VOLUME 28, ISSUE 07. February 2022

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

Our Social Days Fishing on a Sunday at Narrabeen Lake on 16 January 2022. Photo courtesy of Justin Duggan.


Next Members Monthly Meeting

Our next Members Monthly Meeting will be held via Zoom and hopefully we will be back "live" once again in March 2022. The meeting will kick off at 7:00pm on Monday, 14th February 2022. Our guest speaker will be Clint Isaac of Australian Flyfishing Outfitters out of Hinchinbrook in Queensland.

Please view further down the Flyrodder for further details.


Next Members Monthly Fly Tying 

The Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting will be held on the 21st March 2022.

See further details below under the Fly Tying segment.


President's Report

Denis Hill on the Long Plain Trip.

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

Happy New Year everyone, who knows what covid and 2022 has in store for us but let’s hope conditions continue to improve. Since the last Fly Rodder we have managed to successfully hold some live events: The Christmas party at the Ranch was a great night, good food, a terrific presentation by Justin and great company; a saltwater afternoon at Narrabeen Lake, not many fish, but 31 attendees; a great BBQ and an afternoon at Hen and Chicken Bay last Sunday with 21 attendees quite a few fish caught (Flathead, Bream and a Salmon) and another great BBQ. So, we are on the comeback!

That said, we have decided to hold our February Club meeting via Zoom. With so much Covid about we are sticking to outdoor events for the moment, lets hope we can continue with those – check the events section of our website to see what’s coming up. 

One of the upcoming events I would like everyone to think about and build up your brownie points for, is the annual Tuition weekend in Wallerawang. This year it’s in August at our normal venue of the Black and Gold Cabins. This weekend it a wonderful opportunity to really boost your freshwater skill set, Phil Burton will be covering “Stream Craft”, Steve Peach will be covering “Nymphing and Double Handers” while our Casting Master David Caddies with sort out or fine tune your casting. If you were paying commercial rates for what these three bring to the table this would be paying an extra $1000 for the weekend not getting these Gurus for free . As well as the tuition it’s a great social weekend and you will have enough time to go out to Thompsons Creek Dam and chase the 10 pounders milling in the shallows. I tend to think you haven’t had the full FlyRodder experience until you have had your spirit broken and your confidence shattered by TCD false spawning rainbows.

 It has been great to see so many of our new members at our recent events and casting practice, getting involved in our events is the best way to really improve your fly fishing and build friendships in the Club, keep it up. Fly fishing can bring so much to your personal development and your life – look what its done for your fellow club members.

Tight Lines 
Denis Hill



From the Editor

Gavin at Smith's Lake with a nice bream.

Our New Year has kicked off with a bang!!! We held 2 Social Fishing days during January, both holding great bbq's at the end of the days fishing.

February has a weekend away in Wallerawang where you can camp or stay at Black Gold Cabins or the local Hotel. Details are below in the Flyrodder.

In March we have the Big River Trip to Anglers Rest in the Victorian High Country. The Big River is the Mitta Mitta River above Lake Dartmouth. This trip is only 5 weeks away now, so we will have to firm up numbers within the next 2 weeks so that we can finalise plans with the accommodation. See trip details further down in this edition of the Flyrodder.

The popular Rod Building activity is on again this year after missing 2 years through the Covid restrictions. We are seeking "Expressions of Interest" over the next few weeks. It will be limited to 10 participants. Details are below in this Flyrodder.

The Tuition Weekend in Wallerawang is on again over the first weekend in August. Details are further down. This is always a great weekend and it's free, apart from your accommodations and meals etc.

Gavin van der Wagen




Last Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker Report

Justin Duggan with a lovely Australia Bass.

Our December Christmas Members Monthly meeting was held live at The Ranch Hotel in North Ryde. It's a wonderful venue and fitting for our Members and club member Guest Speaker Justin Duggan of Sydney Fly Fishing and guiding operation.

Justin provided another wonderful presentation, in particular his fly fishing exploits and encounters up north.

The major raffle prize was a days fishing, for two of our fortunate members, with Justin.

The meeting was well attended and throughly enjoy by all the members there.

For those who weren't able to attend and indeed for those wishing to revisit the presentation you can view the video that was recorded on the night.

This is the link to the video that we recorded and saved to our Members Private YouTube Video Library. Please click on this link if you would like to check it out:

Here’s the private link for the actual video:

You can also view this video and indeed all the previous presentations on our members private video library on YouTube. To view them please click on the following link:



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

For more photos of the meeting please click on the following link:


Members enjoying a few pre drinks at The Ranch in Epping

President Denis Hill thanking our great sponsors from BWC Flies, Cherie and Brett Clarke. 

