French fish

It’s been an interesting and international week.  Working backwards I went to the Elton John concert in Canberra last night.  Awesome fun. Yellow Brick Road was one of those defining albums in my early teens and the words all came back – I even learnt some words like “it’ll take me a couple of vodka and tonics” for heaven’s sake it doesn’t sound anything like that on the album. I’m not sure, now I’ve heard the real words, I can remember what I’ve been singing for the last 35 years – but it was phonetic and sounded OK I’m sure.  What a nice man he is in real life. He and his old-crony band members leapt around like spring chooks; he told little stories and limited the “songs off the new album” to two. And he looked awesome in a sequinned turquoisey-blue jacket with “FANTASTIC” emblazoned across the back, and with the one exception of the costume malfunction when a bit of tele-tubby-tummy was temporarily exposed it was a superbly rehearsed and executed gig.  Two Croatian lads played cello, as a duet and then with the EJ band. Hearing ACDC’s Highway to Hell blasted out in screeching cello would make Jacqueline du Pré squirm I imagine but it sure got the crowd going.

Earlier in the day I did Strategy and Risk for Directors with the AICD and got into a healthy debate with (lethal) Lisa the facilitator about brainstorming.  Its complicated, but did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output? If you don’t know all that then Imagine by Jonah Lehrer is a ripping yarn (if you can get past the fact he’s in a spot, well a lot actually, of bother for making up Bob Dylan quotes – well who hasn’t?).  The point is (he says) companies who have really good ideas aren’t nice to people in brainstorming sessions who keep suggesting dumb things. I’m a bit old and cynical and I like that – probably because I was never very nice to people with dumb ideas anyway.

By now you’re all asking whether I actually did any true naked-trout work this week at all, what with all that activity as well as a healthy dose of consulting for the National Marine Safety Committee. Well I did actually and spent the weekend with David – a young French man on holiday who’s fallen in love with the place and is applying to stay. A passionate hunter, diver and fisher, he’s had four casting lessons and was ready for an assault on some decent rainbows.  Very passionate and excited, as you would expect from a young man from that nation – great English but with a fantastic accent!  Anyway, I did the best I could to manage expectations; “these fish can be fussy; really good fishermen don’t always catch fish, blah blah blah”. And I took him to Snaggy Dam which is a bit coloured and where I though I could fine tune his casting and stream-craft  for the clearer lakes.  I think it was only the second or third cast and he was onto a ripper, screaming line off down to the backing – what looked like the fish of a trip, in the first fifteen minutes of a two day trip. He didn’t quite get the play the fish thing completely and held on just a little too tight and ping….. expletive etc.

Now, how do you follow that?  Well of course within another half an hour he was onto another one and this one came to the net and was duly released.  We fished hard for two full days and got fish in every session, in four of the lakes. Snaggy, Spring, Midway and Dixieland. We fished Rodney George but didn’t touch a fish; a nice brown followed the fly right to our feet at the Caddigat Lake boat ramp. The biggest fish was the last cast of the trip; a fly nailed by a rising fish as soon as it landed. A grande-finale!

The weather was kind, no rain, nice breezes, warm most of the time. A thunderstorm skirted around us on the second day and we were back in Canberra via the back road shortly after 6 pm.

Flies. A black nymph tempted a spinner riser right by the bank on Spring; some blingy-WBs were effective; and the final fish was on an unweighted firey brown nymph.

A highlight of the weekend was the day two sunrise and early morning light – simply too stunning for words.

Work again tomorrow then back to the big lake!

Tight tippets!

Fly Fishing and Accommodation in Adaminaby