When my 2 year old was born, a few things changed-well, quite a few actually. Once several weeks had elapsed and Jane was up to the idea of a summer fishing trip, it was clear that our pre-baby favourite places weren't an immediate option. One was a charming but run-down riverside cabin where the rats and huntsmens competed for space. The other was a slightly more up-market sleepout, but it was an hour's tortuous drive from civilization, and lacked power or a phone.
Somewhere more baby-friendly was called for, and we settled on an apartment at Frueauf Village, Falls Ck. The brainchild of an old friend Dean Hewett, Frueauf is not just a ski lodge, and is very much open for business over summer. The self-contained apartments offered us the freedom of cooking our own meals, and coming and going around baby hours. At the same time, Frueauf's Cafe Milch was there for a meal, a glass of wine or a lazy coffee, within baby-monitor range of our apartment should circumstances permit! The sealer for Jane was the hot-tub on the apartment balcony.
The long weekend turned out to be a success, partly because of Frueauf itself-Jane liked the decor and attention to detail in the apartment and partly because the Falls Creek location is so well suited to a family flyfishing holiday (or should that be a family holiday with a bit of flyfishing?). This was brought home to me one balmy evening when Jane requested some baby-free time to read a book in the tub. I selflessly took our little one 5 minutes up the road, and parked the car by Rocky Valley Reservoir on a favourite point. With baby snoozing in the twilight a back cast away, I landed three nice browns on a skating Black Deerhair before darkness closed in completely.
The next day, the three of us drove down to the upper Mitta. We had a memorable morning taking turns fishing a Royal Wulff and brown bead-head nymph, and carrying the baby. The fish grabbed the fly (mainly the nymph) beautifully. Jane and littlie headed back to Frueauf at lunch time, while I tag-teamed with mate Al for the afternoon. The fish started rising, cheerfully took a parachute Adams, and a great day got even better. That evening, Al, Jane and I dined on home-cooked pasta and watched the sun set behind 2000 metre Spion Kopje mountain.
Since that visit, Frueauf has moved forward as a flyfishing destination, with management coming to recognise just how diverse and productive the local trout waters really are. Some of the apartments have been decorated in a flyfishing theme and flyfishing guests receive a complimentary pack of half a dozen locally reliable patterns, tied by David Dodd. Plans are even underway to conduct flyfishing courses here in the summer of 2006/07.
Summer rates at Frueauf Village start at $150 a night for a fully furnished studio apartment for two. There is mobile phone reception and internet connection is available.