what was pretty good weather it was 11:50am when I finally hopped in the stream, the water level was good and the water itself was a nice medium tannin colour, just ideal for trout fishing. I started the spin session off with the same trout gear as I used yesterday which was the Okuma Celilo Finesse ULS 1-3kg trout rod, Okuma ITX-1000 spinning reel & the Mepps #0 March Brown Bug inline spinner and of course the reel was spooled with the ever reliable ultra strong Platypus Pulse 4lb Mono line. The first few casts and retrieves, not a lot happened until I lobbed the spinner close to the right hand river bank, on the retrieve a dark object appeared behind the lure and followed it for a short distance before it turned and moved off not to be seen again.
The weather here in Sheffield today was great, it was sunny with a temperature of fifteen degrees so I headed off for a mid afternoon spin session in the upper reaches of the Mersey River. With the majority of rivers that I fish still running high the upper Mersey was the go to place to fish. The long stretch of river I headed to required a long forty minute walk, it once was very good trout water until the 2016 floods wiped the river clean of fish in this area. It's been five years since I last fished this area, so today I'm hoping the long walk to the river will be rewarding by catching & releasing a few wild brown trout, and I'm not fussed about their size either. I arrived at my entry point a little worse for wear after the long walk and it took me a few minutes to settle down before I hopped in the river at 2:20 pm, the lure of choice to start with was a Mepps #1 Aglia Fluo micro-pigment rainbow inline spinner. The river height was still on the high side and pushing quite hard on the legs, with the rocky river bottom being slippery and tough on the body, I knew it wasn't going to be an easy time spent in the river.
Seeing as it's been a few days since my last fishing session and with the weather being more settled for the next day or so I headed back to one the tannin streams again, mainly because the larger rivers were still running on the high side. One thing I was sure of was that the small stream I headed to would be at a nice wading height, the only problem would be the amount of trees that would be across the stream. A few weeks ago we had a massive storm in the area which brought down thousands of large trees in several areas across the state. A few of my favourite streams just happened to be in one of those areas that was severely hit by the 165kph winds. Anyway, by the time I parked the car and made my way to the river it was nearly mid-day by the time I hit the water.
with his $2000
On Monday 29 August, Scottsdale resident, Darryl Saunders' wife told him to go fishing. Darryl didn't need to be told twice, despite the threat of rain, it was a perfect fishing day in NE Tasmania.
Darryl drove to Derby and wheeled his Hobie kayak, on a home made trolly using wheel chair wheels, along the gravel track into Briseis Mine Hole. Darryl has been haunting this popular fishing spot for the last twelve months trying to catch a winning tagged fish released as part of the Tasmanian Tagged Trout Promotion.
Launching at 8am Darryl quickly caught and released 4 rainbow trout and lost a couple more on an old green and gold Ashley lure from the bottom of his tackle box. Around 9am he hooked another fish. He saw that it was a brown trout with a tag below the dorsal fin. He lifted the fish from the water in the landing net and realised that he had caught a winning trout.
Darryl rang his wife to give her the good news.
He will use the prize money to buy a cover for his kayak, some will go to his wife (smart thinking) and any remaining will be used on vehicle fuel for future adventures. Darryl's wife is sure to send him fishing more often!
There are still lots of fish to be caught in the Tasmanian Tagged Trout Promotion.
After having an eleven day break from trout fishing due to bright sunny days, clear water and mainly easterly winds today was the day to go and chase the trout. Why, because it was a cool foggy morning and there was a nice cloud cover, a perfect morning to go trout fishing in the Meander River. The maximum temperature forecast for the day was twenty seven degrees which meant the sun was going to burn the cloud off and that's when it would start to warm up. As much as I wanted an early start I wasn't in the river until 7:30 am mainly due to a change of area I decided to fish, which resulted in a twenty minute walk to my entry point. The reason I made the change was because I knew once the cloud dispersed I would still have shade along one side of the river and I would probably be ready to call it a day as well, that was the plan anyway. I started the spin session off using a well used Mepps #0 March Brown Bug spinner and it wasn't all that long before I hooked and lost the first fish of the day, thankfully it was only a small brown trout.
