My friends Colin and Lynette had fished the Rose recently and showed me some photos. It looked like the perfect early season spot to work on Euro nymphing techniques and so we planned a visit. The drive up the valley is spectacular and worth the trip alone. The road from Myrtleford follows the Buffalo River, which was running high and chocolate nearly the entire way. We continued on to the Rose and parked at Bennies campground.
I set up my 10’ 3 weight Euro nymphing rod, while Colin opted for his Primal with double nymph under indicator. I caught a brown straight away in the first pool on my freshly tied CDC-collared Hares Ear. That was the only brown of the day before switching to Squirmy Worms and cleaning up on rainbows. The water was very high but relatively clear. We were only able to cross in certain spots.
I went through a few finer points of the Euro drift with Colin and let him have a go with my rod, and he caught a fish immediately. It became evident that, in this instance, using a made-for-purpose Euro rod beat adapting a standard outfit. Colin was sold on the concept and immediately picked up the style.
The Rose River is pool after pool of beautiful gravel-bed mountain stream. It seems to be a premium early season option in the area, and I will fish it more in the next few months. We caught well over ten fish, with most around half a pound.
High water presents many challenges this early in the season but with the right gear, and a little knowhow, it can be the most productive time of year to fish. I love it!
Mark lives in Mounty Beauty and runs Grass Valley Refreshments. Follow him on instagram and if you’re in the area, pop into the cafe and talk fishing with him!