Drift Boat Trips

AVAILABLE EVERYDAY FROM SATURDAY 5th September 2020

AT A GLANCE


  • Our most relaxing and de-stressing service. We promise that you will lose all sense of time and ‘the outside world’, as you concentrate on watching your drifting fly and taking in the sights and sounds of the river.
  • If you have limited time to fish, the drift boat will give you the best opportunity of catching fish on any given day. We often drift up to 25 km in a day.
  • We are the only professional drift boat service on the Goulburn River, with 26 seasons of exemplary and incident-free operation.
  • We have the very best of the local guides on our roster, and we can show you an amazing day out; all within day-trip distance of Melbourne.
  • We offer evening (3 hour), half day (4.5-5 hour) and full day (8 hour) drift boat trips on the Goulburn River, and we have four boats available every day.
  • We can often cater to last-minute inquiries and can be on the water within 30 minutes of any call.
  • Our trips include a professional guide and imported drift boat, drinking water, tea and coffee, use of any gear, and lunch on the full days.
  • We cater to all fly fishers of any age or skill-level. Our youngest angler this year was 9 and our most senior was 83.
  • We guarantee you’ll have a memorable day and have zero snake encounters.
  • Read our TripAdvisor reviews and learn why we are Australia’s best drift boat operation.


The best way to fish the Goulburn River is from a drift boat.

The amazing, ever-changing scenery is a big part of what makes a day on the drift boat so special.

Each drift boat can comfortably accommodate two anglers and the guide. If you have a bigger group we just add extra boats.

Fish the Goulburn River from one of our drift boats

AVAILABLE EVERYDAY

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 the Goulburn River on a daily basis since 1994. While we originally started off with inflatable rafts, we eventually switched to the more maneuverable and comfortable (and costly!!) American drift boats and skiffs. These were especially imported from the USA and we now have four boats available to cater to large group bookings.

These boats are extremely comfortable and safe when being rowed by an expert guide, allowing those on board to explore the river and fish literally thousands of likely spots with ease. Backwaters and off-river lagoons offer superb sight fishing to cruising trout, and mid-river gravel bars, inaccessible to the bank angler, offer the chance to fish water that is simply ‘out of reach’ to wading anglers.

Drift boat trips are very popular with couples and family groups, and also non-fishing partners. The latter of whom often sit in the back reading a book or spotting platypus / birds with the binoculars we provide.
You’ll be so tuned into the fishing that you won’t even notice the hours roll by.

While floating the Goulburn, the fly fisher has access to both banks, and because the cast is often 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 fish-holding features such as bubble lines, runs in the centre of the river, high impassable banks, outer edges of willow trees, backwaters,  steep-edged hopper banks, side-channels and gravel bars; nearly all of which are inaccessible to the wading angler at times of higher water releases from October to May.

A great Goulburn fish is the reward that we seek.

Polarising vast weed beds and stalking rising fish from a boat being stealthily and silently maneuvered by a guide, is something every Australian fly fisher should experience, and a big part of what we do is finding fish before we fish to them. Sure, anyone can launch a boat and occasionally run into a fish as they drift downstream, but after 25 years of guiding on this ‘technical’ river, it’s safe (and truthful) to say that we know it better than anyone else, and we can ensure that you have the best of the available opportunities on any given day.

Over the past two and a half decades we have developed a vast array of skills and techniques 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; we are also influenced by our time spent fishing with the best guides in places like Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Patagonia. Fishing for trout from a drift boat in these locations, often for months at a time during the southern hemisphere winter, ensures that we are always evolving and improving what we do as fishing guides.

The drift boat fishing season starts on the first Saturday in September, and ends on the Monday of the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend in June.
90% of the fishing is with dry flies and we sight many of the fish before we cast to them.

Frequently, four or five rods will be rigged to cover a variety of situations that may arise on the 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 a fish sipping 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; and at all river levels; is what drives our team of guides to constantly produce their best.

The Goulburn River has decent numbers of 2-3lb fish. Every so often we get one in the 5-6lb class.

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, on any day of the week.

Our float trips are extremely popular and while you can walk in off the street 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.

Evening drifts are very popular as they take in the best time of the day

Evening drifts take in that wonderful period between sunset and nightfall

 

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 larger group of friends, 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 stocks of fish are 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.

Our drift boats are safe, stable and comfortable to fish from. Knee braces allow anglers to stand while fishing, and well-padded swivel chairs provide the ultimate in comfort while fishing for long hours.

Drift Boat Prices

* Half Day – 4.5-5 hours —— TOTAL PRICE $550 —– for either 1 or 2 anglers
* Full Day – 8 hours —— TOTAL PRICE $750 —– 1 or 2 for either anglers    – includes  lunch.
* ‘Evening Drift’ – 3 hours —— TOTAL PRICE $390 —– 1 or 2 for either anglers (last 3 hours of daylight)

Please note that our listed prices are for the service advertised – not per person. For example if you book a half day drift boat trip at $550, the price is $550 irrespective of whether two people went along. Meaning if you booked it 1:1, it would be $550. If you booked with a friend it would be $550 split two ways –  or $275 each.

** All guided trips include use of gear (if required) and all flies. They also include drinking water. Lunch is provided for all full day bookings. BYO lunch and save $10 off the advertised price.

Please phone us on 03 5773 2513 or 0418 995 611 to learn more or make a booking. We are available from 8am – 10pm, every day of the year.

Please read our Cancellation Policy before making a booking. ;-)

Please scroll down to see some more pics from our drift boat trips

The Goulburn is one the prettiest rivers in Australia and has some of the best fly fishing as well. It fishes well at all levels.
The view upstream from Gilmore’s Bridge.

Drift boating the Goulburn River
Drift boating the Goulburn River
Drift boating the Goulburn River
Drift boating the Goulburn River