VOLUME 28, ISSUE 08. March 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 very successful Luderick fishing outing on Sydney Harbour, in early February 2022, with our leader Royce Shanks in the foreground willing the luderick to come a bit closer within firing range. Royce has fished for Luderick for most of his life, so knows them intimately. Please read our report later in this edition of the March Flyrodder.


Next Members Monthly Meeting

Our next Members Monthly Meeting will be held "Live" back at The Freeway. The meeting will kick off at 7:00pm on Monday, 14th March 2022.

Our guest speaker will be our club member James Bass.

Please view further down the Flyrodder for further details.


Next Members Monthly Fly Tying 

The Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting will be held "Live" 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},

Covid continues to slowly ease its grip and we are resuming live meetings in March. We will be holding our regular monthly Club meeting on the normal schedule - 2ndMonday night of the month, back at the Freeway Hotel, starting at 7pm March 14th .  

Fly Tying will also resume live in March, on it’s regular schedule of the third Monday night of the month, in this case 21st March back at the regular location, the Hanley Community Centre. It’s been a long haul through Covid and many of our new members haven’t had the opportunity to attend a live monthly club meeting or attend our “fly tying” nights, we are looking forward to you finally joining us on these key Club activities.

While Covid eased its grip the weather did its best to interfere with our Wallerawang weekend, 26-27 Feb. While it rained in Sydney all weekend we only had some scattered showers In the Wang district and managed to fish both days, caught up for dinner together at the Pub Saturday night and breakfast at Phil Burton’s place Sunday morning. We also and got to see and fish “The Millpond”, the long awaited project delivered by Ray Tang and the Wallerawang CAS, it’s a terrific facility, providing an easy option for a quick fish when you are travelling through or visiting the area.

While we can see winter on the horizon, we still have plans to get you fishing before the cooler weather. In the fresh we have the Big River trip in March, Mitt Mitta in May and we are working on a 4 day weekend in Jindabyne for April (fingers crossed). We don’t have any saltwater events currently scheduled but we will rectify that, and you can expect to receive several saltwater event notifications over the coming months.

So please take the time to read through the FlyRodder and the events schedule for the trips, monthly meetings, fly tying and casting and join us when you can.

Tight Lines 

Denis Hill


Denis caught this lovely rainbow at Pensioners Corner, Lake Lyell. Not sure why he was attracted to fishing in that spot!


From the Editor

Gavin at Smith's Lake with a nice bream.

Our members have still managed to get in some considerable fishing in spite of the rain days that we've had. The fishing over the Great Divide has improved out of sight and many of our members have made the short trek out there with some great success. This rain and mild summer plus the fish stocking that has been carried out will mean that our fishing trips will be more successful and rewarding. It's looking like a great next couple of years ahead, and hopefully beyond.

Our Rod Building activity that is scheduled over 4 sessions over 4 successive weeks in August/September is proving once again to be very popular, as 9 people have already registered and that means only one spot is remaining. If you're interested then please contact me to grab this last spot.

We still have many spots available for our Tuition Weekend in Wallerawang which will be held on the first weekend of August. This is a great event and opportunity to pick up some new skills no matter your level of expertise in Fly Fishing and Casting. As you would all know we are forever learning some new skills in this wonderful art of fly fishing. You can never know it all, and some small little skill gain can make you a better fly caster and fly fisher. You still have plenty of time to book your spot, but August will be here in no time. For more details please see the segment later in this edition of the Flyrodder. Else if you have any questions then please don't hesitate to contact me.

Looking forward to catching up at a meeting or event over the coming months.

Gavin van der Wagen




Last Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker Report

Clint Isaac with a quality Golden Trevally from the Hinchinbrook Flats

We were still Zooming in February, but this is all about to change. So to leave Zoom behind, we brought this chapter to a close with a wonderful presentation by Clint Isaac who is a full time Fly Fishing Guide and the owner of the Australian Fly Fishing Lodge, located in Cardwell across from Hinchinbrook Island and the many flats, estuaries and fishing locations there. As he said no matter the weather there is always a calm spot to find some quality fish.

Clinton provided a great talk and wonderful advice on what flies and fishing gear setups work there plus the style of fishing that they adopt. Rather than me explaining it all here just jump onto this link below and all will be revealed in the video of his presentation in our Members Private YouTube Video Library:


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.


