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Topic: My Hinchinbrook Grand Slam, Fishing Trip< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Beerie Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2009,12:56  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The other Sunday, on the spur of the moment, I decided to ring Dave Bradley and see if he had any free days coming up on do-able tides. Dave had dates in the middle end of April. So I went and checked what was in the diary with my wife, Lisa the “understanding” to find out when the relatives were coming in from overseas and interstate, taking out both of these opportunities. So I rang Dave back to give him the bad news on Monday afternoon and to my surprise someone else had just cancelled a booking from Wednesday to Friday, without confirmation with the wife!!  I took the available dates and was on the 9.00 am Qantas flight to Cairns on Tuesday morning. That afternoon Dave picked me up just out of Tully and we were off to the Mudbrick Manor at Cardwell, a fantastic place to stay. Comfortable well appointed rooms and a constant supply of home cooking to die for. I may have put on a few kegs after only four three course dinners.
The fishing plan was to work over the sand and mud flats of Hinchinbrook Island using the Fishers Creek boat ramp. Each of the three days we put in around nine to ten hours on the water. Dave is born and bred in Tully and has fished this huge fishery for over twenty years and has an intimate knowledge of the area and it’s tides, creeks and sand bars.
For the first two days the idea was to chase spooky critters in shallow water on the sand flats. This turned out to be a lesson in patience and dealing with near misses.  This was partly the fault of the fish and I might have had a hand in a few cock ups myself!
Being at the pointy end of the boat the angler must always be alert and ready to go, reacting to the instructions of the skipper “Captain Jack Sparrow” as he has been known to keel haul anglers under “The Pearl” in three feet of water for disobeying orders. As on many occasions you only get one shot in these gin clear waters at the prey. Over the course of day, long range shots were had at GT’s, big Queens and some little Snubbies.  All of these fish evaded us due to being lined or spooked by something else and massive god knows what direction changes! In the case of two very large Queens the fly landed a couple of feet in front of and in-between both of them. Both Dave and I are getting excited as I start stripping and there is a huge splash of water as one turns right and the other comes in from the left, and what do you know they both bloody missed it and went their separate ways- flat out. I said a few unprintable words and Dave mumbles “that’s fishing” from under his Buff. After lunch we sneak up on school of a dozen or more good size Snubbies. This is the time to do as I am told by Captain Jack. The cast goes out, the fly sinks and the stripping and twitching begin as per instruction. I can see the lead fish’s mouth open and close on the fly. The hook has been set and a bend is in the rod. Here we go; this is what every salty dreams of, the opportunity to land a Permit. This all happened in a micro second and then just as I am starting to slip line out for a huge run, the fish has a massive head shake and I have been snapped off, and yes, Dave says “that’s fishing” again. This tended to be the trend for day one as the school offered up a few swings and misses and the odd lean or two without any commitment to putting up a real fight.
Day two and we are heading back to the sand flats to try our luck again and it turns out to be a slow start and by noon nothing notable has been put in the boat and the tide has turned to full low and we drift a little further off shore. While having lunch Dave spots something coming fast from 9 o’clock and I bang one out and line a big Snubby. So I say, “Yeah I know that’s fishing”. Not long after Dave starts to get excited about something off the bow from where I am standing due to the angle of the sun and the wind, my response is “I can’t see shit. You are going to have to call the whole lot!” and he did: direction’ distance, drop it, and sink it and the strips. Then I realise it is time to hang on. The rod bends and a tussle is on and we have a lovely nice sized Goldie on pulling string and giving my knuckles a good bashing with the reel handle. Eventually, it is in the boat. Photos are taken and things are looking up, as this is what I came here for!
Not less than half an hour later and Dave alerts me to a disturbance at about 10.30 and 60 feet out. The cast goes out and I let it sink and start the strip. The third strip becomes a hook set and there is something very angry on the other end of the rod and then I see a silver flash and call  “Silver” then Dave calls “and Gold” and YES!!! we have a Good size Snubby to land. After the effort yesterday, the angler takes a very tentative approach so that there is no evasion, the fish tires and eventually Dave gets the chance to grab the bugger and pull it in to the boat. After a fare bit of yelling and hand slapping Dave says to me “Do you realise what you have done!” I respond, “yeah” as you do, and he says “no you don’t .Last year my clients landed only three of these things and now you are two thirds of the way to a Slam”. The decision is made and we turn around and head for the mangroves and after a couple of hours, a fifty five centimetre Barra is landed and I have pulled off a Hinchinbrook Grand Slam!!
What happened on day three? Well, who really cares. I am already as happy as a puppy dog with three tails.


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little ones in little streams and big ones in big seas
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Dave Bradley Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2009,05:04 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tuff crowd Andy.

I guess it's winter over there and everything slows a little.

DB


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www.australianflyfishingoutfitters.com.au
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thefly Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2009,08:51 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice fish mate, and nice hat too, didn't realize the Aussies played Rugby  :p
:D
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Dave Bradley Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2009,09:05 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How'd you get those ears if it wasn't from Rugby eh Beerie?

DB


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Beerie Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 11 2009,15:40 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Mark,
Yes we do Eastwod Distric Rugby Union Football Club The Woodies
Woodies-Waratahs-Wallabies, the next holders of "Bill" :O

DB ,
I have to live with them. At least you could shave that 70's Mow and chin tickeler off.


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