One of life’s frustrations has to be sitting behind a desk on a gorgeous sunny day, knowing that on a river somewhere, insects will be buzzing and trout will be casually sipping and slashing their way to a full stomach. Last Thursday was not made any easier when Phil sent me a video showing just how good the Upper Yarra was looking. During the afternoon, my phone periodically buzzed with photos of trout and quick descriptions of the fly used; even an excited comment that one of the fish was the best he’d caught from that part of the river. It’s great having friends who are so thoughtful! The fish he was catching looked in amazing condition and it was good to know that, whilst Phil was enjoying himself, the fish would still be there for another day.
By the weekend I had managed to negotiate a half day’s leave pass and got up to the Steavenson. It was a hot day and the conditions looked perfect. Whilst ‘perfect’ conditions can sometimes prove deceptive, with trout sulking in holes and skittish in the very clear water, this time the fishing turned out to be fantastic. It was just one of those days when a combination of luck and the conditions played their part. Flies caught in the blackberries seemed to come away easily, that overhead snag was a dead twig that broke at a gentle tug, and one fish hooked on the dry came off near the edge but still found its way into the net via the trailing nymph.
I only hope I haven’t used a year’s supply of luck in that one morning! Whilst the fish were not large (and I missed as many as I caught), they were lovely ‘stream-sized’ trout that responded well to both the dry and nymph. In the hot conditions they were concentrated in the deeper, shaded pools as the day progressed. In fact by staying back at the bottom of one of the larger pools I managed to catch half a dozen from the one spot, and I would love to know how many more were down there. I am always amazed at how a fish with bright red spots or a pink stripe on its flank can be so effectively camouflaged, so I took a photo or two of fish coming in from sunny runs and shaded areas to illustrate how effective those spots, and the trout’s ability to change colour, can be.
It seems from other blogs that many of the rivers are fishing well at the moment, so enjoy the long weekend – and please handle the fish with care when releasing them so they’ll be there next time.