|by Josh Carpenter
I must profess, I’m no Trout expert but it certainly helps to have a bit of outside help, a bit of luck and of course the right lure. Opening day of Trout season means a lot to some people. The anticipation of fish that may not have seen a lure or fly in months was enough to have even a novice like me revved up.
“Dull day, dull coloured lure” was the comment from my learned Trout mentor for the day as he handed me a matte olive Yogiri to tie on and by the second pool we fished on the tiny western Sydney river his choice was shown to be spot on. At first glance the Yogiri looked like it would have a fairly small, tight action but in actual fact has a stronger, wider wobble than I would have imagined and there’s no doubt the Trout certainly liked it. We had been expecting this waterway to have plenty of small to medium sized Trout or “spotted wrigglers” as my companion called them. Fish in the eight to twelve inch range with the chance of a slightly bigger fish or two for the day. When the first fish came to the bank it was the cue for a photo session as it was bigger than we expected to catch at all that day at about fifteen inches or so. Little did we know that was only the start. I was amazed at how big a fish could come from water wide enough to jump across and how I could be standing ten feet from them, not be able to see them, but be jarred by how hard the strikes were when the lure was put in the right spot. Light Flurocarbon lines from the BRAVE line in two and three pound were put to their limit when fish of three and four pounds started acting up in the skinny water. After a while we started wondering if the fish were simply biting anything put in the right area or whether we had made the perfect lure selection for the day right from the beginning. We tried a few other lures with a little bit of success but in the end went back to the olive Yogiri that was now starting to look wear some battle scars from the day.
The fish were definitely on for the Yogiri but it did have to be put in the right spot and that little “sweet spot” was usually the size of a coffee cup and even though you might not be far from it, it wasn’t always an easy cast either. The way the Yogiri is weighted, accurate casts without fouling up were much easier and this may have added to the fish caught for the day as there were only so many time you could whiff the cast into one spot (usually due to human error on my part) and expect to catch a fish. This all culminated into one of those fishing moments that are burned so very clearly into your memory. By the end of our fishing time I was starting to get the hang of what made a good “run” and where the fish would be in that run and we came to one that looked as though it should hold a good fish for sure. Only problem was a tree in the way that made getting the cast were it needed to be a task and a half. Added to which I had to make the cast perpendicular to the current rather than the usual up current but “cross current is better than not at all” was the sage like advise given. It took a good couple of minutes thinking of how best to make the cast even before I approached the water and did my best impression of a ninja bush (so as not to spook a fish) and make my squirrelly, back hand, over the head, cross diagonal cast and swim it ever so slowly across the current trying to keep it in the strike zone and wouldn’t you know it…….. With maybe five foot of line out from the tip of the rod, one of the better Trout we had hooked hit the Yogiri and went cartwheeling downstream away from my ninja bush position which pretty much left me with the option of wading out into the water or losing the fish right there and then. Because of the funny position to start with I was fighting the fish against the current and let me tell you there were more than a few tense moments where I didn’t think I was going to be victorious but in the end I came out on top of one of the most memorable fish I have caught in years. Not bad for a rookie.