Rainforest Recon: One

In this second blog entry concerning Tenkara Fishing in the Otway Ranges, I cover more ground in search of areas a little deeper off the beaten track.

“Fanatically waiving my rod in the air in hope to land the fly in the right spot cast”

Rainforest Recon: One, is the second entry of a Six part blog series covering Tenkara Fishing within the Otway Ranges rainforest.

I awoke to what first appeared to be a gloomy and emotionless day; the sun trying to burst its way through the layers of grey in an attempt to greet early morning risers. I was struggling to keep up my end of the bargain, thumbing the snooze button on my iPhone several times before admitting defeat. I sat at the edge of the bed and contemplated rescheduling my road trip to another day, however as I peered across the room to my ZimmerBuilt pack, fully loaded with Kebari, a selection of my shorter Tenkara Rods and everything else I required for a day out on the water; it was all I needed to get my arse into gear and into the 4×4.

Coffee. Coffee makes everything better and as I started my 1 hour drive along the Great Ocean Road I felt encouraged for the day ahead. Today I was going to blend off the beaten track of the main creek and see if I could also locate some adjoining feeder creeks leading into the main system, Tenkara rod in hand. My plan (as loose as it was), was to push further into the forest to try and locate some of the deeper pools of where I believed would hold the better fish. It was also a tester of how I could manage a 275’ish length rod in the tight stuff (see my previous post HERE on researching shorter Tenkara rods related to this blog series).

Upon arrival and having spent a time descending the gully, I finally came across the main creek. I was a little disappointed at the water level; much lower than I had anticipated and stood there for a time seemingly floating off in thought, the hush of the bubbling water and sounds of the forest were totally mesmerising (or, it could have been the fact that I was completely knackered)!

My attention soon turned to the amount of steam coming off of me, and I returned to reality. I gave my hat a quick dip in the shallow water and slapped it back on my head to cool down, slew my backpack around and began to set up my Tanuki 275 Appalachian Brookie.

Lower than expected water levels did not deter from a cast or two

I reset my brain into ‘fish’ mode and started my exploration along the tiny creek. As I negotiated my path along the rock, fallen trees and many an ankle buster scenario, I soon started to spy small brown trout darting off to the safety of undercut rock ledges and other suitable cover. Now these were not big fish, 4-6″ at best. Regardless, I slowed my pace and started to flick a suitable Kebari at every fishy looking spot I could manage, however to no avail. They were spooky critters that was for sure! As I continued up the gully floor, the terrain became even more wild and difficult to both navigate and fish – but there were deeper pools found and the addition of 6-8″ of water would see this system come alive I am sure.

Terrain became increasingly more difficult the further upstream you went

I was consistently seeing fish (albeit small) and managed to climb a large rock to oversee a nice run where I spied a cracker of a Brown Trout, estimated at 12″ long which looked enormous considering the skinny water. I back-pedalled, positioned myself and attempted to place fur & feather at the head of that run in every attempt to catch this fish; however what started out as excitement turned into pure frustration as I spent more time hooked up to logs, overhanging trees, rocks and debris of every shape and size that the forest could muster!

One of the more ‘open’ sections where a cast could be placed within a pool or run with ease

For the life of me I could not negotiate this length of water due to the surrounding vegetation! Traditional cast, bow & Arrow cast, fanatically waiving my rod in the air in hope to land the fly in the right spot cast; nothing was working for me! I even went through a bout of insanity where I shortened my leader and in-turn, shortened my rod where I was only using half of the sections. This was the determining factor in calling it a day! Time had escaped me regardless.

Small Brown Trout could be soon darting their way up the shallow creek sections

As I had made it back to my original entry point at the creek, I started the gruelling journey back up to the car where my legs were screaming STOP at every step. If the reader could imagine the steam coming off me when I arrived, you should now visualise what was happening when I made it back to the top!

Anybody order an Aussie, well done? I was cooked!

One of the deeper pools that held fish; albeit super spooky!

As I made my way home, It was clear to me that if I wanted to tackle this skinny water amongst immensely overgrown sections of runs, pools and logs – in the hope to land one of these spooky little ghosts of the forest, I was going to need an even shorter rod within my arsenal. The 275 did not appear to be up to the task amongst this tight stuff (or more-so the bloke on the other end in-charge of a 275 length rod); but I’ll be back up there soon and will accept the challenge again – head on. The gloves are off…

Until the next blog entry, be safe.

Rainforest Recon Series: Zero | One | Two | Three | Four | Five

4 thoughts on “Rainforest Recon: One”

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