SWAMPY PLAINS – March 2011.

This was an important trip, which had been planned for several months. The weather had been somewhat inclement of recent times and after a short good spell I was hoping for some weather that was more conducive to catching a fish.

I was picked up early by mates Rich & Darren who had left in the wee small hours from Melbourne.

On the way the weather was clear and warming up, I was now growing more and more excited about the trip and anticipated stunning scenery.

I hadn’t been in this part of the Country in some time and it was nice to relax and have a fish for myself.

On our arrival at the Swampy we stopped at Keeble’s Hut, built in the 1940’s it was an incredible sight (given the 4WD enthusiasts) frequenting the area hadn’t graffitti’d all over it. With our fire lit and already warming the empty rooms we headed to the water for a fish. The weather had stayed warm and the days were long allowing late fishing. Rich hooked up onto a solid Rainbow, alas Darren and I were without any as we returned to the camp.

The next morning was misty and cool but again I was confident that the mist would be burned off by the warming sun and by about 9 am we were looking directly at the back of the mountain range that surrounded Mt. Kosiosko.

We hit the water early and Darren and I again were found fishless with Rich again scoring 3 nice trout.

We moved to the Old Geehi Hut – another cattleman’s hut built well before any of us were born. We drove after setting up camp to a section of the water that was just bound to hold trout.

A short time later both Rich and I had secured some nice fish but Darren was still not on the scoreboard. There had been a serious loss of verbal control from Darren after being ‘broken off’ by a 2 pound Rainbow (which is apparently still reverberating around the mountains)!!

On our return to our campsite we were greeted by 2 family’s who had made their camp near ours. Soon to become our new friends, we discussed all aspects of Fly Fishing.

Our second last day of the trip was again greeted by a cold and misty morning but after being burned off we again were treated to simply gorgeous weather. Rich was on fire with another 3 trout and one which was up to 3 pounds ‘taking him’ about 100 metres downstream before being reeled in and secured. I too was now in form and caught 2 solid trout before both being released into the safety of the icy cold and crystal clear water.

During a break in the fishing we were visited upon by a Red Bellied Black snake which was  probably more scared of us than we were of it. Hiding under one of the tents presented a danger to the younger children and after what seemed an eternity was captured by Darren (who fancies himself as the new ‘Steve IRWIN’).

With the snake issue behind us were settled in to more fishing and Darren was in serious danger of not getting a fish for entire trip and was less than satisfied.

The following morning being our last, Darren and Rich went off for possibly the final fish for the trip before our journey home. Alas, Darren was again without a fish upon return to the camp. The dissappointment was almost unbearable for him and as we pulled up camp and discussions of revenge were hatched. We said our goodbyes to our new friends and wished them well and headed to Melbourne via Khancoban. Again the weather was simply sensational.

We had been on the road for a while when we decided to stop and fish the Khancoben Creek, all 3 of us kitted up and hit the water. A gorgeous little stream just had to hold trout, and within my 5th cast I was onto a solid Rainbow in the riffles of the stream near the Highway Bridge. The Rich was on even before I had released my fish. Another fantastic little Rainbow  was released before finally Darren scored his 1st fish for the trip.

After a solid hour and 13 fish between us it was time to head home. With a few hours of driving in front of us we didn’t want to leave it too late to get home.

With me being dropped off at Wangaratta, the boys were off home to Melbourne after a really fantastic trip and as I have suggested previously – it’s all about the holistic approach. The weather, the scenery, the quality of water, the correct fly, the company – all combined for a brilliant trip.

Another SOUTHERN Fly Fishing ADVENTURE……..