Seeing as I pulled up a little stiff from yesterday's spin session I waited until 2:15 pm before I headed off to have a late afternoon spin in the fast waters of the Meander River. My last trip to these fast waters wasn't a good one, all I managed that day was seeing two trout follow the lure and that was it. The water level is down to 57cms which is ideal for wading the fast waters I'm heading to. It was 2:55 pm by the time I entered the river and it looked great, the only thing I had to contend with was the rocky river bottom, the rocks were a little slippery under foot. I started the session off with a #0 March Brown Bug and it wasn't all that long when I had a trout have a go at it, it missed getting hooked. Still, that was a good sign and I felt like I could be in for a good time fishing the fast waters this afternoon. I was concentrating on casting the spinner into the flat waters along the opposite side of the river, they're the areas that the trout will be holding out waiting to grab anything that passes by. It wasn't all that long after seeing the first trout when another fish followed the March Brown for several meters before it turned and moved off.
I am sure that the majority of those who trout fish don't bother to check out small streams to see if there may be any trout in them. Well, for me I am one who loves to fish these small streams because most of them that flow into a large river will have trout in them. When fishing small out of the way small streams you will come across quite a few log jams, some are small and are quite easy to climb over or go around if that's possible. Then there's the large log jams that can be a real challenge if there's no way around them due to high river banks or heavy foliage that's full of blackberry bushes. Log jams are just a part of small stream fishing and one has to take the good with the bad at times, that's really the worst thing one has to contend with. Yes it can be tough at times, it's also very rewarding when you catch your first trout in a small out of the way stream.
Overcast, humid conditions and the perfect water level was enough for me to head over to the Meander River for a spin session. It was 6:45 when I hit the water and it wasn't all that long before I had the first trout of the morning take the #0 March Brown Bug spinner, the only problem was it tossed it as fast as it took it. Two casts later I was onto another trout, this little brown stayed on and I had the first fish of the day in the net. It's been around a month since I last fished this stretch of river and this stretch of water I'm fishing didn't give up a single fish, this was a good start to what I normally have here. The river here was perfect for casting and drifting too which was even better as It's one of my favourite ways of spin fishing. There's nothing better than watching the Mepps inline spinner drift with the flow and a trout sitting right up behind it, then it's up to me to get that trout to take the spinner.
Well, another trout season has come to an end and for me it was one that had quite a few ups and downs in the rivers which had a lot to do with the weather conditions. At the start of the 2021/22 trout season I set myself a target of 500 trout and thankfully I did manage to reach it on the 18th April, I went on to end the season with a total of 536 trout caught in 90 trips, of which four were kept due to gill damage. The three large rivers I fished were the Mersey, Meander and Leven all of which had some problems with them. The Meander & Leven were two that had a lot of green cotton like algae on the river bottom on each and every trip I had to them. The Mersey River was the worst river of all, not only was the river bottom in poor condition with it being full of silt and slime on the rocky river bottom, it was the water weeds that made fishing a waste of time in the upper reaches in and around Weegena. Wading & fishing in the river when it's full of water weeds was near impossible in several stretches of the river, long strands of weed wrapped around one's legs while heading upstream and it was much worse when the water level was low. As for the trout in the three large rivers my catches were mainly small to medium size fish with the odd large fish being far and few between, only twenty three trout of the 341 trout caught in the Mersey, Meander were over the five hundred gram mark. The three trips I had to River Leven, the biggest trout out of the twenty six fish caught went 460 grams, though I did lose a couple of trout that would have been in the five hundred gram plus range. The small tannin waters I fished were down in fish numbers this season for some reason, in thirty one trips I caught and released 119 trout compared to last season's thirty two trips for 197 trout being caught and released. I feel low water levels may have had a lot to do with it throughout the trout season. The other small river I fished (on private property) nine times during the season was the Dasher, that small river gave up 48 trout all of which were very small fish, the best weighing in at 350 grams. Western Creek was a short spin session that I had on the way home where I caught and released two small browns in very low water.
Seeing as I only need another three trout to reach the 500 trout target I set myself for this season I decided not to wait another day to reach it. With rain forecast for all of tomorrow I made the decision to head off to my favourite tannin water to see if I could get it over and done with. It was 3:05 pm by the time I hit the river which was a little on the low side but still deep enough thanks to the 6 mms of rain we had yesterday. I started the session off using a small copper #00 Aglia inline spinner thinking that the copper colour would stand out better in the dark water.
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Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
Bob is a professional fishing guide and guides for trout and estuary species. Check him out at www.fishwildtasmania.com
There are several things we look for in our early season trout waters. It is still winter and cold, so some of the things to consider are: Altitude as this dictates the water temperature and therefore feeding activity. Food for the fish. Availability of trout food is generally dictated by the quantity and quality of weed beds.
Quantity of fish.
Three waters which I believe fit all three requirements are:Read more ...