Justin Duggan kicks off his wonderful presentation


Next Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker

Clinton Isaac

Our February 2022 Members Monthly Meeting will be held on Monday, 14th February. The meeting will be a Zoom one as we felt this was wise during the present Omicron strain, and then the plan is to be back live for our 14th March 2022 Meeting. See the Zoom Meeting Invite below.

Clinton Isaac is the owner of the Australian Fly Fishing Lodge and a full time Fly Fishing Guide. 

He grew up in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, where he learnt the art of fly fishing for trout and Australian natives. 

For the past 10 years he has been guiding in Far North Queensland with his home base being Hinchinbrook Island. 

Clinton runs a 16 foot Hewes Redfisher. It's always a fun day with Clinton with plenty of laughs.

For more information on Clinton, Please click on this link:


The meeting will kick off at 7:00pm, so please log on 5 or so minutes beforehand. The presentation usually kicks off around 7:20pm.

Your Zoom Meeting Invite:

Topic: FlyRodders Feb Club Meeting

Time: Feb 14, 2022 07:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 820 7329 9267
Passcode: 844314

We will be recording the presentation and then uploading it to our Club Members Private Video Library on YouTube. 

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. 

Looking forward to catching up at the meeting.


New Members

We had seven new members join the club in January 2022.

We welcome Charles Arrand, James Bass, Johan Steyn, Mateo Steyn, Alex Hickson, Rytis Kajauskas and Greg Wordsworth to our Club.

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.


Rod Building Activity

After missing out the last 2 years due to the Covid restrictions, we are now planning a rod building event in August 2022.

We are very fortunate that we have a willing Professional Rod Builder, John Baricevic of Barick Custom Rods, to lead us astray in building our new favourite rod.

We missed 2020 & 2021, but John has been running this annual rod building activity for the 5 previous years.

For those interested John will spec a rod per each participants requirement.

He will then provide a quote by a planned date, then expect payment by a scheduled date, to give him enough time to order the blanks and all the desired components in time to hold the rod building over 4 days, in 4 successive weeks in August 2022. This will give him 3 months to receive the orders from overseas and local suppliers. We use blanks sourced from CTS Fly Fishing in New Zealand. Great blanks and the finished product will be around a third to forty percent the cost of a Sage or equivalent high end rod.

This activity will be limited to 10 participants, but for now I'm seeking "Expressions of Interest" and an opportunity for you to enquire and find out more about this wonderful opportunity that comes around but once a year.

John will shortly come up with a schedule and timeline for which I will then create an event on our Members Website, and the first 10 to register will hold a place. I will send out a separate email to all members with the schedule and timeline plus notification that the Event is open for booking registrations. From there you will provide your rod requirements to John, and he will then spec it out and provide a quote and go from there.

Should you have any questions then please contact me in the meantime.


Gavin van der Wagen



A couple of photos from previous years:


A Weekend in Wallerawang in February

The weekend of the 27-28 Feb we be fishing in the Blue Mountains.

We can camp free at Lake Wallace. Stocked with trout and bass, you can bring a kayak and fish the lake. If camping is not your thing then you can book a room locally, Black and Gold cabins only minutes away. One of the pubs in Wallerawang has accommodation and The Coronation in Portland also has accommodation.

The river season is open for trout and DPI have been stocking the local dams and rivers over the past months.  Close by are the Cox’s River, Lake Wallace, Thompsons creek Dam. Short trip to Lake Lyle and further on to the Fish and Turon rivers. Around an hour away Oberon and Windermere, Macquarie river and there are plenty of smaller trout waters.

Plenty of access for Kayaks and different species to target.

I was thinking of having a BBQ at my place on Saturday night so people unfamiliar with the area can get some tips and also divulge on how the fishing panned out on the Saturday. 

Register your interest thru the website.

Situated in a quiet rural setting next to the now defunct Wallerawang power station. The lakeshore is huge with free barbecue and grassed areas with plenty of play equipment for the kids. The whole lake is free to camp on and offers free hot showers during daylight hours kindly run by local council. An oasis for travelling families and jewel in the crown for local council hospitality.

Hope to see you there.

Phil Burton.


Last Months Casting Practice Report

Our Casting Practice sessions are back on track and live, and recommenced on Sunday, 14th November at 8:00am or 9:00am.

