Presented from Issue 103, April 2013
The months of April and May can offer very good trout fishing opportunities. Brown trout are well aware of the need to put on weight leading up to their annual spawning cycle. Now that many of the hatches are coming to an end, they are becoming more opportunistic feeders, once again.
As the brown trout season nears its end on the Sunday nearest to the 30th of April, male brown trout become very aggressive as they begin to pair up with potential females. Big wet flies, plastics and lures are often hit, just to get them out of their territory. Rainbows on the other hand, usually spawn later in the year with their closing season reflecting this by finishing one month later on the Sunday closest to the 31 st of May. So rainbows are mostly unaffected by the urge to spawn and continue to feed as normal right through to May.Read more ...
Finally after checking the online river plots one of the rivers I fish had dropped low enough for me to hit it for a spin session. That river was the Meander, this will be my first trip of the season to it. Once there it was still a little higher than expected but still safe enough for wading. The area I'm going to fish today is probably the only one that is safe enough to fish at the height it is at this stage. That's the good thing about knowing everything about the rivers I fish which has come from many years of fishing them. With rain forecast later in the day I hit the river just after 10:20am in what was cool and heavy overcast conditions with a light North Westerly breeze. I started the session off with a #1 Aglia-e red & silver blade spinner, another new one that I wanted to see if it could attract a trout.
Presented from Issue 107, December 2013
For the last few years I’ve been a bit of a lake fishing fanatic. Almost every chance I got I’d zip off “up top” for a chance to attack a stillwater. It could be a few hours of an evening, a dawn patrol tail session on the Pine, or a couple of hours through the middle of the day between jobs. Free fuel and a work bus made it easy to take off on a whim. Sessions were short and travel times were often pretty long, and increasingly the travel with a young family has become just a bit more tiresome.
Not having fished the Meander River since the 31st March I thought it's time I went back there and give it a go. By the time a got there then walked for some 1.5 kms before I hopped in the river it was 10:35 am, not that it really matters at this time of year any way. The river was the lowest I have seen it since the Hyrdo turbine broke down back in 2012, not only that, there was still plenty of the cotton like green algae covering most of the river bottom. Any way I started the session off using a gold black fury and fished a couple of sections of river for just the one hit and miss.
A heavy frosty morning meant for a nice sunny but cool day and also a good one to go fishing in a river somewhere.. I decided it would be the Meander River which is 45 kms from Sheffield. I'm hoping the river level has dropped low enough so I can get in and fish it. I couldn't get a reading of the river levels online due to the gauge still being out of order since the June floods. So I'm going to take the chance and hope it will be okay. Once there I could see it was down and just wade-able going by a log the juts out from the river bank. I have used this log as a gauge for many years now and I know when the river is at a safe level for wading. Today it's borderline, so I decided I would have a session in the river. I'm not going to take any chances though, if I get to a stretch of water that doesn't feel right then I won't be going any further. Besides I'm not sure what has changed on the river bottom either, has it been washed out in places or is it still as it was before the floods. I could see how high the river had been during the floods, the good thing is that there's still plenty of undamaged foliage along both sides of the river.
Woke up to hear that it was going to be 21 degrees here in Sheffield today, then when I looked outside there was just a full on pea soup fog to be seen. I had decided yesterday that I would fish the Meander River as I thought with only seven browns needed to reach the 800 trout for the season then this river would be my best chance of doing it. Once there I had a one & a half kilometer walk through thick fog to where I was going to enter the river. It's just as well I know this area like the back of my hand as visibility was pretty low when I headed off through the paddocks. By the time I reached my entry point the fog was a little lighter and the river was like glass, there wasn't a breath of wind. I love fishing in these conditions as eerie as it is.
Humid conditions again today saw me heading off to the Meander River this afternoon in the hope of adding a few more trout to my season's tally. I thought I'd try a different area today, one that's fished reasonably well on other trips. Started off using the copper black fury without any success, then tried a Rapala, and after that a black bladed black fury. All I could manage over the first 600 meters of river was two follows and one light hit & miss. Things weren't looking all that good and I'm thinking it's not going to be a good day on the river.
