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Author Topic: Huon river salmon  (Read 516 times)

reddory

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Huon river salmon
« on: March 29, 2019, 10:22:20 am »
With autumn coming on (albeit slowly!) I took a bit of a look on a favourite stretch of the Huon last Saturday, to see if there might be any escaped salmon about.  River was down on bare bones; nevertheless I did manage to lip and roll over one fish, which got the sulks and wouldn't look at a lure again.  "Oho!" I thought.  "This will improve if the rain that's forecast does eventuate"

Wednesday I was back again, after good rains in the head waters Sunday/Monday.  I expected the river to have dropped enough by then to be wadeable, but I misjudged: it was still running a gunsher:

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So, no go for the salmon, but I did manage to winkle three nice browns, all around the kilo mark, out of the shaded backwater in the foreground of this pic.

Checked the river heights on the BOM this morning and it looked better, so off I trundled before dawn.  Just able to be waded, to reach the stony area mid-stream where I like to fish from.  First cast got hit, but didn't stick.  Three casts later, another nudge.  Change lures: something brighter and shinier, with bigger hooks.  A few more casts then thunk!

Battle was on!  Upstream and down that fish took me, rolling and charging against as much drag as I dared apply, on 4kg line.  Eventually it was tired enough to lead up the bank and dispatch - a plump Atlantic of just 4 kilos:

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I resumed casting, and a few minutes later had another fish snap at the lure right at my feet!  A couple more casts, close beside me, another bump, then a change of lure tempted this one and I was hooked up to another just the image of the first.  A fair old tussle ensued, with this time a fair bit of aerial work, until I figured it was ready to walk back up the rocks.  Then at the last, this fish flipped, rolled on the line and broke off - and shot straight back into the river.  Damn!

I went on fishing for another fifteen minutes or so, and briefly lipped another fish a fair way upstream, but it didn't try again.  Finally, after the most hectic hour or so fishing I've had in the river in a long time, the sun hit the water and it all went quiet.  Nevertheless, I had one super fish to take home.  Do I look pleased?  Not half!

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PointerLureProject

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Huon river salmon
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2019, 01:54:57 pm »
looks like a beautiful stretch of river and you're lucky to have access to escapee's.

reddory

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Huon river salmon
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2019, 05:59:37 pm »
It's a big river, the Huon.  And there are plenty of spots that are accessible for anyone to have a go.  And from my observations over some 30-plus years, various of those spots will yield a fish or two (or more!) if there are salmon in the river.  Some of those that escape the cages in the estuary have no clue about what to do / where to go next.  Others retain some vestige of their natural urges in their makeup, and as soon as a fresh flow comes down the river, they head up it.

A mate of mine ran a short trolling session from the esplanade just up through the bridge and back, a few weeks ago; he and his mate boated a couple of serious fish - salmon estimated around 6 kilos and probably near 9 kilos. They had a motor boat, but could just as easily have done it from a 'yak.  You just need to be there at the right moment.

I'm not lucky; just observant!

Might go and have another look tomorrow morning (provided it's not CHUCKING it down with rain), and take the fly rod for some real sport. 

reddory

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Huon river salmon
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2019, 12:37:53 pm »
Well, I hit the river again this morning just at first light.  Water level was down about 20cm from yesterday, and flowing a bit slower.  Otherwise, conditions very similar.

I had my fly rod this time.  Cast out, across the current and let the fly swing down,  cast and swing... cast and swing... After about an hour of this I had covered all of the shallower end of the pool, every part I could reach with the fly, for just one small brownie.  Where were the salmon today?  Either moved further up, or already settled in and got the sulks.  Either way, not responding.

I did see a subtle roll further upstream, in deeper water, and tried a few casts but simply couldn't reach it.  So I scuttled back to the car and swapped my fly rod for the spin outfit, and back into the river.

Tried to position myself so I could get a cast up beyond the spot where the fish had rolled, and retrieve hopefully diagonally downstream across in front of it.  First couple of efforts were close, but no cigar.  Then the third cast came up tight after only a couple of metres.  Good, clean fight; downstream then again back up until I had it beaten and beached it; salmon a tad smaller than yesterday's and in the same prime condition that suggested it was not long out of the cage.  I dispatched it and resumed fishing, but not another touch.

A very different effort from yesterday's.  Nevertheless, I was happy to have had a great session out in the fresh air, and have another salmon to dress and stash in the freezer for later.  Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Dan

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Huon river salmon
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2019, 01:08:34 pm »
Nice, beautiful looking fish. As you say, they look like a fairly recent escape.

reddory

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Huon river salmon
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 03:05:22 pm »
They are still there, if you want a salmon for Easter! 

I took another just like the above on Saturday morning, just under 4kg and well fit.  Have had a few reports locally of others being caught at various points all up and down from Franklin to way above Judbury.

 

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