VOLUME 30, ISSUE 6. December 2023

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

Hennie Smith looking for some dry fly action on the Swampy Plain River during our recent camping trip to Geehi in November 2023.


Next Members Monthly Meeting

Our next Members Monthly Meeting will be our Christmas Dinner & AGM meeting that will be held at The Ranch Hotel in Epping/North Ryde. The meeting will kick off at 7:00pm on Monday, 4th December 2023. Doors will be open from 6:00pm, so come and join in for a pre meeting drink.

Bookings have closed for this event.

Our guest speaker will be our previous and now returned member Gordon Dunlop. Gordon was our first club Treasurer in 1994 and one of our founding Members. Gordon will present on his lifetime of salt water fly fishing, covering everything from flathead and whiting in Lake Narrabeen to just shy of 50 billfish across the world's deep oceans.

So come along and enjoy another great presentation.

Please view further down the Flyrodder for the details.


Next Members Monthly Fly Tying 

The Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting will held on Monday, 19th February 2024 at our usual venue in the Green Room of the Henley Community Centre, kicking off at 7:00pm. (We don't schedule Fly Tying during December and January, so the next will be February).

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},

2023 AGM President’s Thank you to the Outgoing Committee

As many of our members can’t attend the AGM (which is being held before the Christmas Party) I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the members and myself to thank the outgoing 2023 Committee.

The current Committee are a terrific group and have over the last few years done a spectacular job on behalf of the membership. It has been another great year for our Club, we have been able to hold all our regular events without covid interference and we have continued to grow. It has been very heartening to see new members come into the Club, attend casting practice, our Skills weekend and go onto join in on our events. Additionally, we now have 10 female members, Ladies you are very, very welcome.

It has been my pleasure and privilege to work with this Committee and I would like to take this opportunity to not just thank the Committee, but to tell you who has been doing all this work on your behalf. In alphabetical order so I don’t miss anyone

Alan Baldry our IT manager – Alan has previously automated most of our administrative tasks, but has continued to fine tune our systems and rescue us from external IT glitches throughout this last year. Currently Alan is working on automating our “Big” raffles to easily allow members who can’t attend our monthly meetings to participate.

Brian Horton together with James Webber has put together our Tassie trips and is the organizer for the Brian Henderson Saltwater Introduction Weekend. Brian also organized this year’s Christmas party.

David Major is our Vice President and Membership Manager inducting new members, running meetings when I can’t.  Importantly when members don’t renew their membership David follows them up make sure the Committee understands why they didn’t renew and if there is an issue we should be addressing.

Gavin van der Wagen – Is our Communications Manager and the Editor of the Fly Rodder. Producing the FlyRodder is a huge job, with 10 editions of the FlyRodder every year, but Gav still found the time to organize two of our key events each year, the Mitta Mitta week and the Big River week. Gavin is stepping down from the Committee after 10 years as the Editor of the FlyRoddder. As I just said producing the FlyRodder is a huge  job, one that Gav has done magnificently, all 100 editions  – Gavin has certainly earned a rest.

James Webber – our Treasurer doesn’t just keep our accounts up to date but guides the Committee financially with regular updates of expenditures by category and how we are traveling financially for the year. As I mentioned previously James is also one of the Tassie trip organizers and a regular organizer of saltwater and sausage sizzle outings.

Leigh Atallah has been our Club secretary for the last 12 months. Leigh has proven not only to be a very effective secretary, but a source of wise counsel during committee meetings.

