In Search of Mr Findlays Race
This was the last weekend of stream fishing before close of season. I had been at the Rubicon three weeks earlier and had practiced my newly learned Czech nymph technique that Luca and Ollie had shown me in New Zealand. It had been a successful days fishing with 6 Loch Leven browns caught. they are simply a gorgeous looking trout with the loveliest of orange spots on the side and I hope to catch a few in Scotland next year.
I picked up Chris Myszka not too early as we have now grown accustomed to fishing gentlemen's hours after our New Zealand trip. Its still a 2 hour trip, but the promise of delicious pastries from our country bakeries is worth all the effort. Unfortunately, Alex was closed due to some petrol head truck event so our taste tempting delights never eventuated. Lunch would have to do at the chip shop at Thornton.
We hit the stream at 11.00 and proceeded upstream hopping from pool to pool. Its easy for 2 experienced friends to do this without getting in each others way. I took Chris to all the pools where I had been successful. However, the winters cold water had put the fish down and Chris only managed one fish.
I was more interested in tracing the steps of David Scholes and I was in search of Mr Findlays race.
David Scholes was such a fantastic writer. When you read his books on cold winter nights, in the back of your mind, you can hear the bubbling streams, smell the Australian bush aroma and visualize tumbling streams. His youthful exploits of the Rubicon are well documented and a fantastic read. The race was diversion of the Rubicon which powered a small waterwheel. In David's day, it held a number of nice sized trout, all pets of Mr. Findlay. These trout were too tempting for David and demanded poaching. The story is a great read and can be purchased from the Compleat Angler in Melbourne.
Finding the race for me is one of the 100 things to do before I die, well, not really. Upstream from the first bridge, the race is about 1.5 km. easy walk along the beautiful Rubicon. A small rivulet branches off at the right and runs under the fence to a private farm. In the tumble down shed, you can see the Water Wheel. Further upstream, the you come across the headrace and this disappears under a large pipe and then travels to the Waterwheel.
Synopsis. It was pretty interesting to see where David would have crawled on all fours, flicking his fly into the stream. One eye on the fly and one eye on the appearance of Mr. Findlay. It was flat open ground and had no cover. How he managed to do it I'll never know. But that was just another one of David's skills.