Fresh Water2019-05-03T12:50:04+10:00

When one hears the term ‘fly fishing’ the mind immediately conjures up pristine streams and lakes, beautiful surroundings and trout.

There are many opportunities within easy reach of Sydney where a fly fisher can target trout.


Within an easy couple of hours of Sydney, the rivers, streams and lakes of the Blue Mountains and the Central West offer great variety. Have a look at www.bluemountainsfishing.net for some options that are suitable for a day trip or a weekend.


Slightly further afield are the Snowy Mountains and the Kosciusko National Park. Names like the Thredbo River, Eucumbene and Lake Jindabyne are synonymous with fly fishing for trout. www.snowymountainsfishing.com has comprehensive information about fishing in the region. The club conducts regular organised trips in the region – check out the events calendar.


Even further afield is Victoria. The club has an annual trip to the beautiful north east of the state – one well worth doing. www.vfa.vic.gov.au/recreational-fishing/fishing-locations/northern-victoria-inland-fishing-maps shows the angler access points on most of the trout rivers and streams in the north of the state.


Tasmania is the birth place of trout fishing in the Southern Hemisphere. They have a well-developed network of angler access points – have a look at www.ifs.tas.gov.au/about-us/publications/angler-access-brochures.


North Island and South Island of New Zealand content to come.

Species of Fish

Trout may be the romantic notion of freshwater fly fishing, but lots of other species are available, and many in the Sydney basin. Australian bass, a river species which travels to the salt water for breeding is an iconic fly fishing target.  A powerfully designed predator, they strike a surface fly with a voracity which is hard to compare. 

The Nepean/Hawkesbury River system, the Colo River, in fact most of the major rivers which connect to the sea will hold bass.  Cast flies around structure, under overhangs and under trees. 

In summer, the bass will lie patiently watching the surface for cicadas and other insects to fall in, then strike violently.  Surface flies such as the Chenobyl Ant and gurgler, and subsurface flies like the vampire are effective summer bass lures.  Casting towards the shore from a boat is preferable, but these aggressive creatures will be in the deeper water too.

Carp, whilst considered a pest in Australia, is none-the-less a great sport fish and a wily adversary for any fly fisher. They will take surface flies similar to bass, subsurface flies like the woolly bugger (emulates small fish or leeches), bread flies and corn flies.  As all states of Australia request that carp be destroyed, there is no closed season and no bag limit.  Using burley to attract carp before commencing fishing is acceptable practice.  Always remove carp from the river bank.

Herring can be found in the fresh water network of Sydney.  Surface flies like the muddler minnow will attract them.

In general, fresh water fishing in Sydney is a not a very specific sport.  The same fly that targets a bass can catch a herring and carp will eat almost anything.  The warmer months are usually more productive as most of these fish are either dormant in winter or swim out to sea to breed. 


This is the ‘how long is a piece of string’ section – the best fly is the one that on any given day a wily and hungry trout is going to eat.

For what it’s worth my ‘go-to’ flies are:

  • Parachute Adams

  • Red Tag

  • Elk Hair Caddis

  • Stimulator

  • Royal Wulff

  • Blow fly


Join the Sydney Fly Rodders today and be part of a fun filled club all about fly fishing!