A few weeks in Eden and a few fish… Holiday recap.

I spent a lot of time in Eden over the holidays. First for Christmas and then for my cousins wedding. It was a pretty perfect holiday, spent balancing family time, girlfriend time, friends time, drinking by the pool time and fishing time. Fishing on family holidays is always a bit of a balancing act, so a lot of my fishing was done when I could fit it in, not necessarily when it was the best time to go fishing. Lee has covered the weekend him, Perrin and Emily joined us. It was good fun, the trip to the Southern Monaro and getting Perrin, Lee and Ceri onto some Kingies were the fishing highlights.

Perrin with his first ever Kingfish. Oh YEAH!
Perrin with his first ever Kingfish. Oh YEAH!

 

Ceri with a nice little Kingfish
Ceri with a nice little Kingfish

A little hopper eating Monaro trout with "blue steel" anglerA little hopper eating Monaro trout with “blue steel” angler

 

Beautiful stretch of river on the Southern Monaro
Beautiful stretch of river on the Southern Monaro

Over the rest of the time I was down there, I managed a couple more Kingy sessions with Dad and the cousins. The fishing wasn’t “hot” but we managed to boat at least a few decent kings each session as well as dozens of babies, which was good fun. As Lee has covered, getting right onto fish is often the key, which can be a little difficult due to Dads ***** black and white sounder, although nowadays I read it well these days so its not a huge handicap (as Lee has covered, my reactions to almost identical sounder images can often be bemusing to newbies, eliciting wildly different reactions depending on the “vibe”- developing an intimate loving relationship with your electronics is an important part of catching more fish and means you can eek out the absolute most from ***** technology). That said I’m looking forward to the new top of the line colour sounder Dad is about to install on the boat, it should make pinpointing the fish that little bi easier. While the kingfishing was fun, my first kingy on fly still eludes me. I got OH SO CLOSE, I managed to get a few casts at a school on the surface, resulting in a follow on a pink thing, then a hit but no hook up on a popper and then just as quickly as the school had appeared it was gone. Needless to say the motivation to tick that one off the list is at an all time high, but it will have to wait till next time…

A nive Kingfish. Good fun, even if it was caught jigging ;)
A nive Kingfish. Good fun, even if it was caught jigging 😉

 

Photo fail
Photo fail

Onto the estuary fishing. Over Christmas it was hit and miss. I managed a few little flatties and lost a monster at my feet which was heartbreaking (so be it), but in general, it was all pretty quiet. On returning for the wedding things had hotted up a bit and the estuaries were fishing relatively well and I managed a few really fun sessions (almost all on the fly rod- after a few years of neglect, my estuary spin gear needs a bit of an update to be honest). One of those was a hot tailor bite. In the hour leading up to high tide, a huge school of tailor had set up in one of the channels where the tide was really pushing. It was fish a cast stuff for an hour, fish after fish after fish. They weren’t big (40cm or so), but a load of fun on the wand. On the way back, I found a few bigger models, landing two nice fish, 55 and 49 to the fork respectively. Twenty or so tailor and three flathead on the fly rod in an hour and a half is good fishing by anyones measure. It was the sort of session that has you buzzing and talking a thousand miles an hour to the glazed over faces of friends and family- thankfully all the kids listened intently giving me an audience. There rest of the sessions were OK, all resulting in fish, but not much frantic action. There were some nice little sessions getting stuck into silver trevally of between 0.5 and 1kg, some nice flathead fishing as well as some heartbreak- having never caught a bream on fly I managed to drop two in the one morning. So it goes.

Flathead coming to the net
Flathead coming to the net

 

Almost there
Almost there

 

Greedy fish
Greedy fish

 

A tailor photo.
A tailor photo.
Espresso martinis in the pool. What we did when we weren't fishing...
Espresso martinis in the pool. What we did when we weren’t fishing…

After 9 or 10 days and maybe half a dozen sessions most of only an hour or two, a wedding, some epic wedding related sporting events and some great times drinking espresso martinis in the pool, it was time to head home. Before commencing the drive I managed one last little session with cousins Brett and Em. We hit up a favourite little spot which really fires on the last hour of the run out tide. Of course we missed that because we didn’t get up stupid early, arriving at the turn of the tide. The boys still got onto a few fish though, Brett getting a trevally and a flathead and Em getting onto a couple of nice flathead of about 50 cms with the spin rod. I however was fishless as the session was drawing to an end. Wading around as the tide started to move in, I saw a great little spot. A shallow sand bar with water rushing over it one a deeper part of the flat. First cast and I landed a 49 cm flathead. Next cast I dropped another nice fish, third cast 56cm, fourth cast and I dropped another one. All four fish were hooked within about 2 meters of each other. And then just like that it was over, the structure that was holding the fish was gone and the flat was now flooded. The fish had moved onto greener pastures. For 15 minutes after that the flathead were boofing small prawns off the surface like crazy all across the flat, I’ve never seen anything like it, but I didn’t manage another one and we had to leave, I had six hours driving ahead of me.

Brett with a lovely little trevally
Brett with a lovely little trevally

 

Flathead on fly
Flathead on fly

 

56 cm of fly caught flathead sporting some primo camouflage
56 cm of fly caught flathead sporting some primo camouflage

What that last little session and the other little estuary session really hit home is how important tides and water movement can be. It also hit home, that when you don’t have an option, you will fish any Goddamned tide and as long as you catch a couple, it really doesn’t matter, sometimes being out there is as important as getting onto a hot bite. For me, some of the sessions snuck in-between family events on the wrong tides, sessions that only produced a fish or two were some of the most important and fun, providing a much needed mental refresh, catching oodles of fish was secondary. Although it is nice to combine a mental refresh with a crazy hot bite, when its not possible, any fishing will do. On that note, I think its time I hit up my local carp spot 😉

Cheers

Hamish

flickandflyjournal.com

Hamish Webb, Dan Firth, Graham Fifield and Lee Georgeson have been fishing the south-east Australian region since 1987. Since then they’ve become avid sportfishermen who are constantly looking for new ways to challenge themselves. They are all scientists and conservationists who are passionate about the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem in which they live. They promote understanding and appreciation of the complex socio-political, economic and environmental issues surrounding fish, fishing and fisheries, while never losing sight of the various motivations that keep them coming back. In English, that means they love all things fishing and have a damn good time on the water, and that’s all that really counts in the end!

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