The lead-up to Christmas can turn into a bit of a runaway train of social commitments, work to finish, and of course the small matter of Christmas shopping. It can be a hard train to get off, but I managed to for a couple of days at the end of last week, joining JD for some time on the Eildon streams to catch my breath.
If my guiding experiences at Millbrook have been anything to go by, at the end of this crazy 2020, a lot of flyfishers are seeking similar things: open space, time with nature, peace and quiet, and a chance to catch up with friends. Some fish would be nice too of course, but that’s perhaps not quite as urgent as usual.
I got all of the former and more than enough of the latter. The Acheron was solid if not spectacular, while the Rubicon offered a sublime late afternoon spinner fall, with good fish sipping in the shadows and obligingly taking a rusty-coloured parachute spinner. Both rivers were high-ish, still a little coloured, but very fishable.
I fluked the Goulburn at 1500 ML/d; a lovely 14C pools-and-runs flow, which opens up most of the river to the wading angler. Even a strengthening downstream southerly wind wasn’t enough to dampen the evening rise, with trout coming up in force on and after sunset. Without properly cracking the code, JD and I still managed half a dozen respectable fish between us.
Meanwhile, the smaller streams varied from fast and fun on the dry, to much more serious when I nearly trod on (and badly spooked) a 4 pound brown hiding in a log jam. I know where he lives, but now I’m back on the train, it might be up to JD to do something about it!
In between the fishing, I think I enjoyed the wildlife encounters, psychedelic dragonflies, and steaks on the barbie just as much.
Now it’s back to all that other pre-Christmas stuff for a bit longer, but after my two day stopover, I reckon I can manage it.