VOLUME 28, ISSUE 02. August 2021

The first night having dinner at The Blue Duck Inn, during our trip to Big River (Upper Mitta Mitta River) in May 2021.

At the moment we can only reflect on past trips and dream of when we can get out on the next one. Our most recent trip in May to Big River (Mitta Mitta above Lake Dartmouth and Anglers Rest) we had a great Euro Nymphing opportunity, and here we see Bruce Auty nymphing a lovely run and drop off, just before he allowed me to fish above him and snitch two lovely little brown trout. What a gent!!!! Editor


Next Members Monthly Meeting

Our next Members Monthly Meeting will be held as a Zoom Meeting, due to the current Covid Lockdown, on Monday the 9th August 2021 kicking off at 7:00PM.

Please view further down the Flyrodder for further details.


Next Members Monthly Fly Tying 

The Monthly Fly Tying Meeting has been cancelled until further notice until the current lockdown situation is reversed and we are allowed to meet again.

See further details below under the Fly Tying segment.


President's Report

Denis Hill on the Snowy River.

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

Well, what a difference a month makes, Covid has ground Sydney to a halt, effecting people’s lives and jobs and of course it just blew away our Skills Weekend and stopped any thoughts of group activities.  My thoughts and best wishes to all those whose livelihoods have been impacted and to everyone who are isolated from family and friends. All we can do is follow the health advice and plan and hope for a return to a more normal life - the “new normal” but at least one where everyone is able to get back to work and can gather with friends and family. 

So, our current plan is to run our Club meetings via Zoom until the Covid restrictions are lifted and our hope is that that occurs in September or October to allow us to run a camping event in Wallerwang and for us to run our planned November events. We don’t need a lot of notice to organize the Wallerwang trip so there is nothing on the Events site at the moment and we haven’t opened bookings for either of the Brian Henderson weekends as there is money involved in you making those bookings. While we haven’t opened the Bookings for the two Henderson weekends the accommodation providers have agreed to keep our bookings current with no deposit required and Brian has agreed similarly to keep our bookings current until the length of the covid restrictions becomes clearer. 

The one event we have decided to progress in the Geehi/Long Plain trip, the reason being, once the National Parks bookings window opens the sites can book out very quickly and in the hopefully, very unlikely event, that Covid interferes, the maximum you can be out of pocket is $12 - please see the details of this trip further down in this edition and all that will make sense. 

So, this month’s Zoom guest speaker is Simon Gawesworth being interviewed by our own Justin Duggan. For those who have forgotten our Zoom club meeting format, all you have to do to join us at 7pm on Monday 9th August is click on the zoom link that Gavin has provided below in monthly meeting writeup. I will open the Zoom meeting at 7pm and this month we will run the Zoom session for as long as members would like to speak and catch up and then provide a link to Justin’s interview with Simon.

Stay safe everyone,

Denis Hill



From the Editor

Gavin at Smith's Lake with a nice bream.

This is a very quiet time for the Flyrodder, as it normally is each year around winter, as we have fewer fishing trips, and then Covid restrictions has managed to scupper our every attempt to get something going!!!!

But every cloud has a silver lining!!!! I have therefore decided to take advantage of the current situation and transition the Flyrodder from the MailChimp App to our new website and members system environment powered by Wild Apricot. It's a much better sounding name anyhow!!!

This will give me a good couple of months to get is right, perhaps even perfect, before we have trip reports and events flooding in once again.

So far, so good!!

So having said that there isn't a great deal to report on. Other than I've been trying to get out for a fish, then NSW Health told me to Self Isolate for 14 days because I was deemed a "Close Contact" having done my weekly grocery shopping at Woolworths Belrose at the "wrong" time. So I've had no excuse not to do chores around the house, but I have been tying salt water flies, with Gusto (for my next planned trip) and refurbishing an old fibreglass rod. Plus the Tokyo Olympics is on; probably good timing all round!!!

