My last fish of the year…

The plan was to head to the mid stretches of the Thredbo River in the Snowy Mountains to try and fool some foot-long brown trout into eating a dry fly. But after a short walk to my favourite stretch of water the rain had set in making it almost impossible to spot my fly. A change in tactics was needed, so I tied on a heavy double nymph rig and attached a subtle indicator to fish some deeper runs.

I wanted to fish one run in particular – a turbulent, seemingly bottomless channel where large fish tend to lie during their spawning migration in the winter months. After countless casts my indicator floated along without a touch. As expected, nothing. But my flies were not even reaching the river bed so I then started mending the fly line, allowing my flies to sink deeper and drift more naturally. My next cast the indicator stopped. I lifted the fly rod aggressively, the line went taught for a moment, then wobbled heavily. I was shocked – a fish. The line then raced off the reel until the fish breached, revealing its colour and size. I was onto a solid rainbow trout, and I was all by myself without a net so this was going to be tricky. For the next several minutes I was chasing the fish downstream through deep pools and over cascading rapids.

Thankfully, luck was on my side and I managed to land the fish – a stunning 72cm rainbow trout, the largest trout I’ve ever caught in Australia waters. Potentially a once in a lifetime fish considering the time of year. And that’s the story of my last fish of the year 🙂

by Matt Rees

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