VOLUME 29, ISSUE 10. May 2023

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

Dave Wilson showing how it's done to Garry Dinnie, who has recently commenced his journey of "Fly Tying" and how better to learn the correct techniques than from "The Master".


Next Members Monthly Meeting

Our next Members Monthly Meeting will be held at The Freeway Hotel in Artarmon, on the corner of Reserve Road and The Gore Hill Freeway. The meeting will kick off at 7:00pm on Monday, 8th May 2023.

Our guest speakers will be Ben Carden and Steve Walton, from Meander Fly Fishing Co.

Please view further down the Flyrodder for the details.


Next Members Monthly Fly Tying 

The Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting will held on Monday, 15th May 2023 at our usual venue in the Green Room of the Henley Community Centre, kicking off at 7:00pm.

See further details below under the Monthly Fly Tying segment.


President's Report

Denis Hill with a gorgeous Mataura River brown from the February 2023 NZ Trip.

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

This month we launched a shop on the Club website to sell our new club shirt. We owe a big thank you to Grant Flawith for our new Club shirt. It has been a while since had a badged club fishing shirt and Grant felt that we should have one to offer members, so he made it happen. He put the idea to the Committee, then sourced and negotiated a great price for a fishing shirt with our badge and it’s now for sale under the members section of our website.

Grant organized a sample of the shirt to be delivered to me and both Brian Horton and I wore the shirt fishing in New Zealand, we found it cool and comfortable to wear and quick to dry. We are offering the shirt in two colors green and sand, both spf30 and 11! sizes so we have got you covered (literally). BUT Please Note you must come to a Club Meeting to pick up your shirt or have a friend who is attending a meeting pick up your shirt for you. The price is just $60, which if you have been shopping for a fishing shirt recently you will know is a real bargain.  My photo for my report this month shows me in the green shirt (without a badge), it’s a strong color but it didn’t seem to put the fish off. Again, thank you Grant, it’s a wonderful thing you have done for the club. 

The other item on the Club website that I would like to draw your attention to this month is the “Fishing Locations and Access”. This facility is a great way to find current, trustworthy info on fishing locations and access, as the locations have all been supplied by your fellow club members. At this time, most of the locations have been provided by committee members, but I am asking that members get involved and provide details of a location they regularly fish or have successfully fished. It’s easy, Alan Baldry actually adds the locations to the map on our website, all members have to do is provide details on the location via the “Log a fishing location” form on our website. Please consider adding a fishing location, it’s a great way for you to contribute to the club.

Tight Lines,


Denis Hill


From the Editor

Gavin with a Mitta Mitta brown on our April 2023 trip.

Well, there has been quite a bit happening, causing the brief delay with the publication of this May edition of the Fly Rodder magazine. But there will be more. On Monday I head off to Far North Queensland on a camping and "sight seeing" trip, but I will sneak some fishing gear into the luggage, just in case they are required. "Be prepared" the motto!! I'll only be back later in June, so there will be no June Fly Rodder and therefore, hopefully, a bigger July Flyrodder.


There will be a report on the May trip to Mitta Mitta, in the July Fly Rodder.

So we're into the quieter period of fishing trips, but there's the Monthly Fly Tying to learn some new techniques and skills, so you can be better prepared for when the trout season reopens, but we have salt water on our doorstep and those flies are "easy" to tie, and much cheaper to make yourself, plus the great satisfaction of catching a fish on your own fly. You don't have to tie the perfect fly to catch a fish, as if you match the size and looks a similar profile it will work. As Tom Jarman said on the Big River trip your presentation and bite detection is more important than your fly. However selecting the right fly is a big plus too.

So good presentation needs some good casting, and here you can up your skills at our Monthly Casting Practice, where David Caddies is a wonderful teacher and casting instructor. The next session is on Sunday, 21st May 2023, at 9:00am; see further details in the Flyrodder.

Well I need to go and pack, so see you in late June or early July.