As usual David Caddies covered a range of skills teachings, including Roll casting and skills to prepare us for our upcoming fishing season.

Please come and join us for some practice (get the rusty casting arm moving smoothly again) before you head out for a fish. Our casting instructor David Caddies always has a well planned, prepared and thought out session to maximise the benefits that you will get out of your time by attending. And they're totally free!!!!

Our next Casting Practice will be held on the 6th February 2022.

See the next section for more details.


Club Monthly Casting Practice - Details and Event Schedule.


Members are 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. The dates are set out in the club’s website Events calendar. The plan is to fix the first Sunday in every month as the date.  We encourage new members to attend as this is a great way to get involved in the club’s activities and meet other members. 

If you have any queries, contact David Caddies through the club’s website, where you will find his email address. 

An email reminder is usually sent around in the week leading up to the practice date. 


The practice organiser 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.

We usually start at 8:00am, focussing on the basic elements of casting. At 9:00am, when most members arrive, we switch to other skills practices. Any good practice session starts with the basics. If you are a beginner, or not confident in your casting or have persistent faults or inadequacies, or are just looking for a way into more advanced casts, a good grasp of and drilling in the basics is necessary, so come at 8 am. That means, be there with rod already rigged up by 8am. If you think you need to do the 8 am session, you should also plan to stay on into the next session. We generally finish around 11am, but there is no set time to finish.  

FFI Casting Skills Development Program  During the practice session which commences at 9 am, there will usually be a demonstration of the 6 or 7 casts in the Bronze or Silver level of the FFI Casting Skills Development program. Members who are interested in attempting to be assessed in specific casts from the program on a formal basis can be accommodated if time permits, but that may be after the normal practice or on another day to be arranged. Nobody is ever asked to perform the tasks, participate in the program or be formally assessed in any casting task. I support it because it is a good motivator and accelerates proficiency because it is properly-structured to enhance skill development for flyfishing. Once you see the demonstrations, you can decide if you are interested.  
This revised program has just been formally implemented and was put up on the Fly Fishers International website in December 2021. It is a new series of levels, with the same names (Bronze, Silver, Gold) as the previous ones with which some members will be familiar. The grading has been altered so that the more difficult casts are now more obviously higher up the scale. I strongly encourage all members to believe that they can become proficient at all the casts in the Bronze and Silver levels. They have been the subject of extensive brainstorming and refinement by some of the best brains in the flyfishing world, in answer to the question: “What do flyfishers really need to be able to do with a flyrod?” All of these are fishing casts or entail skills required for fishing. Each task description is backed by an explanation of why you would use it when fishing. You will find that, over time, the emphasis given to methods and drills at club practice is highly correlated to these tasks. The Gold level is a steeper learning curve and will appeal to some – especially if you achieve the Silver level casts, you won’t want to stop there; guaranteed. 

While you are on the FFI website, also have a look around in the Learning Centre. Simple explanations and good quality videos of basic casting skills are available there. These are based on sound principles of casting and are free of B-S, unlike many pretenders you see on the internet. 

Read about the FFI program here:



1. Bring your favourite rod and line, or the outfit you need to get to know better.  A tapered leader of 7’6” - 8’ is recommended, but not too light. One tapered down to 10 pounds would be ideal.  (0X,1X or 2X if you speak in X’s). Definitely not longer than 9’, including tippet. 

2. A brightly-coloured wool or yarn fly should be tied to the end of the leader – say a piece of thin wool about 10cm long, folded in half once and then once again and then tied to the line the middle. Two triple surgeon’s knots one on top of the other should work for the knot. Cut any loops that are left in the wool so that you have 8 separate strands of wool knotted in the middle and hanging off the end of the leader. Trim these to be about 12 millimetres long overall. You might need to trim the outer pieces a bit shorter to give it a bit of shape. If all that has you lost, just come and we’ll sort you out. 

3. Do not use a real fly, or a cut-down fly or anything incorporating metal when at club practice, for safety reasons.  

4. Speaking of which, take the usual precaution of using proper eye protection (sunglasses).

Covid stuff: In order to cut down the risk of viruses being transmitted, until things get safer, we must keep to no handshaking, 1.5 metre social distancing and not handling anything you did not bring with you. Tedious, I know.