Next Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker

James Bass with a nice little mullet on our Narrabeen Lake excursion in January

Our March 2022 Members Monthly Meeting will be held "Live" on Monday, 14th March. We are back at The Freeway Hotel up in the mezzanine one level up, in our own private room. We've given Covid the boot and we're back "Live".

The meeting will kick off as usual at 7:00pm with general matters then around half an hour later James Bass will chat to us on the topic of his "Fishing adventures around Canada".

James hails from the Newfoundland area and has guided clients into very remote locations north of there. It's sure to be a very entertaining session and I know it will be most absorbing having already had a few conversations with James on what he has been up to in that part of the world.

For those unable to attend the meeting 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.

Many of our attendees arrive a bit earlier and have dinner either before, else the bar staff will deliver your meal order to our meeting room and you can enjoy your meal, and or drink, whilst the meeting is underway. The food is good value for money and the company is priceless!! So come along and have a relaxing and entertaining meeting where you can meet other members and pick up on useful snippets information that is shared amongst the group.

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. 

There is ample parking in the parking garage under the Freeway Hotel, which is accessed from Dickson Avenue (at the back), just off Reserve Road, in Artarmon.

The address is 115 Reserve Road, Artarmon 2064 (for for GPS), on the corner of Dickson Avenue. 

Looking forward to catching up at the meeting.


New Members

We had five new members join the club in February 2022.

We welcome Michael McKinley, Goetz Roth, William Thurston, Campbell Vidgen and Richard Yong 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

UPDATE: We have one place left for this event. I will also hold a reserve list in case we have a drop out.

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.

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


Gavin van der Wagen



A couple of photos from previous years:


Last Months Casting Practice Report

Our Casting Practice sessions are back on track and we had another great session on the 6th February 2022. Having said that the 6th March session is cancelled as David Caddies isn't feeling too well at the moment, but it's temporary, and so the next Casting Practice Event will be held as per our schedule on the first Sunday of the month, and therefore will be held on the 3rd April.

I have a feeling that David will be so keen to get back on schedule that he'll be firing on all cylinders!!!!

As usual David Caddies covered a range of skills teachings, with very targets instruction and training.

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 3rd April 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

We didn't schedule a Fly Tying session in February, due to the Covid restrictions and felt that is was wise to give it another month.

Previously our Fly Tying Guru Dave Wilson gave us a series of 4 Master Class Fly Tying presentations and Videos, covering the history of fly tying through to the best way to kick off your fly tying adventurers and how to select your fly tying vise and tools from the myriad of options and prices which can be most confusing. This will assist you to kick off in the most appropriate manner to meet your specific requirements.

Most of us decide to tie a pattern and then set about learning the required skills just for that pattern. But from Dave's videos you will see that 7 tying skills will cover you tying 95% of the flies that you will ever want to tie.

So jump on our Private Members 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.

As we didn't schedule a Fly Tying session in February, due to the Covid restrictions and felt that is was wise to give it another month.

So we gave it another month, booted Covid into touch, and we are back "Live" on the 21st March 2022, kicking off at 6:30pm for a 7:00pm start. 

And even better our Fly Tying Guru Dave Wilson will be leading our charge back into 2022 and he will be showing us how to tie the Bushy's Horror Fly!!!!

We cater for all level's of fly tyers; from those who have never tied a fly and wish to give it a go or just want to come in and have a look and observe. No obligation and it's all free.

If you don't have the gear then come along as we have around 12 spare vises that you can use and we can scrounge up other tools to get you started. This is a great way to see what's involved before you head off and purchase the fly tying tools. This will assist you greatly in making the appropriate choices of equipment and materials that will best suite your specific needs. I bought the wrong vise to start with, and then went back to upgrade; and I was lucky because where I bought it they gave me an upgrade at the price difference. (Ed).

The venue is the Henley Community Centre in Hunters Hill/Henley, and we meet in the Green Room (through the front door and it's the room on the right; if you go left you'll be playing Contract Bridge!!!).

The venue address is: Crown Street, Henley, NSW 2111. As you turn into Crown Street, from Victoria Road, take the first left and drive down a bit of a bumpy road, and it's the last building about a 100 yards down the drag. There's parking off the track and walk through a small road (some do park just outside the building), but it's a short walk to the front door past a bowling green (may be a veggie patch now).

Dave Wilson gave a Series of 4, from the history of fly tying through to the best way to kick off your fly tying adventure. Most of us decide to tie a pattern and then set about learning the required skills just for that pattern. But from Dave's videos you will see that 7 tying skills will cover you tying 95% of the flies that you will ever want to tie.

