After 10 hours of guided fishing with a fly rod, I had seen plenty of Trout but I had failed to hook one. Now I recognize that 10 hours is hardly a fishing lifetime, but with only a few days of my Tasmanian holiday left, it was time to switch tactics and try some lures.
Our guide had suggested I try a small dam near Taraleah, called the Pump Pond. I walked up to it at around 7.30 am, just as the sun was beginning to burn through the morning mist. Santa brought me a new Shimano Stella 2500 reel which goes perfectly with my Loomis GL2 spin rod. I had loaded it with the new 8lb Nanofil fused line from Berkely and tied on a rod length of 6lb Fluorocarbon leader.
All of the dams in the area are linked by canals and tunnels, so that water can be moved around the hydro-electric scheme. The canals between the dams are usually fast moving and you should take care when fishing them, as they are largely unfenced. One of these canals runs out of the base of the Pump Pond Dam, down to a small holding reservoir. As I walked along it, to reach the dam I decided to throw a cast in. I had rigged a Gulp 3” Minnow in the Rainbow colour on a 1/12th ounce, size 2 hook, jighead. I cast up stream into the current and gave the plastic a few jigs as it sped towards me. It was passed me in seconds, so I hauled it in and cast again. The canal is made of preformed concrete slabs with no structure at all. Just as I was thinking it would be difficult for a fish to hang out anywhere, I felt a solid bite and then line started peeling. It was a small Brown (my first Australian Trout and my first fish on the new Stella). It was soon safely on the bank. I removed the soft plastic from its mouth and released it.
I moved up to the Pump Pond and waited until I saw another Trout break the surface to feed. I cast the plastic a few metres in front of it and let it sink. The water was crystal clear and as I slowly retrieved the minnow soft plastic, I watched another small Brown Trout follow it all the way in to the bank and then turn away. This happened again on the next cast, so I sped up the retrieve a little, with a few jumps and jerks. The fish followed closely again, but it would not strike.
I moved all along the dam wall, casting whenever I saw a fish and the same thing happened every time. They were curious but they would not eat the lure. I tried some different soft plastics – grub tails and fry shapes, but they all drew a blank. At about 10.00 am the sky was clear and there was no wind so I decided to give up.
A great morning in a spectacular location and most importantly – I got a fish.