Was it the fly?

Bream fishing for me this season on the west coast of Victoria has been difficult. In fact so difficult, that up until yesterday, many short sessions have yielded nothing! Not even a touch. A bit demoralising considering that over the past decade or so, despite some tough days, the fishing has been very good – some days producing fish numbers in the double digits.

This winter though, despite what I would normally consider great conditions, the fishing could not have been harder. A few of my good friends have also experienced a bream winter that’s been well below par.

Then yesterday, at around 11am, I popped into town to pick up a few things. I had no intention of fishing. But my rod is permanently in the car, so on a whim, I decided to go and check out a snaggy stretch of river I’ve been meaning to fish, particularly for EPs. As I drove past in the rain, I saw a decent rise. I am not sure what it was, but it’s always nice to see a rise!

The rain passed and the river looked good.

The rain stopped and the sun came out. What the heck I thought, I might as well have a few casts. Without too much enthusiasm I drove downstream, parked the car and tied on a new section of tippet and looked in my fly box for inspiration.

Tucked away in one of the compartments, a fly practically jumped out at me. A chartreuse and pink Hammerhead. This fly has seen a lot of action and is a favourite, but I forgot I had any left. (By coincidence, I’d just placed an order for half a dozen of these.)

The fly.

I tied on the fly, walked to the river and started fishing. The tide was pushing saltwater up and the flow from last night’s rain was pushing down, creating an ideal scenario where the current was almost neutral. Cast, let the fly sink to the bottom, strip, strip, strip… pause…ON!


I had been fishing mostly at dusk but I caught this beautiful fish at midday in bright conditions.

I had fished water with excellent visibility but today it was quite murky.

I had fished a variety of flies: Hammerheads, Vampires, Bream Buggers in various sizes and colours for not even a touch, but caught my fish on a fly I didn’t know I still had!


Some confidence restored! I really was starting to wonder if I had lost my touch. Not fishing properly, jinxed?

The fish.

I walked away from the river with more questions than answers (as usual!) but thrilled at catching this beautiful fish. Perhaps not my best, not the biggest but certainly one of my most appreciated.