So jump on our Private Members Video Library on YouTube.

To view them please click on the following link:


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

Bushy's Horror Fly


Hen and Chicken Bay Social Days Fishing Report

by David Treinis

That afternoon I tried the gamut for shore-based harbour fishing, stooping as low as bread burley, and ended up with just one small bream for my efforts.  Fishing wasn't brilliant, but the club member turnout was impressive enough to prompt passers-by and dog-walkers to ask what was up with so many anglers plying the waters along the pathway.  Given the slow fishing, perhaps the best answer was, "killing time until the barbie is on."  But I had almost as much satisfaction as I'd have had catching them myself in watching Travis Fitzgerald fight and land a nice mullet just 30 metres away.

Travis with a beautiful mullet

Fishing being so slow (for me, anyway), the best thing about our outing at Hen and Chicken Bay turned out to be Gavin's "boerewors."  If you've never heard of, or tried them, well, you're missing out on a real S. African treat.  They're cooked as they're fashioned: in one ever-tightening concentric ring, so both the name and the presentation are unusual.  But even David Caddies--a vocal detractor of this style of sausage--was won over. (Ed. I'm not convinced as he's vetoed the revealing pic that I took - admittedly it wasn't very flattering)

(Ed. I'm looking a bit lopsided, but suspect that David Caddies took this one as revenge; but it's the best shot of the boerewors.)

As is the case with many hobbyist clubs (and non profit board of directors!) there are a few standouts who shoulder the load of running club events.  Many thanks to Mark Bransgrove and Gavin for putting on a first class feed.  These club outings are no guarantee you'll catch fish, but they're a sure bet for good food and, even better, fine companionship with fellow members. 

The flats at Hen and Chicken Bay.

A New Experience

By Chris Moore

On Sunday 30th January on a very warm afternoon 21 members of the club gathered at Hen and Chicken Bay for a twilight fly fish organized by Mark Bransgrove. Everybody had no trouble finding parking as there was plenty for everybody. Mark gave everybody a briefing as to where was the best place to go to have the best chance to catch fish. I decided to go right next to the boat ramp and lucky for me I ended up right next to David Webster one of the clubs most experienced fishermen. The fishing started out slow. I saw a Flathead being caught over near the mangroves

David Major with a lovely flatty early in the day, his 2nd or 3rd cast!

David Webster suggested using a bread fly and berlying it with bread. With David's help I picked up my first fish fly fishing and it was a Bream. I lost count how many fish David caught. The water was warm and the sun was setting over the moored boats. What a view it was. I had to leave unfortunately around 7pm missing the BBQ as I had my son with me. When I got back to the car my son said how a lot of people had been commenting as to how nice it looked with all the Fly fishermen on the foreshore. To sum it up I had a great day and everyone was very helpful and welcoming to me the new fly fisherman.

A New Members Perspective

by Dave Robinson

As a new member this was my second social fishing day with the club, first being the Narrabeen outing. It was a great turn out once again with 20 plus members giving it a good go at Hen & Chicken Bay hoping for some bream, flathead or even mullet. 

We kicked off at around 3pm, the weather was warm and not too windy, but the bay did have a nasty little muddy surprise for those none the wiser. Eager to get a fly in the water I rigged up and slipped on my trusty rock hopping shoes, big mistake! No more than 4 steps into the water I got stuck and sank into the mud up to my shins, all good I thought that’s not too deep. Now to lift my feet and take the next step…… easier said than done, that mud has some really good grip! After shuffling my feet a few times and yanking as hard as I could without falling over, I managed to finally free my left foot the relief was short lived when I realised that my trusty rock hopper had remained firmly bogged in the mud, straps were broken and shoes were now useless, what a great start.

Was that the end this session or do I race home and be back in hour to carry on? Sitting in the car and contemplating what to do next I made a phone call and within 30 mins my lovely, better half Heidi brought me out a pair of more appropriate footwear, next time I know that the dive booty style shoes are the way to go when wading in mud, live and learn!

Back into to it and after a few casts I started getting hits on a self-tied fly that I called the “ugly shrimp” – bream didn’t seem to mind the ugliness as I landed a couple of smallish fish and then lost a good fish when my tippet broke (was never the knot). 

