First off all I had to get my hands on some new gear so I hit up Chris Sharland from Manic with a a little email explaining what I was gonna be getting up to... 15 days non-fishing specific trip through New South Wales in Australia with my girlfriend, but this time I would like to bring some fly fishing gear with me :-) I made the biggest mistake last year when we headed to Cook Islands and thought that there won`t be time for fishing because I wanted to enjoy the time away with my girlfriend, even though Chris Dore (and my girlfriend) told me to take the gear and have a little flick on the beach while she enjoys cocktails at the bar... I was like NAH MATE I will be alright. Big mistake!... Since then I have brought my rod on every vacation :-) !!
Our trip took us 2937 kms driving through New South Wales and I tried to wet the line most evenings or early mornings in all the different places we stayed. I knew it`s going to be quite challenging as I had no previous salt water experience and minimum research done. First couple of days were basically spent running up and down the beach trying to spot a fish and blind fishing a few estuaries but with no luck whatsoever. But I took it more as trying to learn different casting techniques, and practising double hauling with heavier equipment then normally..
I had my hands on a Scott Tidal #8 paired with Lamson Speedster and Airflo FlatMaster fly line, and as It was my first ever saltwater combo to fish with I have nothing to compare it with. But as an owner of a freshwater Scott Radian my expectations were quite high. It can take some time on the water to get good at handling your rod at different fishing scenarios, but with freshwater experience and Scott Tidal in hand, it was much easier to get things done. This #8 weight lightweight combo opened a whole new level of casting ability to me, especially when double hauling. Casting out heavier and bigger flies with easy load and able to land them to the places I wanted was just a pure joy! Of course a couple end up getting snagged on the branches overhanging the estuary banks but in general I was amazed by the accuracy of the rod. Scott Tidal is good value for money and should satisfy a beginner or experienced angler.
One evening I finally came across some bigger size fish, which were more then just a couple of curious fly followers and my first Australian Salmon (kahawai) was hooked. The first fish came out of nowhere.. what followed was an erupted take with the fish quickly disappearing into the deep. The fish made a solid bend into the rod, but was landed after couple of minutes... Unfortunately that was the only Kahawai as all the others broke off just seconds after hook up. But with our next destination in sight, I knew I was heading back to my natural habitat as we headed onwards to Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains, to visit great friends and explore some of Australia's best freshwater fishing.
The Thredbo river, one of the most beautiful trout rivers I had ever fished. Amazingly peaceful place to spent some time around, with plenty of easy access. The tranquil water of Thredbo river is surrounded by beautiful sub-alpine flora and that ever present smell of eucalyptus. Fly fishing this river reminded me of many years ago when I was a kid, catching very high numbers of fish on my local river in Czech Republic.. It does not happen too often that you rock into a spot pretty late in a day and catch more fish in 15 minutes then you have fingers on both hands. Knees deep water and trout willing to rise to dry fly on every occasion. This is definitely a place that I will be returning to!
We spent the rest of our trip on a coast where I had few more chances to hook some fish. The most fun and pretty much only to mention would be coming across Australian Snook fish. These funny looking fish are very energetic and aggressive and would take any kind of shiny fly.. I went through way to many in my fly box due the very large sharp teeth in their mouth. Once the fly hits the water the fish go absolutely ballistic, snapping after it until one is hooked. I spent couple hours fishing of the rock hooking one after another, pretty much until I had no flies left :-)
This was an amazing experience but now I am back in New Zealand all excited about some trout fishing. The car is packed and the ALARM is going to start ringing in 5 hrs......