Mark Bransgrove. Mark is our Environmental Officer and Fly Tying Co-Ordinator. Mark is another of the Committee stepping down this year. Mark will be very much missed, as well as his Committee roles Mark has always readily volunteered to help out right across the Committee’s activities, recently as the Committee member running the photo competition along with David Blackwell

Phil Burton. Phil runs the Club’s Facebook and Instagram pages, is the organizer of both the “Tie In” and the Skills weekend and is the Club’s key representative with the NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers and our main link with the Wallerawang branch of the CAS. Phil is another of our Committee stepping down this year. Phil has certainly earnt a rest from the Committee, he has done more than ten years in this current stint on the Committee and this is his second time on the Committee as he served on the Committee in the early days of the Club prior to his move to Queensland. While Phil won’t be on our committee next year, he will hardly be getting the rest he deserves as he will still be on both the CFA and CAS and a vital link between our club and these Key organizations for our Club. Additionally Phil has agreed for the time being to administer our Facebook and Instagram, run another Skills weekend next year and help with the organization of the InterClub Weekend – hardly a rest for him but I guess he doesn’t have to put up with our Committee meetings

Steve Peach – I said last year that the Committee didn’t have a role called “Guest Speaker Organizer” but we do now, but it is really only a role that Steve’s could fill. Steve has an amazing network throughout the fly-fishing community and through his standing and popularity in that Community has been able to organize a continuous stream of talented, hard to get guest speakers. Steve not only organizes these speakers he is that one that records their presentations, edits them and makes them available through our website.

Jared Klein - Our Events Organizer had to step down for personal reasons during the year, it was a shame to lose Jarid, but family must come first. Alan and Gavin have covered the role for the later part of the year. While all our events have an organizer, it is Events Organizer’s job to get these events populated onto the website with all the details and set up to allow members to book.

That’s the committee, but we also have four other roles that sit outside the Committee but contribute hugely to the Club.

Andrew Corkish our club librarian looking after the Clubs DVD collection 

David Wilson is our godfather of Fly Tying. David along with Phil has been responsible for organizing and running the annual “Tie In” in as well as supporting our monthly tying nights with ideas, materials, guidance, and teachings. 

David Caddies our Casting Master – Having a Casting Master is a huge benefit to the Club – teaching our new members to cast from scratch and straightening out the poor habits of our more experienced casters and generally making us all calmer, nicer human beings. David puts a huge effort into the casting program he runs for the club, and I am very thankful both as the Club President and as a recipient of David’s tuition and guidance.

So, both personally and on behalf of all the Club’s members I would like to thank the 2023 Committee for their dedication and hard work throughout the year. 

And finally, a big thank you to our club sponsors, The Fishing Station and Brett and Cherie of BWC.

Tight Lines,


Denis Hill.


From the Editor

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

As Denis has mentioned in his President's Report above, this will be my last Flyrodder and as Editor on the Committee.

It's been an absolute Honour and Privilege to have served on the Committee for the past 10 years and to have been the Editor of The Flyrodder during this time.

I've enjoyed every minute of producing The Flyrodder, but the time has come when I just need a break.

During this time I've had the pleasure to serve on a wonderful committee, and to have been a part of significant change and growth for our wonderful club.

When I started on the committee, our operations were very labour intensive and onerous. The Flyrodder was a separate entity, to the website, and produced on MailChimp; which was a fine platform for The Flyrodder. Come Membership renewal time at the end of June each year, it was a very labour intensive activity for the Membership Manager and Treasurer, in particular, to work out who had renewed and who hadn't. Events were also all manually managed, so this also required more effort.

Then some 4 years or so ago we decided to replace our then website which ran on Wordpress. Alan Baldry came on board, as our Webmaster on the committee, to lead this important project. The product Wild Apricot, from Canada, was selected and Alan put in some enormous effort to make this a reality.

So now we have a fully integrated platform for the clubs activities:

We have a very good website with a significant amount of information, including a private Members YouTube library where every monthly meeting Guest Speaker presentation is recorded and available for viewing by our members, thanks to Steve Peach and his video production skills;

The Events booking and registration is fully online, including the financial management (making our Treasurers life a lot easier so he can focus on the important treasury matters);

Our Membership management and renewal process is fully automated and integrated, making our Membership Manager's life a lot easier so he can focus more on the membership, both current and new;

The Flyrodder is also integrated within the website, so is much more accessible now to our membership.

We have many events scheduled each year, giving our members some great choices and trips away as well as local fishing and social events.

