VOLUME 30, ISSUE 2. August 2023

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

Our ever popular monthly casting practice sessions run by David Caddies. In this photo George Nolevski demonstrates the lay down casting technique.


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, 14th August 2023.

Our guest speaker will be Pat Neylon, of the Hunter Valley Fly Fishing Club.

Please view further down the Flyrodder for the details.


Next Members Monthly Fly Tying 

The Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting will held on Monday, 21st August 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},

Most months I struggle to fill this report and this month is no exception, it’s the middle of winter, our upcoming events are all well publicized, the Club is growing and running smoothly so I have decided to just share my thoughts on why we fly fish.

Our Club and fly fishing in general continues to grow and I think the reason is it is an escape, an escape for both our minds and bodies from the ever more complex, demanding and often frustrating world. Nothing I try to do lately is simple and straight forward – Banks, Centrelink, Amazon, Telstra, with one exception Fly Fishing.

 When you are by water, fresh or salt, it’s just you, the water, the wind and the birds. You are forced to slow down, slow down and watch the water, slow down your cast, slow down your mind and concentrate on the water or in your distraction you will miss seeing that fish break the surface. Then having had those hours by the water I find while all the bureaucratic challenges of modern life are still there, I am just not as frustrated and wound up about them. To look after their mental and physical health, some people meditate, some do tai chi, some jog or go to the gym, we fly fish, the best of all worlds.

I am so lucky to have found fly fishing and our Club. If I was a Prime Minister I would say “ how good is fly fishing”.

Tight Lines,


Denis Hill


From the Editor

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

I agree with Denis Hill's comments on why we love fly fishing. It's a wonderful "Circuit Breaker" from the daily challenges that we face these days. Plus we get to spend time with people who have like minded interests. It's a never ending journey that always comes up with something different to enjoy.

As Denis also alluded earlier, this is a quiet time for club trips but there are many members traveling up to the other side of the Blue Mountains to fish in the various lake locations, such as Lake Wallace, Lake Lyell, The Millpond etc. Many of these trips are discussed and kick off on our Members WhatsApp Group. So if you're not on there and would like two be then please send me an email with your mobile number and I can include you. Our members also willingly share information, advice and recommendations on this club site.

The trout river season is less than 2 months away, and then our fishing trips will be kicking off once again; like the Tuition Weekend at the end of October, the Geehi and Long Plain camping trip in November, the Tassie trip in December, then the Big River trip in March 2024 has just opened, with the other Tassie trip before that in February; plus other trips once the dates have been settled.

Plus our regular monthly Members Meeting, Casting Practice and Fly Tying meetings are great value. 

Raffle tickets are now available for the September draw, where you will have the opportunity to win a $1,200 custom made rod by John Baricevic, according to your requirements specification. You can buy tickets online or at the monthly members meeting. See the full details later on in this edition of the Flyrodder.

So will look forward to catching up at these upcoming events.

Gavin van der Wagen




Last Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker Report

At the July Members Monthly Meeting our Guest Speaker was Sasha Clark Danylchuk from Keep Fish Wet, an organisation who promotes the use of science-based best practice to catch, handle and release fish.

Sasha provided a great insight into how to handle fish in a best practice manner, supported by scientific based investigation. Most of us aspire to handle fish in the correct manner, but there is always something new we can learn to make it an even better experience for the fish. And this presentation provided some great information to this cause.

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.

We had a good turnout on the night.

It looks like Brian Horton, on the right, has won one of the monthly raffles; from left is James Webber, Denis Hill, Mark Bransgrove, and Brian; all serving on our committee.

Craig Symonds, at the right, has won another raffle prize after having won the Sage Rod the previous month. Where was Andrew Corkish?
Craig selects his prize

Denis introducing Sasha to the attending members

The presentation agenda
A great aim is to minimise air exposure

Important to understand how the gills work

Jared Klein, our Events Manager, shares his recent fishing exploits

Trevor Sweeney chats about his experience and ideas

Steve Peach chats about his recent fishing activities; and all of this information is on our Members Private YouTube Library, for which the link is explained at the beginning of this segment.

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



Next Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker

Our August Members Monthly Meeting is at our usual venue, The Freeway Hotel in Artarmon, on Monday the 14th August 2023, kicking off at 7:00pm.

Our Guest Speaker will be Pat Neylon, of the Hunter Valley Fly Fishing Club. Pat is an avid angler who has fished for a dazzling array of species around the world, from trout in the Snowies through to Bonefish in Hawaii. Pat is going to discuss some of the fantastic fly fishing opportunities in the Hunter Valley area. If you have the time, check out his Instagram account "@mrpuddingface" to view a veritable smorgasbord of species.

Pat is a very energetic person, and I'm sure that this will be a wonderful presentation on his exploits and fishing the Hunter Valley region.

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. 

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 seven new members join our club in July.

We welcome Greggory Burrow, Robert Louis, Andrew Mansour, Lindsay Martin, Nick O'Reilly, Chris Stone and Peter Wyborn 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


Our July casting practice had a different flavour this month. Our fabulous casting instructor David Caddies had an important family matter to attend to and unhesitatingly asked George Nolevski, and Gavin van der Wagen to fill the enormous shoes. He probably wasn't too worried about George. 

We had another good turnout of around 16 members and very pleasingly with a number of new members, including 2 lady members. It was a great session. 

