Fish the Goulburn River from one of our drift boats
Fishing from a drifting boat is one of the most pleasurable ways to fly fish for trout and we have been running float trips on a daily basis since 1994. While we originally started off with cumbersome rubber rafts, we eventually switched to the incredibly more maneuverable (and costly!!) Mackenzie style drift boats and skiffs. These were especially imported from the USA and we now have four boats on hand.
These boats are extremely comfortable and safe when being rowed by an expert guide, allowing the angler/s on board to explore the river and fish literally thousands of likely spots with ease. Backwaters and off-river lagoons offer superb sight fishing and mid-river gravel bars, inaccessible to the bank angler, are but only two of the commonly fished features while drifting.
Drifting the Goulburn, the fly caster has access to both banks and because the cast is parallel to the current, it runs free of drag, often for 30 metres or more at a time. A boat may cover up to 25 kilometres of river in a day, unfolding a feast of countless features such as bubble lines, runs in the centre of the river, high impassable banks, outer edges of willow banks, backwaters, hopper banks, side-channels and gravel bars, nearly all of which are inaccessible to the wading angler when the river is running high.
Polarising over vast weed beds and stalking a rising fish with noiseless oars in a stealthily maneuvered boat is a joy to behold, and a big part of what we do is about finding fish before we fish to them. Sure anyone can put in a boat and occasionally run into a fish, but after 22 years of guiding on this ‘technical’ river on a daily basis, it’s safe to say that we know it better than anyone else and can ensure that you have the best opportunity on any given day.
Over the past two decades we have developed a vast array of skills and techniques designed for fishing the Goulburn from a drift boat. While much of it was learned here on our home waters through hard work and trial and error; more and more of what we do is now influenced by our time spent fishing with the best guides in places like Montana, Idaho and Patagonia. These experiences keep us on our toes, and ensures that we are always learning and thinking about how we might improve what it is that we do.
Frequently four or five rods will be rigged differently for the varying situations that may arise on any given day. A float trip on the Goulburn could see you doing everything from stalking a backwater cruiser with a beetle, to nymphing a mid-river gravel bar; from slapping a baitfish pattern into an undercut edge, to carefully presenting to fish eating spent spinners during the evening rise.
It really is an exciting river to fish and the challenge of consistently doing well for our clients, every single day at all different river levels, is what drives all of our guides to continually improve.
Float trips on the Goulburn River are available every day. We guide on all public holidays, except for Christmas Day, and are available at any time of the day and on any day of the week.
Our float trips are extremely popular and while you can walk in off the street and book and be on the water within 30 minutes, our advice is to book ahead where possible. Half, full day and ‘Evening Rise’ drifts are available every day of the season and the start/end time is dictated by your personal needs/schedule.
There’s room on our boats for two anglers plus the guide, meaning you can bring a friend with you. Non-fishing partners are more than welcome and it is a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon; ‘watching the world go by’ from the back of the boat. If you wish to drift with a bigger party we simply use more boats.
As with all our guided/teaching trips, we will supply any gear that you do not have.
While the guide will work hard all day to put you in front of fish, strict attention to safety is our highest priority. Since commencing operations in 1994 we have not had a single incident.
All GVFFC trips have a strict catch and release policy. This is to help ensure the river’s moderate stock of fish is maintained. We will however, ensure that you get some high quality photos of your fish. Done properly the fish is released unharmed and the moment is preserved forever.
All float trips include a professionally accredited guide to both operate the drift boat and ensure that you have the best fishing experience possible on the day. Terminal tackle is included (tippets/flies), as is cold water, transport and use of any gear that you don’t have, on a replace if broken basis. A full day trip also includes lunch.
Please view our price list by clicking here or phone us on FreeCall 1800 458 111 for more information.
Please read our Cancellation Policy before making a booking. ;-)
Please scroll down to see some more pics from our drift boat trips