Things went quiet so bread came out and soon enough a few fish were swirling around the burley, only problem was the wind blowing the bread burley away from us, so you get a few casts in and then watch bream and mullet smash it well out of casting range... oh well good casting practice. I did manage to foul hook a reasonable sized bream using a borrowed bread fly from Gavin, who also tried to take a photo for the record, but I couldn’t hang onto the fish for long enough so no photo evidence, but I know that Gavin has my back on that one! 

 All in all, it was a great day out once I figured out the mud situation, a few fish were caught some good laughs and to finish the evening a couple of drinks, some lekker boerewors and good conversation with fellow Sydney Fly Rodders, looking forward to the next outing


Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson with a feisty little bream.

The debrief and post mortem sociable part enjoyed by Alan Rogers, Bert Lloyd, Geoff McMillan and Russell Walker.

Jim Hemmings with a nice flattie.

Now this is a flattie!!!! Joe Bourne with a wonderful catch.

The get together with Joe Bourne, Dave Webster and Ngoc Minh-The Pham enjoying a chat!!

Mark Bransgrove tucking into the tomato sauce whilst Russell Walker looks on a bit concerned!!!! A FOMO moment?

A wonderfull aerial shot of the bay by David Major

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



Luderick on the Harbour Fishing Report

by Brian Horton

During early February, a much-anticipated Blackfish session was convened at short notice via the clubs WhatsApp platform. Ten anglers joined our resident Blackfish expert Royce Shanks at Bridgwater Park in Rozelle located opposite Birkenhead Shopping Centre within a stone’s throw of Iron Cove Bridge.

Royce trying to coax the luderick to a feed of berley!!!

Accompanied by Mark Bransgrove, Royce’s day started at dawn harvesting green weed from his ‘secret spot’ which was later mixed with sand in a bucket to form the burley required to attract the Blackfish known to frequent the Rozelle hot spot.

By 8am with an incoming tide all anglers had gathered at the reserve with 6 or 7 weight rods and reels in hand, where Royce handed out his hand made weed flies which were tied to a 12lb straight leader with 6lb tippet. An indicator setting the fly 3 feet above the bottom and split shot some 2-3 feet above the weed fly completed the set up.

Royce's weed fly selection

With anglers closely lined up along the sea wall to ensure a concentrated fishing area the burley was thrown no more than 2-3 rod lengths out into the water followed by the flies. Casting was a simple roll cast or a carefully timed overhead cast taking into consideration the many walkers and cyclists passing by.

Within 15 minutes a fish of around a pound came to the net which was followed by several larger specimens of some 2-3lbs. One of the largest fish was a lovely specimen of 40cm caught by Craig Symonds. Fish continued to come to the net with most anglers catching one or more of these hard and dogged fighting fish. Given the amount of activity Royce went off and found further weed for burley and handed out some weed fly tying kits to all participants which was greatly appreciated. With over ten fish caught during the four-hour session the consensus was the inaugural Flyrodders Blackfish session a resounding success. 

Craig Symonds with the fish of the day - a beauty at 40cm (400mm - sounds better)

Refer some of the feedback from the session participants;

“What an epic morning, thanks to Royce and well done team”

‘Awesome morning”

“Royce helped me tie on the correct tippet and indicator so I could have a crack at fishing. And I got the result. Thanks, everyone for a fun day.”

Royce’s guidance and enthusiasm for Blackfish was very noticeable (plus his patients with some of us) and with his consent the club will be planning a similar event soon.

Brian Horton, organiser of the event, which proved to be very popular with the attendees.

Royce's expertise and eagerness to share his life time of knowledge ensured that it was a memorable outing.

To view more photos of this event, please click on the following link:



Central Acclimatisation Society (CAS) Wallerawang - Ray Tang Award


News for those that don’t get Rays update.

Ray Tang from Wallerawang CAS received an Australia Day community award for his work to provide disabled fishing access at Lake Wallace. Now all members of the public are able to wet a line off the Pontoon. He has also been the force behind stocking and opening The Millpond in Portland. It is producing some good fish around the 3 pound mark and is now open 7 days a week. 

River stocking was Covid affected this year. DPI policies did not allow CAS members to help out and distribute fish as they usually do. This means that, although most rivers were stocked, stocking was concentrated and not as widespread as it usually is. This occurred throughout the state and it is a credit to the DPI staff, that they were able to get these fish out of the Hatcheries and into the water without the help of stocking groups. Meanwhile they continue to grow out fish for stocking into out lakes and dams in the coming months.