Hopefully 2022 is a normal year once we've all, or 80% of us, been fully vaccinated.

Gavin van der Wagen


0411 877 546



Last Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker Report

Tom Jarman within nice Tassie fish

Tom Jarman and Jake Rischbieth provided a wonderful presentation to our members Zoom audience. Tom is a regular team member of our Australian Fly Fishing team, so has a wealth of knowledge that he shared with the group.

Unfortunately we weren't able to record the Zoom session, but you can view previous club meeting presentations on the link below, to our YouTube Video Library.

These club meeting guest speaker presentations can be viewed on our members private library on YouTube. To view them please click on the following link:


So it's well worth your while to join the monthly meetings.


Next Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker

Simon Gawesworth with a Steelhead

Our next Monthly Members Club meeting will be held as a ZOOM Meeting, due to the latest Covid Lockdown, on Monday the 9th August 2021 kicking off at 7:00PM. Please click on the following link to log into the the meeting.

Our guest speaker will be the world renowned Sage Ambassador Simon Gawesworth. Simon is a Master Spey Caster, amongst his many other fly fishing skills, and his topic will be on Spey Casting. 

Our Club Member Justin Duggan, of Sydney Fly Fishing, will interview Simon about his favourite topic.

This will be a wonderful master class and an interview not to be missed. Simon has many videos on YouTube, so just search on his name and you will have many videos to choose from how to setup your rig through to all aspects of Spey Casting and the comparisons between Skagit and Scandi styles.


Denis Hill is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Fly Rodders August Club Meeting
Time: Aug 9, 2021 07:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 842 5232 1423
Passcode: 478186



For the meeting our format will be that we will hold the normal meeting covering what is happening around the traps, fishing reports and any other business.

We will then close the ZOOM meeting and you can then click onto our YouTube Video Library to view Simon's chat and presentation with Justin Duggan.

To access this library, please click on the following link:


You will also be able to view all the previous meeting presentations that we have recorded, and view at your leisure.

Our Meeting is normally held on the 2nd Monday of each month, unless it is a public holiday; in which case it will be delayed a week. 

Our Members Badge Draw of $50 will be drawn at every monthly meeting, so please join in as you never know your luck, as you must be present, and financial for the current year to be eligible for the draw!!

We also have 2 x $25 vouchers from Compleat Flyfisher & Angler - Sydney and one $50 voucher from Fishing Station - Mona Vale in the raffle.

Our usual Meeting venue is The Freeway Hotel, located on the corner of Reserve Road, Artarmon and the Gore Hill Freeway. Else 115 Reserve Road, Artarmon for your GPS! Until then we will have our Zoom Virtual Meetings.

There is ample underground parking at the back through Dickson Avenue. Plus street parking in Dickson Avenue.

Please come early, have dinner, a drink and settle in for the meeting.

We always have interesting and informative guest speakers, so come and join us and enjoy the proceedings.

Looking forward to catching up at the meeting, one day.


New Members

We had 1 new member join the club in July 2021.

So we welcome Gordon Wilson to the Sydney Flyrodder and trust that you will find it a rewarding and enjoyable club that meets with all your expectations.

We encourage new members to join in on the many activities that we run as this is a good way to meet other club members and also to improve your fly fishing skills and most importantly to have a great time.

Looking forward to meeting you at our Monthly Members Meetings and at events throughout the coming year.


Last Months Casting Practice Report

There was no regular practice in July due to the lockdown and it will be September before we can get back to it, hopefully. On one bright note, Gavin and I did try out our newly-made Epic double-handed rods down by Roseville Bridge. Following all lockdown protocols, of course. 

In that spirit, solo or duo casting practice could be on your agenda too over the next weeks. Here are a few ideas for generating good practice habits. 

