After writing my previous blog I set off for Lake Burbury. It was useless. The tea coloured water was extremely low and the total lack of weed beds or features made it very difficult to read. After a few hours fishing I left the lake and spent the next few days touring the Northwest of Tasmania. It’s a stunning place with the hilliest and windiest roads I have driven. This was not easy in Sean’s car. It was as if one wheel did the steering and dragged the other one around the bends!! Might have been something to do with the cv joint. It was ticking away in a sort of rhythmical beat the whole time but it could only be heard on tar seal. Granville Harbour and Strahan were the highlights.
Meeting people is a common by-catch of fly fishing. I met a fella called Ras on the side of the Great Lake a while back. We got talking and he invited me to join him and his friends on a 4 day mission into the Tazzy backcountry to an area I had not yet been to. Naturally I accepted.
After a 4 hour hike we made camp for 4 days. The fish were small and difficult but we all had a few each day. After the first full day fishing the plan was to have fish for dinner but everyone put their fish back in the hope of catching a better one. Ras had a never fail plan though. After dinner he went ball deep in the lake and got one on a spinner. We ate it raw with soy and wasabi.
On day 2 and 3 we covered shitloads of miles over difficult terrain, we explored looking for good water but we didn’t find it. The place is spectacular, truly wild and unspoiled, so much so that the frustration of not catching didn’t bother me as much as it usually would. However catching fish is the reason I’m here so after a fishless day I went out for a night fish and had some good action on lumo flies.
After a day on the lake in this wilderness it’s always a pleasure to get back to camp and chat with the rest of group to see how everyone got on. Wine, sambuca, whiskey, or whatever else people bring in all add to the craic and bring out all sorts of stories. It’s a shame there’s such a strict fire ban out here because camping is not camping without a fire. Once Paul, Hair and I turned on the red light function on our headlamps and put them under some small sticks to give the illusion of fire. It worked. Better than nothing anyway.
On the last day Ras and I teamed up and fished a number of lakes over the 5 hour walk back to the truck. Fishing with a pack on is tough going and generally I do what I can to avoid it. Sometimes you have to and in this instance it was worth it. I spotted a brown cruising slowly near the surface on what was the most beautiful lake I had seen in my few days in the bush. I threw off my pack as the sun went behind a cloud and lost sight of the fish. He rose but I couldn’t see him. I put my dry to the left of the boil and within a few seconds the 3lber sipped it down. I had another chance a little later in a shallow sandy bay but in my haste my pack got stuck on my fly vest. I was about 5 seconds too late getting into position and lost visual. I didn’t make a blind cast in case I’d spook the fish. There was always a chance he could reappear. He didn’t.
To Ras the doctor, Mike the farmer, Hugh the artist, Pete the… sorry Pete I cant remember! and Simon the maths teacher. It was a pleasure to get to know you all. And hi to the 2 Donegal men we met on the way in, It was great to meet people who actually read this!
Since the backcountry mission I’ve had a few days on the water and the fishing seems to be improving. Today Hair and I had 11 on one of the 19 Lagoons. Yesterday Paul, a copper from Geelong and myself had 7 on the Great Lake fishing blind with dries. Paul was part of a gang of anglers from Victoria staying across the road from me. Rob and Tommy cleaned up on the lake with 20 or so fish. Glenn and Stu also did well. I had dinner with all these lads on their last night and I was well buckled by the end of it. Thanks fella’s! See you all next year…