VOLUME 30, ISSUE 11. June 2024

Andrew Worotniuk explores a picturesque bend of Snowy Creek on the Mitta Mitta Club Trip


Dates for the Diary

Monthly Meeting

17 June 2024: 7:00 PM Freeway Hotel, 115 Reserve Road, Artarmon

Casting Practice

9 June 2024 9:00 AM: Timbrell Park, Henley Marine Drive, Five Dock

Fly Tying

24 June 2024: 6:30 PM Henley Community Centre, Crown Street, Henley


President's Report

Denis Hill with a gorgeous fish from the February 2024 NZ Trip

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

President's Report June 2024

Fellow FlyRodders

Well, the river trout season is over and its winter and perhaps time to reflect. I have had a couple of conversations with members recently about what fly fishing means to them and I have often thought about my own passion for the sport. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of books have been written on the mystery and benefits of fly fishing, but I am not sure it's that complicated.

If we look at what modern science has to say about maintaining our mental health:

  • It’s recommended that you stay active, and that walking outdoors is particularly good for your state of mind – a tick for fly fishing.

  • There are many scientific papers available about the benefits of being by water – now labeled “Blue Spaces”. These calmer, quieter environments promote feelings of peacefulness, help us disconnect from our day-to-day routines and pause the nonstop stream of thoughts running through our heads – another tick for fly fishing.

  • Mindfulness – there is a lot of media coverage telling us how good mindfulness is for us. What are they on about.  ‘Mindfulness is a state of mind in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.” In other words, mindfulness is that state where you are totally absorbed by what you are doing, and it gives your brain a rest from the hundreds of noises, interruptions and wayward thoughts of your regular life. Some people practice mindfulness through, meditation, yoga, martial arts katas or Tai Chi. We practice by striving for a perfect rollover of a tippet to land exactly where we intended. I have seen one of our members so totally absorbed in the moment that a 6-foot redbelly black snake came from behind him went within 6 inches of his feet, swam across the river and disappeared up the opposite bank and he never knew. So, another tick for fly fishing.

  • Learning – Again there is a huge body of science saying how important it is to keep your mind active, to keep learning and if there was ever a sport to keep you learning, it’s fly fishing. Another tick.

  • Lastly, social interaction and comradery. There is so much science showing the benefits of being socially involved. Socially involved people have been shown to be happier, have lower chances of depression, even lower chances of developing dementia. While I think a day on the river on your own can help to calm down and get your head straight, we mostly fish in pairs or groups. Another tick for fly fishing and our club in particular.

It's no wonder we love fly fishing – it is so good for us.

Tight lines



From the Editor

Jason with a bass from his canoe taken on a surface fly

Fellow Flyrodders,

For many years I regarded fishing as an individual pursuit and would never have considered accompanying a group on a fishing trip. Why would I forgo the solitary experience of wading a stream or the quiet contemplation of the day’s events in front of a fire? Why would I risk a precious leave pass with strangers in a remote alpine location with no method of escape? Fly fishing offered me a ticket to escape the frustrations of society, not take them with me.

It only took a couple of years as a member of this club to change my thinking. In that time, I’ve been on a couple of trips with large groups and many more with small groups and people I’ve become friends with. I’ve learned a lot by fishing with more accomplished anglers and discovered fly fishing attracts people I connect with. People who nod knowingly when I complain about my failing eyesight ruining my knot tying ability, or inquire about good brands of waders with zippers in them for long days on a river. When I bring those topics up at family barbecues or social events, I receive confused and slightly concerned looks before people step away.

Joining this club gave me a key that unlocked a secret room full of like minded individuals.  We’ve all had different journeys getting here, but there’s a common passion and twinkle in the eye that unites us when we arrive at a river.

The recent club trip to Mitta Mitta brought all of this home to me. Strangers were friends by the end of it, and it was lovely to see how the experienced campaigners took novices under their wings with kindness and generosity.

In this edition of the Fly Rodder, two relative newbies share their experiences of the Mitta Mitta trip. I’m sure you’ll agree the benefits of being part of this great club shine through in both pieces.


Jason Hemens - Editor

Editor's note to self: Don't leave your socks on the line overnight on the next Mitta Mitta trip


Trip Report: Mitta Mitta Magic

Farewell dinner at the Mitta pub with long time manager Chris and super chef Heather in the background

By Andrew Worotniuk 

In the Alpine region of Victoria, about 700 kilometres south of Sydney, sits the small town of Mitta Mitta. Notable inhabitants include: a family of geese often seen wondering the town in single file; several large black pigs; Bruce the nine-pound brown trout who lives under the bridge; and a couple of hundred humans. Like years prior, the second last week of May saw about a dozen Sydney Fly Rodders added to the mix.

As if somehow aware of the pending population swell, local police spent the weekend of our arrival breathalysing the main artery. Were they after locals coming from the town’s three establishments (pub, brewery, general store) or were they targeting more foreign travellers?

Regardless, with drivers licenses intact and the police station as empty as upon arrival, we were lucky enough to spend the next week fishing the nearby rivers and creeks. Having fostered relationships with farmers, the club has gained access to some local properties along the Mitta Mitta River. These destinations, as well as the smaller tributary of the Snowy Creek, were our main targets.

The Moody Mitta Mitta

A sunlit Snowy Creek

A new member to the club and to fishing the Mitta Mitta, the first night’s gathering at the local brewery filled me with expectation. Stories of big fish and beautiful water flowed out of mouths as easily as the accompanying drinks flowed in. However, as the days wore on evening pub gatherings saw the same flowing of brews but increasingly included stories of, “tough conditions” and “hard fishing”.

