Blog  |  Gallery of Inspiration  |  The Bindery  |  About

Friday, May 28, 2021

Boggy Plains

It was my great-great-grandfather, Samuel Stewart, who purchased land along the Badja River in 1886. He extended the simple existing dwelling and at the turn of the century, opened it as a guesthouse for those looking for a fishing retreat. The story goes that Samuel was one of the first to introduce trout to the Badja River, be it an entrepreneurial adventure or simply looking for an extra food resource, the trout took to the river like, well, fish to water.A little over a decade later, the size and number of trout in the Badja was well reported. The headline 'A Big Trout' in the Evening News in March 1908 (Sydney; 28.03.1908) reports "Mr E. Stewart of Boggy Plain, recently caught in the Badja River a fine specimen of rainbow trout, weighing 11 1/2 lb. The fish was weighed by Mr. P. E. Heyland, the crack whip of Monaro." In the same publication later that year (18.11.1908): "Mr. E. C. Stewart, of Boggy Plain, Big Badja River, writes: Trout are very plentiful here. There were four fish landed last week that totalled 27lb. The big fish are eating the young ones in dozens. You can walk down the river, which is about 60 yards' distant from our house, and see fish swimming about, from 1lb to 10lb. The fish will tackle the fly very readily."
It’s no wonder Allan was a keen fisherman, having grown up on the Badja River notorious for the size and plentiful supply of trout, and in a home that was enjoyed as a guest house from the likes of John Hedge (author), Mr. James Ashton (Minister of Lands) and Sir Herbert Maitland (Sydney Surgeon), and praised by members of the New South Wales Anglers Casting Club and Rod Fisher's Association of N.S.W.
In the 'Sydney Stock and Station Journal' (15.10.1918), a few years before Allan’s birth, three britishers write in to enquire for "..a country home as paying guest, a far-away one; must be on a trout river.." and on advice from The Tourist Bureau were given recommendation of the Big Badja with "good trout streams, waterfalls, bathing, fern gullies, and shooting." Going on to recommend: "[they] could put up at Boggy Plain Farm House (S. Stewart), which is quiet and off the beaten tourist track."