It's been too dangerous to fish the secret river as in winter it's prone to flash flooding. But I've been wanting to get the tent back on top of the old Jeep and camp over and catch some eel. I haven't taken many people down to this spot, I like to keep it as secret as possible so it doesn't get wrecked. Unfortunately not everyone has the same approach to camping here in Australia, and heavily used camping spots are often littered with trash and there is undoubtedly evidence of some city slicker's wild time spent with a new hatchet trying to chop down green trees for firewood. So for now I'd prefer to keep this spot as hidden from the public as possible.
In any case it's a bit tricky to get to, there's no mobile reception and in summer it's loaded with snakes. I'm trying my dandiest to make it sound unappealing. But in fact it is a beautiful little spot. And fishing for eel here is easy, all it requires is the old worm on the hook and fish overnight (as the eels feed nocturnally).
We had to walk only a few hundred metres from camp to the deeper and slower pools to drop the lines for the eel. Henry boy had a ball this weekend, running in the long grass, pretending to be the hunting dog that he will one day be. I'm so proud of this dog. So glad my mate convinced me on English Pointers.
I normally smoke the eel and then it ends up featured in many different meals. It's a nice meat, even though it's snake-like appearance and slimy skin tend to put people off. I like it. And like all the other meat I hunt in the wild, I view it the same as the rest. It's something I can hunt for easily enough and like rabbit can replace chicken, smoked eel can be used as a substitute for trout. But it has a unique flavour of its own that can't be dismissed.
On this trip Kate bought us a rare treat from John Harbour, our local butcher...some delicious lamp chops, which I marinated overnight with rosemary, garlic and olive oil. We don't eat lamb really, so this was a real treat for us to devour red meat. And boy did we enjoy it! One day I'll start raising a few lambs for us. But until then, I'll stick to mostly wild meats, with the occasional purchase from the butcher.
One thing that I was pretty excited about for this trip was being able to use my new general purpose knife, crafted by GRAYBEAR. It's a real piece of craftsmanship from this backyard craftsman based in New South Wales. To be honest I'd given up on finding an Australian maker of knives that would suit me, but I'm glad I stumbled on his work. The knives are Scandinavian influenced in design and materials, but it's the sharpness of the steel that I find most amazing...in fact I was intimidated by how sharp it was. I've never handled a knife like this, and now she sits on my waist every day I'm out bush hunting, fishing or in the veg patch. She's my everyday tool.
If you're looking for that one of a kind knife that suits your needs specially, contact Graham and he'll chat knives to you.
We stayed just the one night, but next time we'll take provisions for two as we really struggled to pack up and head home, it was just so beautiful to be out there again. We had all the comforts, a warm fire, plenty of driftwood, good food, a comfy rooftop tent and an ice box full of cold beer. Honestly what more do you need for a successful camp?
It's so good to have the old tent sitting on top of the Jeep once again. Now home is where I park it.