Apparently August has taken up where July left off in parts of Victoria, with the coldest first half of the month in 20 years. With today forecast to be the finest day in ages, it was a hard call where to go to make the most of the weather – a trout lake or two, or another estuary trip for bream?
Brother Mark has missed our recent bream trip successes, so bream fishing it was. After last weekend, I felt a bit of pressure to show off some good spots and to pick the right flies and tactics. If anything, the rivers looked in better shape than last weekend; somewhat clearer and with a stronger tidal ‘push’ in from the ocean. However the actual fishing was a bit tougher. It never sounds convincing when you blame some handicap applied by the natural world after the event, so I won’t. However I will note that a fish that takes 27 years to grow to 40 cm, clearly isn’t a reckless feeder.
We did manage to find some bream we could persuade to eat a fly. A few were in the regular hot spots, but usefully for future trips, a few weren’t. Mark’s fresh approach resulted in two nice fish from a place I’ve been ignoring. Also, several flies lost to snags forced us to experiment a little as our regular patterns ran out. It turns out that Gotchas partly coloured in with red or black Texta, make a very good backstop if you run out of Hammerheads, JC Bream Buggers and Vampires.
In the end we worked hard for a half a dozen bream landed and some near misses. At 30-35 cm, these were a little smaller on average than last trip, but great fighters all the same. A few small salmon kept the reflexes alert in between. If pressed, I’d describe the actual fishing as a pass, maybe 6/10. But the weather was superb as promised, the landscapes even more dramatically beautiful than usual under a late winter sun and lunch – salad rolls purchased from a Colac bakery on the way down – was delicious. A pretty good day.