After a three day break from trout fishing I thought a trip to the Meander River would be the place to get back into it. Conditions today were how & humid which makes for good fishing, but also is a drain on the body. I started off in a nice fifty meter fast water run and using a black bladed black fury I had caught & released eight browns from nine hook ups by the time I reached the end of it. The river is still higher than normal due to Hydro Tasmania running the power turbines at Huntsman Dam, this has really helped make the fishing much better than usual. Things went a little quiet over the next hundred meters or so as the trout were only following the spinner and weren't showing any signs of aggression.
Headed back for another spin session on Meander River this afternoon (3.15pm) in what was pretty warm conditions. It was still pretty humid and boy there was some heat in that sun. I was fishing the fast water on the Meander River and with the sun full on the water it was like I was standing in an oven. Not a breath of wind to be had either. I used the black bladed black fury today given the bright conditions and clear water. It wasn't too long before I had my first brown take the spinner and five casts later I had another two browns caught and released.
The forecast this morning (Weds) was for the winds to be easing off so I had decided I would head off later in the afternoon to see if I can crack the 500th trout for the season. Well, by 2.30pm here in Sheffield the wind had dropped right off to a nice light breeze which I was happy with. I was soon on the road heading on over to the Meander River once again. Trying another area quite some distance away from where I have recently been fishing. I arrived at the river just on 3.30pm to be greeted with another howling gale. I just couldn't believe it and did seriously think about turning around and heading back home. Not being one for giving in easily I decided I'd give it a go even though the wind was blowing straight down the river. Catching the nine trout required to reach the target wasn't going to be easy at all.
Headed off again this afternoon for another spin session in a rocky fast water stretch of the Meander River that's fished very well on my previous trips here. When I arrived the weather wasn't all that bad. The wind was a little gusty but nothing to worry about as I could see it wasn't going to effect my casting all that much. The river was reasonably sheltered from the wind too which made it that much easier. The first fifty meters was a little quiet as I just had the one hit and miss. Then over the next eighty meters I caught three nice browns. I'm thinking to myself I'm going to have another good catch of trout in this long fast water run again today. Then all hell let loose, the wind suddenly picked up a blew a gale. It was howling and there were small branches, twigs, leaves and all shapes and sizes of bark flying everywhere. I knew then it was going to be very difficult fishing from now on. This is as tough as I have ever experienced when fishing a river in these conditions.
The forecast wasn't all that flash today with winds reaching 45-55 kph during the day and I had intended to have a day at home after hearing that report. It was 7.30 am and the wind here in Sheffield wasn't all that bad so I quickly got into my fishing clothes and headed of to the Meander River to have a session before the wind picked up. After a forty five minute drive I was in the river flicking the little black fury around by 9.00am. There was plenty of smoke from the bush fires being blown across the area too, it was really thick and this wasn't going to make the day any easier either. It seemed more like 8.00pm it was that dark here and it wasn't all that warm, in fact the air was quite cool.
After a week's lay off from lower back & hip problems I finally felt good enough to head off to the Meander River for spin session. Well, that was after my weekly (every Weds.) dose of around 40+ injections that help to keep me trout fishing the rivers. I had wanted to have an early morning stint but that didn't happen. I didn't hit the river until just on 3.00pm. When I arrived the sun was full on the river and the wind was howling from the north, not only that the river was running low and crystal clear. I wasn't too fussed about it because it was just great to be able to get back into a river again.
Rain & thunder storms were the forecast for today and I was unsure whether to go fishing today or not. At 5.20am I decided I'm going and hopefully get a couple of hours in before the weather sets in. I headed on over to the Meander River once again as it's been the river that's been fishing well for me so I'm sticking with it. I was in the river by 6.35am and picked up a small (270gm) brown on the very first cast. Can't beat that for a start to the session that's for sure. Today I was back to using the black bladed black fury as it did the job for me the last time I fished this area on the Meander.
This three kilometer run of river has a mix of fast and medium/fast water so I'm hoping it will fish as good as my last trip here when I caught & released 21 browns back on the 6th January.
