Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre
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Learn to fly fish for beginners
Guiding and Tuition
Streamcraft Lessons
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Fly fishing in New Zealand with goulburn valley fly fishing centre
Montana fly fishing trips with GVFFC
Fly fishing in New Zealand with goulburn valley fly fishing centre
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Learn to tie trout flies at our Fly Tying Workshop
Secondary school activity week fly fishing at Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre
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Click to visit Antony's Blog for the latest fishing reports

Click to visit Antony's Blog for the latest fishing reports

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Read a fly fishing article
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Learn about local insects
Our location with instructions on how to find us
Our facilities including lodge, private waters and accommodation
Meet the guides - Antony, David and Geoff and read media releases and reviews on our company
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Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre

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David Pickering Click thumbnail for larger image David Pickering

With 50 years of fly fishing experience (more than twenty of those living in the Goulburn Valley) David is a streamcraft expert with an intimate understanding of the rivers of the region.

David moved to Thornton in 1989 and has been a fixture on all local rivers ever since. David is 'fish-mad' and every spare moment, dollar and thought is devoted to fly fishing for trout. A passion that has never waned and frequently annoys his business partners!

Starting Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre in 1994 with Geoff Hall was the beginning of a new life. Since then David has taught thousands of people to fish with a fly rod or simply guided them down the Goulburn or Swampy Plain Rivers on a raft trip.

For the past 15 years he has been the head New Zealand guide, leading week long trips in search of trout on New Zealand's South Island as well as producing several instructional/feature DVDs on the sport. He spends at least 12 weeks each summer guiding in NZ and spends the winter chasing bonefish and trout in far off and exotic destinations..

David is an extremely patient and affable guide who is always out on a river; either with a client, his lovely partner Annella or on his own. He is an extremely talented and experienced fly fisher whose lack of an identifiable ego make him a favourite amoungst our clientele. He also has that special quality of being able to impart his knowledge to others without coming off as arrogant and therefore

Member of the PFIGA
Remote Area First Aid
Swiftwater Rescue Technician 1

Antony Boliancu Click thumbnail for larger image Geoff Hall

Antony moved to Thornton and bought into the business all the way back in 1996 (as a 24 year old) and has been here ever since.

While initially doing a lot of teaching, guiding and drift boat trips, in more recent years he has been spending the bulk of his time in and around the shop taking care of the admin side of things and other shop/office duties. He is the person running the websites, taking the bookings and generally making sure that things run smoothly. Chances are when you phone us or drop by he will be your first point of contact.

Antony regularly organises all of our overseas trips and leads groups to Montana each year. He is also involved in our New Zealand's trips being the main organiser and also as a guide for up to five weeks each year.

Antony is a qualified drift boat guide with many thousands of hours on the oars on the Goulburn, Swampy and rivers of Montana/Idaho. His specialties are sight fishing both here and in NZ, technical fishing to fussy fish during hatches and drift boat fly fishing on all types of water. He has fished for trout extensively in Victoria, Tasmania, the Snowy Mountains, USA and New Zealand's South Island.


These days he only guides when specifically requested by clients.

Member of the PFIGA
First Aid

Cameron Parker Click thumbnail for larger image James Galloway

Cameron originally lived in Thornton (back in 90's) and worked with us for a number of years until employment opportunities in Mebourne beckoned and he decided to make the switch.

As such he now does session work as required and also does 4-8 weeks with us in NZ each summer courtesy of an employer that lets him take double the amount of annual leave at half pay!

Cameron is an excellent guide that inspires his clients with an exuberance for fly fishing that is not often matched. Gaining a reputuation for being able to physically keep up with even the fittest and most addicted of our clients, he has acquired the nicknames 'Major Pain' and 'Corporal Punishment'. Yes Cameron has a military background so the names are within a context!

Cameron is a valued member of our staff and has a keen following among our NZ clientele. Long term could see Cameron up here on a more permanent basis..

Member of the PFIGA
First Aid

Werner Birkner Click thumbnail for larger image James Galloway

Werner is a nut. He just loves fly fishing and his recent move to the valley has allowed him to intimately explore the rivers that he has frequented since he was a teenager.

