The weather hasn’t been very friendly of late and right on cue we had 65mm of rain just prior to our trip chasing the mighty bass. A couple of days of anxiously watching the river levels drop and the rain to go away put the trip back on track but we were a little dubious as to the conditions when we arrived at the launch point.
We arrived at dawn and after dropping Enjoyfish1’s (Tristan’s) car off at the exit point we made or way to the entry point.. With Tristan’s kayak prepped and ready to go he dragged it down to the small creek which was our entry. It was only about 3 metres wide and 2 foot deep and we always had a few practice casts to get out the cobwebs. As I prepped my kayak, Tristan had a few casts of his Feather Crank into this small hole. On about the tenth cast there was a boof in the dark and the inevitable “I’m On”. A quick fight in the skinny water and Tristan had bagged a 38.5cmFL bass. What a start to the morning and it had us excited as to what the day held in store.
The paddle down the side creek resulted in my Sammy being boofed and missed and then nothing much else when we reached the main arm of the system. There was a lot more flow than other trips and dawn showed that the water was really muddy like a strong milky coffee. It was a very quiet morning with Tristan picking up a few small models between 30-34cmFL on his Jackall Aragon and I managed another small fish of 30cmFL on a Jackall Cherry. The highlight was watching Tristan get his Aragon caught in a tree and in the process of removing it and the lure hitting the water it was instantly engulfed by another 38cmFL bass. This was a great start for Tristan in the Social competition and the morning had just begun. The frustrating thing was that the bass were being caught in random parts of the creek with little pattern to their behaviour. As always this frustrated me!!
We eventually reached a part of the creek where another sizeable creek entered. Usually it runs crystal clear and although a little milky it still was much clearer than the main creek. Although we had walked up this creek on our last visit with little success we decided to have another look as the noise of cicadas was very loud and there was more water than our previous visit. Tristan had a hit on his Sammy early with no hook-up and the next pool I was smacked twice without luck. A few pools later Tristan missed a nice fish off the surface and eventually I managed a 35cmFL bass in another pool.
After a little chat and a bit of exercise we decided to hike up further. Eventually we came to a large pool that opened up and was covered in shade. It went a fair way but the banks were covered in vegetation and it was too deep to wade. After discussing the merits of walking back and continuing to our exit or exploring this creek we decided to grab the yaks and move upstream as we had had some nice surface success.
After some tough portage we eventually made it back to the yaks, dragged/kayaked upstream and made our way into the new pool. Tristan and I managed another bass each at 35 and 38cmFL in this pool on our Sammy’s and this began an afternoon of good surface action. The next pool I cast below some rapids and managed another 35cmFL bass. We continued casting into the deep pools where shade was available or where the rapids could hide fish and were continually rewarded with fish between 30 – 38cmFL most being enticed by Tristan.
Eventually we came to a pool that had it all, a nice rocky cliff face, deep shade from a large tree and rapids at its head. The cicadas were screaming in the trees above us and the pool screamed bass. Tristan offered to man the video and I cast towards the back of the cliff and walked my Sammy along the face with the current. After a few metres there was an explosion of water and the lure was engulfed. The fish was a nice size and after some tricky manoeuvring and an awful attempt at landing the bass which was comic to say the least I managed a 40cmFL. The best thing was that upon reviewing the footage we Tristan had made a cracking video.
Some more portage and we reached another massive pool. I offered to video Tristan have a cast at a nice stack of boulders on the bank mixed up with a reasonable log and some deep shade. Tristan decided not to have it filmed and as Murphy’s law would have it the instant the Sammy hit the water a good sized bass pole-axed it and missed another twitch and the water erupted again. The second cast yielded a similar result and then nothing. Double bugger! It would have been some great footage and a great fish to boot. This pool yielded a good number of bass and missed opportunities and then it was time to head home.
We managed a few more fish in the 30’s casting at the same holes on the way down and then we reached the dirty water of the main arm. Both of us managed a few fish in the dirty water with Tristan’s Aragon nailing quite a few and I managed a few on the Sammy. By the time we reached the exit point we were tired and sore and although I vowed not to fish water this dirty again, it had forced us to explore new country and we had discovered a great new location. Tristan had managed over twenty fish and me about a dozen and although the fish hadn’t been huge it was still a good day’s basin