Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cow Paddock Bass

For a while I had been meaning to fish a section of creek on a nearby farm that the farmer assured me held some 'perch'. Now remember this is Cheese-World I am talking about, the land where cows walk through rivers, bank side clearing has been the norm, the lower stretches of rivers are heavily silted with sand and pumped near dry to irrigate superphosphate rich paddocks .... you get the picture, not the sort of place you expect to find many 'perch'.

I was short on time but the creek in question was very close to home, so with a degree of cynicism and only half my heart in it I decided to go for a quick flick. Thinking it would be an open shallow creek I opted for the fly rod, a box of flies and a head torch.

The creek was everything I thought it would be; surrounded with cow poo and 'improved' pasture, irrigation pumps humming and reducing the depth to a few feet at best.Not much cover on the bank side, the odd stand of resilient Casuarina trees and a willow here and there.

It was almost dark so I focused my efforts on the deeper pockets under the casuarinas. I was not expecting anything so the first boil on my fly was missed by a long way... A recast to the same spot produced an instant hit and this time I made no mistake. Bass in shallow water can certainly go hard.

Under the cover of darkness the bass ventured out in the shallow water to investigate the source of the blooping noise that usually meant dinner.

The bass were not huge but what they lacked in size they made up for with attitude climbing all over the ear-plug popper with the reckless vigour of 5 year old boy full of red cordial.

As I climbed into my old Landrover and rattled along the cow pat paved dairy road to the gate, I shook my head, smiled and muttered to myself 'bloody cow paddock bass, who would have thought'. I marvel at the tenacity of bass.

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