The more I fish the more I appreciate the other things associated with fly fishing and catching up with a long lost fishing buddy is high on the list. Life has got in the way of the days that Alex and I fished together regularly and what makes this even harder to happen is that he now lives across the ditch in Australia. I received a message from Alex to say that he was coming home for a visit so we quickly locked in a date for a day’s fishing.
I opted to stay behind the camera for the day while Alex took charge of the fishing . He nailed the first sighted fish for the day with an accurate first cast. I was very impressed as he would only get an hours worth of fly casting a year these days.
As the day grey older the fishing was actually quite challenging due to the very low flows for January and the fish were a little twitchy and precious. I feel this is typical of low flows as there is less water surrounding the fish. As a result the fish feel less secure and the slower speed of the water favours the trout as they have more time to observe the presented fly.
In the afternoon the sun shined through for a decent period which made for great spotting conditions. We approached a fantastic riffle and quickly spotted a nice fish holding station. The fish appeared very dark in colour and of quite a large size. We were pumped on banking this fish. Alex was nervous and conscious of not to blow this opportunity.
After a couple of drifts and a few fly changes there was no response. I hurled Alex a Kyle’s Coloburiscus sz14 from the bank for him to tie on. His first cast was positioned well with just enough lead and the fly penetrated quickly into the zone . The fish moved ever so slightly to take the nymph and BOOM! Alex lifts and has purchase. We both quickly realised that this fish was a serious trout for this stream and it was much bigger and darker in colour than initially thought.
The fish was dominant throughout the fight and the game was definitely in the fish’s half until heading downstream where it ended up holding in a small boulder pocket. Thankfully this gave me a chance to net the fish easily before heading any further downstream through the gnarly rapids. Fish in net we could both now appreciate the condition and weight off this fish which went 6lbs on the McLean’s weigh net. This is not a 10lb trophy but a trophy unique to the stream’s habitat and capabilities.
By now the day was all but done, with a few fish spooked and one unfortunate break off. We were very happy having banked a couple of great specimens. As we headed back down stream for home we reflected on what was an epic day on the water sight fishing on a small stream. It was clear to me that Alex got the fishing fix he had be missing out on. For me I really enjoyed Alex’s company, witnessing the buzz he got from the fly fishing and nailing a donk off a fish was awesome! All of this while sharing and enjoying the components that make a day’s fishing was more valuable to me than catching a fish.