Aussies win fly fishing gold

THE Snowy Mountains was the recent venue for the 25 anglers participating in the 8th Oceania Fly Fishing Championships.

Teams from New Zealand, South Africa and Australia fished Lake Eucumbene, Tantangara Reservoir and the Murrumbidgee at Bolaro Station. Typical of the high country, the competitors had to cope with a range of challenging conditions including wild storms and freezing conditions.

Highlights of the three days of competition included Aussie Craig Coltman’s catch and release of 28 scoring trout from the Murrumbidgee; a trio of bulls and the odd brown snake showing up to make things interesting; and Phillip Luff, (South Africa) landing a rare brook trout in the Murrumbidgee. His compatriate, Daniel Factor, in the last session on Sunday morning landed the largest fish of the comp, a brown trout, on Eucumbene.

When the final scores were tallied Craig Coltman (Australian Green, Victoria) took out the Individual Gold and the inaugural Crosse-Mandeno Trophy. Mark Bulley (Australian Gold, Canberra) was 2nd and after a late rally Phillip Luff (South Africa) took Bronze.

The Australian Green team comprising of Craig Coltman, Paul Ellis (Tasmania), Geoff Naylor Tumut NSW), Mark Hobbs (Tasmania) and Michael Nolan (Victoria) took the Team Gold Medal and Trophy. Australian Gold, Mark Bulley, Brett Fazackerley (Tasmania), Paul Brabham (Bathurst NSW), Tom Watson (Western Australia) and Rich Sunderland (Pambula NSW) were second with New Zealand Silver third.

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