Illawarra Flyfishers Club

November 2007


Hi all
At the last CFA Interclub meet at Wallerawang, I happened to win a half day session with Dave Smith who guides on the Cudgegong River in the Mudgee area. I decided to book the outing in the spring as the previous season was coming to a close. Dave was very kind in allowing me to take three extra anglers from the club (Illawarra Fly Fishers). We had to meet Dave at 5:30 on Saturday 10th November in Mudgee where we stayed in Cabins at the Riverside Caravan Park – highly recommended – a short walk to the Lawson Park Hotel for lunch or dinner.


We arrived around lunchtime on Friday so we could fish a spot on the Cudgegong that Matt Ryan from Fisheries at Bathurst put us on to at the Wallerawang meet. We had success there and several times since. This time the water was surprisingly down at least a foot or two considering they had some early winter rain and some recent rain as well. This made the water skinny and clear in most places and the fish were spooky and not all that eager to come to the fly. Kim Prehn eventually caught a nice 44cm rainbow and Leo Harding a smaller fish of 30cm.


The next morning we met Dave as mentioned and he took us to some private property downstream from where we fished on Friday. Again the water was skinny in a lot of places and it was a long while before we spotted fish. Dave eventually spotted a nice fish for Kim who had to use a nymph dropper as any dry fly at this stage was refused which was very surprising. Kim hooked the fish after finally getting the fly close enough and broke his knot! Enough said about that one. We continued on up stream and I found several fish in a nice deeper hole where the fish simply moved all around my dry fly with a nymph dropper and just wouldn’t take the fly. It was getting later in the day (8:30 – 9:00am) when Leo finally got a fish to take his nymph after trying several dry flies. That certainly got Dave’s blood pumping as he dashed around with a net to help land Leo’s fish caught in the bull rushes. The water was a little deep so Dave decided to drop his strides so he wouldn’t fill his waders! Immediately after Barry caught a similar fish he saw rising in some nice running water. This fish took the dry fly (parachute Adams) this time and straight after this at the next hole Kim was onto a nice fish. What the bloody hell’s goin’ on? All of a sudden the fish decided to bite and yours truly was suddenly under pressure to catch a fish. Dave and I headed back to that hole where we had spotted several fish and yes they were still there and appeared to be active. With Dave high up on a steep bank, I had casted to where he suggested and we had to simply wait until the fish saw the fly. After what seemed a while one fish came up to the fly without a care in the world and took the nymph. An end to a very pleasant day with an exciting finish. There’s just nothing like spotting fish and watching them take the fly.


Many thanks to Dave Smith who showed exceptional professionalism and patience and a thorough gentleman. I would recommend anyone contacting Dave whenever they are in Mudgee .


Chris Harding

Illawarra Fly fishers