Our task was to step through, actually cast, the attending members on how to firstly make the "lay down" cast. The second task was to work out how much line you could hold in the air, whilst making about 6 or so incremental feeds of line of about 6 feet or so. Once you had reached this distance, you were to mark and remember this as your own casting length. The 3rd task was to work out your line shooting length on top of this casting length that you had just achieved.

So at the end of the session, hopefully each attending member would have these 2 casting lengths recorded in their memory; your line holding casting distance and your additional shooting distance. I'm sure that David will be asking questions of the attending members, at the August casting practice, to determine how effective his stands-ins performed.

I think it was a successful morning all up and look forward to building on this at the next casting practice. We didn't exactly replicate David, but then who could?


Our next Casting Practice will be held on Sunday, the 6th August. See the following section for further information.

Some July Casting Practice Photos:

George Nolevski, at the left, kicks off the instruction; I was hiding behind my camera 

The perfect lay down cast

George explaining how to make the overhead cast whilst incrementally feeding around 6 segments of the line that is hanging from his reel.

To view additional photos, please click on the following link:



Club Monthly Casting Practice - Details and Event Schedule.

SFRC MONTHLY CASTING PRACTICE  9am Sunday 6 August 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:

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 17th July with Dave Wilson

In this months tying we focussed on the famous Red Tag dry fly, which is very popular in Tasmania, and the Soft Hackle which are also great for swinging across and down stream.

We had another good turnout of around 14 members, with one newbie, which was great.

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:

We had a keen group this month, standing in the cool air waiting for door access time of 6:30pm 
Set up and ready to go!
Russell Walker showing Garry Dinnie some fly tying stuff whilst Dave Wilson looks on interestingly
Tying is underway
Dave with the best peacock herl material
Kevin Kai looking to choose the best bits!
Selection completed
Dave explains how we will use the various materials required to do the job
We come across some fascinating fly tying materials
Dave shows us the best way to tie the Red Tag
My first Red Tag attempt (Ed)

My first soft hackle, which needs some refinement (Ed)

For more photos of this event please click on the following link to our Google Album:



Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting

Our next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting will be held on Monday, 21st August 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.

The Theme will be Deer Hair selection and how to stack, pack and trim.

We will also cover which Stacker and Packer tools to choose and how to recognise flaring from non-flaring hair when buying it in the fly shop. 

Our skills application pattern will be a simple Hopper.

We normally have experienced tiers to help and look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

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.

Deer hair fly
Where you find the finest deer hair

Big River Trip - March 2024

This will be our fourth annual trip to Big River. It will be during "hopper season"!!

Once again we will be accommodated at The Blue Duck Inn, where Dinner is also available, plus at "The Willows", which is just up the road from the Blue Duck Inn in Anglers Rest.

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

The trip commences on Saturday, 16th March 2024 and we are out on the following Saturday, 23rd March 2024, so 7 nights all up. Accommodation cost is $525 per person for the week.

Every attendee has their own bedroom.

The Willows is located about 8 minutes from the Blue Duck Inn, and is fully self-contained. They do breakfast and this can be pre-arranged. Else you can either take all your provisions or you can have dinner at The Blue Duck Inn, which has a good restaurant; but they don't do breakfast or lunch.

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

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

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

Else Login to the website, select Events and go to the March 2024 calendar and select the Big River trip and make your booking to secure your spot.


Gavin van der Wagen



The Blue Duck Inn, with cabins in the background

The restaurant at The Blue Duck Inn - great food and venue

The upper reaches of the beautiful Cobungra River

Big River - upper reaches

Big River - mid section

The Cobungra River higher up

The Big River looking very clear

An early morning view from The Willows accommodation.

September Meeting Major Raffle

Custom Rod by John Baricevic - Club Member and Professional Rod Builder

We have another fantastic Major Raffle Prize to be drawn at the September Club meeting.  

Rather than provide a rod we have agreed with John Baricevic, our master rod builder, that he will build a custom rod for the winner.

The cost of the build will be up to $1,200, which will cover most rods and fittings but should the winner wish to take up some additional options they will be able to do so at their own additional expense, negotiated with John. 

John has told us he will be able to deliver the rod in time for our Xmas dinner early in December, provided that he gets in order in by early October, as it will take around an elapsed 2 months, as the blank has to be ordered from overseas as will some components depending on the rod specification.

If you are not sure about the quality and craftsmanship involved then please go to John's website www.barick.com.au and read July's Flyrodder which featured an article about John.  

We will be selling tickets for this at both the August and September meetings.  However, for those unable to attend, or wishing to get in early, we are also selling tickets through a direct bank transfer to the clubs bank account.  All you need to do is complete the transfer and use your name as the reference starting with RT (Raffle Ticket) ie my reference would be "RT - JWebber".

Ticket Prices are 1 for $10; 3 for $20 and 10 for $50.

We will also be raffling some minor free door prizes at the August and September meetings for attendees. 

I would like to wish you all good luck but am too keen to win this myself to bring myself to do that..... 

Club bank account details should you wish to buy Major Raffle Tickets for September draw are as per the following:

Name: Sydney Fly Rodders (Westpac Bank)

BSB:    032044

Acct:    359484

Ticket Prices are 1 for $10; 3 for $20 and 10 for $50.

All you need to do is complete the transfer and use your name as the reference starting with RT (Raffle Ticket) ie my reference would be "RT - JWebber"


James Webber


John at some idyllic location


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