November is the peak of spring action
  |  First Published: November 2012

We have got it good in Tassie – even more so when you break down regional areas as a place to base yourself, like Launceston.

There are so many waters within a one hour radius from here, that you would really struggle to fish them all good ‘n proper over one season. Add all the tasty waters outside of this and the opportunities become mind-boggling. That’s why it’s fantastic to have so many options when the weather doesn’t suit your favourite stretch, when you’re trying to find some shelter from the wind or simply seeking peace and solitude.

New Water

I recently explored a couple of creeks I had never fished: tributaries of the North Esk River. It is something I always have to do each season; find new water and explore. The first was looking good and when I poked my nose over each side of a near-by bridge and spooked two little fish I was keen to move on. It’s when I don’t see any at a bridge that I’m hesitant - fish love bridges more than trolls.

The banks were open around the bridge but became thicker as I explored far upstream, battling the blooming wattle and blackwood to target my quarry. I saw loads of fish but could barely cast bow and arrow style, let alone any form of back-cast! One was all I needed to satisfy the thirst of fishing a new water. I succeeded with a colourful little brown trout, which engulfed a freshly tied Blowfly Humpy. It was so small that my strike lifted it completely out of the water and onto the bank – quickest fight in history! In any case, size wasn’t key to satisfaction and I could happily tick off a new water within 30 minutes of Launceston.

While in the area, I checked out another bubbling brook and immediately spotted six or seven fish up to one pound from a well-utilised bridge. I hooked one of these on a Shaving Brush which promptly took me into the sticks, amusing some passers-by on the bridge – Probably wondering what the heck all the fuss was about. I continued upstream where I managed another on a Jelly Caddis nymph fished under a dry.

I turned over some rocks and found a colour to suit. The stick-caddis larvae hiding under the rocks all had a distinct dark green colour and a brown head. It was also positive to see a few isolated mayfly spinners fluttering by the creek too. Very small ones!

Recent Activity

Four Springs continues to entice anglers with the possibility of a semi-trophy too good to resist. Duns are popping, with cloudy and warm days seeing more consistent sport. Don’t be fooled into thinking that likely weather will guarantee a hatch though, as it can be a bit hit and miss.

Anglers fishing the Meander and Mersey are still reporting some stretches void of activity, likely due to a cormorant feeding frenzy over the past year or so that has resulted in a population decline. These particular rivers are long and robust and time will enable localised areas to recover.

These types of events often run in cycles and the boom and bust pattern has surprisingly been happening for many decades. Hunstman Lake has been giving up some great numbers for those fishing from a boat. I would recommend sneaking out here for a look if the traffic at Four Springs doesn’t suit your style.

Fish size is smaller but you will probably catch more fish by trolling or drift spinning with lures or plastics.

Whitebait numbers have peaked in many waters and anglers fishing Great Forester, Mersey, Forth and Upper Tamar estuary have been reporting hot action. If matching the hatch doesn’t get noticed, try something a bit bigger, bulkier and darker than the normal whitebait patterns. Mayfly action on the Macquarie, Brumbys and South Esk has been hotting up, with black spinners and red spinners showing up on suitable days. There are stacks of food events that happen on our waters throughout the season but the mayfly hatch is pretty special in my book.

Fishery News

There has been some roadwork conducted on the access to Curries River Dam. Grading and potholing has improved the road to enable anglers to get amongst the 3-4.5kg lurking in this water.

Gunns Limited (and now their receivers) advise of the closure of their Four Springs property near Selbourne from 28/9/2012. This will mean an end to access arrangements through the Gunns land at Four Springs. Locks to this part of Four Springs access road will be changed and those that hold permits will be notified of this change.

This closure applies to Gunns Limited property only and it is anticipated to remain in place until April 2013. Some areas have been roped off and should clarify any cloudy areas for anglers, but the restricted areas should not impede fishing.

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