Illawarra Flyfishers Club

March 2008 "A Purple Patch"


I was fortunate enough to fill a vacant spot on the Lakeside Thredbo weekend and it turned out to be a truly enjoyable weekend, starting with excellent accommodation in The Happy Wanderers ski lodge in Thredbo village and ending with a 52cm brown from the Thredbo River.


Friday Neil and I journeyed down to Thredbo arriving in plenty time to select bottom bunks and head off for an afternoon of fishing not ten minutes down the road.

The afternoon was overcast and the light very flat making seeing fish and flies very difficult.

I managed one brown for the session of about 25cm and a complete soaking from the heavy shower. Don from Lakeside fished with us and managed a complete soaking from falling in the river!


David, president of Lakeside, prepared dinner. I did notice Neil giving a hand, so maybe with a few more lessons Neil could take up the cooking duties for Illawarra.


Saturday a group of eight of us picked up our packed lunches (courtesy of Lakeside) and headed to Geehi to fish the Swampy Plains River. We split into three or four groups and went our separate ways. There is a lot of river and plenty of room for everyone.


Neil and I headed up towards Doctors Hut and I managed to get all the way back to the first river crossing. I landed three fish to 25cm, but unfortunately lost two large fish.


The first I put down to a Wiley old fish. I hooked him in a deep run out in a fairly narrow section of the river. He ran downstream towards me, for overhanging branches and with a lot of sideways pull I managed to get him out only to have him run again for another patch of timber a meter further downstream. This time he beat me made it to the trees and snapped off.


Neil had a ringside seat with the camera ready but unfortunately I couldn’t oblige.


My second was later in the day. I was totally surprised and missed the take. I struck anyway and he was still on. He was a bigger fish and again headed downstream and into deep water. I started to give line and unfortunately didn’t do it very smoothly.  Big Fish 2 Gary 0.


Saturday night was BBQ night and again David put on a big spread.

I’m not entirey sure but from the talk around the table it looked like the Illawarra club was out fishing Lakeside.


Sunday I paired up with Tom, and Neil paired up with Col. The intention was to pass on some tips to our newer members. Tom and I had a few casts in the many fishable runs and we carefully approached a spot where I’d seen fish on Friday afternoon. They were there again and Tom put down a lot of casts not quite on the mark and eventually he snagged up in a tree. I had a cast while he was getting untangled and drifted my foam Royal Humpy under a branch where I’d seen one of the fish feeding. The fish rose up and sipped the Humpy from the surface. I was on and again, it was a decent fish although Tom and I had felt it looked around 30cm. Tom asked if I needed the net which I declined until I saw his back which was about 10cm wide. Tom got it in the net. PHEW, what a relief.


At last, I managed to land this one, a 52cm brown.


We fished another hour and sighted four fish in a long pool but Tom was unable to hook up. All too soon it was time to go, back to the lodge, lunch (which I made myself) and a shower. We said our goodbyes and were on our way.


I fished most of the weekend with a foam hopper fly I derived from a pattern picked up on the net.


Thanks to the Lakeside club, in particular to David Screen their president, for a great weekend.