So, for the time being, bring your own targets if possible. Unwanted CD’s make ideal targets. Other items such as white plastic jar lids, beer coasters, soccer cones etc are all useful. These should already be in your personal practice kit, if that is what you regularly do, or intend to do. A cheap 30 metre (100 foot) tape measure with a handle wind-up is always useful – marked for metric and imperial is good. Around $20-25 will get a reasonable one. Alternatively, or in addition, a similar length of coloured rope is handy for most basic drills. 


Timbrell Park, Henley Marine Drive, Five Dock. Go to the western end of Henley Marine Drive, past the cricket pitches, baseball nets and just past LIvvi’s coffee kiosk and kids’ playground area.

There is an open area opposite where Ingham Avenue intersects with Henley Marine Drive which we use. It is not part of the sports fields. If they haven’t cut the grass recently enough, we sometimes go across the canal to another open area. Look across there if you don’t see us at the usual spot. 

TIME:   8 am for specific casting basics (all welcome). 
             9 am for usual practice session (all welcome).

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

On Monday, 15th November 2021, our Fly Tying Guru Dave Wilson provided another Master Class during his Zoom presentation and chat for our Monthly Fly Tying Event.

Dave's topic was on the "Ways with Materials" and provided a wonderful insight on how to source fly tying materials from various avenues and substitutions. It keeps on coming back to the seven fly tying patterns that cover most of our skills required for tying just about anything, plus all the materials required.

Here’s the link for the Dave's presentation, it’s also been added to the playlist:


You can also view this video presentation, plus all the previous one's on our Members Private Video Library on YouTube. To view them please click on the following link:


Happy Viewing as we have some wonderful information in this library!


Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting

Our next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting is scheduled for Monday, 21st March 2022.

We will be back "Live", to which we are very much looking forward.

Once we can confirm the fly tying details, we will advise members per a special email communication.


Social Days Fishing Outing at Narrabeen Lake - 16 January 2022

Narrabeen – the Lake Entrance Group. 

We arrived on time at out designated meeting point.  We were at the bridge about 500 metres back from the entrance of the lake and the surf. Our leader, Denis Hill, was ready and waiting. 

It was a warm afternoon and clear skies so half of Sydney had headed to the beach. We stood in the carpark with rods in hand and observed the scene. Kids swimming, people floating by in all sorts of watercraft, girls in bikinis – overall a tough task expecting us to concentrate on the fishing. But Dennis pointed to some nice sandbanks about 200 metres back from the bridge and we headed off together.  

The water was warm and we easily waded into to knee deep water. A range of flies, Shrimp patterns, Clousers and Crazy Charlies were cast with no immediate success. We were getting a bit dejected when Alan McGrath hooked onto a nice flathead. After further efforts with no success, Denis suggested we berley up some mullet and have some fun. After getting a nice bread trail drifting, mullet started to feed but not in big numbers. By this time we were all casting bread flies but alas, no hook ups. 

At the allocated time we were happy to put down our rods and head back for the BBQ and cold beers. 

The general consensus of all those present was that although results were modest we had enjoyed a warm afternoon, a great location and the companionship of fellow Flyrodders. Thanks to all those organisers for a well put together event.

David Blackwell

Deep Creek Group

As a fly fisher from Newfoundland, an island located on the North Eastern side of Canada, I  was eager to throw a line once I arrived in Sydney. However, I knew not a soul and have been led down many wrong directions when following the guidance of the internet. Instead, I began calling up local guides to try and get intel. In which case, I was informed about the Sydney Fly Rodders Club. Following the phone conversation, I sent off an email to the Sydney Fly Rodders Club for information. I was quickly informed by Denis Hill about an upcoming social for members. After reading the email, I immediately signed up and paid my dues.

As time progressed and the Narrabeen Lake outing was on the horizon, I sent another email to the admins wondering about a ride. Within no time, I was embraced by fellow members reaching out and inquiring whether I’ve found a ride or not. From emails with Steve Peach, to phone chats with Gavin van der Wagen and David Treinis, I was quickly reminded about the camaraderie between fellow fly fishers. I had a ride!

On the day of, January 16th, David Treinis and Gerry Byrne were outside waiting. Through a brief introduction, gear thrown aboard, we were on our way. In no time the fishing chats began. From home water to foreign waters we dream to fish someday, along with wondering what the day was to entail and the patterns we’ll be using, the drive was over. We had arrived. 

Pulling into the parking lot, I could see other members gearing up for the afternoon. As I began to do the same, I quickly came to the realization that I had forgotten to change lines before leaving Newfoundland. My reel was loaded with a skagit setup for my 14ft 7-8 spey rod I use for Atlantic salmon. No real shocker, as I am always putting myself in these situations. So, like a dog with its tail between its legs, I asked around. Luckily, Gavin came to my rescue with a spare reel of his. I was back in action.

