VOLUME 28, ISSUE 09. April 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 group dinner at the Blue Duck Inn, Anglers Rest, on our March 2022 trip to the Big River (Upper Mitta Mitta River). From Left to Right; Steve Higgins, Bruce Auty, Peter Douglas, Murray Kelso, Rupert Morton, Grant Flawith, Rob Cummins, Gavin van der Wagen, Denis Hill and David Blackwell.

 
 

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, 11th April 2022.


Our guest speaker segment will be shared amongst a number of our club members chatting about recent club trips untertaken and those Events coming up in the near future this year.


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 16th May 2022.

The April meeting has been cancelled because the 3rd Monday is Easter Monday, and the following Monday is Anzac Day.

See further details below under the Fly Tying segment.

 

President's Report

Denis Hill on the Long Plain Trip.

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

This month along with my regular summary I would like to bring a couple of news items to your attention. But first, I managed to get away on the Big River Trip. As usual Gavin did a terrific job organizing the trip and the 11 of us that managed to make the trip had a terrific time, the weather was ok, the company was great and the fishing was good, with the highest number of fish falling to euro nymphing but there were of fish taken on dry flies. I am going to continue to set a good example for you all in April as I am off on the Jindabyne trip.

  • Now those couple of news items that attracted my attention, have a look and make up your own mind.

    E petition draft animal welfare bill 2022

    Many of you will have signed the e petition asking that the NSW Government dump the current “draft animal welfare bill 2022”. The petition was recently presented in the NSW Parliament with Roy Bulter the member for Barwon presenting and speaking strongly in support of the petition. Subsequently several other members spoke in support of the petition and finally Dugald Saunders the Minister for Agriculture and for Western New South Wales spoke in defense of the draft Bill. Saunders basically said the petition and the concerns expressed by the speakers in support of the petition were scare mongering and a waste of time as fishing and hunting are already specifically exempted in the draft. When I looked at the I found the following:

    Specific exemptions

    (1) A person’s act or omission in relation to an animal is not an offence under this Act or the regulations if the act or omission occurred

     (b) in the course of, and for the purpose of— (i) fishing, hunting, shooting, snaring, trapping, catching or capturing the animal in a way that inflicted no unnecessary harm on the animal, or

    And the definition of Harm under the act is shown below

    Meaning of “harm” Harm includes— (a) distress, and (b) pain, and (c) physical suffering, and (d) psychological suffering.

    So my take away is, Minister Saunders believes we shouldn’t be worried because fishing is exempt – except for the inclusion of the word harm with its accompanying definition which is exactly what the petition and its supporters are concerned about! 

    Snowy 2

    My attention was drawn by the latest “Freshwater Fisher” to an article in the SMH by Ted Woodleys reviewing the latest Senate Estimates papers on Snowy 2. We have all been resigned to the loss of some great trout water in the Snowy Mountains due to the introduction of redfin into those waters. I personally thought “I guess we few fishers shouldn’t stand in the way of a project that will benefit the majority” In the spotlight of Senate Estimates in turns out Snowy 2 may not be that great for the majority either. In his article Woodleys make the following points:

  • Senate Estimates papers confirm the announcement was cobbled together in less than two weeks after the concept was floated by Snowy Hydro.
  • It was to be completed in four years (that is, by last year) at a cost of $2 billion without any taxpayer subsidy, bring down electricity prices, generate renewable energy and incur minimal environmental impact on Kosciuszko National Park.
  • Snowy Hydro now expects completion in 10 years, not four, by 2026. The all-up cost has increased at least five-fold, to $10 billion
  • There is an additional $4 billion in transmission costs,  Snowy Hydro refuses to contribute to these transmission works, leaving it to electricity consumers to pick up the tab. Transmission tariffs in NSW will increase by more than 50 per cent if the NSW government allows Snowy Hydro to get its way, based on analysis in a Victoria Energy Policy Centre report.
  • Far from bringing electricity prices down, Snowy Hydro’s own modelling predicts that prices will rise because of Snowy 2.0.
  • And on the final claim of minimal environmental impact to Kosciuszko National Park, vast areas have already been cleared, blasted, reshaped and compacted. Hundreds of kilometres of roads and tracks are being constructed, twenty million tonnes of excavated spoil will be dumped (astoundingly, mainly in Snowy Hydro’s reservoirs)

Maybe you already knew all this, but I was shocked!


