OPEN SEASON | Sign up to get 10% OFF code



Central West is Best

  • 4 min read

We've got some old fishing buddy's, but none go back as far as the Captain, Jack Murphy. Down-rigging for kings and catching fresh squid for a breakfast calamari cook up along Sydney's Pittwater Peninsula is now a memory of our childhood.

Jack continued on his salty sea dog destiny and is now running a bloody good magazine and content creation business The Captain. If you don't know it, you've been living under a rock so sort yourself out here.

As we grew up, discovering trout fishing meant our relationship was going to have some issues. Jack for one was saltier than a seized up 1970's 15hp Johnson. While we were off fishing for 1 pound river monsters, Jack was out catching Marlin and other creatures of the deep, and both of us couldn't be happier even though we'd somewhat gone our separate ways. 

In April 2021, whilst putting away a few Bundy's at El Capitans Birthday Bash, we were introduced to another freshwater infected enthusiast by the name of Nick Wood. Nick is a photographer, motorcycle madman and boating ballistic. Best of all he loves hunting trout. We got chatting and it turns out Nick lives on a stretch of road called the Bells Line of Road; a windy stretch full of car crashes, police chases, cider brewers, pie makers and the occasional drug runners.. oh and incredibly beautiful bit of scenery that links Sydney to Lithgow or as we like to call it the road to trout glory.

So after a multitude of calls with Nick to discuss fly tying, Thompsons Creek Dam (for which Mr Wood has become quite familiar with) and every other item associated with fly fishing we finally organised to pick Nick up at his cottage high up on the Bells Line with another mate Tim and buddy Sam.

We stopped to grab a pie from Pie in the Sky, to which he still maintains is the best bakery on the road. We loaded up the car and continued west past TCD into the upper reaches of the Central West full of dams, valleys and twig water. 

We'd been to this spot late the year earlier and had a blast so we assumed we'd find the same resident rainbows munching dry's now that it was peak summer. How wrong we were.

The novelty of taking our mates new Jeep across some stone bottom rivers wore off pretty quick when we couldn't spot any fish on the rise. It was so easy last time, what had changed? We caught a glimpse of some micro's hitting the surface, but not enough to warrant a 5 hour drive so we got back in the car and made the early call to head down lower and set up camp before night came. We had an hour before dark so we rigged up again and had a crack in front of the campsite. To our delight, Nick landed a nice chunky bow in the fast water who decided he couldn't resist the pink tag Nick had tied up at his cottage the night before, so not all was lost.

Norfolk Wild Trout Fly Fishing NSW

Waking up to a cool mountain morning we cranked open the new Dometic Fridge that was keeping our Bacon fresh, made up some rolls and coffee and headed further downstream. We split up and all was quiet for an hour or two until the cry of the fly fisherman was heard with a quick "yep, yeppp, YEPPPP". Sam, fishing a 9ft 6wt with a dry dropper in the slow water had his rod doing a full 180, the stuff of dreams. The rod doing gymnastics for all of 30 seconds when his leader gave all it could and could give no more. The look on his face was something most trout fisherman never forget. The biggest fish he'd ever hooked, and lost, all in the blink of an eye. He maintains his story that it had to be close to 10lb.

Norfolk Wild Trout Fly Fishing NSW

"It's eye, it's eye was as big as a 50 cent coin I swear! I can't get the look out of my head".

Obviously Sam was rattled but at the same time we were all pretty amped to see what lay ahead for the rest of the day. We fished and fished and finally made the call to head higher up after only finding some mini munchers that could hardly get the fly in their tiny mouth. We walked almost 5km through some rough terrain where the water started flowing with some gusto, and the pools and runs just felt 'trouty'. 

Norfolk Wild Trout Fly Fishing NSW

The 5km uphill hike was well worth the sore feet. The four of us split up and the cry's of men were heard all afternoon. From the 'yeps' to the 'YEPPSS' bellowing down the river.  

We're not sure why they were only in this 500 metre stretch of water and no were else, but we didn't care. We found them under logs, in between boulders, in ankle deep trickles and everywhere in between. 

"That's probably the best fishing i've ever had in Australia"

Nick was clearly humbled as he stared at the beauty of the rainbow he'd just landed. The afternoon continued to the point where we could have fished into eternity. Fish tempting us over and over again, trying to trick us to walk back to camp in the dark. 

The challenge of finding fish this weekend reminds us that it's not the catching fish, but the stalking and hunting fish that keeps Fly Fisherman coming back for more. The pursuit of discovery and having to know what's around the next bend is what fuels the 5 hours drives and phonecalls letting your girlfriend know you'll be late.

Norfolk Wild Trout Fly Fishing NSW

 Norfolk Wild Trout Fly Fishing NSWNorfolk Wild Trout Fly Fishing NSW