James Webber, the leader of our group, brought us through the parking lot, across the road, over the fence, and through the patch of forest separating us from our fishing destination. It was quick and short. However, it reminded you that regardless of how close you choose to go fishing, there is always a bit of trickery involved. 

Breaking through the brush, we were embraced by a large open body of water. We headed towards a sand island roughly 75 yards from the shoreline. It was around here where the shallows ended and it turned into deeper water. Wading out, while the wind was tackling us head on, we began attempting to hook into the species of fish that occupied this body of water. Unfortunately, I am unable to remember all the species, but I believe bream, flathead, and mullet were a few. Embracing my new surroundings and gaining my spatial awareness, my attention was elsewhere when being told what patterns to use. Regardless, time went on and after a 4 month pause from fly fishing, I was finally fly fishing again.

Casting around, trying here and there, I could see movement not too far out from me. It was as if the fish were feeding. But what was it? Looking around, I could see James throwing what appeared to be bread out. I made my way over and was given two flies that imitated pieces of bread. A dry bread pattern, which was to be upon the surface, and a wet bread pattern, which was to be tied to the hook of the floating bread pattern. Odd, but then again I’m never one to question anything relating to fly fishing, as you never know what’ll be tied up in attempts to hook a fish. With my bread fly set up ready to go, James began throwing small pieces of bread out. Myself, along with James and David, casting towards the patch of floating bread where the mullet fed, were not having much luck. Attempt after attempt, nothing seemed to want our imitated patterns. So, when times get tough, let your mind slip away and get into the chats. The three of us began a bit of banter back and forth, when suddenly, my line went tight and a fish was on. I wish I could say this was a bit of a surprise, but a large proportion of fish I’ve caught in my life have occurred when least expected. As some might say, fly fishing is all but a moment in time. The rod was bent and life seemed normal. I had my fun, reeled it in and released my first mullet. With satisfaction running through my veins, I reeled in and made my way to where the BBQ was being held with Gavin. 

Sausages were sizzling, beers were being cracked, introductions were made and post fishing discussions were in full swing. It was during this moment that I was reminded about what makes the whole of fly fishing so special. That being, everything that surrounds the entity of fly fishing itself. There is no single aspect that has more weight over the other. For that, I’m very thankful to have been part of such a great afternoon. Tight lines and may there be many more!

James Bass

Steven Peach put together this short video of this day promoting the club and reasons why fly fishers should join their local fly fishing club. 


To view our Gallery of trip photos, please click on this link below:


James Bass with a nice little mullet


Central West Spring Report

by Phil Burton. 

This year things were a little different in spring. The weather stayed cool and the rain fall thru winter continued. The conditions for fishing were at their best. River levels were good and lakes, rising and all the people locked in their houses. The fish had their best spring for years.

Most of Sydney missed it thru lock down but as it moved into November Windermere began to fire. This is the time of year for the golden perch to spawn. Steep banks and rock walls are where you find them and flies like Dinnie Brasco’s, a bunny version of a Pink Thing, sunk deep will get the bite.

By the time I escaped Sydney I had three months of work to do on my place but being so close I managed a couple of river excursions. The Fish river was at a good level and the weather still cool. You could find the odd fish feeding off the surface but a dry dropper combo in the runs was your best bet and those slower sections are always worth a small Zulu or Bugger cast across current and slowly stripped back.

This spring I fished the Upper Turon with Ray. It has one of the steepest falls of the central west rivers and it tends to clear right after rain quite quickly. The river is looking good and we found a fish in likely looking spots and we came across a couple of big carp we couldn’t fool. I like to fish the areas that have good tree coverage I find the fish like the shaded slower water and the root balls that force the river flow, creating faster flows and deeper pockets. I prefer to dry fly fish and a small elk hair caddis at this time of year is my ‘go to’ fly, tied on grub hooks in 12 and 14. Caddis are a good cool weather fly as this is the time they are active. Early season or early in the day, they are big and visible. I like to be accurate in my casting and drift my dry in close to edges or undercuts. I also like to throw a big soft reach so my fly line lands in the fast current well up stream of my fly 