Moving from the suburbs to Howqua a couple of years ago was the catalyst for a shift of focus and a life as a trout guide. Werner has never looked back.

Having guided many people to their largest Australian trout on the rivers above Mansfield, it didn't take Werner long to realise that the real action was here at Thornton where the good fishing lasts most of the year as opposed to 2-3 months. This led to a move to Alexandra in the summer of 2012 and he has been a regular fixture in our shop ever since.

Werner has an interesting background having worked on the stand up comedy circuit and raced greyhounds. He is never short of a word and a day with him often involves equal parts fly fishing and humour. There is never a dull moment one might say.

Werner's specialty is teaching beginners and doing streamcraft sessions. He is also an excellent backwater fisherman, stalking the wary browns of the Goulburn from November to March with either a fly rod in his hands or a client at his side.

Werner has a loyal following among our clientele, particularly the younger guys and will no doubt be around for many years to come.

First Aid
(Soon to be member of the PFIGA)

James Galloway Click thumbnail for larger image James Galloway

James is the youngest guide on our books but don't let that fool you. Over the past few seasons he has matured into a top guide and a real favorite of those going to New Zealand. While we have groomed him for a several years, he is a natural when it comes to working with people and his guiding skills are up there with the best of them.

James recently left university and is pursuing his fly fishing full time. He does several months a year guiding seven day's a week in New Zealand. He has acquired a veterans understanding of the sport and the methods involved. Many clients return each summer on the understanding that they will be guided by James each season.

While fly fishing for trout is his favorite type of fishing, he also does quite a bit of bream and bass fishing, as well as chasing murray cod and yellowbelly. He is a talented angler, skilled in all major sports fishing methods and has a huge future in this industry. He is the forerunner of his generation in the Australian fly fishing scene and we are indeed lucky to have him as part of our team.

Former Member of the PFIGA
First Aid


Geoff Hall (Retired November 2012) Click thumbnail for larger image Geoff Hall

Geoff has been a fly fisher all of his life. He has extensive experience across Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and New Zealand and has been a full time trout guide since forming the business with David Pickering in 1994.

Geoff spent much of his youth growing up and fishing around Alexandra, where his father was the bank manager and moved to Thornton in the mid-seventies.

He is a highly experienced rafting guide having down countless hours on the Goulburn and Swampy Plains rivers. He and David Pickering were the first to run a fly fishing drift boat down the Goulburn river and are directly responsible for developing and refining many techniques which are now considered mandatory for fishing this river.

Geoff's professional background in education makes him a first class instructor. He is a people person that rarely seems to switch off and has now been teaching fly fishing in one form or another for over forty years.

Geoff contributes widely to the fishing industry's social, economic and political agenda. He was a member of the Fisheries Co-management Council and also enjoyed a short tenure as president of the Australian Trout Foundation. He has worked closely with VR Fish over the years and has gone to bat for trout on numerous occasions.

He jointly owns Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre, Victoria's only destination Fly Shop and guiding service, with David Pickering and Antony Boliancu.

Member of the PFIGA
Remote Area First Aid
Swiftwater Rescue Technician 1

Media Releases

Here we have a selection of articles written on our operation since 1995. While we only have a few of the many that have appeared in a multitude of publications it will give you some idea of where we started and where we are going.

More will be added by Christmas 2003 with several well known publications in the process of doing editorials and reviews as well as TV productions that will air in the near future. Click an Image for a larger version or follow the links for additional info.

The who/what/where of Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre?

Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre is situated in the 'heart of trout country' with a lodge and cottage set on 16 acres of private lakes and waterways on the outskirts of the rural hamlet of Thornton 1 3/4 hours NE of Melbourne. The picturesque drive up through the towering Mountain Ash forests of the ominously named "Black Spur" section of the Maroondah HWY, is aptly referred to as the "gateway to the Magic Mountains". No small part of that magic is to be found in the regions myriad of rivers and streams that include some of Victoria's premier fly fishing waters. From the stately majesty of the Goulburn River, to the bubbling exuberance of countless backcountry streams and rivulets, the region abounds with opportunities for an angler to test their skills with a fly.

