by Carl Hyland
I’m very fortunate that I live only 10 minutes from a fresh water impoundment in Northern Tasmania that ticks all the angling boxes. Whilst Curries River Dam has been around for many years (it was first filled in 1989) and I reported on how it was back then and since, times do change and I’m happy to let everyone know that this place is still going off!
A full bag....a good day at Curries.
Located near Georgetown in the North of Tassie, Curries is still only one hours’ drive away from arrival ports such as Devonport and the Spirit of Tasmania. Why, I even met up with an angler from Victoria who arrived on a Thursday morning just after the ferry docked, and had his first fish (an 8lb brown trout) on the bank by lunch time. He was using mudeyes and had been reading one of my earlier reports in a fishing magazine and came armed with all the goods. As a result of his efforts, he left Curries that afternoon with four nice fish, I might add, a very happy man.
This water can be very fickle, just like the fish. I have spent many days here, trying every logical method that will catch fish just about anywhere else and all to no avail, other times, I and others, clean up.
One thing I have learned over the years is to experiment (within the laws of course) and this means trying different lures, different baits, soft plastics and flies. In saying that, I have a short list of what will work at any time of any day….you just have to present your baits or lures in the correct way to entice fish. For instance, I made a lure many years ago called a Spotty Dog, not a copy of any other lure by a similar name, but essentially, it had three dots along each side. This really turned fish on, creating strikes when strikes were hard to come by.
This and the Coachdog have been my two most productive lures in Curries. In saying that also, I use the Christmas tree cobra to great effect as well.
Soft plastics rate well here, there is only one to use and that is the black/gold t tail from Berkley. Presented with a 1/8th jig head and light line, the lure, when twitched alongside rushes or into deep holes, will bring savage attacks from either brown, rainbow, brook or Atlantic salmon. Sure, other soft plastics will catch fish but like I said, I stick with stuff I know will get me fish nearly every time.
Curries is a water that can only be fished by rowboat or boats powered with electric motors, why this rule is still enforced I do not know, as I am led to believe that this water is no longer used for drinking. Makes one wonder why there is one rule for some yet the authority who manages this water can belt around in a twin outboard powered boat all day long?
Either way, when you could only row, you seemed to get more fish as I’m sure the rowing action created more action to the lure. I remember a friend who left the boat ramp in his little Purdon dinghy late one afternoon for a session along the Western shore and he said to me, I’ll clean up this evening. He wasn’t wrong, rowing flat out he returned 30 minutes later with his bag limit, five beaut fish all taken on a Christmas tree cobra. It was the speed he was rowing at and the lateness of the day that got him the fish.
When I go onto the water I usually head for a long deep hole that was created by a big mechanical scraper when they were building the dam ,for I can remember where the scrapers were working and some of the structures inside the dam, before it was filled.
These ‘holes’ still hold good fish and on a day when water temperatures are going through the roof, fish are often found lurking here. Getting them to bite may be another matter.
I like’ hunting’ my fish. Sure trolling will get you strikes but it can be hit or miss. When I see a fish rise, it’s a matter of hanging back and see if he rises again. If he does, it is usually an indication of a fish midging or chasing galaxia on top. A lure or fly tossed nearby will often bring him undone. Sometimes either a mudeye floated under a float into his path will also result in a great ‘take’.
So just finally a couple of points that may help you with your freshwater fishing. If trolling, try the ‘stop n’ go’ method, let the lure sink and you will be surprised. Try different things like painting some dots on the side of a lure, (fingernail polish is good).
If fishing from the shore, try the stop and go technique also or tie a fly dropper on to your main line.
Trust you have luck wherever you are!