As President Denis mentioned earlier, added to this we have our wonderful Casting Practice and Fly Tying, which are monthly activities plus the annual Tuition weekend up at Wallerawang. We are indeed very fortunate.

We have a wonderful replacement Editor coming on board, so The Flyrodder will be in great hands, and the transition will be seamless. 

I'd like to thank the committee for the past 10 years as it has been a wonderful experience, for me, and it has been very stable with a large part the same team, with a few changes here and there.

We have three members stepping down and three excellent replacements, so the committee will still be in great hands to continue the good work in the service to our Membership.

Finally, I'd like to thank Denis Hill, who has provided wonderful leadership and stewardship in his position as President. He has effectively made use of his project and operations management experience, and tailored this to work in a volunteer entity, and done a tremendous job, and will continue to do so.

I depart the committee with very happy and fond memories.

What next, I've agreed to be David Caddies apprentice at Casting Practice. 

Gavin van der Wagen




Last Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker Report

Our November Meeting Guest Speaker was Neil Nelson, President of Illawarra Fly Fishers, and he provided our members with a very informative and interesting presentation on fishing in Slovenia. Neil covered all aspects with a holistic account of the area, from accommodation, food, people, conditions and regulations as well as traveling through Dubai to get there. It wasn't only about fishing and covered all or most of what you will encounter on such a trip.

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!

The following are photos of the last meeting:

David Major gets the meeting underway

Kevin Kai, Murray Kelso (standing and all the way from Noosa) and Alan Rogers

David Major, Membership Manager and Vice President, chats with Vorn Sweeney and Louise van Dyck

John Brassil, Paul van Eck and Greg McElroy

We had another good turn up to the meeting

Joe Bourne wins a raffle prize

Pat Hanrahan drawing the next raffle winner, because he won the one before!

Kevin Kai is also a raffle winner; Kevin helps run our monthly fly tying event

Paul van Eck wins a prize as well

And last, but not least, is Greg McElroy winner of the last drawn raffle prize

The beautiful rivers in Slovenia

Neil with a lovely brown trout

A healthy looking rainbow

Slovenia looks like another wonderful destination


Next Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker

Our December Members Christmas Meeting and AGM will be held at The Ranch Hotel in Epping/North Ryde.

The Meeting will kick off at 7:00pm, but come along earlier and enjoy a pre meeting drink with fellow attendees. The doors will be open from 6:00pm.

Our guest speaker will be our previous and now returned club member Gordon Dunlop. Gordon was our first club Treasurer in 1994 and one of our founding Members. Gordon will present on his lifetime of salt water fly fishing, covering everything from flathead and whiting in Lake Narrabeen to just shy of 50 billfish across the world's deep oceans.

So come along and enjoy another great presentation.

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 five new members join our club in November.

We extend a warm welcome to Chris Abouhamad, Gordon Dunlop, Malcolm Holden, Michael Leung and Scott Newberry 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


After the shock of being rained out on the scheduled day for the first time ever, casting practice returned on 19th as the make-up session. Ten of us gathered in ideal conditions. 

The foreshadowed activities were to continue the Casting Skills Development program, mostly Bronze level, but also provide an introduction to the double haul. As well, one member set about practising his first Silver level casts. One newish member went through his paces on the Foundation level and beyond with the undivided attention of Denis guiding him for most of the session. He’s looking pretty handy at it now. Well done both of you. 

One member completed his Bronze level confirmation that day and his obvious mental focus on making the casts was testament to the design of the Bronze program. When you know how to make the cast you want and step up to have someone see that you can make it, there’s a shift in outlook which works to concentrate your training efforts leading up to it. Training with a purpose. [Warning: the remainder of this paragraph is a reminder about effective practice – skip ahead to the next paragraph if you don’t need reminding]. An effective practice mindset is where you have a particular aim or objective and set out to reach it. Aimless practice often ends up being boring. If you find practice boring, consider setting yourself a very specific goal. Bring the session to an end if you become convinced you can’t reach the goal and don’t know what to do to achieve it. If you achieve the goal, enjoy the moment and then set another one.

