Having recently relocated to the very doorstep of one of Victoria’s most beautiful and diverse National Parks, the full extent of Tenkara opportunities was not recognised nor appreciated. Enter the Great Otway National Park; doorway to Tenkara heaven!
“Every one of these small pockets could hold a Kebari sculling brownie!”
The Great Otway National Park, located in southern Victoria (south west of Melbourne), covers the rugged coastlines and sandy beaches of Victorias SW coast and extends into the mountains of the Otway Ranges; where tall forests meet with gorgeous fern lined gullies.
Several creeks and waterfalls scatter across the park, with some considered uncharted, exposing opportunities for the ‘bushwhacking’ adventurer willing to navigate to these hidden gems using known GPS coordinates or by word of mouth secret direction – these were creeks and waterfalls not found on tourist maps and not necessarily easy to get too either! The temperate rainforest also has its share of small tranquil lakes, however I am yet to commit any time to investigate these further.
Now having completed a few RECCE trips, I am left shaking my head at both the diversity and overwhelming beauty of the Otway’s as compared to my home turf amongst the Alpine National Park. Slowly trekking through the deep fern lined gullies (as best one could), over small, discreet sections of babbling brook and along deep, granite lined bedrock pools; you truly are mesmerised by the sounds of the deep forest – one could near describe it as prehistoric; with expectations of Velociraptors exploding from the thick brush at any moment!
As you hike throughout these little creek systems, your eyes are forever searching for that sneaky little brown trout that quickly darts off to the protection of larger boulders or undercut banks as you approach his domain, initiating a small shot of adrenalin into your system at each event. The trout easily blend into their tannin surroundings and spotting them before they dart off is a challenge at best – near impossible!
Over the last few days I have been researching some of the shorter Tenkara rods on offer from various companies (7-8′ in length); a rod that could deliver a finesse cast whilst being short enough to be better managed in some of the more tightly overgrown sections of rainforest water – I am not sure it exists – but my search will continue.
However, I have to admit, my thoughts are turning to hand made Tamo nets and finely crafted Bamboo Tenkara rods… ‘Old School’ just seems to be so fitting in this environment, it would near border on criminal to use modern equipment amongst such aged forest (Tolkien’s Mirkwood indeed)!
I will soon be committing some serious time to the Otway NP; fishing these little creeks with Tenkara rod in hand. I will write some more on this place; I promise!