Any members wanting more information on the role of the Acclimatization Society

Central Acclimatisation Society – Supporting fishing on the Central Tablelands of NSW

Or contact me 0428317541 about joining the Wallerawang sub branch.

The CFA continue to work with fisheries to improve the Angler Access website and grow a comprehensive and useful guide to Access for anglers. It is also working on access to the old Katoomba water supply although government agencies seem to blame each other for its administration now it is no longer water supply. Work continues in the Snowies with collaboration between MAS and DPI on a trout grow out facility for the region. This was part of an Environmental offset due to impacts of the Snowie 2 development. There has been support for the Macquarie Perch project with DPI electro fishing an impoundment that was stocked with trout years ago. Two sessions have removed and relocated several trout to ensure that the Mac Perch have the best chance of survival. Another item we are watching is the plan to use Lake Lyell as a pumped Hydro project.


Early information is that there will be some loss of access to parts of Lake Lyell, probably the Farmers Ck arm. Estimates are that level rises and falls of around 2m to the level in Lake Lyell are expected.

The region continues to get the best rains for years and all the lakes and rivers are firing. 

Subscribe to the newsletter of the CFA.

NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers – Fostering a sustainable freshwater fishery.

There is a lot of behind the scenes work done by these small groups to protect and enhance our fisheries around the state. They run on very small budgets and Covid has stopped all their fund raising activities, so please look out for future events and support then if you can.


Phil Burton.

Ray Tang is on the left

Ray Tang's account of his Award

Australia day January 26th with great gratitude, Ben and I were nominated and awarded the “Open Citizen Achievement award” for the works in obtaining funding and installation for a disabilities access fishing platform at Lake Wallace.

It was an honour to receive the award, and recognition was very humbling.

Though I think it is worth noting the award is, perhaps, more a representation of what ordinary folks are capable of with the right attitude, dedication and support from like minded stakeholders.

This project would not have been possible without the support from, all of you as members of the Wallerawang branch for CAS and the general public, where funds from events like the Gone Fishing Day was used to support projects like this.

We also recognise and thank important funding contributors such as the DPI rec fishing trust, Miners and Energy union, Springvale miners trust fund, Lithgow Council.

We hope with this momentum we can continue to pursue more projects of this magnitude (and greater). 


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 scheduled this month.


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

Destinations: Fishing the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands is an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean.

THE fire started burning after a conversation with my partner, Rachel, about this so-called Australian paradise.

It wasn’t until we started to dig into any little bits of information we could find that we knew it was our calling. With Rachel's final teaching internship on the horizon, she bounced a few emails back and forth and secured a placement with the local high school. The two of us were currently driving dump trucks in the Pilbara, flying in and out of Perth. However, with the current border restrictions and a lack of operators on site, we were turned down when we requested leave to pursue this opportunity.

We knew this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, one we would be devastated to miss out on. That being said, we quit our jobs, packed our bags, and headed for the Cocos Keeling Islands.

In the following article, I’ll explain how to discover and prepare for a trip to one of Australia’s most unique fishing destinations.

Cooper and a selection of lures he took to the Cocos.

Preparing gear for a location with limited knowledge of what to expect and tight weight restrictions is not an easy task. Expecting nothing less than Bonefish, GT, Red bass, and an exciting range of reefies, I knew only the best gear would stand up to the test. I had the outifts sorted – armed with a handful of Stellas and Saltigas backed by Indian Pacific Rods. Planning to run a maximum of five casting setups (PE 1,3,5,8,10), I was going to need a stack of lures.

As a next-generation fisherman, I thrive on the challenge of tempting fish into smacking a lure. Thankfully, my collection of lures over the past few years has become very generous, poppers, stickbaits, and plastics all included. Narrowing these down to fit them into 23kg of luggage was going to be a problem.

I chose to pack the following: 80-120mm / 120-160mm / 160-200mm / 200mm+ stickbaits and poppers, followed by a selection of soft vibes, plastics and divers. Terminals on most of the lures were upgraded to Decoy splits and BKK hooks. In terms of line, reels were spooled with Tasline and a selection of Varivas for leader (from 20lb to 220lb.)

The Cocos has some mean GTs, as Cooper found out!

Cocos Island GTs are brutal and I learned this early on in the trip.