Gavin van der Wagen




Last Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker Report

At the April Members Monthly Meeting our Guest Speaker was Emilio Caggiano, a globally recognised competition angler who has fished for Italy at World Championships and other international events. He provided the members with a wonderful insight into Loch/Lake style fishing in particular to the scene in Australia. The techniques and strategy is quite different to what we know with regards to river fishing, but there are also many common aspects. 

You can view this meeting video and indeed all the previous presentations on our Members Private Video Library on YouTube. To view them please Login to our Sydney Fly Rodders Website; click on Members and select YOUTUBE CHANNEL, as per the picture below.

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!

Following are some pictures of the meeting.

Our President Denis Hill kicks off the meeting in the new club shirt. You can purchase them online through our website.

Bob Hart providing the gathering with an update on what's happening in New Zealand.

Pres in relaxed mode

Looks like Trevor Sweeney has won a prize

Emilio Caggiano commences with his wonderful and detailed presentation

Life Member Radge Diakiw with a question for Emilio

Denis thanks Emilio with a bottle of vino

To view additional photos of our Meeting please click on this link:



Next Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker

Ben Carden

Steve Walton

Our May Members Monthly Meeting is at our usual venue, The Freeway Hotel in Artarmon, on Monday the 8th May 2023, kicking off at 7:00pm.

Our Guest Speakers will be Ben Carden & Steve Walton, of Meander Fly Fishing Co and they will be talking about their services and fishing in the mountain streams of Tasmania.

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. 

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 (Like this month). 

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). 

Looking forward to catching up at the meeting.


New Members

We had six new members join our club in April.

We welcome Gary Francis, Robert Mackay, Paul Madigan, Forrest Moebes, Warwick Reader and Jon Whitear 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


The monthly casting practice report does not appear this time, as the usual April session had to be cancelled. Practice is best done as a habit: ie turn out and do it, even if you don’t feel like it at the time. If you wait till you feel like it………, well, that might not happen often enough to be useful. So, back to the program on Sunday 21 May at 9 am, usual place. There should be a broadcast email to remind you. 

As Gavin, our dear editor, has earnestly assured me that he and I may not be the only ones who read the monthly Flyrodder Casting Report, he urged me to write something about casting to entertain whoever the other person is who reads this stuff. I suspect he only wants my words to fill up his quota while he twists arms in the background to get other members to write up trip reports. (Ed: only partly true). He’s going to be travelling next week for a time, so those involved can all take more time to polish their submissions about the Mitta Mitta trip. Or anything else interesting which has occupied your fishing calendar. 

My fishing calendar has embraced two very different experiences in the past 3 weeks. One week’s guided fishing by boat out of tropical, pelagic-infested Weipa with 5 other fishers (all of them bar one a past or present club member), using the services and boats of Bargy’s WeipaFlyFish business. The other was the club Mitta Mitta trip, over 6 days in the cool, trouty Victorian north-east.  I’ll mention a few casting-related thoughts in passing, on the theme of comparisons between salt water casting and fresh water casting. Not an exhaustive discussion, but a few thoughts which arose because of the close proximity of a week’s immersion in one form, closely followed by a week in the other. 

Regardless of the weight of the gear and the nature of the fish being sought, some elements of line management, casting and presentation are sufficiently different to require elaboration. Yes, there is always wind somewhere and the need for accuracy and distance remain, so is it just a matter of scale? Ie cast heavier rods and lines and wind bigger reels?

Step onto a boat deck in the tropics and by and large, your casting experience for trout elsewhere will form a good basis. Basic casting fundamentals are in play, in both forms. So, what will you notice going from freshwater (mainly stream fishing) to the salt, just in terms of casting? 

1.   There can be a lot of sight-fishing. Not snouts sipping flies or ring-rises, but slashing schools of baitfish or predators, moving fast and appearing and disappearing very quickly. 

So, preparedness means having enough line off the reel, lying looped on the deck, with the fly in hand and enough line out between rod tip and fly ready to swing into a cast. Often by throwing it onto the water and going into a roll cast, followed by a false cast (2 at the most), then present.

