Peter and Prue were the winners of the three days/two nights all-inclusive package from Pro Angler and Red Tag valued at around $5000.
This was especially good news for Peter who was recovering from a serious health issue and looking forward to casting a line again, while for Sue it was an opportunity to learn a new skill and enjoy the experience with Peter.
Both broke their duck on our new teaching water with a small rainbow each, then Peter landed this very nice wild brown on the river later on day 1.
After a tough second day on the wild fish rivers, Prue topped the trip with this great wild brown on the river — dry fly (‘hopper pattern) around the 3lb mark! No wonder she is delighted.
Up at Currawong Lakes they have a new set up with single operator float boats, complete with buoyancy vests etc.
Red Tag club member Peter, shown floating above, and I had a fun couple of hours drifting the ‘wind lanes’ and floating the deeper spots on their top lake.
Peter manoeuvred in the ‘wind lane’. Had a good hit but missed it. Then got three excellent fish from the more traditional shore fishing.
Only embarrassment was the guide who got the ‘monster in the deep!’ Very limited shot of self being ‘towed’ gently up wind by, what eventually turned out to be, a top conditioned 6lb brown.
The Currawong Lakes action was followed by two days of different stream/river work with action a plenty resulting in something like 17 fish to hand and probably 30+ to the fly.
Jim, and son Brantley, had a top time ‘catching up’ on their recent tour. Jim has fly fished for quite a while and was keen to see if Brantley would enjoy the experience as well.
While Jim (bringing it to hand, above) took the honours on day 1 with a nice 4lb wild brown trout at Currawong Lakes, Brantley soon picked up the importance of presentation and was top rod on the rivers both day 2 & 3.
Brantley is justifiably happy with this very nice Tassie wild brown for his first trout on the fly – dry (‘hopper pattern) at that!
He then topped that off by outfishing Dad on the second river day with fish like this one, catching them on a 2 to 1 ratio!
Finally showing a mastery of all aspects of the art, Brantley helps Dad out by netting one of Jim’s feisty browns.
Alway a bit reluctant to put strangers together for a trip, but when respective partners to Daniel (South Australian visitor) and Sean (recent Tasmanian) both picked the same day early in January as an introductory fly fishing workshop day it couldn’t have worked out better.
Not only did the guys get along fine, but each got more out of the day than they expected, with a sound introduction to casting, dry, wet and nymph fly fishing techniques and plenty of fish action.
Sean is delighted with this nice rainbow, first fish for the season on a ‘hopper pattern – just one of many to hand for the day.
We even managed to get Daniel onto the river for an hour or so at day’s end and he not only caught his first ever wild brown, but did it on the ‘hopper dry – becoming the first wild trout taken on a grasshopper this season.
Above: Norm is delighted with this solo effort on a very nice wild brown.
In the past, Norm and Roy have come down and fished separately with Red Tag, but this time they teamed up for a two day trip that went very well, despite an overcast and cool first day.
Fair to say Norm had the best of day 1 at Currawong Lakes and Roy finished top rod on the river on day 2.
Norm is working hard on what turns out to be an excellent rainbow and gets some well earned admiration for this one on the dry in tough conditions as Roy lends a hand to net the result.
Roy’s first feisty wild brown on the river on Day 2 was one of six to hand.
Bill and Gillian practicing on some of the sheltered lawn areas we have to get started with the basics.
The workshop soon progressed through the still water fishery and onto the river/stream work for a more extended and successful second day.
After a short time learning to read the currents and drift patterns, Bill soon brings a small wild brown trout to hand.
Then it was Gillian’s turn to hook up.
Bill ended up with five to hand and Gillian three (but who’s counting), plus a number of other chances and misses, etc. A good introduction to stream fly fishing all round.
Red Tag Trout Tours now has its own stocked teaching water which allows us to do the complete workshop from lawn intro casting, to on water exercises, to still water techniques and finally wild river browns. All at the one location.
It also includes heritage accommodation and all the add ons for extended stay workshops.
Top: Alison and Tim are the first on the new water after the initial lawn session.
Tim searches the wing riffle edges to see what is hiding under the ruffled surface.
Next it was down to the river for a relaxing lunch – well it would have been relaxing but for a rising trout getting started on emerging mayflies.
“Act nonchalant”, said the guide, “we’ll lull it into a false sense of security”.
So after lunch, it was onto the river to the sighted fish, second cast and Tim does it all – dry fly (emerger) right in its feeding lane, down goes the fly, up goes the rod and just like that, Tim has his first wild brown to hand. Thumbs up all round, Tim’s very nice brown to start his fly fishing life.
Client happy, guide happy and we didn’t even have time to put the waders on!
To finish off an action-packed great day, Alison gets her first ever wild trout on an emerger.
End of October saw the first Red Tag/Pro Angler tour get underway with Phil W. and Phil O.
As you can see from the apparel, weather conditions were not that kind to us and nymphing rather than dries were the go most of the time.
We still saw Phil O. get his first rainbow on the fly.
And Phil W. was soon among them with a nice wild brown trout. Both were taken on a small bead-head nymph.