Sunday, January 12, 2014


The trouble with recollection, is accurately recalling what you’ve just done. That was the case for me today, never before had I experienced such a sustained kingfish session and that somewhat explains my inability to recall events.

I’d actually planned to go and hunt down an inner harbour snapper on soft baits and jigs, but half way from home to the ramp I suddenly realised that I’d not packed the fish finder… added to which I’d not thrown in the landing net either. Too much hassle to turn around, so off to Torpedo Bay to launch. I had thrown in the 8 weight though…. Don’t leave home without the fly rod!
Arriving at Torpedo, I saw that some twats had decided to decorate the ramp with McDonald’s wrappers, so my first job was to pick up after those slobs. So I wasn’t exactly stoked by the time I was trundling across to the container wharves and set up for a drift. I didn’t like the drift direction so much, so nipped over to Stanley Point, noting birds beginning to work up at the naval wharves. The first 2 snapper were tiny so I decided to rig the fly rod, and head over to test the dark waters behind the naval vessels. First cast was hit straight away, but the current was ripping me into the 70m exclusion zone around the jetty, so I had to drive out holding the rod over my shoulder – and the fish got off. A naval bod of some sort was waving me away so I waved, cruised around up-current of the melee and got the anchor sorted. I reckon I anchored maybe 15m outside of the exclusion zone, and soon the predator fish were pushing the bait out towards me, under a cloud of terns and gulls.

This is where my recollection fade kicked in; I was so in the zone knocking fish after fish off that I lost count of fish hooked, lost, landed (without a net I considered them landed if I could grab the leader – often resulting in the hook pulling or fly breaking off).

Birds whirled everywhere and hooking at least one was unavoidable – luckily the hook didn’t bite and I was easily able to unwrap the leader from around the tern. The noise was constant, gulls screeching and terns chirping and kingis slashed the surface – casting to these fish was pretty insane and I found my accuracy was pretty much spot on which happily made hooking up pretty easy. I also found myself trout striking – resulting in light or no hook up, so slowing down and getting back into a rhythm got things going again. The fights were long and dogged, the #8, fighting fish and current and I was taken into backing for the first, second, third etc time in ages. One fish ran out the flyline and then 80m of backing… I pictured him heading for the wharf piles before I stopped him and 10  minutes later landed a legal sized fish.

Over the 3 hours I was able to stay, a procession of visitors came by – boats, a kayak with a bloke who decided to drop a jig on top of my fly line with fish attached… and the pressure told as the workup began to retreat into clear water in the navy exclusion zone. By then I’d hooked at least 20 fish and ‘landed’ more than half, god it was awesome.

The final visitor was a fellow fly fisherman, not a sight seen often around here, 2 boats casting flies, so I welcomed them. The angler hooked up soon after, landed a small fish and then they departed. That was my signal to leave as well, family duties called..

What an insane session. I can go back to work tomorrow, completely happy with my extended break - and by my count, my little piper pattern has accounted for 35 fish in 2 trips. Its deadly so I'll put up a shot or 2 when I tie some more.

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