1. SET YOURSELF UP TO SEE RESULTS: Casting practice can be quite boring if you do it aimlessly. You need to see a result, whether that is for any one session or over a few sessions. Don’t practice without having thought of a reason why you are doing it – I mean have an objective which is specific enough that you can see whether you are succeeding or not. For example, it would be enough to say to yourself “I’m going to hit that garbage bin 30’ away (or tree, or post, or sign) 5 times in a row while false casting”. If, after a few days of that you still can’t do it, you’d better stop and change it to something else (and make sure to read section 3 closely). On the other hand, if you do manage to succeed, you then change the objective. Make sure it is something relevant to what you would need to do when fishing. Ie accuracy to 35’ is appropriate as an objective. So too is 40’. So too would being able to smack the fly in to within a foot of the base of the post 5 time in a row at 30’. Or, a spot on the post 4’ above ground. 

2. LEARN SOMETHING EVERY TIME: This follows from the first point above. Try to work out what specific things you are doing to get the accuracy you are looking for. Do this by comparing the cast that works with the one that doesn’t. This is hard to do, make no mistake. Learn to hold one movement constant while you make little changes in everything else. Eg hold the same stance while you vary how you are sighting the target. If no improvement that way, hold the same stance while you focus on one of those sighting methods and change the length of your casting stroke. Then make a firmer stop. Then focus on holding the reel always facing the target through the whole casting stroke instead of letting it swing across your body. 

3.IS THERE A PATTERN TO YOUR FAILURE? If you are not getting your results, at least try to see what is happening when it is failing.  Eg “I see the flyline looking as if it is going straight to the target, but the leader almost always kicks away at the last moment and I miss”. This is a golden moment. You have analysed the issue, so are on the threshold of a breakthrough, even if you don’t know how to fix it. 

Sometimes you just can’t see a pattern because every failing attempt seems to have a different outcome. That’s how it will seem, but you’d be surprised that fixes can be quite successful and quick. At least know how many casts went wide to the left, to the right, fell short, leader never straightened on any cast, or did half the time…and so on. 

4. SLOW DOWN AND LOOK: Make a successful cast? Remember how you made the cast. Leave it on the ground and enjoy looking at it. Is it all good, or need improvement here or there? Can you repeat the cast at all? To your desired objective number of successful hits?

Make an unsuccessful cast? Don’t waste the failure. Don’t snatch the line up and re cast without learning from what you’ve just done. If there’s an effect, there’s a cause. The line in the air and on the ground are the hot clues as to the effect. Look harder. Mentally describe what you see. No prizes for a couple of ‘accidental’ successes from 27 fast attempts, because they really were accidents. All you did was risk entrenching your errors by repeating them. 

5. DON’T WASTE THE PRACTICE – LEARN SOMETHING:  A successful practice session is where: 

(i) You come away with one small moment of enlightenment about why something you did had an effect on reaching your objective. Eg “The line and leader just kept dropping short until I stopped the rod more abruptly. Every time I stopped the rod more firmly the line seemed to have the power to get right to the target”. BINGO. 

(ii) Next best is to know WHAT happened, even if you have no idea why, or how to correct it. It’s a success if you come away with some kind of analysis: “Almost every cast I make ends up with the leader fluttering to the ground and landing basically curled up on the end of the flyline. If it doesn’t do that, then the fly drifts slowly off target with any puff of wind“. This is observation GOLD. There is an answer and you are on the way to it. Do some research or get some advice before repeating the pain. 

Success is not where a guy says: “I tried to hit a tree trunk 30’away and I spent half an hour without hitting it more than once or twice”. Let’s give that guy all credit for trying, but not much can be done for him at this stage, without knowing more. 

Or, the guy who hits the target 20 times out of 25 and goes home. This guy has filled his brain with nice, juicy endorphins and is happy. Don’t knock it, but let’s push on harder. 

There’s a theme to all this, called feedback. Practice casting by all means, but make sure you also spend time practising the skill of giving yourself feedback.

