The warmer months see fly-fishermen flock to the New England region of New South Wales in pursuit of their favourite adversary: trout.

Story & photos by John Denman

The bar at the Ebor pub is not much bigger than an average lounge room, but it is packed, and all the talk is of fly-fishing. It’s a small pub in the northern New South Wales town of 60 people (with another 68 in the district), where both the population and local economy are boosted in the warmer months by trout fishermen. For these folk, the fish is a respected adversary, and the pursuit is just as important as the result. Fly-fishing is like that – for a true enthusiast, it’s not just the catching of the fish, it’s the technique, the stalk and the presentation that matters. All this comes together with the gyrations of a trout at the end of the line, making the fly-fisher feel as if they have somehow been touched by the gods.
Other species can be caught with a fly but, to the purist, a trout is the really worthy opponent. Wily and fast, trout inhabit some of the most picturesque country in Australia. While trout fly-fishing is done mainly in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, everyone has their own ideas about the best location. They are often caught in the large open waters of impoundments like Lake Eucumbene and other Snowy Mountains dams, but many prefer the smaller creeks and rivers.

This story excerpt is from Issue #51

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2007