Nick and his mate Lucas recently spent a few days fly fishing and frolicking through the majestic and peaceful Snowy Mountains. Nick paints us a picture of just how dreamy and delightful their time was.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Ngarigo people who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Finding Freedom in the Snowy Mountains

The moon was full to a point that a head torch was unnecessary, even to find my camp spot in the late evening as I arrived with Lucas. It was certainly cool – I had my collar up on my wool shirt, puffer zipped to my neck, fingerless gloves on my hands and my ears tucked into my beanie. 

There’s a purity to this region, not a single unnatural sound in the air. Bugs were chirping, wind gliding through the trees and the occasional flapping of wings by a Tawny frogmouth.



I woke, warmly burrito’d within my sleeping bag, protected from the freezing temperatures outside. I stretched in the sleeping bag and lit the Trangia to prepare a cuppa while gathering the courage to face the elements. 

Unzipping the fly in the morning to check the pre-dawn weather, I heard a disconcerting crack. Had I ripped the tent? No, I realised as a sheet of heavy ice slid to the ground. Around me, the tussock glistened and sparkled as the first light caught the frost. 

Read more: Need to Know Before You go Backcountry Camping

The sun was beginning to peak over the mountainous horizon as my Vibram soles crunched dirt and ice around camp. We sipped steamy brews and let the warmth seep in through our hands before moving towards the stream. 

Our Own Alpine Stream

Steam poured from the creek as we passed through the noticeable pocket of warm air as the inversion layer lifted. We embraced each moment of warmth.

As we neared our destination, the sun gradually began to spread its heat down the hills and towards us, as the waning moon that had illuminated our walk lost her intensity. Pastel skies appeared through the burnt bush that surrounded us, leaving an impressive contrast. Dew sparkled on the tussock as the rays moved onwards.

I stood by the stream’s side, casting and watching for signs. Casting by the leeward side of a boulder that protruded in a gentle bend. Protected from the gentle current, the caddisfly pattern landed softly on the surface. 



An instant later, the line suddenly sank and began to thrash. I pulled up to tension the line and began to reel in. I caught glimpses of the satin and spotted underbelly of a Rainbow trout. Time stood still.

Once landed, I firmly but gently held the head, just above the gills with my wet hands, using the other to retrieve the fly. I got lost in the stunning colouring of the creature I’d caught. Easing it back into the stream, I watched it unhurriedly swim back towards its rock.

We wandered along through long grass towards the trickling call of the stream, discussing the beauty of the landscape we’d found ourselves in. After about four hours of fishing, we’d still caught nothing worth keeping, however morale was off the charts. We were seemingly high on our environment, giggling and ecstatic.

We’d sunk to talking in whispers even though there was no one around for miles. It seemed inconsiderate to speak with volume in such a peaceful place. We made our way upstream, stopping at riffles, bends, and deeper sections to try our luck.

The sun was moving towards its zenith when we really started to feel the absolute lack of shade due to the devastating Black Summer Bushfires – vastly different temperatures than the morning. We eventually found a small pocket under a mostly-defoliated tree, where we sat, consulting our fly fishing book, praying for a gem of knowledge that might help us snag a sizable trout for lunch. 

Time for a Dip!

Before long, Lucas had wandered off. I stood to search for him. Unfortunately, I copped a clear view of his white bum contrasting against his tanned back as the mountain water splashed at his knees as he plodded around. He plonked down and cheered with glee. The stream hadn’t provided food to such subpar fisherman as us, however, it was an excellent way to escape the heat.



I got in as well, not wanting to miss out on the ‘Backcountry Baptism’. I sat, submersed, fighting to control my breath and not spring from the water. Surrendering to the cold, I dipped my chin and drank. A primal sensation washed over, leaving me feeling revitalised, strong and very determined to catch a fish.

We continued along the bank, listening to deer calls in the distance. We soon decided our caffeine levels were dangerously low, so we strolled back to the car, getting very excited about our situation and that we had so many many more streams, rivers, and creeks to explore.

Read more: How To Hike Off-Track 

We headed over the range, going nowhere in particular, ending up at a picnic area far removed from the caravan cacophony. Lucas headed west and I went east, spending the afternoon casting, resetting, and patiently waiting. Insects landed on the glassy water, immediately getting smashed by the trout I could almost taste. The fish were visible but still we couldn’t snag one.

Our very average fly presentation was no match for nature’s perfection. I set my rod down and became completely entranced by this example of the food cycle. This is how biology classes should be taught, not in a classroom.


Dusk Closes In

I was reminded of the day coming to an end by the elongating shadows and dramatic drop in temperature. Under another mesmerising moon, I set up my tent while Lucas unrolled his swag. While adding a few layers, we high fived and cheered about how good our day was. We sat in the dirt and cracked a tin of tuna each – being unable to catch our own fish didn’t mean we had to miss out.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!



We lay back after dinner, observing the nightscape above us. The stars shone with such a twinkle that I wondered whether I was imagining things.

‘There are so many shooting stars that I ran out of wishes about half an hour ago’, Lucas whispered, while I was unsure whether he was talking to me or himself.

I glanced once more at the innumerable stars that formed the mosaic above me before the chill got a grip. A cool breeze swept past, causing me to shiver so we retreated to our sleeping bags, already hyped to do it all over again the next day.

‘The more you know, the less you need,’ a wise man once said. This is the perfect example of how true that statement is.