The DOUBLE HAUL. Most members who came along thought they had issues with doing an effective double haul. Except when they cast with the line gripped to the cork with the casting hand, almost all casters of flyrods move line with their line hands as they cast, whether unconsciously or consciously. It’s difficult to hold line out off the reel and keep it under tension. Hauling requires holding tension in the line as you move the line hand, more or less  in the opposite direction to the way the rod hand is moving. If you do it efficiently it enhances the cast. If you do it inefficiently, it might only help the cast somewhat, but that’s good news anyway. At worst, the wrong moves could ruin a good cast. Effective hauling helps add line speed, which is good for distance casting and casting against the wind. Hauling is good for casters who need to relieve the stress on the casting arm: the two arms working in sync share the load. This is of help for people who find themselves tiring after many casts in a session, or who are forced to cast in difficult postures and conditions for too long. Eg in boats and especially watercraft low to the water. If you have ever found casting difficult or awkward from a kneeling or crouched position, or from your kayak, you start to understand how much your legs and lower body do to support your casting. Without that support and helpful movement, you rely on your arms overmuch.

Moving the line with the rod and also with the line hand in the same casting sequence takes time to master. Whether it’s a single or a double haul, it’s a matter of coordinating the timing and force of these opposing movements. As a first learning step, it can involve making conscious (ie deliberate) hauling moves with the line hand only: ie training the line hand to do the thing it needs to learn. The exercise we started with is designed to develop the ability to make a simple cast with the line hand doing all the work and the rod (and rod hand) almost nothing. This training technique isolates the part of the skill the caster needs to get familiar with. Its focus is on feeling what it is like to make a cast only using the line hand. All the explanations you might read, see or hear can’t give you that feeling. Once you’ve got it, you can bring that feeling into the hauled, normal cast, in coordination with the rod hand moves.  Flip Pallot, a well-known US fly fisher, once said you can develop the hauling hand by thinking about the rod being merely a very expensive pointing tool. Ie the line hand puts in the effort and the rod hand guides the cast direction. Those of you who are tinkering with the shorter and lighter double-hand rods might relate the role of the hands to this same idea: the top hand controls the rod’s position, while the bottom hand (which is also on the rod) supplies the effort. This is not entirely the case, but it’s a way to think about the separate but coordinated role of the hands. Whether single or double hand casting, the balance of force between the hands can be varied. Somewhere there’s an efficient balance for each caster, with each rod, line, environment and casting objective. 

You don’t need to be an advanced caster to use hauling but you should know a few hauling basics as you develop as a caster. Although master caster Lefty Kreh once did say, “hauling just lets you throw your mistakes further,” its not practical to avoid hauling until your casting is mistake-free. I think it means continue to develop your basic casting skills and learn enough about hauling to at least not interfere with those skills and hopefully get the hauling advantage as you go. 

We’ll do it again. 

See you in the park.

David Caddies

Our next Casting Practice will be held on 3 December 2023.

See the following section for further dates and information.

Some October Casting Practice Photos:

We had a smaller turnout in November, of 10 members, due to the combination of the weather and rescheduled date. Photos from October.


Club Monthly Casting Practice - Details and Event Schedule.

SFRC MONTHLY CASTING PRACTICE  9am Sunday 3 December 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:

3rd December.

For 2024, we have moved to the second Sunday of the month, except for May as it's Mother's Day, therefore casting will be on the 1st Sunday in May.

Put these dates in your diary for 2024.

14th January 2024

11th February 2024

10th March 2024

14th April 2024

5th May 2024

9th June 2024

14th July 2024

11th August 2024

8th September 2024

13th October 2024

10th November 2024

8th December 2024.


Last Months Fly Tying Meeting Report

There was no fly tying held in October; next one will be the 19th February 2024

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. Then you'll kick off the best way and buy the appropriate equipment that suites your needs.

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


Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting

Our next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting will be held on Monday, 19th February 2024, 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.

There will be no fly tying in November as Dave Wilson is up in The Gulf fishing for barramundi and other people are also away. Plus we don't have fly tying in December and January.