If the fish are behind you and speed is essential, you may just have to present on the back cast. How much line should you have out and ready? Answer: how far away will the fish be; how far can you cast anyway (including, in this case, how much line can you slip and shoot within 2 false casts?). Don’t forget, all that line you just stripped off the reel is lying on top of the loops that have to go out of the rod tip first. See the problem? It’ll be ok to loop it onto the deck upon the retrieve, because then it will all be on the deck in the right order for casting. You may have to think that one through a bit. 

2.   You are not casting completely independently. Often you are casting blind, if the guide/driver is directing you to a target you can’t see. It’s a peculiar feeling: you trust the verbal directions, not your own judgement to aim and present to distance. You also trust the driver to position you for the cast. Ie give you a safe, open shot at the target by manouvering the boat to achieve that in the conditions – and stay in that position. Whilst this is not a real difference in technique, it does require familiarity with casting to set lengths (usually called in feet, not metres) and how points of the clock face translate into casting directions. 

3.   You generally don’t want any slack in the line as it lands on the target. The fish won’t spook as readily as a trout and, in any case, you normally have to start stripping fast as soon as it lands. Action and movement in the fly are what counts to surface feeders. Having the line under full tension from the fly to the line hand is what enables this quick-start stripping. That means that the presentation has to be such that the above conditions can occur. To cast so as to fully unroll the line and turn over the (often heavy) fly means thorough control over the loop shape and speed and not dropping short, which would produce slack waves in the line. The opposite, mostly, of how you want the line to fall when casting to trout. 

4.   Whilst slipping, shooting and single and double-hauling are familiar techniques in all casting, one observation I would make is that the line seems to stick more readily to the rod itself in tropical salt water. That is, there is more friction preventing a smooth flow of line out when slipping and shooting. As if that is not enough, not being used to the line being blown across and lodging under my shoes as I cast, I also found myself occasionally stepping on the line which was supposed to be flying out of the rod rings. The guides are ever-helpful in reminding you not to use the ‘foot-brake’. It helps to heap self-deprecating harsh words upon yourself when this happens, as it saves the guide from having to do so. 

    5.  If fishing two anglers, where both are right handers or both are left handers, you’ll have to get used to swapping ends of the boat and or consistently casting off-shoulder. You may have to do that anyway, depending on wind direction, target direction and achievable boat position. If your natural casting side would put the fly travelling over the boat – don’t - unless the guide is already lying on the bottom of the boat in obvious fear.  On the other hand, if the driver/guide invites you to cast over the boat, it means he has confidence in your ability not to hit him with line or fly. It is often quite difficult to hit your fishing partner but, if you do, try not to draw blood if you can help it. You don’t want to have the day interrupted by a medical evacuation. As you can see, it’s all about unfamiliar movement or direction affecting your cast. And I haven’t even mentioned the swell making even standing difficult. 

    Just to concentrate on the casting side of things ignores all of the other significant differences between fresh and salt. The whole experience is made up of differences in approach to the range of species; their habitat and food preferences and their characteristic behaviours. Perhaps the most compelling difference is the requirements for setting a hook in a trout compared with most saltwater pelagics. The fact that the lifting of the rod to effect a “trout strike” is almost never a quick or strong enough technique to set a hook in a saltwater fish just shows that speed and power in the quarry requires speed and power in fishing for them – not least in making the cast. 

    What would you most usefully practice before going saltwater fishing on a boat for the first time?  If chasing pelagic species, certainly speed of getting line into the air and onto the water from a ‘standing start’. Then add accuracy to varying distances. Then off-shoulder casting. Worry about the rest once you can do that much. We might do it at casting practice soon. 

    See you at casting practice.


    David Caddies

    Our next Casting Practice will be held on Sunday, the 21st May. See the following section for further information.

    March Casting Practice Photos:

    Click on this link to view all the February photos in our Google Gallery:



    Club Monthly Casting Practice - Details and Event Schedule.

    SFRC MONTHLY CASTING PRACTICE  9am Sunday 21 May 2023 

    Reminder: Leave your 9 – 10’ trout leader with the 5X tippet at home. Bring one which is 8’ – 8’6” and terminating in 8 or 10 lb tippet. This session will suit DT or WF floating lines, for the single-handers. Two-handers, bring what you got. 