What we do and the services we offer.

  • Three full time professional guides available seven days a week, all year round.
  • A central lodge with adjoining self contained cottage accommodation for four people.
  • Teaching/tuition for beginners through to advanced fly fishers.
  • Fly fishing and fly tying weekend 'schools'.
  • Victoria's only drift boat operators. Conducting drift boat fly fishing on the Goulburn, Mitta-Mitta and Swampy Plains Rivers.
  • Streamside guiding services on the regions rivers and streams.
  • Australia's largest fly fishing website and information service with regular reports and information on all aspects of fly fishing.
  • Corporate services. Client/customer reward packages and team building days.
  • Destination fly shop and outfitters with everything a fly fisher needs.
  • Guided fishing excursions to New Zealand, Tasmania, the Snowy Mountains and the NE of Victoria.
  • Membership packages (private & corporate) available.

The lodge and cottage were purpose designed and built by fly fishers for fly fishers. The complex is owned and operated by the guides at GVFFC who between them have over 100 years fly fishing experience.

The new centre was opened to the public in September of 2002. Before this GVFFC operated from smaller premises at the Four Way's Cafe in Thornton starting in 1994. The complex contains a fly shop, lounge, reference library, entomology and a fly tying area all presented in a laid back informal fishing lodge style. The mezzanine area upstairs is for private functions, corporate groups and special events.

The lodge is the culmination of the dream held by David Pickering and Geoff Hall ever since they set up a small fly fishing guiding service out of a shoe box sized storefront in 1994. Their dream was to establish and operate a centre offering the highest standard of service, comparable to the best destination fly fishing centers and lodges anywhere in the world.

Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre on Channel 7's Discover Program with Eilse May

What's on Victoria Magazine writer Brett Foster visited us for a couple of days in 2005 to get the low down on fly fishing. Read his article on the experience by clicking on the article on the left.


Discover Channel 7 August 2003
Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre on Channel 7's Discover Program with Eilse May

The Discover Team came up and had a ball. We introduced Elise to fly fishing and she actually enjoyed it. At the end of the shoot they could not get her to leave and persisted for a good two hours after wrapping! She got her first fish on the fly to boot.

Click here to download & watch the feature

The Great Outdoors Channel 7 August 2003
Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre on Channel 7's The Great Outdoors Program with Sophie Falkiner Sophie and the crew came up for a relaxing couple of days in February and shot some great action on the river. Not only did we find fish but we did a beautiful raft trip down the Goulburn.

Click here to download & watch the feature
FlyLife Magazine Autumn 2003
Click for full size A4 Printable version This review was published in the Autumn Edition of FlyLife Magazine www.flylife.com.au and was written by prominent Australian fly fisherman and artist Trevor Hawkins.
Murrindindi Magic Summer 2003
Click for full size A4 Printable version The Murrindindi Magic is a local publication that focuses on Tourism in the region. This article appeared in their Summer 2003 edition and was the basis for at least twenty similar articles printed in local newspapers right across Victoria.
Freshwater Fishing Summer 1996
Click for full size A4 Printable version Click for full size A4 Printable version Click for full size A4 Printable version
This was one of the very first articles on the Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre and was published 18 months after we got started. It appeared in the 1996 Summer Edition of Freshwater Fishing.
Freshwater Fishing Autumn 1995
Click for full size A4 Printable version The first of many pieces to appear in Freshwater Fishing was this small byte in the Autumn 1995 edition. From humble beginnings!

We will continue to add more info as it becomes available. We are still trying to chase down other articles on us so if you have something please drop us an email so that we can arrange to scan it and list it here.

As well as the above we have also featured on the Rex Hunt Show with Geoff and Rex having a great day on the raft, catching and releasing some great fish in the process. More recently we did features for The Great Outdoors and The Postcard programs. We have also produced our own video on fly fishing the Goulburn River and the South Island of NZ and have several more in production.

If you need any more info about us or our operation please email us at info@goulburnvlyflyfishing.com.au


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