Kim Meldrum with a 9.9kg fish taken in the 10 minutes of arriving on the first night.

It was time to put pen to paper so to speak, on yet another Mulloway article. Great just what we need! But this article has a few twists and it's fly-fishing.

It started for us towards the end of winter 2000 in the magnificent Swan River. The Black Bream fishing throughout winter was very rewarding with many good fish to 2kg and over. Once the water began to clear up and the fish were starting to move back up river, we started turning our attention to major structure's thinking this should hold a few fish. This particular bridge with all that great timber, supported thousands of vehicles commuting to and from work every day. It was going to be the next hot spot, what a hot spot it turned out be. Kim Meldrum was first to experience the extraordinary fishing that was going to become the rage for a number of local fly-fishers.

Kim's first few attempts resulted in several Black Bream. But some of these fish were pulling far to hard to have been Bream, and if they were Bream they would have be in the 20lb class. I received a phone call from Kim a few days latter and he recounted the unstoppable fish under the bridge. I thought that's enough for me.

The following weekend saw us both under the bridge. I could not believe what was happening we were hooking and loosing fish at a rate of knots. Kurt Blanksby and Ryan Whinthorpe joined us and it was on for young and old. What followed were 5am starts followed by adrenalin rushes just walking to the spot. Talk about itchy feet. With straightened 2/0 hooks, broke fly lines and the look of disbelief on shocked anglers faces was something to behold.

As was previously written in an article by Kurt Blanksby, Ryan nailed a fish of 8kg. When you consider they were coming from an area no bigger than your average kitchen surrounded by ten to twelve wooden pylons, it was a great effort. Many fish were hooked and lost; I was lucky to land fish of 5 and 6kg.

The one thing that really took us by surprise was that fact that these fish were taking a fly no more than 2 inches long. How they can even see this fly in discoloured water still puzzles me today. Some of these fish were in the 30lb class and we had no chance of landing them. Eventually this school of fish moved on so a major re-think was in order. With what we had just experienced a boat was next on the agenda.

Kim pleased with this fish 8kg.

Within a few weeks I purchased a Quintrex Explorer, had it painted, installed a floor and casting platform fitted a 25hp Mercury outboard, and topped it off with a Lowrance X75 sonar. It's amazing what a species of fish can do to ones bank account. But what had transpired over the next few months and continues to happen costs fade into insignificants. I would like to tackle sonar's a little later on.

Fishing low tides every weekend throughout the day yielded many fish, if they were not Mulloway then bream would fill in the time. Fly-casting across to concrete pylons while trying to catch a Mulloway is a recipe for disaster. Although half a dozen Mulloway were landed this way some were lost as their shear power dictated terms.

All fish up until then were taken on 8w Scientific Anglers Stripper lines. Reels consisted of Fin-Nor and Scientific Anglers Mastery Series. Rods were Loomis 8/9 mega and Penn SPT 890. On days when weather conditions were too blowy for comfortable boating, we spent a limited amount of time shore based fly-casting on the edge of drop-offs. With a falling tide the Mulloway would sit on the edge of the channel and pick off feed as it drifted by. From this location I managed 6 fish ranging from 4kg to one fish of 8kg taken on a 7w. With the 8kg fish I had my hands full. It's amazing how much hurt you can put on fish when you want to.

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