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.


Geehi Trip Report - 11 November 2024

by Graham Partington

In many ways this was a rather different Geehi trip compared to the trips of the previous two years. One thing, however, remained the same – shortly before the trip there was discussion of bad weather risks among the Flyrodders WhatsApp group. This year those concerns were even less well founded than in previous years. The weather was glorious, bright and sunny with clear blue skies and negligible rain.

When I arrived on the Saturday afternoon there were only three Flyrodders at Geehi and with the exception of David Major none of the attendees from the last two years turned up. Over the week there were about nine attendees, and most only stayed for a few days. We were unable to camp in the usual camping spot as it was full of caravans. I have never seen so many people camped at Geehi and many of them were fishing. Perhaps they were attracted both by the fishing and the three new and stylish double cubicle loos that have replaced last year’s models. Fortunately, most of the campers had gone home by Monday.

The new campsite was at the far end of the Geehi campground near the Geehi Hut and adjacent to the Swampy River. On balance the change was a positive one and it seemed a pleasanter spot than the usual location. Two wood ducks with ten little ducklings made a charming addition to the site. Given the disparity in our sizes the male duck showed great courage in warning me to keep away from his family. This year food raids by the ducks were absent but there were more annoying insects.

Gavin's tent location right on the water, and Graham was also next door with water views.

One of the stars of the campsite was my foot pump pressurised shower, which was widely admired and much photographed. It was certainly very useful although occasionally temperamental and only the water in the hose got hot. I must acknowledge that it was originally Brian Horton’s suggestion to get a foot pump shower. 

Another striking difference to prior years was that there was no snow on the tops of the mountains. With the snowmelt water long gone and little rain the Swampy River was very low and clear. Low clear water and bright sunny days should have meant that the trout were easily spooked, but they were not.

I lost my first fish when it came up to the dry only a rod length and a half away. I was convinced the fishing would be hard with very spooky fish and so, not expecting a take, was focussed on getting ready to recast. But fate was kind and in the next pool I got into a good fish. That fish put up the strongest fight I have ever experienced. At about the ten minute mark I nearly got him into the landing net, but he baulked and raced downstream with renewed vigour. About five minutes later the fish got tightly wedged between two rocks with plenty of jammed driftwood to tangle my line. He would not be pulled out and eventually I broke the line. The fish then swam out of the downstream opening between the rocks and rather than disappointment I felt glad that a worthy adversary had gained his freedom. 

The fishing was good and the fish that were caught tended to be in the faster water. The general experience was that all the fish, big and small, rainbow and brown were fighting very hard. Most people caught fish, either big fish, or many fish, or both. Peter Douglas had a great evening fishing the evening rise on the Swampy below Khancoban. He was still catching fish when he could no longer see the fly. Meanwhile, back at camp we were worrying about whether we should send out a search party to look for him. (Ed. was able to use his Zoleo PLB and send a message as Peter was in a reception, but we were not. A very useful feature of the Zoleo).

In conclusion here is some useful information about Khancoban and Khancoban Creek. It is no longer necessary to go into Corryong for supplies as there is a supermarket in Khancoban which has now been successfully operating for three years. The supermarket does not carry an extensive range of products, but unless you have particularly esoteric needs you should be able to get everything you require. There is also a pharmacy, but with restricted hours Saturday and Sunday. A pizza parlour has now opened, and dining options also include the pub, the garage café (Ed. excellent bacon & egg roll and coffee), and the Pickled Parrot café in the supermarket. The latter serves quite substantial meals. At the back part of the supermarket there is an excellent display of the Snowy Scheme including Snowy 2.0. Particularly interesting was the live control panel showing the state of flows in the system, which turbines and pumps were operating and their output. The is also a feed of live data from the wholesale electricity market. 

It was at the supermarket that I picked up a Snowy Scheme map which warned that Khancoban Creek was subject to sudden changes is levels with water releases from the Murray 1 power station. I have regularly fished Khancoban Creek without realising this risk. I suspect other Flyrodders may have shared my blissful innocence, but now we can be prepared.