sitting in slow water close to the bank, giving the best chance of drag free drifts. This is a good cast to practice. Practice a reach cast and use less and less power in your cast until your leader won’t roll out past your fly line. A nymph adds to the challenge and affects the drift of the dry. When I do, I add a dropper off the hook bend and a small nymph with tippet lives in my box ready to be called on. How much tippet? A question I have been asked a couple of times recently. Mornings and evenings when I suspect or know fish are looking up at possible emerges its very short, about 6in. At this depth my fishing is still focused on the dry, that is, I cast and drift as I would dry fly fishing. The nymph picking up fish focused on rising and emerging nymphs. In deeper, faster water fish are more likely sitting deeper out of the current and two feet of leader is about as much as I want to deal with. Now I am casting and focusing on the drift of the nymph, the dry becomes an bonus indicator. Beyond that depth the dry comes off and its just time to nymph. 

Between us we caught a dozen fish, scared a couple and lost a few to pulled hooks and broken tippet. I never fished the Turon at its best and we got a couple of two pound fish in great condition this day but I know it holds better fish when the conditions are good. 

Thompsons Creek Dam is my get away, not because I catch a lot of fish there but because I see a lot of fish there, and some big fish too. I do my share of blind fishing but I like to walk the banks and sight fish. Last year we stocked grown out rainbows, some were tagged. These fish have been regular captures and are now about 35cm +. The sight fishing at TCD is almost perfect. Water is crystal clear and the banks elevated, a good range of weedy flats, rocky shores and bays…and even with the water clarity the fish are not that easily spooked. I find that my movement on the shore and casting generally won’t spook a fish. In other

environments I would do a lot more crouching and waiting for the fish to be in a position where I could cast to it without spooking it. Not at TDC, well maybe I do a bit out of habit, but generally I stand and put out a cast with a long leader, in front of the cruising fish without too much concern. You want the fly a reasonable distance out from the fish and this is where TDC is frustrating… 

Years ago I would polaroid post spawn fish in lake Jindabyne when the water management was different and lake levels fluctuated much more. The lake would be rising with snow melt and fish were up on the edges looking for food after the efforts of spawning. The wave action would create a small silt line a meter or so out and the fish would cruise this, lifting your rod to cast could spook them and you would never be sure the fish had seen your fly when you got it in front of them. All that anticipation and your left asking did it even see my fly so you try again, and a slight deviation it opens its mouth and eats. All a couple of feet in front of you. Not at TDC…they see your fly for sure…they swim right up to it, you know they see it …and they shy away…you can cast again with the same fly and one of two things happen… it knows that’s a fake and ignores it or it freaks out and is gone. So I can’t spook them and I can’t get them to eat… and then you find one that will. That’s TDC.

The wind is not your friend and TDC can be windy but there is always a sheltered shore…somewhere. A few hours in the morning and a couple in the evening are your best bet and these times fit right outside the travel times for Sydney day trippers. TDC shines when you get to pick the weather so if you spend some time in the area, go when the weather is good and hit the rivers when the breeze is up. If you don’t mind the breeze you can often find some fish feeding off the surface where food is being blown by or close to the shore. These fish can be equally frustrating. I have watched a 6lb rainbow swim along the dam wall while I walked back to my car, and I could see beetles on the surface and every beetle I could see it would see. I watched it swim along and go to every single one and one it would eat and others refuse!! If you stay for the evening you will see some fantastic evening rises and summer time is mud eye time. Frustratingly this year the dam is full and the fish aren’t moving in so close but water is being released at the moment and the level will be dropping.

TDC can be intimidating and I have included part of a report by our own member James Webber because he sums it up so well.

Spent night at lake Wallace campsite which was very busy, got a spot by the road and no sleep.  Contacted Phil and agreed to catch up at TCD in the morning, where I was keen to fish the little dam as the big one I find a bit overwhelming and don’t know where to start.  However, with Phil's experience we went to the big dam and he has converted me into being a fan.  It was like a penny dropping, as we walked the banks sight fishing and watching some big fish cruise by, we had multiple goes at trying to get their attention using dry droppers, double nymphs etc but the challenge was not so much finding them as getting them to take something.  

After a couple of hours we found a large fish meandering down the shore line and I had by now reverted to a dry only buggy beetle / blue bottle thing as we had seen an earlier fish supping something off the surface. I managed to get his attention, he came up opened his mouth and all but took the fly, but didn't. How frustrating was that ..., according to Phil this is quite common as the bigger fish are pretty savvy. However, 10 minutes later we saw him again (or one as big as him) further down the shore and I retried the same fly, this time he came up and took it - at last a good-sized fish. The fight lasted about 10 seconds before I got my line back with no fly, 

So the lessons I hope I've learnt from these 2 days are:

- check your tippet regularly for knots

- you can get big fish to take your fly at TCD if you persevere – that’s the challenge

- there seem to be no shortage of big fish and smaller ones at TCD

- finally make sure you tie your flies on properly and test the line/knot, 

as if things are quiet and you eventually succeed there is nothing worse than losing the fish due to equipment malfunctions and/or in my case your own incompetence and laziness ....   