STUCK FOR PRACTICE IDEAS? Open up one of the links in the Casting Practice Notice section of this Flyrodder to see BRONZE and SILVER Skills Program summary tables. Pick any one of the tasks there and go for it. They all have objective measures to check your success, so it’s easy to assess results. 

HANDY HINT: When measuring distances without a tape, use your rod to measure out from your start position. Ie 4 and a half times 9’ rod lengths is near enough to 40’. Three and one third times 9’ rod lengths is near enough to 30’. Standard measures are taken from your feet to the target (not from the rod tip).

All the best for good learning!

David Caddies


Club Monthly Casting Practice - Details and Event Schedule.

The Casting Practice Meeting scheduled for 8 August 2021 is Cancelled due to the current COVID Lockdown situation. 


Members are all welcome to join in with each other to practice casting at this club event. It is held monthly, on a Sunday morning at Timbrell Park, Five Dock. See future scheduled dates listed below.

Currently, we are constrained by the NSW Covid lockdown, so email messages will be sent around to all members to keep you informed of the latest. 


David Caddies organises the sessions and will be there to make you welcome and give you something useful to practice on. Or, bring your own practice drills to do and to share. You do need to be a club member, but you don’t need to register. Just turn up. Bring your favourite rod and line – that’s all you need. A leader of 7’6” - 8’ is sufficient, but not too light. Say 8-10 pound tippet. ( ie 3X, 2X or 1X if you speak in X’s).
Maybe you should bring your least favourite rod and/ or line and finally get to grips with it!

A feature of the sessions is that we can use the Fly Fishers International Casting Skills Program as ideas for what skills we should be trying to improve. For those interested, we conduct coaching and evaluation in the various levels of the Program. Yes, you too could become a Gold Star!  Have a look at the details on the website below to see what it’s all about. Note, however, that the program is being re written extensively and should be finalised by the end of August. It still will have 3 levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. 


There is no obligation do this program and we moistly do other types of practice at the moment, rather than just training on the skills in the FFI program. Have a look at these links below to see my summary of what the new levels require (ie Bronze and Silver).

Table of FFI Draft Bronze Challenge Tasks

Table of FFI Draft Silver Challenge Tasks


Members who want to practice fly casting; members who need time out of the house or who just want to stand around in the sunshine gasbagging with other members, members who don’t get to go to club events as often as they would like and members who want to see whether casting practice is something they might want to do, never having previously considered the idea of practising to go fishing. Just don’t try explaining it to a non-flyfisher. 

The practice program is either well- favoured or is a complete dud, because most people keep on coming back every month if they can. There’s a good vibe to it.  Luckily there is always a pretty wise crowd in attendance, all eager to give, and take advice, so you’ll find plenty of inspiration just by being there. These sessions are valuable for any level of fly fishing experience; whether you are a beginner, intermediate or experienced you will take some skill improvement idea or drill away with you to practice on.  

We also encourage new members to attend as this is a great way to get involved in the club’s activities. Five Dock is hopefully not too far from your home, given the size of Sydney, plus it’s an opportunity to meet other members. More than a few fishing trips have been hatched and executed among the members who meet up at casting practice. 


We usually start at 8am, focussing on the more basic elements of casting. At 9am, when most members arrive, we switch to other skills practices. Any good practice session starts with the basics, so don't feel constrained by thinking you are at some, or no, level of expertise or other - just get into it all!

VENUE: Timbrell Park, Henley Marine Drive, Five Dock. Go to the western end, just past LIvvi’s coffee kiosk and kids’ playground area on Henley Marine Drive. Opposite where Ingham Avenue intersects with Henley Marine Drive. 
TIME:   8 am for specific casting basics (all welcome). 
            9 am for usual practice session (all welcome).


12 September

10 October

14 November

12 December

So come and give it a try, as there is so much to be gained  by attending these sessions. And they are Free!!!