Day one on Direction Island I spotted a fish pushing 20kg in less than a metre of water. With just a 5kg outfit and a small flick prawn, I couldn’t let the opportunity surpass me so I cast on his nose and he walloped it, crashing and splashing before he realised he was hooked then proceeding to rip 150m out to sea down to my backing where I had to grab the spool and try to turn his head. I inevitably snapped him off. This trend proceeded into the coming weeks with the next seven GTs I hooked taking my lures, and dignity, with them. Land-based I had the best luck finding these fish in-between the reef and beach on the western side of the atoll, often on the run in tide where there were bait feeding (dart and mullet). Throwing stickbaits between 120 and 160mm proved to be the most successful way to tempt a bite.

Venturing to the edge of the reef to fish when the weather was suitable gave us the chance to fish deep water without a boat. The time to do this was on the low tide when the swell was minimal often over a two hour window, however, it’s not for the faint-hearted with waves washing up around your waist not being uncommon. I would advise fishing with a buddy at all times here in case things go south. This form was an exciting, yet expensive way of fishing, often having big surface strikes turn into being bricked before you could blink. When given the chance to fish from a 4.2m tinny I grabbed it by the balls and give it all I had with long days and lots of casting resulting in some good GTs in both skinny water and off of deeper reefs. I found the full moon to be the most productive with the big incoming tides in the lagoon and the outgoing from the reef's edge to the drop-off.

The new moon was good in the sense of bait being everywhere but the fish were much more reluctant to feed on a lure unless they were in a frenzy. We found casting a combination of a popper and stickbait often resulted in the angler putting in the least amount of work rolling back a stickbait to the boat getting all the glory when fish raised to the commotion opted more the more subtle option.

When planning for the Cocos Islands trip I knew there was a potential to catch bonefish, however, I didn’t realise the caliber and number of fish that were thriving there. Initially, I was catching fish up to 50cm on small grubs paired to a light gauge 1/16 jighead. This gave enough weight to cast and make the plastic look natural in the water but didn’t give enough strength to stop bigger fish without bending the hooks out. So all of the 50cm+ models I was hooking I was losing to the overwhelming blacktip reef sharks. To combat this I had a mate bring up some heavy gauge jig-heads to give me the edge. All of the bonefish I had caught to this point had been on the reef side of the atoll predominately as by-catch and it wasn’t until I met a fly fishing guide from Victoria (James Norney) in the local pub that I gave the inside of the atoll a crack targeting these silver bullets.

Bonefish are abundant in the Cocos.

The weather when we first started fishing was windy and rainy following the fallout from a tropical low. Even so, we persisted and were blessed with some astounding clear water and glass-outs, making spotting fish a breeze. Watching them follow a lure to your feet was all the more exciting. Over the following weeks James and I were able to get some good fish and found plenty of feeding schools that we could cast into like salmon on the South Coast. Trophy bonefish are prevalent across the flats with fish over 80cm often spotted amongst smaller fish or grazing in the distance on their own. The bones didn’t seem to perform any different across the moon phase, however they always fished better on an incoming tide or the beginning of the run-out. To spot the fish we would look for them tailing in the sand or mud. If you couldn’t find them, often blind casting would still lead to good numbers of fish being caught. With the bonefish often came silver biddy and thick lip or banded trevally, all providing great fun on light gear.

Red bass
My accidental introduction to red bass came one afternoon when I was floating across some reef flats in 10m. I hadn’t caught fish for a good hour and the weather had taken a turn for the worse. Earlier that day I had some good luck on GT throwing 40-80g popper so I tied on my all-time favourite ReefsEDGE roey in a pink swirl trout and the first cast got railed by a monster GT who took my last one home with him. I re-rigged and threw on a smaller one and before I could even take up the slack the Saltiga was screaming. luckily enough, I managed to work him free and get him up, I hadn’t landed a bass before so I was stoked. He went 76cm and released well. It was at this point that I realised red bass was a species I wanted to target. So target them we did.

Over the next three weeks we boated some more big bass and managed to hook up to some off the reef's edge, most of the time being drilled and losing gear but occasionally defying the odds and getting them up over the top and into the lens for some epic photos. When we located bass we found they were sitting in areas where there was movement in the water, either behind a drain in the reef, or around breaking waves. This didn’t make for easy fishing but defiantly made every capture that little bit more special. We caught fish on lures of all sizes, once again finding that when someone had a popper in the water they would be drawn to the commotion and then eat a stickbait in the vicinity.

