A great sunset makes the day end well

 

The lift and flick the haul and heave, the mesmeric rhythm of cast and retrieve, the setting sun the orange light, the rising moon the coming night. Does it get any more relaxing than this?

So far so good the holiday break has been both social and fishy.  With the exception of the lead up to Xmas day (which was wet and cold) it’s been very warm and dry.

 

Long days on the boat have been substituted by long evening sessions through some magnificent sunsets and well into dark. We had two afternoons with great sound and light shows as the thunder and lightning rolled in from the mountains to the west.  We’d optimistically thought dodging the bolts was an option – the first we gave up before even starting – in torrential rain; the second afternoon half a dozen casts into it at Providence before the rod tips started to buzz disconcertingly. Although late that evening near Yens it was superb.

The wind held up, and the rainbows came right to shore to pick up the rain washed-in goodies. And the post storm smells reminded me of Africa – a cleansing, fresh, earthy flavour you could taste.

Tantangara has been fishing well. I’ve had two sessions in the last week, one with Col on the western shore with a brown and a couple of rainbows– cut a little short when two snakes swam past in the early dark forcing an early retreat; and another last night on the eastern shore with a south easterly blowing where almost every cast was to a fish – or after dark to the sound of a fish.  The midges were huge threatening to carry us off, but I’m pretty sure the slurps were for caddis which came off the water in good numbers. As the moon came over the hill (at about 9 pm) things slowed down, but then picked up again but differently. The slurps turned to the gloops of bigger fish than the one to two pounders I’d been catching all evening – they seemed to be mopping up the moths and beetles I’d seen earlier on. Coming back late in the evening there is a lot of wildlife around – within a few hundred metres of home last night a family of wallabies on freshly mown verge, rabbits, a fox, and two feral black kittens – so drive slowly.

Some good fish have been coming out of Caddigat Lakes but in quite low numbers. Syndicate members Justin, Maddy, Mark and Harry gave Snaggy, Spring, Kidney and Dixieland dams a good workout over a couple of days and caught some excellent fish but the warm water seems to have put most of the fish into deeper water during the heat of the day. Maddy caught her first rainbow hanging a nymph under an indicator; and Justin and Maddy spent some time casting to two fish sitting nose to nose in a shady spot – one grabbed the fly but subsequently spat it out – meanwhile the other continued to hold station presenting another opportunity. Several flies and several casts later without success the fish moved away – presumably not happy at all the attention. When the wind blew through the trees next to Snaggy, gum beetles peppered the lake and one particular fish took to swimming along the surface open mouthed to hoover them up. I saw it with my own eyes and later on so did everyone else.  It still wouldn’t look at an artificial though.

I spent half a day in the Rodney George pulling out weed and clearing some casting spots so hooked can fish can be brought to shore and the lake is clearing slowly after the rain. The weed we pulled out is chock full of damsel fly nymphs. They were literally all over my arms as I pulled the dense clumps of weed ashore. Briggsy was seen snapping at bees and one (or more) decided to sting her resulting in an allergic reaction and trip to the vest for anti-histamine and cortisone jabs – will she learn I wonder.

Ho, Ho, Ho. Tight and festive tippets all you little fishing elves (now all your hard work is done)!