Anyway I'll go back to TCD with a very different mindset next time thanks to Phil.  I'll bypass the small dam on the way up and use it only if all else fails on my way back and I'll be constantly checking my gear. 

Lake Oberon all reports is its fishing well with some Rainbows caught around the 450mm mark. It is full and spilling water which is impacting the Fish river creating high river water even when it hasn’t rained for a few days. Recently stocked with more cod. There is very good Kayak access into the dam at the reef.

Lake Wallace fishing quite well some good trout being taken on streamers. First reported capture of a Tiger trout in NSW. Redfin are always a chance. The Wallerawang CAS applied for and got a grant for disabled fishing access. A floating pontoon has now been installed and the approach ramp completed. This is getting good use by plenty of people and a chance for a wheelchair bound angler to have a fish safely. In recognition for their efforts, Ray and Ben from WCAS received an Australian Day award from Lithgow council. 

Fish River has had good flows all season and been a little discoloured. It is clearing now but flows are still a little high due to the water release from Oberon. The Cox’s river is also impacted by water release as TDC, Wallace and Lyell are all spilling. 

The Millpond has been discoloured after heavy rain but I have been getting a fish or two fairly regularly. There has been no formal announcement but it seems like it is open to the public all week now.

Lake Lyell gets busy at this time of year with water-skiing, it makes bank fishing hard with the edges quite discoloured, but there was a couple of Bass at 50cm caught recently by Kayaking anglers. Things should calm down a little with the end of holidays approaching. The upper reaches of the lake are great to fish if you have watercraft access. Some solid trout are caught at times by Bass fishers and there are plenty of Redfin, regarded as one of the best eating freshwater fish about.

The rain is less consistent now and the rivers are settling down, with the water clearer some are getting out and chasing carp. I have caught plenty in dams but the few in rivers I have cast to have spooked or ignored my fly. I am keen to give these fish a serious go this year as they are very much a challenge, one to present the fly to and secondly to land. I’ll let you know how I go.


Big River Trip in March 2022

Following on from our inaugural trip to Big River in May 2021, our 2nd trip will be held in March 2022 12-19 when the weather will provide more favourable and comfortable fishing conditions.

We will be basing ourselves at “The Willows” and also have accommodation at The Blue Duck Inn, where lunch and Dinner is also available. 

Big River, is the Mitta Mitta River above Lake Dartmouth and above Anglers Rest.

The trip commences on Saturday, 12th March 2022 and we are out on Saturday, 19th March 2022, so 7 nights all up. Accommodation cost is $525 per person for the week. 

The Willows is located about 8 minutes from the Blue Duck Inn, and is fully self-contained. They do breakfast and this can be pre-arranged. Else you take all your provisions. The Blue Duck Inn has a good restaurant and is open for Dinner and Lunch, and don’t open for breakfast.  

Anglers Rest is some 726Kms and an 8.5 hour drive from Sydney, Forestville exactly.

It is also 30 Kms from Omeo, should you need to buy some supplies.

Should you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to email me.


Gavin van der Wagen



Mitta Mitta River Trip in May 2022

Our annual trip to the Mitta Mitta is on again for 2022, now for the 9th year running. It will be in on the Saturday, 14th May and out Saturday, the 21st May 2022; so 7 nights all up at $320.

We will be staying at the “Pink House” which is just a stones throw from the Mitta Mitta Pub and Bistro; and in fact the mighty Snowy Creek; and also on a farm property just 5 minutes away. So just a short trip to quench your thirst or dine at their fabulous and reasonable Bistro.

You can take your own food and drinks, or you can eat at the Mitta Mitta Pub or a combination. Many members eat only at the pub. 
Further up the road, about 30 K’s, there is also a good pub at Eskdale (which you pass through) and also an IGA and fuel. Mitta Mitta has a very small general store and fuel.
The local dairy farmers allow us to fish on their properties, so we have access to many spots without competition!
There are many river options to fish, including the Mitta Mitta, Snowy Creek (runs right past the pub and caravan park), Lightning Creek, Wills Creek, Little Snowy Creek (near Eskdale) etc.
It’s about a 7 hour drive and 646 kilometres away.
I will provide more information to the attendees as required and then prior to the trip.

