When I look at the calendar year, the months of May and June signal the end of a solid season. It’s when my ‘river fitness’ is at its strongest physically and mentally, but I am also more exhausted than ever, stacking up another pile of days, weeks, months on the water throughout the season.
But it is the ending that always brings a rejuvenated excitement. Excitement that is found in the most adverse conditions an angler will typically experience in the trout season. South-Westerlies, rain, sleet, snow and the sound of the deer rut flicks a switch in our world and our minds turn to the annual migration of mature brown trout bringing on ‘the last hustle’ of the season.
Like all late season trout fisheries in Australia and New Zealand we are using fly fishing methods that get the flies to the bottom quickly or are creating such a profile in the water that you're attracting territorial strikes.
Whether you’re drifting over the rubble on the bottom or you like to swing, the spawn run promises shots at big trout in prime condition and you will want to make the most of this short period of time with appropriate gear and fly choices.
For the last few seasons I have been rotating between the Scott Radian 1005/4 for casting heavy nymph rigs under an indicator and the Scott T3h 10064/4 for switch and micro spey casting, swinging big flies for territorial takes.
Fly choices are pretty easy at this time of the year, but in saying that they have to be in the right slot and in front of the fish. My heavy go to’s are Muppets, Bombs and my new favourite Simon Ugly Mothers. All of which have no problem getting to the bottom and in front of the fish. Something unweighted should follow the heavy hitters and I love the feel and look of the Otter’s Soft Egg collection (the Clusters are deadly); they’ll have fish to the net in no time. However, don’t disregard the naturals, most of the fish I encounter during this time of year are more than happy to hoover a well-placed pheasant tail.
The Eucumbene spawn run attracts various kinds of Muppets
Your Mother's so Ugly.....
How do you like your Eggs?
What a cluster
On the swing, something I absolutely love to do at this time of the year, I like to throw a range of Tim Angeli’s Foxy Swingers as well as the Articulated Sex Dungeons. I am a big advocate of choosing solid colours like blacks with a hot point of colour (pink or orange) in the higher waters we experience when the fisheries are on point.
Tim Angelis' Foxy Swinger, subtle, but not so subtle
(*Insert funny Sex Dungeon pun here...)
So, whatever your plans during the last hustle, make a point to visit the NSW Snowy Mountains to experience what has already promised to be a strong close to the season. Weather has already worked its magic, more weather on the horizon and the browns are on the move.
See you on the water!