Australia #2 - Bass.

David A.

Upside down.
The Australian bass is no relation to the American Bass physically, but in habit reminds me of Smallmouth.
They spawn in saltwater and then migrate back up the rivers and creeks in spring and summer.
Sorta live Steelhead except not at all..:D
They're great on fly.

First up - fish from the lakes.
This is an early season trip fishing with jig head flies around structure.

One from near the bank.

One of my own ties on an Owner jig head.

An average bass from the lake.
We tend to talk about fish length more than weight with bass
40-45 cm nose to fork of the tail is considered a 'good' fish.
A monster would be 60+ from the lake.

One on a simple foam lizard I tie.
Again, average size, but great colour.

(I'll try to find some more shots that show the lake)

David A.

Upside down.
Here's some shots from a trip I did with a couple friends into a remote section of river and up one of the tributaries.
It was in January and over 100 every day - the fish were pretty much shut down though all was not lost.

Here we are setting up at the drop-off for a four day trip.
This would have been a great time for Lowy to say the river was 18 inches low and maybe we
should make other plans..:eek:

This was the flow between pools..

Hard going with three guys and 4 boats.

We managed a little fishing time, but the main river was dead.

This section was heartbreaking in the heat.
In a normal flow it's fast water and would take minutes.
We spent hours there.

Lowy, making a long cast on a big pool early in the morning.
Still no fish, but he was learning to live with the constant hammering we were giving
him over the low flow and lack of fish..:D

David A.

Upside down.

Finally, after two very long hot days we got to one of the tributaries
that flows out of the high country with colder water.

Lowy gets a big hit in shallow water.

And gets cleaned up !
Bass hit hard.

Eventaully though the big man caught the biggest fish -
A cracking 59 cm.
A huge fish for a small stream.
We only had a short day up the creek because we had to keep
going to make our pick-up time at the pull-out, but everyone
managed a few good fish.

Large natural and foam trout flies from the US and New Zealand work well on bass in
the rivers and streams.

This is my best bass fly, but it was useless on this trip because of
the low flow and spooky fish.
Fantastic photos and narrative. Thank you. That is one pretty river valley. Mind sharing the name? I'm just curious. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll get to Australia once in my life, let alone take a multi-day trip down an apparently wilderness river.

And geez, that bony "rapids" sections looks just brutal at those flows. Great adventure!

David A.

Upside down.
That's awesome got any of the high country?

Maybe that's Australia #3 - trout - I have a lot of pictures.

The river above is the Macleay - It's flows from high country to the east cost in northern New South Wales.
It's one of the main rivers I had in mind when deciding on my new kick-boat
(how I found this forum)
The Outcast Commander, like those Incept rafts is ideal for the faster, normal flows.

The put-in is probably a 7-9 hour drive from Sydney.
There's no dams on the river to impede the fish and it's fairly accessible.
Above the section we float access is limited by wild, steep country with just a few very cranky cousin dating herb farming land owners - though there's some water up there I would love to have a go on.
Below Georges Junction, where we pull out there's heaps of good access points and it's easy enough to hit good water without a huge effort.

There's one lodge that I know of on the river, though I haven't been there.
They have good 4x4 access and do kayak trips.


Active Member
David, thanks for the great narrative and showing us a small area of your wonderful country. That is one fine looking bass and in such a small stream...Awesome! I see you had 3 'Waterstriders' [Incept] on this trip; I have owned 2 of those [great] rafts, just wondering how popular they are in your world?? Thanks again!

David A.

Upside down.
The Incepts are excellent and I've had a couple over the years as well.
Kickboats, pontoons and float tubes are not all that common here.
Not sure why - probably the high landed cost thanks to expensive shipping and low sales volume.

I've found they open up a lot of under fished water.

I replaced my last Incept with an Outcast Commander and though it's an excellent boat, I do find myself missing some of the simplicity of the Incept.
As a price comparison -
The Outcast cost me around 1700 at the door where I was quoted 1900 for another Incept.
(No bag with the Outcast so it's really quite even)


Not to be confused with Freestone
Very cool. So I have to ask... I presume the area you fished was free of critters that can bite and wreck your day, season or life? When I think Australia, I think croc's and snakes...and Outback Steakhouse of course.

David A.

Upside down.
Last time I was in the US I was taken to an Outback steakhouse.
Except for the Fosters beer (that nobody drinks here anymore) the place bares no resemblance to anywhere in Australia I'm aware of..
That said, fries smothered in cheese and washed down with Fosters is good ! :D

Snakes, spiders, crocks and jellyfish all deserve respect in Australia, but don't really prevent us from getting outside..

During a seasons trout fishing I might run into half a dozen Brown or Tiger snakes though most of the time it's them running away.
Occasionally in late summer (mating season) a Tiger snake will stand it's ground or even come at you, but bites are rare.
Like a lot of people here, I carry a compression bandage here in case of a bite.
Recently, in a first aid course we were taught the original Aboriginal cure for a deadly snake bite -
If you get bit, sit down in the shade and wait it out - if you survive the first 24 hours you will probably be fine.
It's getting excited that kills you..

Crocs you rarely see till it's too late and only seem to eat the odd drunk person that's fallen over somewhere they shouldn't have.