QT photographer David Nielsen with a brown and rainbow trout caught in Ebor, NSW, on a recent fishing trip.
QT photographer David Nielsen with a brown and rainbow trout caught in Ebor, NSW, on a recent fishing trip. David Nielsen

Hooking in to fishing and beauty of spectacular Tablelands

CRAWLING on my hands and knees, the gently trickling sound of rapids dead ahead. Watching the water for any movement, I slowly stalked forward.

I love this stream and this little pool has always delivered in the past. It lies on a beautiful bend with a rock wall to one side and fed by rapids on the other.

Poised motionless I cast my spinner. A perfect cast, then a moment later… bang! The water is so clear I can see everything. A strike from the side, a territorial type strike and the spinner keeps going, I keep winding.

Waiting for the second strike, three fish follow, my heart races… they see me, and they're gone. I cast again but my gut tells me they won't try again. Trout are too smart and too timid.

Disappointed with the near miss but encouraged by the instant action, I move on. My dad, Ian Nielsen, waves as I pass by, he holds up two fingers, damn he's good, we'd only been fishing for 15 minutes and he has caught two fish already.

My father and I have fished for trout in The New England Tablelands for the past 30 years.

The high altitude streams are just cool enough to sustain healthy trout numbers this far north. In addition, the Dutton Hatchery breeds around two million trout every year to stock the region's waterways.

The Tablelands are spectacular. Beautifully clear spring fed streams meander through the picturesque countryside dotted with fat European style cattle breeds.

Camping or cabins are popular options in the area however we stayed at the local pub, the Ebor Falls Hotel Motel. It's an easy option with a hot fire and good steaks on the menu. It's conveniently located beside the somewhat heavily fished Guy Fawkes River and the cascading Ebor Falls.

Our trip in April meant we could still enjoy beautiful warm days, while the nights have that crispness that lures you to sit around a small fire.

As you gaze into the crackling wood and red coals you reminisce about the size of the ones that got away and celebrate the ones that you put in your bag.

Trout fishing and its accompanying walk through the beautiful countryside continues to bring me back to the New England district year after year.

Catching a few for dinner is just a welcome bonus.



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