Fly fishing clubs converged at Wallerawang in May for the annual NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers (CFA) inter-club meet.
A super group of David Screen, Uncle Jim Screen, Bill Toorak and twin terrors Robert and Alan Steege represented Lakeside Fly Fishing Club (LFFC), pitting their skills against seven other fly fishing clubs. LFFC were confident with the local knowledge of Bill Toorak, our great advantage. But Bill earned himself the moniker of the PHANTOM over the weekend because he wasn’t sighted by his team members (busy with family commitments, Bill did fish on the Saturday and turn up with his catch sheet).
Robert and Dawn Steege had won a voucher for one nights stay at Rocky Waterhole BnB overlooking Lake Wallace at Wang which the brothers Robert and Alan took advantage of. Rocky Waterhole BnB is a very nice facility that we can highly recommend and no, Alan didn’t have to wear a dress.
On the way up Alan and Rob fished the Coxs River off Mckanes Falls Road for a few hours but aside from spotting a five centimeter monster, they didn’t spook a fish. After a few drinks at the old pub in Wang they invaded Peter and Dot Drinkall at the BnB, providing a nice bottle of red consumed by all, then retired for the night.
When the fog cleared after breakfast the next morning, Alan and Rob fished the Coxs river just below the Dam wall on Peter’s property. They spotted two fish but couldn’t tempt them. So Peter took them through the nearby national park to another section of the Coxs. The nice clear water looked promising, and a few small rainbows were granted a ‘long range catch and release’ i.e. nothing landed. Still, it was a great location and nice of Peter to take the lads down there.
On Friday night the official welcoming festivities were held at the Blackgold Motel in Wang and LFFC fraternised with members from other clubs, many of whom were familiar faces from club meets past.
The main day of competition dawned on Saturday bright and sunny. At least that’s how it was when Rob and Alan took to the water after most of the keen anglers had left.
Most fishos hit either Thompsons Creek Dam or the Fish river. David and Uncle Jim made for the Kowmung, a rather steep drive suited to David’s four wheel driving skills, and they both caught a few small rainbows.
Peter Drinkall let on that there were some good fish in the SECRET RIVER which also had a fair percentage of carp. The brothers Steege wrongly decided not to go to the SECRET RIVER and headed instead to the Duckmaloi where a farmer ordered them off his land, even though they gained access along the river bank.
So they checked out other stretches of river and this time they sought permission at the farm house. No one was home but points were earned for trying.
Despite low water levels a couple of decent rainbows were spotted in a deep run and Alan floated a dry right over the biggest fish’s nose, to no avail. The big fish then followed some streamers but ultimately refused.
Hedging their bets, the lads made for a proven spot on the Fish river and broke their ducks with a small rainbow each.
The clubs convened back at the Blackgold motel to share fishing stories around the barbeque. Most reported catches of small rainbows. The best fish caught was a 65 centimetre rainbow in, you guessed it, the SECRET RIVER. The largest impoundment fish was a 53 centimetre rainbow.
Sunday was land activity day, distance and accuracy casting with nine foot leaders. Competition casting is usually done with six foot leaders and LFFC gun caster, Uncle Jim, couldn’t adjust.
All the lads competed but trophies were elusive with LFFC finishing a respectable middle of the ladder. Neil Nelson from sister club Illawarra Fly Fishers snuck in some practise before hand and snagged the trophy. Well done Neil.
All up, Wang treated the LFFC lads to three days of excellent weather and good camaraderie. They’ll return next year determined to reclaim the inter-club trophy.