|Posted by John Everett on November 6, 2012 at 4:30 AM|
FINALLY!.....Winter is behind us.
With only a few Reddy trips and one afternoon trout trundle under my belt since June, I was itching to hook up with some natives.
A mate of mine, Jamie, and I had been looking to catch up on a river somewhere for a long while. We had been keen to chase some Cod on fly before close of season, but weather and work restrictions had consistantly foiled all plans. Finally an opening presented itself, and we did not need any extra encouragment to seal the deal!
All plans were in place. We had decided to sightsee and fish some new water down at the base of the Macleay valley. It was a rogue, and hard to handle bush fire in that particular vacinity took that option away from us. As always, we had a plan B!
This took us down into the Bellinger Valley. We settled on a through trip that consisted of around thirty odd kilometers of river, some previously explored by us, and some not. Again, we made Google Earth our friend, looking for the best entry and exit points.
After an early 3am start, we found ourselves at the appropriate enrty point just before first light. We organized our gear into our canoes and left the car behind with high hopes.
By mid morning we had covered all the reasons for why we thought the fishing was slow. Too early in the season? Water temperature still too cold? Not enough flow for the fish to have come up yet?.....maybe all true?.
Finally our account was opened with myself scoring a modest sized bass out from under a tidy looking snag pile. This was followed almost immediately by Jamie setting hooks into a similar sized bass just upstream.
Hours elasped again with no sign of a fish. It wasn't untill just before sundown when a few more little fellas came on the chew.
We hadn't set up camp at this stage, so we did the usual 'reckie' looking for an appropriate patch for the night. Once hammock and tent were erected, Jamie brought out the goods for dinner with some sensational marinated lamb. After plenty of stories and a few cold beers, the lamb had been successfully slow cooked over the naked flame of our camp fire. Trying to put words to the flavour of this meal would only take away from it, but believe me it was very good!! Later that night, although Jamie did manage one more surface sipping bass on fly, things were still very slow.
New light brought renewed hope, though again the morning session dissapointed. A wet front was looking like it wanted to push through, but as had happened the day before, the weather stayed stable and overcast. The cloud set against the mountainous backdrop was amazing.
Hoping for a change in proceedings, the sky opened up and brought rain. Although we did not see it as a blessing at first, it did not take long for us to build a tally of healthy sized fish.......about time!
From here things stayed reasonably consistant throughout the afternoon. Jamie cracked the code on what the bass wanted, with a beatle spin producing numerous fish for the two of us until it was time to pull out.
This trip was patchy at best from a fishing point of view. But with good company and some new water to explore we had nothing to complain about!