Season kicks off in fine trout style
  |  First Published: September 2013

The season has kicked off in true style, with anglers all over experiencing a wide variety of results. You could say, as diverse as the weather at this time of year.

Nymph or Maniac?

Often when rivers are too high or dirty, anglers run for the hills to find cleaner water and easier conditions to fish in. This is a great option, but there can be some fantastic fishing provided the river is not a raging torrent. With careful consideration and keeping an eye on flood warnings, you can be in for a great surprise with multiple nymph rigs.

Such can be the case early in the season with rainbows and brown trout coming to hand on upper sections of the Meander River, around the Meander region. The way to success, I am told, is to fish two heavily weighted nymphs, Czech-style.

Essentially fishing at close quarters, roll casting and covering as much water as possible. Without going into too much detail, takes can be detected using various indicator materials or an indicator fly line (usually has the last 30cm or so in a fluorescent colour to detect takes), or you could just bring your eagle eyes combined with fish sensing skill!

This can be adapted to many waters, with North Esk, St Patricks, Mersey and Leven rivers all coming to mind for having ideal runs to fish in such a way. Typical rains can and do occur at this time of year and it pays to have some tricks up your sleeve. Careful though, it can be very productive and you may even lose a handful of nymphs!

Four Springs

Hoards of people flock to Four Springs for the chance of a really good fish to kick the season off. You always hear of a few monsters lost or sighted, but usually it’s a couple of fish that nudge 2kg. Reports always reveal that many struggle early on, possibly due to constant traffic. If you can get there, weekdays early and late in the day will give you a chance before the real daytime action gets underway next month and beyond.

Little Drains

Regular readers may have sensed my devious penchant for delicious little drains. These are a place I really like to explore and find out what hides around the next corner or pool, and what may lie beyond stretches where any normal human wishes to venture.

Blackberries and gorse can prove to be a literal pain in the arse for my early season stint but no barrier to fish. I usually find just a few tiny little fish and they are just as hungry as me! It’s amazing where these robust fish can get to and remain as a healthy population, let alone anyone trying to find them. Which reminds me, I must remember to fish another local drain when the sea runners turn up down the track – last time I went there it was loaded with baitfish!

It’s not just a simple desire to fish this type of water that keeps me coming back, sometimes when local rivers are too inundated you have little option but to search for alternatives. Smaller catchments and higher altitudes can provide a greater chance of clear, fishable water. Did I mention they are fun?


If you remember the popular 80’s computer game ‘Frogger’ you will recall the basic idea of the game was to get the frog over logs and predators to the other side and away from danger. This is a basic simulation of the exact plight of this special little amphibian! They start to become quite vocal and on the move when the rains set in and don’t the trout know it.

In waters like Four Springs, Huntsman Lake and Brushy Lagoon, look for dense strap-weed or tussocks. Pay particular attention to the shallows if lake or river levels are rising and you may even witness the odd fin break the surface. Brumbys Creek can also be a great location, particularly just above Weir 3, and some perfect water above Weir 1. This scenario requires a real hunter approach. Stealth and accuracy can see you getting a lure or fly in front of these fish, that 80’s melody starts bangin’ and it’s game on!

This month is a bit like the calm before the storm, as there are lots of critter events that are on the verge of breaking point. It’s a perfect time to get out and explore if the weather suits and get that casting arm into practice for when feature fishing starts breaking down the door. Peace.

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