END OF THE LINE FOR VALLEY ANGLING LEGEND
I SIT here writing today with a little bit of sadness because this will be my final fishing column with the Derwent Valley Gazette.
It’s a task I’ve undertaken for almost 10 years now, and in that time I’m thankful for all the new faces and people I’ve met.
There are several memories I’ll take from this.
I enjoy nothing more than talking about and sharing the River Derwent fishery right on our doorstep. It’s a world-class fishery, both with sea-run and resident trout.
The first three months of the season you will not find better fish anywhere. The fish are fit and strong and in incredible condition. They eat well, and as a sport fish there are none better when it comes to trout.
The Derwent is Australia’s best bream fishery, with the biggest fish in the country, holding every national ABT record except one.
And early next year the ABT is bringing the national competition back to Tassie, which will attract the best anglers from around Australia chasing these renowned fish.
I’ve had a couple of highlights on the Derwent, qualifying for the ABT Super Series Top 10 on Day 3.
Feeling a little overwhelmed as the only nonsponsored angler in my little 3.9m tinny, the rest of the guys were running 200hp-plus boats covered in sponsor logos.
I managed to finish seventh, and it was a real insight into tournament fishing.
A couple of years later, fishing with Marcus Popowski, we led a round of the local Classic Series after Day 1 with a 6.690kg five-fish bag, which at the time I believe was the sixth heaviest ever in Australia. It probably still stands because recent years have not achieved those sizes again.
But without doubt my single favourite thing is getting kids’ faces into the Gazette. Their smiles as they hold up their fish are very rewarding, and I’m sure they love to see them there.
There are so many junior anglers around the Valley, and I hope we can continue to see many more of them in print over the years.
Reporting on the charity work of the local angling club, the New Norfolk Licensed Anglers Association, has also been very satisfying. Being part of that club and raising money for some very deserving young people in our community has been extremely rewarding.
Seeing the appreciation on the faces of those people makes me very proud.
And then the harder things, writing about some memorable people who are no longer with us, most recently club legend and life member Rod Ryder.
Thank you to everyone who has shared info and sent in or allowed me to use photos over the years.
And to anyone who has said “thank you” to me, it actually means something to hear that. I’ve enjoyed it, and these experiences will always be remembered.
I wish Adam Rice all the best as the new writer. I’m certain he will do a fine job.