I recently had a successful mission fishing for bream with surface flies, so when a rostered day off work coincided with some decent weather (for once!) I became torn between thoughts of polaroiding trout in the Western Lakes or polaroiding bream on the East Coast instead. The bream won this time.
I rocked up to a sweet waterway and jogged to some likely water to ensure I was on the right track. There was shiploads of bait, salmon and mullet in the shallows and then I spotted a good bream cruising a drop-off. You beauty.
When I arrived back to the water all rigged up, the same fish appeared to be doing a beat but I eventually spooked it. This wasn’t really as issue though as I looked up ahead a saw a pod of bream and knew this was going to be fun.
I’m still pretty new at bream on the fly but I’ve had plenty of experience with lures, so bream behaviour is quite familiar. I eventually nutted out a safe distance to land my fly from sighted bream without spooking them. Grabbing their attention seemed ok and getting them to boof my fly on the surface was working too, but a hook-up alluded me for some time. I reckon it was fifteen or so takes before I got one to stick! A strip-strike was required and although you could see a bream’s nose hanging under the fly for seconds, their aggressive suck was lightning fast! Some looked to be trying to ‘injure’ my fly before coming back for seconds.
Next up I came to a section where the bream were behaving just like a trout, lying doggo in the shallows and some were either spawning or tailing over a gravel bar with full tails waving about, awesome stuff to witness and certainly had my hand shaking and my nuts were nowhere to be found. Not that I checked or anything…
I cast my ‘bream boofer’ a couple of times to these fish but it was clear that it was too disruptive and a more subtle approach was required. Long story short, I tried a few dry flies and plenty of fish were coming up to them but none committed. One day!
Back on with the ‘bream boofer’ to find some more aggressive fish. Location X provided the love that I needed. One fish came out of nowhere and just smashed my fly but once again missed him. Another had followed my fly all the way in until I almost ran out of flyline before he smacked it off the surface – Fish on!
Man I was seeing some nice fish behind my fly. I was beginning to think that I could crack the magical ’40 to fork’ mark on fly. I watched as another fish materialised behind my aggressive retrieve…. wait, wait…. boil, strip, strip, wait….wait….wait…. BOOF!! Fish on!! This one took me into some weed and picked up a clump of it – I was worried that this would lose me the fish as I has some serious washing on the line! The fish came to hand and just between you and me, a bit of wee came out. A new PB bream of around 38cm to fork. Yew! I managed to snavel one more fish before calling it quits for the day. Stoked but massively sunburnt! This could quickly become a new obsession…