Finally, for the gardeners among the Flyrodders, the rose garden at Khancoban is worth a visit. With the lingering scent of roses we reach the end of another delightful week at Geehi. Beautiful surroundings, good weather, good fishing and good blokes to share it with.

The locals always inquisitive

Hennie Smith on a lovely stretch of water

The view of the main range

Keeble's Hut

Wallabies had a particular interest in Peter Douglas's tent

Two very necessary needs; firewood and beers for a hard earned thirst. Actually three things; David Major to cut the wood into manageable pieces!!

Murray Kelso looking chipper

What a river

The ever present wood ducks, that always seem to be in the water!

Gin clear water

One of many fish that Hennie caught in this fast water run

Lovely lively brown

Let's get another!!!


How to Freshwater Fly Fish; Cutch's Version

by Ian Cutcher


I started trout fishing after being invited to join a group based at Anglers Reach at spawn run time 40 years ago. I turned up with my lightest spinning rod that wouldn’t have been out of place in the surf. And caught nothing. I gradually lightened my spinning gear over the next few years until I couldn’t go any lighter. Next step was to try fly and one of the group carried a fly rod (but never used it). After borrowing it and some rudimentary guidance I sacrificed some fishing time to head into the Alpine Angler and buy an entry level outfit. Here’s my journey.

First, teach yourself to cast

One of the Anglers Reach group had fly fished in England years ago and showed me the pick up and put down. I tried and all that happened was that I ended up wrapped in fly line. As I slightly improved I was able to hook the grass behind me and snap off the fly. I blamed the knot, a clinch knot that I’d used all my fishing life. (All this time later I am now prepared to give it another chance)

However, I was now hooked on this fly fishing business. Through the father of one of my son’s friends I was introduced to the SFR. An early trip to Oberon saw me fishing with some of the club seniors and I got some guidance. They expressed amazement that my windscreen wiper casts could put a fly out where there might be a fish. (There wasn’t)

I’d discovered the Sexyloops web site and continued my tuition online. There were countless hours spent in the park out our back gate getting it wrong most of the time but eventually I could at least get a fly into the water reliably. And, of course, I was trying for distance which satisfies our ‘mine is bigger than yours’ urge but doesn’t help catch fish. No use putting your fly in the bushes on the far side of the river when the fish are at your feet. Better to learn to cast your leader only.

I’ve always been a DYI’er but when there was an opportunity to join a class with Peter Hayes and Sexyloops convener Paul Ardern I joined up. I think it helped. My first lesson after many years of DIY. It may have been where I first heard the cliché ‘you can’t push a piece of string’.

More recently I’ve taken advantage of Brian Henderson’s club casting days. And learnt so much! Just wish I could remember it!

So don’t do what I did, teaching yourself from the internet is the hard way to learn. And now I’ve had some guidance I’m busy unlearning what I taught myself. And that’s not easy! But I did (mostly) enjoy the protracted learning process.

Do not teach yourself to cast!

Learn where the fish are and find a cast that works

Remember this is Cutch’s version of how to fly fish. There are many much further up the learning curve who will give much better advice.

My favourite is small stream fishing although I still enjoy rivers like the Euc. Trouble with small streams is they are often overgrown so there’s a challenge to get the fly where you want. (And where you want is not necessarily where the fish are!) Maybe I’ve got that A-about – first work out where you think the fish are then work out how to get the fly there and make it drift how you want. Or if you are lucky the fish will reveal themselves and take the guesswork out. Nothing better than casting to sighted fish.

I’m a slow learner, a fundamental piece of information has been missing from my knowledge base until very recently. The fish are likely to be in the ‘soft’ water alongside the fast main current. Or of course in the bubble line a bit further down the pool. So you need to read the particular stretch of water to determine where the fish are most likely. Then work out how to get the fly there. And what technique is appropriate. Euro nymph? Dry and dropper? Double dry or double nymph? What about a streamer? You need to be able to employ all these techniques as appropriate.

