There was movement at the station for the word has passed around, the Colt from old Regret had got away.. it's the start of a great Australian poem which goes on about a bloke named Clancy of the Overflow, is mainly about another bloke and his horse but Clancy is in there too. When I was a child, along with wanting to be an axe-wielding Viking, I always used to think about this Clancy bloke wheeling them from the right. Mustering is pretty hard work, even harder if it's Brumbys on the side of a steep mountain.. all a bit too difficult, that's why I take a kayak and try and muster Bass!!
So it came to be that on a bit of a whim, Matt Richards a painter of great ability and reasonable pricing, was in the shop and made a bet that I couldn't fit all of the camping and fishing gear into a little Perception Sound 9.5 kayak and go and catch a fish. Not one to back out of a bit of a dare, I accepted the challenge! I also reminded this Bristolian adventurer that he too owned the same kayak.. and that was that!
We did a trial packing of gear and then threw the plan into action by way of throwing the kayaks into the tray of the ute! This was a very ad hoc mission in true Burke and Wills style!
As the sun set across the Great Divide we arrived at our creek of choice and quickly made camp. Tent and swag were erected and the fire started, within about 20 minutes of arrival we had launched the first kayak. As I patrolled the waterway looking for likely snags, Matt started the preparations for dinner which mainly included Beer and Single Malt Whisky..
It became obvious that with still such cold water in the creek, Bass would be a challenge to catch. There were some quite aggressive displays of surface action but no strikes on the lures.. so frustrating!! As I drifted towards a steep rock face with the current from the creek wrapping along it on the way to a sunken log (perfect Bass spot) I noticed the surface hits were quite different.. it was a Platypus!! A very cool thing to see!! As I wasn't in the mood for catching a monotreme of rare and endangered ilk, I returned to the whisky station.. it is important when camping to pack things like the tent etc but it's the little things like a fork or plate or chair that make life just that little bit better (mental note for next time..)
Through the night the Bass were slightly active and so night fishing was given a go! Needless to say that baitcasters in the dark and accompanied by Glenmorangie make it more than challenging to get a lure into the water. Unperturbed by my lack of clarity I managed to catch a tiny but very angry Bass!! Woohoo!! First on the scoreboard!!
The next morning I was awoken by the girlish laughter of our rugged painter who was quite taken by watching the platypus right in front of where we were camped! This seemed like a good omen and to really add to the sense of imminent success, Matt quickly cast his favourite lure high into a tree branch. This old English trick clearly is a recipe for success..
As the sun started to make its way across the treetops and into our little gorge the Yellow Belly (Golden perch/Callop) came out to play!! They were holding tight in amongst the sunken trees but by slow rolling small lures (3.5cm to 4cm long) we attracted some good hits which resulted in a few good sized fish! We really had to slow the retrieve and make quite pinpointed casts to get these fish. Quite a few followed the lures with no real interest in attacking which makes things quite frustrating to say the least! We also missed a few strikes due to the lack of razor sharp reflexes (too much good whisky can adversely effect the next days fishing)
All in all it was a great little getaway into a very cool spot only about 45 minutes from the shop. We will be heading back in a few weeks with a better plan and will be packing forks, chairs, plates etc as well as a few more new lures.