Uncle Billy's Retreat.
By Brian Kirkley
Nine of our members stayed at Uncle Billy's Retreat, near Glenn Innes, over the long weekend 1-2-
3 May. Over 80 trout were caught and released, which may be a record for one of our fishing contests. All members caught fish, and Richard and Mark, who have fished regularly for trout in Victoria and Tasmania, declared the fishing as exciting as they have experienced anywhere. Special mention to Bev for persisting until she landed her first nice rainbow. The publican in Glenn Innes reported hearing her victory shout.
The trout averaged 2 pounds in the old scale and were mostly rainbows in good condition, although
two browns were also caught. Glenn Court hooked a huge rainbow about 6 pounds just on dusk, on a Black Spinner, and it put up a sterling fight before breaking free. All fish fought well with some spectacular leaps and tail-walks.
There were a lot of 4 weights used with a few 6 weights and a majority of floating lines.
Fish were caught on a wide cross section of flies and rigs, with a majority of sight fishing to
However the most exciting fishing was on dusk and moonrise when there was a nice caddis hatch
on two nights, and some skillful (for some), hookups with various small emerger patterns.
Some of the flies used were: (although this is far from the full cross-section that caught trout on the weekend.
Floating line, long leader two nymphs (olive and brown)
Royal Wulff and small olive nymph dropper.
Shaving brush emerger
Every member reported on an excellent weekend with outstanding fishing, and good comfortable
lodgings and hospitality from Sue and Bill. The cabin fires were kept burning during the frosty
nights, and after a couple of bleak rainy days the weekend was sunny and warm during the day
except for a wicked wind that had us seeking out quiet spots to cast. There were fish caught over
the full spectrum of times-from early morning till well after dark, but as mentioned earlier, the dusk
hatches were spectacular.
"My thoughts on Uncle Billy's"
By Mark Hosking
I have to admit that it was with a little reserved enthusiasm that I looked forward to the long
weekend at Uncle Billy's. Not that I wasn't looking forward to it, believe me I was, but my concern
stemmed from the fact that it was a stocked fishery and that the fishing may be more "catching"
Boy was I wrong! Within an hour of starting to fish on Saturday Morning I had had my fly refused
on more than one occasion by a couple of rainbows that I had sighted and cast to. Changing flies 3 times in one case did nothing more than give these finicky trout something else to investigate and then ignore. I had the feeling that these fish were saying "You're going to have to do a lot better than that!!
Over Saturday, Sunday & early Monday the fish would constantly give me a reminder that they
weren't about to jump onto just anything put in front of them. In fact I probably had more fish
refuse my flies in these 2 & bit days than I have had in my last five fishing trips in Tassie. To be successful meant changing tactics and experimenting with some new ones. All in all a great
weekend. It may not be Tassie but at just over 5 hours from home by car it is one hell of an
alternative for a trout starved fisherman. I'll be back next year for sure!!
Uncle Billy's May 2004
By Glenn Court
This trip provided me with a few highlights of my time both flyfishing and as a club member, they
follow in no order of significance.
1. Having been a member of our club since the first meeting and having only missed one or two
away trips in that time it was wonderful to see so many away trip debutantes Those three
days away fishing together and getting to know you all better has added to my life
2.Bev's first fish on fly.
Brian pretty much covered this occasion but I also heard that a couple of publicans from Tenterfield rang the publican in Glenn Innes to find out what the commotion was.
3.Loosing a fish probably should not be a highlight but when it would have been a personal best it is those memories which keep you coming back for more.
PS After the success of this trip it was decided by the members present to book the cabins for the same long weekend next year, so those who could not make it pencil it in on your calendar for next year.