I’m overlooking the vast Lake Eucumbene as the moths fly past in the humid post storm evening air. However, it’s the streams I’m thinking of right now. It’s been a big day of strong flows, boulders and bedrock, and some good trout.
Steve and I began our day on the ‘lower’ Snowy River. Thanks to an invitation from father and son Rod & Ashley Allen (aka the Crazy Trout Hunterz) we accessed a remote stretch of this ‘born again’ river. The Snowy River story – bad and good – could fill a book, but this little tale begins with Rod and I on one bank, Steve on the other. While the river’s partly-restored flow proved a challenge to wade, it has obviously been a boon for aquatic life, with huge mudeye shucks on the rocks, and riverside spiderwebs full of Kosciusko (Coloburiscoides) mayfly spinners.
Evidently, the fish (including trout) have benefitted too. Emboldened by the big flows and with Rod’s encouragement, I tied on the biggest Stimulator in my box, a Kossie nymph beneath. Only a few minutes later, a nice brown drifted back under the Stimi, and gently sucked it in as if it were a size 16 emerger.
The same thing happened 15 minutes later, and not long after, I missed a good chance on the nymph. Not to worry – I had my first pair of trout ever from this stretch of an iconic river.
Before we left, Rod dropped a beauty on the nymph – although if the photos he sent through this afternoon are any indication, he well and truly made up for it soon after!
Steve and I then went from the new and unfamiliar, to a river that’s like an old friend: the Thredbo. Well, ‘friend’ might be a bit warm and fuzzy for a river which, with a high-ish flow, seems to look for every opportunity to give you a dunking. Even after decades, the Thredbo still surprises me – the same but different. With a volume reflecting a succession of recent storms, the river this time required even more wading care than usual, and fly drifts were tricky in the pulsing currents.
After a couple of bumps and inspections on the big Stimi and nymph from the Snowy session, I changed to a smaller Royal Wulff and a size 16 green caddis grub – a Thredbo favourite over the years. Following the changeover, if casts were accurate and mends just so, the takes came thick and fast. Many trout didn’t stick, but enough did that, by the time I met Steve at the car, I wasn’t quite sure how many I’d landed.
We had planned a lake session this evening. However, by the time wet wading gear was hung up to dry on the veranda and we’d enjoyed a plate of Spag Bol, a more restful spell seemed appropriate. (Steve promised me a culinary ‘trip around the world’ this visit, which might be a bit grandiose… so far we’ve done Thailand and Italy!)
The lake can wait.