A weekend on the wand
words by Brad Morris
With the weekend approaching, I was keen to catch up with a few of the guys from the North Queensland fly-fishing club and head out for a fish.
So with the pending forecast of 20 to 30 knots a boating trip was out of the question, so a plan was hatched over a few phone calls to organise a land based trip exploring some new areas, with the target species of tarpon being in mind.
With The plan now in place and the troops assembled Ward, Richard and I headed south to pick up Matt along the way.
Matt and Richard led the way to a spot near Brandon. On arriving at the fishing destination Matt confirmed that there were Tarpon in there after doing some extensive reconnaissance of the area (Fishing) whilst working down this way.
So armed with the 6 weight and staring down the barrel of 20 plus knot winds I wasn’t expecting too catch much in these conditions. The spot looked fishy and had great potential to produce, but in better conditions and certainly not today. So we decided to pack up and find new ground.
I did speak to a local who also confirmed the area does hold plenty of tarpon and Barra all year round so I’ll return when the conditions are better.
So back in the cars Ward and I took the lead and headed North back towards the Haughton River turning off down a couple of cross roads to a small creek with a causeway, one that I had fished before with good results.
The creek had a nice flow to it and was crystal clear, so my expectations were high that it was going to produce. Richard set up and fished the causeway while Ward and Matt went down stream and I headed up stream and it wasn’t long before I landed a legal size sooty 10 meters up from the causeway so I carried it down to show Richard who was hooking up on tarpon in the 35 to 45 cm range but struggling to staying connected to them.
After showing off my sooty and letting it go I stuck around fishing the causeway with Richard in a hope to catch our target species for the day. The Tarpon were starting to wise up to our presence after I jumped one off in the air and Richard got a couple more hits before landing a nice one around 42cm then all went quiet.
So I headed down stream to catch up with Ward and Matt to see how they were going. Ward was heading back to the causeway when I caught up with him, “So how did you and Matt go I asked?” Ward replied “Yeah we both got a couple of Sooties each and now I am heading up river.”
So we headed up from the causeway in search of more fish, it wasn’t long before I sighted a good size Sooty close to the surface hiding behind a log. I quickly changed to a purple and black floating disco shrimp, I moved into a better position so I could cast just up from him and with one pop of the fly it was on for young and old to keep it from getting into the snags. I won! And managed to land the solid fish for a photo before releasing it back into the creek.
Ward and I continued to fish the snags concentrating mainly on the ones located on the bends with shade over them and faster flowing current. These spots were holding better size fish and larger numbers of fish. With the day getting on and an hours plus drive ahead of us we headed back to the cars but not before Ward caught the fish of the day, a stonking black Sooty hiding deep inside a snag on a narrow creek bend.
So in all a good day had by all with the final tally being, Matt landing 5 Sooty Grunter Ward 4 Sooty Grunter and the biggest for the day me with 3 Sooty Grunter and Richard with 1 Tarpon the target species for the trip. At least we didn’t get donuts this trip.