Tight Lines 

Denis Hill

President


 

From the Editor

Gavin at Smith's Lake with a nice bream.


We are back full tilt with our club activities and trips away fishing.


With all the wonderful rain we've experienced, the rivers are full and that means more food for the trout and they've certainly been venturing upstream and taking full advantage of the prime conditions. The club away trips have been very successful with the catch rate and quality of the fish and the fishing in general. It's been a great hopper season!!


Plus the farms are in great health and the farmers are very happy.


We've recently held the Big River trip, the Jindabyne Trip is currently underway, the Mitta Mitta Trip will be on in May, then the Tuition Weekend will be held the first weekend in August. All these events, plus others, will be the topics of presentations at our April members Monthly Meeting on the 11th April 2022. Plus we'll organise some Social Salt Water days once the rain subsides and the water has less fresh in the estuaries.


The Tuition Weekend in Wallerawang, 5-7 August 2022, is going to be a bumper weekend away as we cover stream craft, lakes and dams fishing, hands on Casting Practice on the water with individual tuition to remedy any flaws in your technique plus equipping you with some new skills. We will also cover general fly fishing across knots, setup, gear and the whole end to end of fly fishing. See the segment later in this edition of The Flyrodder. Every member will gain some benefit from this weekend. So get on the website and book your spot as it's filling up.


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


Gavin van der Wagen

Editor.

gavin@vit.com.au

 

Last Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker Report

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

We were back "Live" for our March Members Monthly Meeting at The Freeway Hotel in Artarmon.


Our guest speaker was our club member James Bass whose topic was "Fishing adventures around Canada". 

James hails from the Newfoundland area and has guided clients into very remote locations north of there. I understand that the presentation was most absorbing and entertaining, and for those members who could not attend you can view the complete presentation by clicking onto this link below in our Members Private YouTube Video Library:

https://youtu.be/4XmpMN8IzFY


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:


 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz7-a9GW8MBKy084XpcbwMlC0CWTllz-A

  

We have many wonderful videos in our Private Members Video Library, in fact they're all wonderful and informative, plus you can view them at your leisure!


 

Next Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker

Our April 2022 Members Monthly Meeting will be held "Live" on Monday, 11th April. We are back at The Freeway Hotel up in the mezzanine one level up, in our own private room.

The meeting will kick off as usual at 7:00pm with general matters then around half an hour later we will have a number of club members speaking on recent club trips and also the upcoming trips that we have planned.

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:

 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz7-a9GW8MBKy084XpcbwMlC0CWTllz-A  

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 four new members join the club in March 2022.


We welcome Leigh Atallah, Benedict Chua, Sean Moore and George Pamp 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.

 

Last Months Casting Practice Report

CASTING PRACTICE REPORT                                   Sunday 3 April 2022

After days of rain the sun finally shone as a large group of casting practitioners got together for monthly practice. Most attendees were in fact newish club members or first-timers or both. Great to see the interest in casting and socializing. They were a very keen group too, I must say. We actually had sufficient numbers to form two full soccer teams, plus 2 linesmen and a referee. Our biggest turnout ever, 25. 

We had a reasonable spot to play in, given the grass growth this summer. Even the adjacent sports fields had not been mown. We have a secret weapon, however. The intrepid George not only scouted the best area in the Canada Bay council area in the preceding days, but also went ahead and mowed a sufficient area of grass on which to practice and had his grass rake at the ready on the day. A big thanks to George!

Expecting such a roll up of new casters, we were ready to rock the basics. The main objectives of the day were (probably in this order):-

1. Soccer is not the beautiful game. Flycasting is. 

Building motivation to do, and enjoy, practising fly casting. Not only at club practice days, but throughout the flyfishing journey. Do it to improve your fishing and do it for pleasure. Enjoy the glow that comes from mastering a skill. Bash on through the frustrations. 

2. “What I saw the line doing and how did I make that happen.”

