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Stanley River Yak Report 25/11/09


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Those of you who are regular AFO report readers will know that JamesW is rather partial to a bit of bush bashing in search of our hard fighting Oz native fish.

He has unearthed a few special spots over the greater South East in his ceaseless pursuit of Yellas, Silvers, Bass and the Cod, and as previous reports will attest, there are fish in them there waters!

When Jim texted me recently to see if I was keen to have a crack at yakking one of these locations I cleared my diary and started planning :)

Bommie was also in on the mission and keen as mustard to try some new waters.

Though I have been on a number of bush bashing adventures with Jim in the past, I was yet to score my first wild native.

Having plenty of impoundment fish on the board I was keen to see if their wild cousins lived up to their hard fighting reputation.

The plan was to meet at 8.00...8.30 I rock up after being stuck in traffic :angry:

Get out of my way you bastards, I've got a hot date with a bass that is just wild for me :laugh:

So now the 3 Amigos are together and Jim leads us to our secret launch spot.

Not much to look at from the road, but our leader is jumping out of his skin because the water is up and he boldly predicts we will catch 30 fish this session! :dry:

With no further ado, we unpacked and launched from a steep muddy bank.

Bommie had his trusty canoe, Jim was in one of the Anaconda yaks and I was aboard CEDRIC for his first ever freshwater creek adventure.

Once on the water and settled, my casting arm started twitching just at the site of the steep banks, overhanging canopy and numerous snags.

Before I can even get a lure in the water, Jim is dusted up by something decent that decided his lure would look better hanging from its jaw than attached to Jim’s leader.

From there on we moved slowly along the river casting at fishy looking spots, and sometimes even getting the lure to land somewhere near the intended target.

After navigating some fallen timber blocking the river almost entirely I came around a corner to see Jim fighting a lovely yella and grinning like a split watermelon.

James loves his fishing just a little bit!

Buoyed by his infectious enthusiasm I fire my little Scorpion 35 in at some nearby structure and try to slow my retrieve despite my pumping adrenaline.

No dice.

The lure makes it all the way back to me unmolested but undaunted I repeat the process.

Half way back the firm smack of a strike feeds back through my braid and I’m on!

After a short but spirited fight I return a feisty 20cm bass to the water and I have a smile to mirror Jim’s.

In the following minutes I manage 3 bass from 5 casts and for me the trip is already an unmitigated success.

Bommie comes around the bend to join the party, but can’t draw a hit on his spinnerbait.

That is until he turns of his sounder. Literally moments later he gets smacked by a good healthy yella. It fought well and posed for a photo before descending back to his snag to torment small fish and crustaceans.

Jim takes the lead and disappears around the next bend in search of unexplored waters and hungry predators.

There are a few snakes around, mainly swimming from bank to bank, but we leave them alone and they do likewise.

Over the next 3 hours we paddle, peddle and muscle our way along the ever narrowing and snag riddled river till a last we can go no further.

At times we had to do the limbo to get under fallen trees which tested my beginners kayak skills somewhat.

By now we all have a number of fish on the board, including a couple of Silver Perch to Jim and I making a native trifecta for the AFO squad.

With the exception of some really stocky yellas, most of the fish caught were fairly small with the average bass probably about 15-20cm.

Both Jim and Bommie got bricked by decent fish that made good their escape without positive ID, but most likely culprits were the resident yellas.

In parts the river was covered by a dense layer of fine flower petals from the bank side Lilly Pillys.

Over the course of the day I noticed that not one fish was pulled out of the river in these areas, with all fish coming from casting into clear pockets of water where the wind had pushed aside the drifting layer. Perhaps the fish dislike the smell / taste of the pollen in the flowers? Who knows, but there was a definite pattern there.

As we made our way back to the launch area I was keen to take my tally of bass up to double figures, but alas I dropped my only 2 fish of the day whilst stalled on 9!

Jim had better luck and pulled a good yella and the bass of the day from a snag, that, just moments earlier I was sitting atop whilst casting at another!

With final casts made and legs wobbly from hours yak bound we dragged our weary buttocks back up the slippery slope and packed whilst swapping memories of the session just passed.

Jim was the only one to score a personal trifecta of bass, yella and silvers.

Bommie got a hand full of bass to partner his yella, and I finally managed to catch my first wild bass, and got a couple of Silvers too.

All up we may have just fallen short of the predicted 30 fish so boldly claimed earlier in the morning, but it was a bloody good session, with great company and classic Oz scenery.

To Bommie and Jim, thanks for the company, we’ll have to do it again soon.

The boys will add some pics to this report when they next are online, thanks for reading.


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T'was a great day and great company. The yella I got went hard in 1 metre of water and as Rocket said the fish wouldn't strike while my sounder was on, they would follow the spinnerbait tapping it(sometimes you could see a school of them) and as soon as they got close they would shy away. When I turned the sounder off, the fish would strike all the way to the canoe, one bass hooked-up just below the surface as I was about to lift the lure out. Paddle along with the sounder off, getting fish, get to a likely hole, turn the sounder on to get a look underneath and the fish would shy.

Well done James and Rod on getting silvers, have not got one that was not out of a dam yet.

scenery shot


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Fantastic Report Rocket!

After my last trip I am hooked on the fresh and will be doing a lot more of it....

where was me invite!!? lol! just teasing! I the words of the donkey...."you cut me. you cut me deep Rocket"

Glad you guys had a great time, looked like fun.


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batman wrote:

Fantastic Report Rocket!

After my last trip I am hooked on the fresh and will be doing a lot more of it....

where was me invite!!? lol! just teasing! I the words of the donkey...."you cut me. you cut me deep Rocket"

Glad you guys had a great time, looked like fun.


are you saying I look like Shrek...or that you look like a mule? :laugh:

Thanks for all the feedback fellas. Hope you enjoyed the read.


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had a MAD TIME! great report too rod!

i accually went back the day after..and went that little bit further...glad i did too..got a dozen bass, biggest went 45cm! which is a pb for me in the stanley, 4 yellas and a cod! yep another cod! (pics to follow) 5 cod in 5 weeks! yeehaa!

was great to meet ya bommie, im sure we will have loads of bush bashing to get done over the summer! B)aa-20091127.jpg

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