Last Months Fly Tying Meeting Report

There was no fly tying in July due to the current Covid lockdown. The August Fly Tying Meeting has also been cancelled and we will advise when we have scheduled a commencement of these meetings.


Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting


We welcome all levels of fly tyers to these meetings as there is so much to be gained from the experienced fly tyers who regularly attend.

We especially welcome new members and members who have never tied a fly previously, but who are contemplating doing so. Please even come along as an observer so you can see first hand exactly what is involved as we have 12 spare vise sets available for our members use, should they not have their own. Attending will greatly assist you in deciding how you would like to kick off and what vise will best suite your needs and budget. So please come and join us at the meeting.

Dave Wilson will once again be leading the fly tying with a Weed Fly, as it's the prime Luderick season now, and a chartreuse Clouser which will work on just about any salt water fish. So a couple of great salt water flies.

Our Monthly Fly Tying Meeting, is normally held on the 3rd Monday of the month, commencing 7:00pm, at the Henley Community Centre, in the Green Room (previously called the Bar Room), off Crown Street, Henley (just beside the Gladesville Bridge). Turn into Crown Street, off Victoria Road, and look for the lane way entrance signs on the left.

Bring your own kits and lamps. Kits are available for beginners. There is no charge for this event.

Beginners are most welcome, and we encourage you to take part, as the experienced hands are willing helps and there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise that you can draw upon.

The following are the remaining Fly Tying dates for 2021:

Monday, 20th September 2021
Monday, 18th October 2021
Monday, 15th November 2021.


Geehi and Long Plain Camping Trip in November

Geehi 19th - 26th Nov

Long Plain 27th Nov - 4th Dec.

The Event 

The Club has for quite a few years held a two-week camping trip in the Snowy Mountains. One week in the National Park Geehi Flats Campground followed by a week in the National Park Long Plain Campground. Members are welcome to camp for one night through to the full 14 nights. As you may be aware pre Covid there was no cost for camping in our National Parks other than the park access fee, with the advent of Covid national Parks introduced a booking process for camp sites and with it a $6 per booking fee. So, if you would like to join us on this event the first thing you should do is book on the National Parks website for the nights you are going to attend as the camp sites can book out. 

Please note however that National Parks will only allow you to book 90 days in advance so get online to book for Geehi on the 22nd August and on the 28th August for Long Plain.  

With a booking fee of $6 per booking you haven't got a lot to lose so if you are interested please read the attached document which provides additional details regarding the trip and then jump on the National Parks website and book.

 I also ask that you also book on the Event Section of the Club’s website, we have no limits on attendees or costs for this event, the reason we ask you to book is simply so that we can keep members appraised of who is attending and when, and you can thus co-ordinate travel and fishing plans – also we can keep an eye out for you knowing when you should arrive.

Hopefully this trip can be part of our celebration of Covid lessening its grip on our lives.


Your Committee


Buy, Sell and Swap

There is no Buy Sell, Swap this month as Its a Zoom Meeting.


Sydney Fly Rodders Facebook Pages

We run two SFRC pages, one is our public page and it posts events and activities of the club. It also shares posts from other pages like CAS, DPI on things relevant to the places and areas that we fish.

I post some fly tying every now and then and share links to events I find that might be of interest to followers. This page is a little like our Web page, it showcases the club to attract members and provides details of club events. It has about 450 people following the page and any post will be seen by between 180 and 240 people.

We added another page. This is reserved for members only and cannot be seen by anyone outside of the group. You will need to send a request to join. Any member can post on this page and it is a great opportunity for members to put up a post or two about anything fly fishing. I would like to encourage members to use this page to post fishing reports or photos of flies that you tied. Being connected to other members you can ask for some casting or gear advice, or organise a short trip when you suddenly have some spare time.

There are also hundreds of other groups; bream on fly, carp on fly, bass, trout....areas like alpine trout, Sydney Kayak Fishing....fly tying groups, buy sell swap fly gear pages and individuals like Aussie Flyfisher, Sydney Flyfishing to check out. 