Overall objective (longer term): Be able to control every part of the flyline in the air. Close observation and properly diagnosing your cast will help you improve faster. We did a lot of work on understanding the level of concentration needed to be an accurate observer of your own flycast. Time was spent making simple moves with the rod and line just to get to know how our rod and line responds to the amount of force and direction we apply to them.  Nobody should now fail to recognize and identify the sight of a wide, failing loop. Take a leaf from the ball sports when they say, in cricket for example, “keep your eye on the ball”. We keep our eye on the line in the air or lying on the ground to show us how we are moving our body, arms and the rod. It’s completely connected. Cause and effect. Somebody mentioned diagnosing your golf swing errors from seeing the way the ball might ‘slice’. A good example, but there is little grace in swinging a golf club, so we didn’t discuss that any further. 

3. You mean I just shelled out a packet for a “bendy stick”?

How rods and lines move. Especially the rod tip. We got stuck into the manner of forming loops – we now know what they are and how they are formed. Especially the big, wide ones we don’t want to do much anymore. We’ve got the theory down, at least. We learnt that our arms have 3 joints to use and our body and legs make a contribution if we use them well. 

We learnt the application of some basic words and phrases:

Casting arc; the line is the weight that takes the fly; thick to thin; rod tip path; fast to slow; loading the rod; stop_ stop; stop_stop; straight line; doming; narrow loop; parallel legs; rod leg/fly leg.  

If all this sounds very serious, be aware that due time was taken to generally mill about; meet other people and inspect their gear or just sit and absorb the sunshine. 

The journey resumes next casting practice day.

Let’s call the next one “Narrowing the loop and casting accurately to a fish”.

I suggest that if you want to watch any videos of basic casting that you start with the very structured and professional videos on the Fly Fishers International website, here: 

https://www.flyfishersinternational.org/Learn/Learning-Center-Resources/Fly-Casting/Casting-Instruction

I completely recommend them. Take the videos to the park with you. Watch and learn. See and copy correct moves. Build slowly and surely. 

For more advanced casters, there will be an emphasis on varying casting planes and developing standardized practice routines, with a lot of the foregoing fundamental stuff (above) cunningly embedded. And some roll cast revision, as ever, if time permits. 

Cheers

David 



Our next Casting Practice will be held on the 8th May 2022.

See the next section for more details.

Some photos follow of the morning session.

Click on the following link for the complete set of photos:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/tQCQFRXk2PPbFecw6


 

Club Monthly Casting Practice - Details and Event Schedule.



MONTHLY CASTING PRACTICE PROGRAM (REVISED FEBRUARY 2022)

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. 

WHAT, WHO and WHEN

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:

https://www.flyfishersinternational.org/Learn/Learning-Center-Resources/Fly-Casting/Fly-Casting-Skills-Development

EQUIPMENT and COVID-SAFE PROCEDURES

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. 


WHERE:

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!!!

Our next Casting Practice will be held on the 8th May 2022 at 8:00am.

 

Last Months Fly Tying Meeting Report

We held our first fly tying session live, since Covid19 last intervened, and our master fly tyer, Dave Wilson led the session. Unfortunately only 6 members showed up because many of the usual attendees were on fishing trips. But then those who attended had the benefit of more attention and tuition from Dave.


The pleasing aspect was that we had some new members attend, which is great as our next meeting in May should therefore be well attended.


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:

 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz7-a9GW8MBKy084XpcbwMlC0CWTllz-A

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



 

Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting

Our next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting will be held "Live" on the 16th May 2022.

The April meeting has been cancelled because the 3rd Monday is Easter Monday, and the following Monday is Anzac Day.


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:

 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz7-a9GW8MBKy084XpcbwMlC0CWTllz-A

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


 
 

Big River Trip Report - March 2022

by Rob Cummins

When Gavin announced that the Big River trip would be moved from May (as it was in 2021) to March, I was one of many very happy people!  While we had a great time last year, that trip was cold - really, really cold - especially as we stay in fairly simple lodgings. 

It’s a long 8 hour drive down and the last 70km never seems to end with constant tight bends but it’s worth the effort as the scenery is superb, with magnificent forests, beautiful creeks and rivers. 

