A Dirty Manly Dam

On Saturday afternoon I made a sneaky dash for Manly Dam, eager to flick a fly for a few Aussie bass.

After months of drought, Sydney had finally had a week of heavy rain, and I was interested to see the state of the dam. The water level was significantly higher than on my previous two visits and, as expected, was substantially dirtier. That said, looking at the water from the bank, it looked tannin stained rather than muddy, which gave me some hope that it would still be fishable.

I launched my kayak from the ski area boat ramp, and was promptly given a talking to by one of the skiers. Unbeknown to me, the ski zone was for powered boats only, and hence I wasn’t meant to be launching there. Fair enough, although I did plan to hug the bank and therefore wouldn’t be in anyone’s way, or posing any danger. The alternative was to launch at the kayak ramp, however this has no nearby parking, making it a far less desirable option. Thankfully, despite the talking to he let me sneak into the water, as long as I stuck to the edges, saving me the pain of loading my kayak back onto the roof, only to drive a kilometre and unload it again.

Out on the water, the visibility was worse than expected, which wasn’t great news. I had however already done all the hard work, so I was sure as hell going to give it a good go.

The effort paid off, and I landed a few (very) small bass over the course of the afternoon. Amazingly they were all caught in deeper water, despite the fact that there was a lot more submerged structure, thanks to the higher water level. In fact, I caught not even 1 fish from amidst the structure.

Later in the afternoon I switched from my subsurface bass vampire to a small popper. This enticed some takes on the surface, all of which were from smaller fish, and all of which I missed. That said, it was still great fun to see the explosion under the fly.

As the sun dipped in the sky I headed for the shore. Thankfully all the skiers had left the water, so I got to take the boat out of the water on the ski ramp in peace. A good day out, but it’s time to get some bigger bass.

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