My last weekend of fishing from last season was nearly 3 months ago. No wonder cabin fever is setting in. It was the last weekend of the general 09/10 trout season, but a few lakes remain open the entire year. There are also a few specific rainbow trout waters open for a few more weeks after this, enabling the hardcores to get out there amongst the elements.
Headed out with good mate Yappin’ Howell to a place called Clarence Lagoon – One of the few places in Tasmania you can target ‘wild’ brook trout (Introduced many years ago, but hold self sustaining populations). I have been to a couple of other locations but have failed to produce!
Clarence Lagoon is about a 2 hour drive from home and an hour walk in each way. Quite a pleasant walk in really, via an old 4WD track that’s a bit too hardcore for Yappers Outback. Passing through native Tasmanian Pepperberry trees (used in cooking.. Yum), small tracts of Myrtle forest and sensational Celery Top Pines. The aromas and serenity set the mood for our mission into the unknown.
Arriving at the top of the plataeu was a stark contrast to our peaceful surrounds from which we emerged. The wind was howling and the chill factor almost turned the beads of sweat on my brow to stalic tights. Out come the beanies, thermals and gloves, and it’s time to set up.
The direction of the wind made for a very difficult time with the fly rod, as we had to cast directly across the wind, which would see the line pretty much going down the shoreline, or we had to cast straight into the teeth of it to acheive a 12 ‘oclock cast. Not cool. Most of the stories we had read about brookies had mentioned that when they were on the chew, they were ‘easy’ to catch, but more often than not they sulk off in the depths and are difficult to entice. They rarely rise, rarely enter shallow water (apart from spawning time) and sight fishing is rare, well in Tasmania anyway. We had heard they like cold, rough weather…. so maybe we were in with a chance after all!
We were about 2 hours into dragging wet flies through the deep chop, and that monotonous feeling had started to kick in. The fingers were numbing and I was looking forward to those sangas I made at 5am. All of a sudden, I heard a distinctive yeeeoooow through the gale-force winds. Andy was bent over to the angle of angling… His colgate smile glistened as he held his rod high. I ran down to him while he played out the battle. The feisty little brook came to hand and high fives were despatched from each arm. We took a few little snaps, admired the striking colours and revived him back in the water.
That was the only fish for the day even though we flogged about for another hour and a half before walking out. Somehow, I was still stoked. My mate caught a unique fish on fly, we had fished a new water and we were alive. Fishing is awesome.