    Start time is 9am:

    HOWEVER: If you wish to have a go at being evaluated for any one or more of the casts in the Bronze Skills Development Program and you would like to come earlier than 9, send me a text message to that effect on 0434 671 085 and I’ll be there to set it up, from 8am. Coaching and demonstrations will be going on after 9, but with not much opportunity for individual evaluations. Early notice would be appreciated, but don’t let that stop you from a late practice on Saturday to see if you’re ready! 

    All members are welcome to join in the club’s usual monthly practice session. If you want to know everything about the club’s casting practice sessions, read the whole blurb in the Flyrodder magazine.

    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 usually use. It is not part of the sports fields. If conditions there are not suitable on the day, we will be just opposite, across the canal, or anywhere within sight that I can find. 

    If you can’t make it this time and want some good practical instruction to guide you, check out this site: https://www.flyfishersinternational.org/Learn/Learning-Center-Resources/Fly-Casting/Casting-Instruction

    I don’t know if that link works for you. Google FFI flyfishing and delve around. Most stuff is open to non-members. 

    David Caddies 

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

    The following are the remaining dates for Casting Practice in 2023:

    21st May

    4th June

    2nd July

    6th August

    10th September

    8th October

    5th November and

    3rd December.

    Put these dates in your diary.


    Last Months Fly Tying Meeting Report

    Fly tying on 24 April with Dave Wilson

    This session was focussed on tying emergers and Dave took us through a number of great techniques to make tying emergers easier and also to end up with a great outcome.

    We had a good turnout of around 10 members (if my memory serves me correct), and we tied the emerger about three times and got better each time.

    These are wonderful sessions with our fly tying guru Dave, so even if you are thinking about tying, and wondering about the benefits, please come along and give it a try as we have plenty of fly tying equipment, and you don't have to bring a thing; apart from yourself that is. Or you can just come and watch. Give it a go as we all commenced our fly tying in this manner and Dave will teach you the correct techniques and various tricks to make it a straight forward process.

    As Dave says "Learn the core skills and tie any pattern you like!"

    Some photos from the session:

    Dave Wilson showing us how he ties an emerger
    Bill Branighan and David Blackwell discussing tactics
    David assisting Garry Dinnie
    A work in progress

    One wonders what we're tying here; a fly for a marlin?

    Demonstrating some materials

    Garry Dinnie and David Blackwell watch on

    Kevin Kai, one of the organiser's, and Craig Sommerville

    This was Dave's completed emerger

    This was my attempt (Gavin, Editor)

    To view more photos of this fly tying session, please click on this link:



    Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting

    Our next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting will be held on Monday, 15th May 2023, from 7:00pm to 9:30pm. The doors will open at 6:30pm to give you time to set up for a 7:00pm start.

    This month we will be tying the most commonly known nymph, the Pheasant Tail Nymph or PTN.

    We normally have experienced tiers to help and look forward to seeing you at Henley on Monday 20 Feb.

    For those who don't have a vise, we have ample spare one's available.

    We particularly welcome first timers and all levels of fly tiers as you will all learn something from these wonderful sessions.

    If you would like to just come and observe, then please do so to see if this is for you. You'll be surprised at how "easily" you can get into tying your own flies.

    The venue is the Henley Community Centre in Hunters Hill, and we meet in the  Green Room on the right as you enter.

    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, but it's a short walk to the front door.

    The Pheasant Tail Nymph


    The SFR Laws and Truisms of Fly Fishing

    Rob Cummins

    Catching more than 20 fish a day is just showing off. Guilty parties will be impeached.

    There is more than one way to bake a potato in the campfire.

    A silk dressing gown/smoking jacket is perfectly reasonable camping attire.

    At Long Plain, a Flawed location results in a waterbed. If you are Granted this spot, just move. (You had to be there!)

    It never rains at Long Plain. Or hails. Or snows. Or blows a dog off a chain. Never. Well, hardly ever.

    Never drop your rod in the river unless Gavin is nearby to tell you EXACTLY where it is, using his flowometer algorithm thingamajig.

