Written by Andrew Badullovich. I love my trout fishing, and I love it even more so when you can see your target before it bites your offering. Watching a trophy trout shift from its lair to attack your lure or fly is as good as it gets if you ask me! The lead-up to the season closure on the Eucumbene River (June long weekend) can provide an exciting and very visual fishery; and if you love your trout fishing, it certainly needs to be experienced firsthand as words will never be able to describe just how good the trout fishing in this region can be.
I’ve just returned from the area, where I fished with my mate, Fabain Beroukas. The days were beautiful, but it was still ridiculously cold! The climate in the high country can be bitterly cruel, so pack your thermals and a decent jacket that will keep you warm and dry.
Bear in mind, you’ll be likely to cover a fair few kilometres as you walk from pool to pool, so your clothing needs to be lightweight and comfortable. Waders are essential, as they provide access to greener pastures, not to mention…keep your feet dry. I carry a back-pack with some food, water, tackle, and safety equipment neatly stowed inside. Again, a waterproof back-pack is a good idea, and you’ll need good access to your contents – particularly your tackle boxes! Polarised eyewear will become your best friend, as they provide your window to what lays below the surface. I use Mako Blades G3H9, and find them perfect for clear shallow water.
I like to carry a selection of hard bodied lures, such as presso rollin’ crank and Tornament spike. I also carry a small box filled with flies, such as, Glowbugs and Nymphs. I prefer to use spin tackle when visiting the Eucumbene River, as it provides versatility. I can crank a lure, or present a fly with the same outfit. Spin fly or drift rigging is a neat way to catch a trout on fly if you are not savvy with casting a fly rod, and just as rewarding too. All you need to do is attach a small split-shot weight to your line in order to cast the fly out, and to keep it low in the water column where the trout are waiting to ambush. I tie two flies, (one glowbug and one nymph) to hedge my bet. You simply tie the first fly to your tippet or leader, and then tie an extra tippet from the gape of that fly, to another fly. Simple! 6lb braid and 6 to 8lb leader should see you catch plenty of fish.
I concentrate my efforts around the head and tails of each pool; however, you’ll often find the trout within the fast water too. It need not be deep either, as the majority of our fish caught during our latest visit to the high country came out of water barely deep enough to cover the fish’s backs! This made for some extremely exciting hook-ups and sizzling battles as the fish tore through the skinny rapids. Most fish will come from bends in the river, but there are plenty of fish in-between.
My favourite stick for this style of fishing is the TD Battler – Beowolf. The rod is 7’ in length with a line rating of 2-4kg. It is light and ultra-responsive. The AGS (air guide system) provides ultimate sensitivity, which can really help detect those subtle takes of a wary brown trout. The guides are constructed of carbon fibre, which reduces the weight of the rod and boosts the performance of the fast tapered rod blank…it’s a deadly piece of artillery! The Beowulf also has enough balls to steer a decent fish around, which is needed.
Treat this pristine environment with the respect it deserves, and care for the well-being of the fish you catch. The trout are there to reproduce, so carefully release them so they can do their thing. 😉