I was doing my best to maintain a steady drift down the old Eucumbene river bed on Providence Flats, the electric motor was excellent at nudging the boat back into the channel and the action, if not relentless was pretty consistent. The first decent fish I hooked stripped line with classic big brown lunges and head shaking – like a dog with a rabbit. We played this game for two or three minutes before the line went hard-fast then slack, and I was minus three flies. About 15 minutes later I hooked up again. Another cracking fish, stripping line away from the boat before heading off at 90 degrees. The intermediate line was as taut as a guitar string and I sensed it was going to jump, which it did. A metre of hook jawed brown trout vertical, completely out of the water. I’d let the rod tip down and let go of the line but the stress on the 8 lb tippet was too much. Minus another 3 flies.
If you’re a statistician “n” is one of the most important things to take into account when analysing results from data. “N”, is the sample size – the bigger the sample size the more accurate the results are likely to be – or as Aristotle put it back in around 350 BC “One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” And certainly losing two big browns in succession was not making me very happy. But, “n” was now 2, (or 6 if we’re talking flies) which looked like a pattern to me, and given the circumstances this warranted a call to Phil who said I should stop using three fly rigs. The logic was impeccable as always. First when I did get broken off I wouldn’t lose $15 worth of leader and flies, but more importantly there was less chance of a bust up in the first place. Having all those flies dragging around was a recipe for disaster with all the clutter lying around the lake bed around Providence – not to mention the thick and stringy weed. God I hate it when he’s right!
I’ve managed to squeeze in 3 short trips involving 6 solid sessions in the last 10 days, making “n” look pretty good and the results – all in all I’d say the fishing was good in general action to great in overall quality of fish (topped up with epic sunsets and sunrises). The day of the 2 big bust-offs I landed 2 fish from the boat before getting absolutely soaked in a torrential rainstorm; and then another couple from the river after dark. Not a bad day in any other circumstances remarked Phil.
The next trip was with John and between us we netted several memorable browns (on maximum 2 fly rigs) as well as a couple of rainbows – one of which might have just pushed 3 lb, (another earlier fish maybe 3 oz). The most recent trip was with Col but unfortunately Chris at Providence Lodge had the fruit bowl full of bananas – which as everyone knows is immediately going to deflate your fishing prospects by a big “n”. We both had fish rolling over flies right at the boat, as well as taps, and knocks, and no shortage of rising fish to cast to, but this was the tail of the bell curve and it was not to be-nana.
Certainly it looked like the big rainfall we had last week got the fish excited and there was a lot of that aggro-brown pre spawning surface activity. John and I had well over 30 fish rolling in front of the boat for a good hour between sunset and dark. We even thought for a bit that there might have been a rise with huge green midges thick on the water and covering the boat.
The lines I used on these sessions using were Airflo intermediates. One was a Sixth Sense slow sink intermediate which is generally my personal preference for boat fishing , the other a Forty Plus fast sink intermediate that Andrew Fuller at Flyfisher Online (www.theflyfisheronline.com) had sent me as a sample. The Sixth Sense is a great line. A real workhorse and I’ve got well over a seasons solid used – maybe 150 fishing hours – out of it with no visible signs of cracking or coiling. It’s sink rate is manageable – you have time to pour the hot water over a tea bag and not find the line wrapped around a snag in 10 metres of water. And it tires the fish out evenly with steady drag throughout the line – which is sensibly thick throughout.
The Forty Plus is a beast. It’s the next best thing to a shooting head and adds a lot of length to your cast – like a good 5 metres more for less effort – reminded me of my old Lee Wulff triangle taper. Two false casts is the most you need to get the line zinging out. Once John got his hands on it he wasn’t real keen to share! You wouldn’t use it on a calm day when the fish were spooky, or where accuracy was really important, but heaving flies out of a boat in a strong wind – perfect. It does sink a lot quicker so you have to make your cuppa between casts. And the fish has to drag a lot of front heavy line around so it takes some real work to get a big fish up to the surface. Both great lines and you should have one of each in your boat box.
Last thing, a quick plug for Providence Lodge (www.providencelodge.com.au) which is in the perfect spot for the Eucumbene River brown trout run. Great hospitality, great rates for B and B, and evening meal – good hearty home cooked tucker – and if you’re stuck on the lake or river at dinner time it’s in the fridge next to the microwave when you get in. And Col at Adaminaby Angler has a great range of must-have woolly buggers for the spawn run lake fish (most of our catch was on some variation of a bugger), as well as a big special coming on glo-bugs and nymphs for the river run. Go there first for your flies. (www.adaminabyangler.com.au)
Tight tippets all
Steve (Snowy Lakes Boat Charters www.nakedtrout.com.au)