Illawarra Flyfishers Club

April 2007   CFA Meet at Wallerwang


Seven members from IFF attended the recent CFA meet held annually at Black Gold Country Cabins in Wallerawang. Two of our fresh members, Rodney Brunt and Andrew Stroh, who are also beginners at flyfishing, were well looked after by Peter Hansen and the organisers of the meeting and came away having learnt plenty I’m sure. Kim Prehn, Barry Gentle and myself arrived on Friday and fished Thompsons Creek Dam with Peter Hansen. We were told how low the dams were and that the fishing had been poor but of course that didn’t stop us. Kim was desperate to try the Fuzzle Bugger that was introduced to us by Peter Morse (a Muz Wilson recipe) that we had success on with Bass and was reported to have had success catching trout (refer Freshwater Fishing Magazine Issue 83 March/April 07). It wasn’t too long before Kim landed a fish and I yelled out from 200m away “how big Kim?” and “62cm” was the reply. “Doesn’t look 62cm!” Barry and I agreed. I got Barry to hold my rod while I scurried around on the slippery mud in my waders to get a photo. Let’s face it 62cm is a big trout! I finally got around to take a photo only to find out it was 46cm! Kim was using a carpenters rule and it was turned around on itself and he hadn’t measured it from zero.

After registration we heard Mat Ryan, local fisheries officer, give an interesting presentation of the local fishing scene and some somewhat shocking comparisons of water levels between last year and this year. Thompsons Creek and Lake Lyell were well down on last year. In fact, if we don’t receive good follow up rain soon enough, Delta Electricity will have to close one its power stations due to lack of cooling water. Mat also showed us that Lake Oberon was almost empty – an absolutely shocking site. On a brighter note, Mat reported that the Cudgegong and parts of the Cox’s River were in OK condition. The Cudgegong River down from Windamere Dam was flowing well due to cold water being released from deep below the wall to help relieve the drought situation. Mat was kind enough to show us where to access the river and that’s where we headed the next day. It was raining the whole way on the 50 min drive there. We started catching small rainbows almost instantly on the Sheoked lined river with lovely riffles and runs over a stoney/gravely bed. We used size 14 Parachute Adams and Royal Wulffs and the fish would rise very carefully and suck the fly off the surface without too much disturbance. We all caught fish of 25cm and over. I happened to catch one of 41cm in a riffle of perhaps 6 inches deep much to Kim’s amazement considering he had only fished that riffle 5 minutes before me and continued on. This fish simply came up in the current and delicately consumed the fly with head and eyes out of the water. Gotta love dry fly fishing!

Kim and Peter faired very well in the fly tying categories of the meet and we also faired OK on the casting field on the Sunday considering the blustery conditions. We all won prizes of various kinds in the lucky door events and mystery prizes which simply added to the fun. But wait there’s more! Peter Hansen and Kim Prehn won their sections of the fly tying events and our club came second overall in the competition points ahead of the Sydney Flyrodders! Lakeside Flyfishing Club won the overall trophy. All in all it was a fantastic weekend with great comraderie, meeting and talking to people from other clubs, there’s lots to learn on these meets and the fishing was an absolute bonus especially in the middle of this drought.



Chris Harding