High Country trek and trout

Forget what happened last year. Realize that each outing will yield a new experience with varying results. Conditions change. Techniques may need to change. We may need to change.

It had been one year since we were last blessed with venturing into the gorge of Eucumbene River in search of that trophy Brown Trout. We were all eager and excited, and with the results of last year’s efforts fresh in our memories, our expectations were big. Big numbers, big browns.

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The team on arrival with a good friend & avid adventurer Ro

Upon our arrival at Denison, we were greeted with freezing temperatures, -6 to be precise and a large fleet of cars. This was in-line with our expectations. What took us by surprise was the crystal clear clarity and low level of the water . We instantly realised that this wasn’t going to be a similar experience to those in the past. These were new conditions that would test us. Great. Let’s get going…

After investing a considerable amount of time at Denison, we concluded that we would need to explore to find them. Off to the upper reaches.

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When greeted with scenery like this in the upper reaches the fish really are a bonus

With limited success, we realised that it was going to take some extreme effort to track down healthy numbers of Trout. We knew there would be good numbers of Trout somewhere in the system after the rains and run of Trout from a few weeks earlier.

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Timmy with a 57cm brown taken on the ACM Custom Rods 4-10lb spin rod.

Over the course of the following two days, we challenged ourselves physically and mentally. We covered some testing country and covered around 18 Kilometers in total. This effort was rewarded with good numbers of Trout being caught. Not an excessive or amazing number of Trout, but a steady and well spread amount between the team.

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It wasn’t easy. There were the early starts in freezing temperatures. Repeated all-day missions in testing country. Torn waders and painful falls. But we kept going.

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A typical pool below a rapid or drop off the yielded better results

Our go-to rig was the common and proven weighted black nymph and glo-bug combo. The deep pools at the foot of mini-waterfalls or rapids yielded most of our catches. The only real challenge was getting the rig weight correct and being patient. In some of the longer and deeper pools, we tested hard body lures with limited success. The hard body lures were a good option but didn’t seem as effective as the nymph/glo-bug combo. For most the time, we were using very light and nimble spin setups. 7ft rods, 4-6lb main line with 8-10lb leader. 1000 sized reels.

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A stunned Dylan with his first brown for the weekend. 3rd cast and enjoyable moment

Reflecting on what was another great experience, some of my fonder memories will include; Dylan’s never give up attitude despite being tested both physically and mentally. Tim being consistent as always, hitting all the rights spots and moving through the system with confidence. Rohan proving himself physically superior with not a single complaint. And for myself (Ben), extracting 4 trout from a single run (and dropping a 5th) within a short period of time was pretty epic and a reminder that we should all invest a considerable amount of time in those deeper holes before dismissing them.

The most important thing that this years’ experience delivered was a lesson, and that lesson was to never go in with expectations. That’s one certain way to set yourself up for failure. Focus on the beauty of our country, the irreplaceable time with your friends, the serenity. The fish are a bonus.

– Ben

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