Daytime Fails & Evening Tails

A late burst of pleasant weather prompted a brief journey to the Western Lakes for some sight fishing.

I sent a text to my old mate Chris, asking nicely for him to drag his late-shift arse out of bed so we could begin. Christo quickly responded with an affirmative “let’s hit it”.

Two hours later we pulled up to a calm and sunny 19 Lagoons. Two hours was more than enough time to discuss our destination, so we hastily rigged up and headed in that direction. We checked out a lagoon on the way which looked quite full but nothing showing. Some grassy shores here embedded thoughts of tailing fish come sun-down, so we placed those very thoughts in the memory bank.

We arrived at our chosen water and were greeted with a subtle disturbance near a creek inflow. I stealthily got into position and tracked the fish, which appeared to be feeding on mayfly duns that sailed past sporadically. This fish was too smart for me and remained free to feed while ignoring my feeble efforts!

A Chris Reygaert Photo

We paired up and eased our way around the lake, trying to spot fish as we went. Unfortunately for us, the sun is not up very high at this time of year, making for tough visibility. We started spooking fish in the shallows before we could see them, so began ‘blind flogging’ in the shallows and over a drop-off. Christo had a fish boil on his fly and me soon after. There was still the odd mayfly hatching but we only saw around four fish after them in as many hours.

Deciding that fishing blind sucked balls, we began walking the shore and spooked more fish, Christo blamed me, I blamed him. We settled the argument over some home-made jam slice and washed it down with a dirty burner.

The sun was creeping closer and closer to the horizon so we piss-bolted to the lagoon we eyed off earlier. It was looking rad – like a mill pond. The light was low and any likely tailing fish would surely give itself away. Then, I saw it. Full back out of the water, happily mooching about in the shallows waving its fins about. We watched it for around five minutes while Christo gave me the green light to proceed. I positioned myself on a tussock so as not to send any ripples across the water and waited for the right moment. The fish turned slightly away from me so I sent a Sloane’s Fur Fly in front. The first cast was a bit off target but the second was epic. The fish charged over and engulfed it while I tightened up. Luckily old Christo was behind the lens.

A Chris Reygaert Photo

The fish tired quickly and while it had a big head and shoulders, it was a touch slabby in the back end. Chris had a crack at two fish that were paired up in the shallows, but they seemed more intent on nipping each other on the fins and looked to be in spawning mode. I was bloody stoked to end up on the board with a nice fish. It turned an epic daytime fail into a splendid evening tail.

A Chris Reygaert Photo

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