    Dropped flies immediately become invisible.

    It’s a weird fact, known only to fly fishers, that blackberries contain the world’s most powerful neodymium magnets.

    When in doubt, HOPPERS!

    Members bragging about ‘secret spots’ will be muzzled.

    An evening hot toddy improves any day on the water. No one is allowed to be on der wagen.

    Prof Caddies is The Master, The Guru, and all round legend. Just don’t mention Euro nymphing, which isn’t really fly fishing anyway.

    Holding trout closer than 1 metre to the camera is unacceptable, unless the photo is for the Flyrodder.

    Attendance at monthly meetings is free, apart from dinner, booze, raffles and the mandatory 2kg of honey.

    The only way to guarantee you’ll never break a rod tip is to always carry a spare.

    Trout eat almost anything. Except for days ending in y when they will only touch a size 19 1/4 chartreuse RS2 emerger tied by a left hander on Shrove Tuesday… which you left at home.

    Casting the full fly line is unmitigated posing. Double hauling goes dangerously close.

    Owning more than 16 fly boxes is a sign that you probably need to sell your vice and take up other vices.

    If you want to hook a really big fish, just tie a really bad knot…

    Remember that in the rarefied atmosphere of the mountains, there are only 10 ounces to the pound, and 8 inches to the foot. Metric equivalents are only needed if you’re younger than six.

    Fluff chuckers are not permitted to complain about the nymphomaniacs stealing all the fish, as nymphing only ever catches the 90% of fish that feed on the bottom.

    Chucking a hissy fit* on the river is never acceptable. Just remember where you would be if you weren’t fishing.  *This is not a fly pattern.

    Looking for a lift to the Pub? Comings OK, but going home, watch it!!! He will "go with the flow" and leave you stranded (this truism was hacked anonymously!!!)

    Fishing when camping is always on gentlemen’s/ladies’ hours. No one likes the smartarse who rises before dawn, clanging the billy and waking the dead. And everyone knows that trout bite more if they’re allowed to sleep in.

    Bunnings bagged firewood is totally useless and is a crime against humanity. Its sole purpose is to be left behind as a practical joke for other campers.

    Remember that on fishing trips the five essential food groups are steak, chocolate, spuds, Shiraz and Port. And beer if you’re really desperate.

    Waders are the most expensive water container on the planet. Look after them.

    If you’re having a “slow day”, remember that the reason we go fly fishing is to enjoy nature and the great outdoors. Catching fish is actually just a major inconvenience.

    If buying a new Ford 4wd, always ensure you’re on the waiting list ahead of el Presidente.

    There is nothing more beautiful than a 60 foot tight loop. Or more impossible. 

    Just think of any ridiculous tangle as being a healthy brain teaser, useful to ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Tangles are cheaper than a Rubik’s cube, and are much more challenging.

    The smaller the fish, the bigger the tangle.

    Old Flyrodders never die. They just become loopy.

    There are two kinds of fly fisho - those who think that Sage, Loop, Simm(s) and Epic are wanky four-letter words, and wankers.

    We must always look after new members. No, seriously, always.

    Footnote: Any resemblance to Flyrodders, alive or dead, is purely intentional. No harm to any members is intended.


    Items for Sale

    OzTent Jet Tent F25

    This is a great tent that I bought about 6 years ago for $1100. 

    The tent is in excellent condition and in addition to the tent and the poles that come with it I will include two extra poles and two spreader poles for the awning. There is plenty of room in the tent and under the awning.

    I no longer need this as I have bought a camper trailer.

    This website has a great review of the tent www.whichcar.com.au/gear/outdoors/oztent-jet-tent-f25 and  this Youtube video shows how easy it is to set up https://youtu.be/i_-WtVDkins

    Sale price $550 ono

    Yeti 75 Tundra Esky

    This huge esky has a 66.2 litre capacity and is built like the proverbial brisk s&*thouse.

    It’s only been used a couple of times and is just too large for my needs. 


    RRP is $599

    Sale price $300 ono

    If anyone is interested in either of these two items, please contact me.

    David Major

    0467 686 439



    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



    The End