Sighting Sooties with Dave and Warren
pics by Dave Little and Warren Cooper
I've been working FIFO shifts at the moment using a 2 on 2 off roster, so I was keen as mustard to head for an adventure with Warren to an out of the way spot and chase some sooties. You know you're in a good spot when for as far as the eye can see there's nothing but paper-bark, box and callistemon lined water-ways. Sigh, it was going to be special regardless of whether we tempted some sooties or not.
After about an hour and a half's drive, we loaded the packs, readied the fly rods and commenced the walk in. It was a long walk, but we didn't mind, except we had to put the blinkers on as whenever we stopped to look at the water there were stonker sooties cruising around in plain sight!
I was starting to get a little concerned in the end, but sure enough Warren led me to the water, and it looked great. It didn't take long to get amongst 'em. Our first wasn't big by any stretch, but it was a first for me on a popper, and Warren managed a huge take on a Guerilla Bug (tied by our own Bill Mitchell). But by the time he rescued the bug from the trees the topwater action was over.
We worked our way up the start of some gorge country, but the larger sooties just weren't there, so we put the collective might of our rather large brains together and decided to work our way downstream. But not before we both landed a couple more, and Warren got stitched up big time by what would easily have been fish of the day!
As we worked downstream it was evident that there were sooties of all sizes in surprisingly shallow water, and prime position, i.e. the head of the pool was usually occupied by a single nice fish or a couple of smaller ones. Most of the time we would get a single fish from an area but for what ever reason there was one particular set of snags that produced 3 in the space of 5 minutes, a 20 something, 31 and 36cm fish all coming from within a space of 5 meters, and all on the 4wt.
To be honest the story continues like this for a while.... We moved from pool to pool, catching fish as we went, until I'd lost count of the number fo fish we caught and decided to get the 2wt out. That was great fun. Warren was looking forward to me getting owned, but in the end the best fish of the day to hand came on the 2wt, all 38cm of it. Fantastic fun in tight country!