With ideal conditions forecast for the Australia Day holiday I headed on over to give the fast water a go on the Meander River. This time of year it usually fishes pretty good so I'm hoping it will fire up today. I was in the river by 5.45am and started off with a black bladed black fury and had a nice little brown on within the first three casts. When I went to slip the net under it the fish made a quick head shake and was gone. The thing is it didn't toss the lure at all but the swivel that is attached to the anti-kink broke. This is the first time that I've had an anti-kink fail. It was on with another anti-kink set up and back into the spin fishing. I had put a new black fury on and it worked a treat as I had six hook ups in quick time but lost every one of them. I decided to change from the black blade to a gold black fury to see if that may make a difference. I have done this in the Meander before when the same thing has happened and it worked.
Still feeling pretty stiff and sore from yesterday's five hours in the Meander River I wasn't right to go fishing again until around 1.00pm today. Even then I was still feeling sore in the back and hips but popped down a couple of Panamax and headed of back to the Meander River at Montana. I thought I would try different stretch of river that I haven't fished for a couple of seasons. The main reason is because it's one of the toughest stretches of the Meander River to fish because the bottom is very rocky and quite often slippery too. Being a bright sunny day the good thing is that by the time I get there around 2.00pm it will have some shade along the western side of it.
With the cool change finally here I headed off to fish the Meander River this morning at 5.30am. The forecast was for gale force winds but it wasn't too bad when I left Sheffield and headed off for the forty minute drive. I was in the river just before 7.00am in what was ideal conditions with it being overcast and a light South Westerly breeze. The first section of river I had just the two hooks up from small browns, they just didn't stay on the Rapala lure. I'm hoping this is not going to continue as the last trip here back on the 4th January when I lost the first four browns before I finally landed one. Well it only took me just on thirty five minutes before I had my first brown on this time and I only lost one other brown before I caught and released this 460gm trout. It's always good to get that first fish into the net that's for sure.
It was early start once again on the Meander River this morning and it was one of those beautiful mornings too. No wind, overcast and 5 degrees, absolutely great conditions for another session on the river. Today I'm fishing a different stretch of river, one that I haven't fished for around four years at least. I felt that with the way the river has fished below the bridge then perhaps it's time I gave the four kilometres of river above it a go. I was in the river at 5.40am and started off with the black fury today because the first one hundred meters was all shallow fast water. I was onto a small brown on the second cast but lost the little fella. That was the only hit for the first twenty meters, after that is when the fishing really picked up. Over the rest of this fast water stretch I caught & released seven nice browns from eight hook ups with the best brown going 540 gms. This was a great start, one I haven't had like this for some time.
By Adrian Webb
Well with daylight saving and Easter out of the way it was back to work for me today. What a great day is was to be back at the office with no wind, clear skies and crisp air. Couldn't have been a better day to go back at all.. This morning I had to travel to one of my other offices some 45 kms from Sheffield. Still it was a beautiful morning for a drive in the country side and it helps to get the brain into gear for the work ahead of me. My office today was the Meander River.. No better place to start off my first day back after a brief break.
After having an hour of acupuncture this afternoon I was off to the Meander River for another (4.00pm) afternoon session. The last trip here the brown trout really won out by tossing the hooks more times than I can remember ever happening during a session. I don't normally lose more than I catch, but that trip (20-11-14) I did when I hooked and lost ten in a row before spitting the dummy and headed for home.
With the wind coming from a variety of directions today I headed on over to the Meander River for a spin session. I arrived there at 1.20pm much earlier than I would normally hit a river, but I new the area I was going to fish would have good shade along most of the 1.5 kms of river from thick vegetation along the river banks. On my arrival I found the river was running around six inches higher than my last trip here as well. It just meant that some of the areas where I cross over will take a little longer than they normally do due to the stronger flow.
Today we were greeted with a medium 10 knot Sth Easterly breeze and another afternoon trip was on the the way. This time it was to be a stint on the Meander River above Deloraine. Once there I was happy to see the river level was down by around 125mms lower than my trip here a week or two ago and it was just about the right height.
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