fishing dogs


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  • 3 weeks later...

Some days you just know you are not going to catch anything. I was judging in the Macedon wine show and had an extra day and was hoping to do a bit of fishing (for those overseas, Macedon is a terrific region, reasonably high altitude, and the coldest wine region on the mainland). Knew I was in a spot of bother when a mate from Bindi (stunning wines) said he'd see me Friday morning. But I am going fishing, I told him. Don't think so, we've been told you'll be visiting us. Guess who was correct? Not me, but a chance to visit Bindi is worth missing an our or two. Then it was here, there and everywhere. Told that instead of lunch, I'd head off to have a fish. Nope. Good lunch though. Finally got a chance in one of the little local lakes. Known to have some good sized trout.

I'd been in a rush grabbing gear when I headed off to the plane and they had said that they had flies. So I had not bothered packing carefully. Even forget the clipper (which makes you realise how useful they are). Turns out the flies were back at the house etc etc. Had a few bonefish flies so thought I'd give it a try. Let me assure you, trout have no interest in bonefish flies. None!

But first, just as I headed to cast, up sprung the wind. The locals were delighted as it would help prevent overnight frost but I was less excited. Totally still day, suddenly with a gale. Not looking good.

Then the fishing dogs. Amazing animals. Have never seen this sort of behavior. They were two terrific kelpies, mum and son. Wonderful dogs but... I'd been warned that they loved fishermen and would accompany me everywhere. No problem I thought.

The son thinks that anyone fishing is doing it for his benefit and he yaps and yaps and chases the fly on the back cast (I could not even catch him, thank god). Gets very excited. Eventually will sit and watch but if you move, it is on again The mum is extraordinary. She goes straight into the water near where you are fishing – not good for the trout (when I approached the lake, there was a good sized rainbow, pushing a pound and a half, but a dog plopping in next to it put the finish on that) – and later a nice little brown got the shock of its life. Needless to say...

Once in the water, she does remain perfectly still, except when you are casting, she will follow the cast back and forward. But then, rock still just staring out where you are fishing. And if you have wound in for whatever reason – changing a fly or anything – her eyes don't leave the lake. Ducks plop down nearby. Doesn't matter. She concentrates so hard that sometimes you can back away and walk off and she'll still be there staring intently at the lake. She goes in to as far as she reasonably can and then she will stay like that for several hours, probably longer if anyone tested it. Poor thing is shivering badly but will not move. Fascinating.

I did swap to a tiny orange and white shrimp pattern after a while and second cast, something went bang and all over. Bitten off. Tried a few tiny mullet flies but no go. Other than the shrimp – and I only had the one, nada. Zip. But a lot of fun and my first fish since Christmas Island. Spent most of the time trying to practise some very rusty casting.

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