Phil Burton


Sydney Flyrodders Instagram Page

The Sydney Fly Rodders are now on Instagram. Many thanks to our Member Maddie Chew Lee, who offered to set us up and apply her significant experience with marketing and communications in particular within the social media space. 

Please follow the site and add your comments, and lets grow this platform for the club. It will also attract new members to the club.

Below is a snapshot of the site. We aim to sync (in particular look and feel) the Instagram account with our Facebook account and also our new Website, which I talk more about in the preceding section.


Sydney Fly Rodders WhatsApp Group

We have an Exclusive Group on WhatsApp for our Members, which is a great way to communicate informally and to share ideas, seek advice and also to plan and seek interest for impromptu/planned fishing trips.

I can highly recommend this to members. We have arranged a number of trips now from a weekends bass fishing through to a casual and social Sunday morning or afternoons fishing at Narrabeen Lake or Hen & Chickens Bay etc. And there could even be a BBQ thrown in for a social get together afterwards. This will happen on most if not all occasions.

Should you wish to be included in this group, then please email me to request your inclusion, quoting your mobile number which is required to link you into the Group. You will need to download the WhatsApp first if you haven't already done so.

Please contact me for inclusion.

Gavin van der Wagen

Editor, Flyrodder



Snippets of Information

Environment: "Real Truths"

from the Fishing World magazine

supplied by Bob Hart

Donald Trump’s presidency redefined the meaning of the word “fact”, at least for the 75 million Americans who voted for him at the last election. About 75 per cent of Republican voters apparently still believe in the “fact” that Joe Biden stole the election, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. A true fact under Trump had become whatever story he chose to tell.

The internet and associated social media provide platforms on which just about anyone can create a plausible story and present it as a fact, which can end up being widely believed and accepted. A couple of Saturday’s back a big sea was running off Sydney and a few of the local rock fishos decided to fish in the reasonably sheltered waters of Clovelly Bay. They’d scored a few luderick and bream but were copping a pretty hard time from the local swimmers and snorkellers who consider the Bay should be off-limits to line fishers, as it is to spearos. I happen to agree, but when the fishos decided to release their bags of luderick back into the Bay a couple of onlookers went ballistic. “What are they doing? Those fish are only going to all die anyway”.

Now the fish were lively and had been kept in keeper nets a clean, well-refreshed pool and anyone who fishes would know that they would most likely be fine. But anti-fishing activists have loaded up the internet with “facts” suggesting that fish which have been hooked all die and that C&R fishing should be outlawed, and plenty of non-fishers believe it. That assertion gets mixed together with animal rights arguments, to wit while it might just be justifiable to catch a few fish to eat it can never be right to catch fish for sport. And then animal cruelty advocates buy in, citing studies to” prove” fish feel pain, so recreational fishing should be outlawed. The studies are based on trials where fish are injected with noxious substances which, funnily enough, they don’t seem to like. Ben Diggles has written many thousands of words challenging these experiments and findings and there are several studies which indicate that being hooked has little effect on a fish’s subsequent behaviour.

So far in Australia there haven’t been serious attempts to stop C&R fishing or the use of live baits based on these “facts”, but in some northern European countries both these activities are now illegal. Generations of coarse anglers competed and kept literally thousands of fish in big keep nets and released them at the end of the day. Carp fanatics even have names for favourite big fish they’ve caught and released several times over. Cod fishermen here are much the same.

Having said all that, pressure on recreational fishing based on questionable facts will almost certainly increase in Australia. Those of us in in the fishing media or fisheries research will continue to question outrageous claims and demands. But that didn’t work in parts of Europe. All anglers here should commit to handling their fish carefully and respectfully, whether they’re going to be kept for the table or be released. Having fish flapping in a bucket or lying gasping in a shallow rock pool is not the look we need and will only supply more “facts” for our critics.