Should you have any questions then please don't hesitate to contact me on gavin@vit.com.au.

Kind regards,

Gavin van der Wagen


Tuition Weekend in August in Wallerawang

This popular event, held around the last weekend of July each year, is run to share and impart fly fishing knowledge and skills to beginners, new members and indeed any member that wishes to improve their skills. It has always included a good mixture of members with varying levels of fly-fishing experience, and who are always willing to share their knowledge and experience. 

It's also a great way for new members to meet existing members, and also to experience an enjoyable weekend away during winter and the closed river season.

We will be staying at the Black and Gold Country Cabins at Wallerawang, arriving Friday, 5th August and departing Sunday, 7th August 2022.


The accommodation cost will be around $155 per person for the two nights which is very reasonable. We pay at the venue prior to checking out. They trust the Sydney Fly Rodders! Each attendee will open up their own tab to be settled prior to departure, as many members have meals and drinks there.

These cabins are self-contained and they have a great restaurant, The Cribb.

Their website is: www.blackgoldcabins.com.au

For the event this year we will have Phil Burton covering “Stream Craft”, Steve Peach will be covering Euro Nymphing and DH/Spey Fishing and David Caddies will be providing Casting Practice.

We will get together on Friday night, after dinner, in one of the cabins (normally Wren and depending on the distancing rules at the time) for presentations on the topics mentioned earlier. Then on Saturday morning we will hold a casting practice session. Then we will head off to the Millpond down the road in Portland for the Euro and Spey casting demonstrations and then put that into practice. The lake has been well stocked with rainbow trout.

This weekend has always been a great opportunity to pick up some new skills, plus we will endeavour to tailor the conversations and practicals to meet the needs of attendees and to therefore make it a weekend of great value.

I will provide more information to the attendees as required and then prior to the trip.

To book your spot please log onto our website, go to Events (in the Members section), select August in the Calendar and click on the event and follow the prompts. We have 16 places available.

The Covid protocols will apply at the time for the event attendance.

Should you have any questions then please don't hesitate to contact me on gavin@vit.com.au or 0411877546.

Kind regards,

Gavin van der Wagen


Buy, Sell and Swap

There is no Buy Sell, Swap this month as it's 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

Provided by Bob Hart

Environment: AFMA’s Performance

AUSTRALIA'S fisheries management performance is clearly not bad when compared to a range of less well-regulated and less economically well-developed countries. Those involved in the business come across as committed to their roles but there are three sad truths that need acknowledging. One, political directions will ultimately override good science. Two, Australia is not necessarily leading the world in fisheries management best practice, despite constant unproven claims that it is. And three, there’s never enough money or staff to do the job properly, to fully operationalise good fisheries management policy and strategy at either the Commonwealth or State and Territory levels.

The June 2021 Australian National Audit Office’s report titled Management of Commonwealth Fisheries ranked AFMA’s overall management of Commonwealth Fisheries as “partly effective”. The audit found AFMA’s compliance and enforcement processes to be largely effective, its governance arrangements to be partly appropriate, and its management of individual fisheries to be partly effective.

If you’re interested in the full findings, the 67-page report is publicly available via the ANAO’s website. It’s Auditor-General Report No 45 2020-21. Some of the findings of interest to rec fishers follow.

The report notes that the relevant Act requires that AFMA must have regard to, through proper conservation and management measures, ensuring that the living resources of the Australian fishing zone are not endangered by over-exploitation, and that the interests of commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers are taken into account.

The audit found that an ecological assessment framework had been established but re-assessments had not been completed in accordance with the framework; that plans and strategies implemented under Commonwealth policy had not been reviewed in a timely manner; that the plan to implement fisheries management strategies (FMSs), incorporating ecological risk management and subject to five year review, had not been implemented – FMSs for 13 fisheries were due by 2020, but only the one for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish fishery had been completed by June 2021. It also found that stakeholder engagement with recreational and Indigenous fishing stakeholders had been limited.

AFMA agreed with all the audit report’s recommendations to address shortfalls in its performance but noted its need to balance competing needs and availability of limited resources in and across fisheries. Which means, I guess, that with a staff of about 150 and economic return and compliance requirements, a lot of the improvements to fisheries management strategy and engagement activities the audit identified will happen more gradually.

The End