Best laid plans, East Gippsland

“Bream, EPs and maybe bass.” That was Kiel’s headline for a long-planned trip to East Gippsland estuaries with me and Mark. Kiel grew up fishing these waters, and my brother and I were really looking forward to a few days being the guided for a change. No expectations; just a loose plan with lots of new water (for us).

Isolated and beautiful.

The trouble (if you want to call it that) with trips locked in months in advance, is there’s not much capacity to change plans. Accommodation is booked, and while there are certainly options within driving and boating distance, in this fairly isolated part of Victoria, there are limits to what your alternatives are if the weather is… well, unexpected.

Riviera-like morning. Hard to imagine half an inch of rain and single figure temperatures by the end of the day.

And that’s what happened. As I write from our cabin near the lake, it’s 8C. Nothing too remarkable about that for a September morning, except on Tuesday, it was 33C, with gale force winds. And yesterday morning, we left the ramp in Riviera-like 20C, then came home in cold, torrential rain.

Expected yellowfin bream, found salmon.

But it’s been great so far. We went looking for river-mouth yellowfin bream and found schools of big salmon on wadeable sandflats. We went up into the jungle seeking bass, and instead caught big trout.

Jungle trout!

In between we’ve had patches of ‘conventional’ fishing for black bream up gorgeous creeks and in remote wilderness lakes.

At least the black bream were where they were supposed to be.

The forecast for the next couple of days looks… well, unpredictable. But I’m sure we’ll find something.