Passionfruit trout
Fishing for trout was always a fun way to catch a feed and fill in an afternoon when we were getting tired of throwing big lures. The lagoon is loaded with trout varying in size from juveniles up to some bigger 70cm + models.

They aren’t too fussy either. There were days where myself and Josh would be throwing big poppers in 20 metres of water hoping to snag a dogtooth only to have trout race up from the bottom to nail the lure. However, the most fun came when we dedicated time to targeting these shallow water brutes on soft plastics and small stickbaits in 3-5m of water on light gear. We busted out the PE3 outfits and the Bait Junkie plastics and were overwhelmed by the masses of fish that were willing to eat. Not just trout; we were greeted with big flowery cod, paddletail, coronation trout, moses perch, bluefin trevally, and a host of emperor species all making for great fun on light gear.

The beautiful pattern of a passionfruit trout on full display.

A memorable session came on a day that had been a glass out all day, my mate James who is predominately a fly fisherman. Josh and myself were nestled nicely in our 4.2 tinny over some likely looking areas that we were yet to fish. We all rigged up a 5-inch jerk shad on a half-ounce jig-head. Before we knew it we had ourselves a three-way hookup a trout, bluefin, and Paddletail three class fish. This action continued for a couple of hours with a range of good flowery cod and trout being wrestled from their holes. We kept ourselves a trout for dinner and weren’t disappointed, coming out of pristine waters the flesh was bright white and the skin cooked up into some great chips. All in all a great species to target if you have access to a small boat and enjoy the challenge of stopping good fish on light tackle.

Yellow lip (sweetlip) and long nose emperor inhabit the lagoon and shallows around the outer edge of the atoll, providing both great sport fishing and a table option. Targeting these fish specifically wasn’t easy as they were often in a mix with other demersal species and more than happy to have a feed on a lure. This made for entertaining fishing, comparable to a lucky dip not knowing what you might entice next. They certainly put up a good fight for their size and make for a great light tackle target. In saying that sometimes heavier tackle is required to beat the sharks so pack both. We had one great session on the new moon behind Horsborough the northernmost island, where we found what seemed to be aggregations of spawning fish, giving Rachel the chance to have some fun and catch us some dinner. The longnose on the other hand was very plentiful when diving but proved to be far more elusive on spin. These two were the premier emperor however by-catch often included other species of small emperor such as thumbprint, black blotch, and orange striped.

It was not uncommon after the new moon to see huge bait balls being worked by sharks and a host of other species as they pushed out of the lagoon over the drop-off. One afternoon we noticed birds working on the horizon, what we found was red bass, sharks, wahoo, GTs, and dogtooth all pushing thru the bait and out of the water. We landed a big bass early and had a nice rainbow runner taken by a shark.

Soon after I hooked a monster dogtooth next to the boat only to have my terminals fail after a blistering run. This came with extreme disappointment accompanied by a stern reminder to upgrade all terminals no matter what. On the drop-off schools of yellowfin and bigeye tuna roam often from 5-20kg with the occasional 50kg+ model being boated. The wahoo are also sporadically scattered around the circumference of the Atoll often in the 5-15kg size range. Billfish, incisive of sails and marlin are here, everything indicates they would be and locals tell stories of good numbers being caught. The jigging scene here with such deep water so close to the land is unique and provides huge potential.


The Cocos Islands, whilst very challenging at first with unfavourable weather and limited knowledge, soon became a lure fisherman’s playground. After the second week, going a session without at the least hooking the target species was rare. Learning how different tides and moon phases fished wasn’t easy over a short seven weeks, however, we used the tide to our advantage fishing inside the lagoon on the run-in and outside for the run-out with great success.

Coming here there were four species I hadn’t yet caught that I wanted to tick off – red bass, Maori wrasse, bonefish and, passionfruit trout. Of these only, the Maori wrasse eluded me with fish of high standards in the other three making me a very happy customer. Over the trip I donated half of my lures to the monsters of the reef and went through a couple of hundred metres of leader. To say the environment is unforgiving would be an understatement. All in all, Cocos has been a fantastic and memorable experience, I have met friends I will hold close forever and I strongly advise any keen fishos to make an effort to get out there.

If you’re looking for a guided option for fishing the Cocos, Hello Backing Fly Charters offers full packages, including accommodation, food and guided fishing with experienced guides.

Get in touch at Hello Backing Fly Charters to make a booking or to get more information about the all-inclusive fly fishing trips, simply email Nick at hellobacking@gmail.com.

The End