And then you need a range of casts to fit the situation. I don’t often overhead cast any more. Roll casting opens up much more fishable terrain. And I’m developing my spey and skagit casting to improve the options where there’s no backcast. And learn to cast a Euro nymph line. And be able to cast both forehand and backhand – this is essential!

So, what’s all that mean?

Fly fishing is infinitely complicated! And isn’t that the appeal? To be successful, time on the water confronting the specific conditions of each location is the essential ingredient in building experience based knowledge. I envy those who are able to put in the hours to achieve consistent success.


Piste Haus Ski Lodge for Hire - Jindabyne

The Flyrodders have access to the Piste Haus Ski lodge in Jindabyne during the off season. https://pistehaus.com.au

We are letting all members know this so you can arrange your own trip(s) to the snowies with whoever you want to take (club members and partners only) between now and June (the ski season - closed for us).

Unless you book out the entire lodge you are likely to be sharing it with other lodge members. So its important to be courteous to strangers at the lodge as we have a good reputation there. 

From the website you can see they have a variety of rooms and configurations. From bunks to doubles to singles, etc

The off-season rate is $70/night/room, so this is very inexpensive if you shar a room.

To book you need to:

1. Go to the website and look at the room configuration and decide what type of room you want.

2. Advise James Webber (treasurer@sydneyflyrodders.com.au; 0478401126) of your dates and rooms you wish to book.  He will then provide you the current Member password so you can check availability and make the booking yourself.  behalf or let you know how to do this yourself - email James on sfrci.treasurer@flyrodders.com.au 

Following are some photos of the Ski Lodge:


Interclub Meeting in April 2024

Our club is hosting this Interclub Meeting, scheduled for April 2024, with the NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers.

This is a heads up to save the date in your calendar, as we would like to have as many members participate as possible. It's a team event but more sociable and about having a good time.

As we have more information to hand we will provide members with updates until all details are finalised. It's always an enjoyable event.


Big River Trip - March 2024

We have one spot available for this trip

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.

As per the trip this year Tom Jarman is available to trip attendees for his guiding expertise over the week. For those who aren't aware, Tom is the current Captain of The Australian Fly Fishing team. They have just last month competed in the World Fly Fishing Championships, in Slovakia, and Tom finished 4th in the World and the team finished 7th overall. Making the achievement even more remarkable is that they fished for grayling, a fish that is more familiar to European countries than Australia; an incredible achievement. Tom is a wonderful fly fisherman and an equally good teacher. He will be staying with us at The Blue Duck Inn and he has kept his rates the same for The Sydney Fly Rodders; which are $700 per day for a single angler or $900 per day for 2 anglers sharing ($450 per day each sharing). This is wonderful value for money. I'll be organising this for attendees once we are fully booked.

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.


Mitta Mitta Trip - May 2024

This will be our 11th annual pilgrimage to Mitta Mitta.

It will be in on the Saturday, 18th May 2024 and out on the following Saturday, the 25th May 2024; so 7 nights all up at $525.
We will be staying at the “Pink House”, the Caravan Park and a Unit behind the General Store, all a close walk to the Mitta Mitta Pub and Bistro; plus Murphy's House a 2 minute drive from the pub. So just a short trip to quench your thirst or dine at their fabulous and reasonable Bistro.

Every attendee has their own bedroom.

You can take your own food and drinks, or you can eat at the Mitta Mitta Pub or a combination. Many members eat only at the pub. 

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

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

Else Login to the website, select Events and go to the May 2024 calendar and select the Mitta Mitta trip and make your booking to secure your spot.


Gavin van der Wagen



The Mitta Mitta Pub and Bistro, with the General Store Accom just to the left out of picture

The Pink House across the road from the Pub

The Mitta Mitta River from a farmer's property

The stunning Snowy Creek upstream

Some of the friendly locals who always come to greet us

Snowy Creek near the confluence with Lightning Creek

A magical evening on the Mitta Mitta River

Autumn colours on Little Snowy Creek at Eskdale

This is what we find there


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