The range of options available to fish in this area is incredible. Apart from The Big River, which becomes the Mitta Mitta River after it joins with the gorgeous Cobungra River, there’s the Bundara River, Middle Creek, a tiny twigwater with a healthy population of mostly smaller trout, the highly productive and surprising Livingstone Creek, Victoria River, the beautiful Gibbo River and many others.

There are options with easy access (and possibly a few other fishos) and other remote spots which require more effort and a high clearance 4WD but potentially much greater rewards. There is truly something for everyone in this beautiful area, most of which was spared the carnage of the 2019/20 fires.


The Big River

The Cobungra River

In 2022, we had 11 attendees, with 7 staying at the Blue Duck on the Cobungra River at Anglers Rest and 5 of us staying a few ks up the road at The Willows, a charming and cosy horse riding lodge on the Bundara River.  Most of us joined together each night at the Duck for dinner and a sherbet or two.


Morning at The Willows.


Grant on the Cobungra

I again spent the week fishing with Grant Flawith, and what a week we had! We Euro nymphed our way through many of the rivers mentioned earlier, but the highlight of the week was a spectacular section of the Cobungra that required a 4WD trek, and a difficult 50 minute hike to start fishing an area that we suspect only rarely saw other fishos. We found glorious glides, canyons, rapids, riffles and long languid pools that were tannin tinted but clear enough to sight trout waiting for our flies. And we found fish.  Lots and lots of fish.  Grant lost count after about 20 that day, and I landed about 10. Some pools were giving up 4 or 5 fish. Most of our fish were fat, healthy browns of 25 to 35cm, with a few up to 40cm also seeing the net. Truly the stuff of dreams…


Grant on again!

Rob with a little brown.


An earlier attempt to get to a remote part of the Cobungra saw us bogged in mud, only to be saved by my brilliant Maxtracks.  It would otherwise have been a 14km walk out to get a tow.


So far so good!

Stuck.


Other days on the Bundara and Middle Creek saw similar numbers of fish landed, although their size tended to be smaller.


Nice little stream brown.

Healthy looking fish.


Back at the Blue Duck each night for dinner, we shared stories with our fellow Flyrodders, and it seemed that almost everyone was catching good fish each day. One particularly impressive effort saw Steve Higgins land 16 (from memory) on dries on the last day. 


At the Blue Duck for a lemonade

L to R: Steve Higgins, Bruce Auty, Peter Douglas, Murray Kelso, Rupert Morton,

Grant Flawith, Rob Cummins, Gavin van der Wagen, Denis Hill, David Blackwell 

(already left - Ken Parrott) 

We totally lucked out with the weather. After weeks of biblical rain in Sydney, almost every day was sunny and dry with almost no wind and temps around 22C. The water was clear, flowing well but not too hard, and a very comfortable temperature.  Some of the crazier members even wet waded! 

This was my third trip with the club, and as before, I have been amazed at how everyone was so friendly, willing to offer hints and advice to newer members and generally enjoy everyone’s company.  One great example was Grant giving Peter a 90 minute lesson on the basics of Euro nymphing after Peter bought a new nymphing outfit in Omeo through the week. Following the lesson Peter caught a further 8 or 9 fish that day on his new gear. 

Thanks again to Gavin for his brilliant work in organising the trip, to all the lads for your wonderful camaraderie, to Grant for again being such a great fishing buddy and to Denis, Steve, Grant and Muz for sharing so many great stories with a brew around the fire at night back at the Willows.  If only half of those stories were true…



Grant displaying his catch.


A Trip to the Dark Side

by Peter Douglas

How did I turn to the dark side (euro-nymphing) so easily? It just took a single trout during the recent Big River trip but let’s start at the beginning. 

The Fly Rodders Big River trip, the annual Peaks Challenge Falls Creek (PCFC) cycling event, my wife overseas and semi-retirement, all coincided in March this year. With the club based at Anglers Rest and the cycling event in the same area it was a perfect fit. Just one small problem, I swore I would never ever attempt PCFC again (though I have stated that after all 4 previous close, but ultimately failed, attempts since 2015). At 235km and around 4,500m of climbing in a single day, with a cut off time of 13 hours, it is a gruelling affair that requires months of dedicated training and an extremely tolerant partner. Fortunately, painful memories fade over time so with the stars aligned and 70 approaching fast, it had to be now or never for one last shot.

I can now finally claim to have finished PCFC and have the jersey to prove it, plus a very relieved wife. Was it tough – you bet? Was it worth it – you bet? Being announced as the last official finisher as I crossed the line with 13:00:XX hours showing on the finish line clock was both elation and relief. After a welcome sleep I rolled down the hill from Falls Creek to get my reward – a stay at the Blue Duck inn at Anglers Rest, surrounded by magnificent trout rivers, perfect weather, excellent company and great pub grub.

As a club newbie, all the members on the trip went out of their way to welcome me and Gavin made sure I was suitably matched with another angler every day. There were some keen explorers on the trip searching out rarely visited stretches of waters that proved highly productive both in terms of quantity and quality. I was quite happy to take a more relaxed approach and stay close to home after my cycling exertions. The Big River nearby is a beautiful wide river, with deep pools and inviting riffles all the way along. I had a few sessions with David Blackwell exploring different sections at different times of the day. Mornings through to mid afternoon seemed the most productive. Rises were very sporadic but dry flies, like a Royal Wulff, could entice a take even if there was nothing moving. A nymph fished under the dry certainly improved my catch rate though no match for the number or size of David’s results. But then, he was fishing on the dark side. After fishing one likely looking pool with a traditional approach David tried euro nymphing the same spot and bag, one sizable trout in the net in no time and an instant convert (me).

Omeo, is only 30km from Anglers Rest and has a great fly fishing shop run by the local guide, a champion euro nymph competition angler. Let’s just get a few of these magic flies I thought and give this style of fishing a go. Yes, sure. I left the shop with one quality euro fly rod, indicator leaders, a range of tungsten jig hook nymphs and a much lighter wallet, ready to do battle. 

Rupert Morton took me to fish a few more stretches of the Big River in his serious 4WD, though we never got to test it. He was using traditional dry flies, so I stuck to my original approach and left experimenting with my new kit until the next day. We both had a great time and some success but nothing to match the tales (exaggerations?) told by the euro fishers. That evening, after an excellent pub meal and too much red wine, Grant Flawith, an accomplished euro style fisherman, generously offered to take me for a lesson the next morning. Now I have been trout fly fishing for nearly 60 years, but this was a completely new experience for me. Grant left his rod behind and dedicated his time over several hours the next morning, showing me some of the key techniques and approaches of this strange new style. Once I finally caught one with my brand-new outfit Grant left me to practice for the remainder of the day, while he went in search of less frequently visited waters and the hope of bigger things. It was fun for all when we compared notes at dinner that night – Grant 8 fish and me 9! Beginners luck perhaps or just an excellent teacher, but I am certainly hooked.

Will I be going on another Fly Rodders trip – you bet? Will I be signing up for the PCFC next year – absolutely not (and please quote me if I ever start talking about it).


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

https://photos.app.goo.gl/uYKyQSUQWcSGz2uj8



 
 
 

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 "Lakes and Dams fishing" and David Caddies will be providing Casting Practice and covering General Fly Fishing.

This is going to be a bumper weekend away as we cover stream craft, lakes and dams fishing, hands on Casting Practice on the water with individual tuition to remedy any flaws in your technique plus equipping you with some new skills. We will also cover general fly fishing across knots, setup, gear and the whole end to end of fly fishing. So get on the website and book your spot as it's filling up.

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, covering the technical aspects of the weekends subject matter. Then on Saturday we will hold hands on practicals, on the water somewhere in the close proximity, to put into practice the previous evenings presentations and address each individuals specific needs.

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
philipburton@bigpond.com

 

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

gavin@vit.com.au

 

Snippets of Information

Provided by Bob Hart

12,000 Golden Perch released onto the Turon River.



Late in March 2022 the Sofala Branch of the Central Acclimatisation Society (CAS) and NSW DPI released around 12,000 golden perch into the Turon River.

The hatchery team in Uarah supplied and boxed the excellent quality fish in oxygenated bags with CAS members commenting on the healthy condition and size of the fish.

The Sofala CAS Branch says that the recent stocking will help to provide more angling opportunities for recreational fishos in the coming years.


The End