Landing a beer or two at the Mitta pub was a sure bet

Truth be told the conditions were tough. The water was cold and low and some uncertainty existed as to the whereabouts of the big rainbow and brown trout that run up the rivers around this time of year. Despite this, nice fish were caught. 

Jason Hemens with a feisty rainbow that fell for a nymph under indicator

While overall numbers may have been down, several browns tipping in over two pounds were netted, with a nice four pound plus rainbow and “fish of the trip” caught by Steve “Peachy” Peach.

No pressure Steve - camera's rolling!

Talk about a good looking specimen - the trout isn't bad either

For those wanting to net the biggest fish the Mitta Mitta was the choice body of water and provided the biggest catches. 

Warwick Reader caught this PB brown of 48cm on the Mitta Mitta river using a Euro nymph rig on the first day of the trip. Nice way to start Warwick!

Beyond these documented specimens, several “big” trout were allegedly seen from the gorge area below the level regulating Lake Banimboola, down to the flatter waters beyond the Mitta Mitta township itself.

When the going gets tough, the tough start climbing

Prospecting a promising stretch

For those happy to fish for smaller trout, the picturesque Snowy Creek was an enticing option and only a short drive up the Omeo Highway. The smaller tighter stream produced both some nice little rainbows and good-sized trees, the later most eager to take a fly. Despite the excess foliage, smaller fish and very slippery rocks, for many of us the beauty and remote nature of the Snowy was an appealing alternative to the larger more agricultural Mitta Mitta.

Andrew with a colourful Snowy Creek rainbow

It pays to walk the vehicle crossings first!

Smaller streams made casting difficult but the rewards were there

Although all water bodies were colder and lower than ideal and mornings consistently offered up near zero temperatures, we were nonetheless blessed with warm still days. Once the fog cleared and frost subsided, these conditions made for pleasant fishing (and the occasional rising trout).

While the majority of fish were caught sub-surface (insert a heck of a lot of euronymphing), some of us managed to entice the sporadic risers. Perhaps as a thank you from the fishing gods, trip organiser Gavin van der Wagen took one such beauty, landing a brown of around 50cm on a mayfly pattern.

Gavin hooks up after an accurate cast to a rising fish - a magic Mitta moment!

A quick pic before the fish was returned for next year's Mitta trip

After a week of fishing that produced fish on some days, disappointment on others, uncertainty on many and hours of fishing conversation, many Sydney Flyrodders walked away with multi-fish days and even a few PBs.

Regardless of one’s fishing success, the company kept and the experiences shared were for many of us a “personal best”.

For more photos of the trip see our gallery: https://photos.app.goo.gl/kaqjfNWzRDDu2kwcA


Trip Report: Newbie Goes to the Mitta

Steve Peach hooked up on the Mitta Mitta 

By Glenn Short

Well, strictly speaking I had been to the Swampy with the club previously, but this was really my first major outing with the Fly Rodders and I was suitably revved up by Gavin's pre-trip organisation and motivational texts. I even fitted in a quick trip up to the Cox's to break in the euro nymphing kit I'd been sitting on for a few years. Hmmm, maybe I'd better stick to the indicator rig ...

No! I was lodged in the Pink House with a veteran crew and Steve Peach soon took me under his wing, made disparaging remarks about indicators, and very generously tied a few heavy nymphs to make sure I was bumping the bottom with the new euro rod.

Muz had done the hard yards checking out water throughout the district, so it was off to the ever generous Bob's place. Private access on the Mitta - perfect. Bob is a real character and obviously a great local supporter of the club. Steve was soon showing me how to euro and was landing fish at a great rate. He even managed one on the dry during a brief dun hatch that afternoon.

Matching the hatch

I perservered with the steep learning curve that is euro nymphing for a while but eventually reverted to the insidious indicator and landed a few small browns. Good fun. Clearly my photo skills aren't up to par with our resident Youtube artiste and my death grip photos don't really convey just how pretty those mountain browns are.


Meanwhile, Steve arranged access to some "new" private property through one of the locals and continued to dazzle me with his long euro wand. He landed one particularly proud 4.5 pound rainbow in a really pretty run on the new spread. At last I had some success with the euro rig but still the doubts lingered ...

And so, the week swung between beautiful stretches of the Mitta on beautifully kept farms and between the evil indicator and the righteous euro rig. More small browns were landed and my dignity lost with a small dip in the river while entertaining Steve.

Paul and Muzza took over my amateurish attempts at filming Steve's successes and I was treated to seeing how the professionals do it. Then David Major turned up to complete our crew and broke out his new cane rod to give me rod envy.

Here comes trouble...

What a great week. Great water and top company. Seems like everyone caught fish and had a great time. I'm eternally grateful to Steve for giving me yet another obsession and a new way to spend money on fly fishing. Thanks to Gavin for his awesome organisational skills and to all the crew for welcoming me along so heartily. Meals and beers in the pub were a highlight every night and what a great venue is the Mitta Pub! Looking forward to many more SFR trips!

The fishy stories flowed freely at the Mitta Pub every evening

For more photos of the trip see our gallery: https://photos.app.goo.gl/kaqjfNWzRDDu2kwcA


Last Monthly Meeting and Guest Speakers Report

For our May Monthly Meeting, Lyall Crawford gave an interesting talk via video link about fly fishing in the South China Sea. Lyall is  a former Australian ambassador to China and an experienced fly angler, also a qualified casting instructor through his business Capital Fly Casting (www.capitalflycasting.com).

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 some photos from the meeting:

Denis kicks off  the monthly meeting for May

Members tune into a facinating presentation

Our panel of experts look on...


Next Monthly Meeting and Guest Speaker

Our June Members Monthly Meeting is at our usual venue, The Freeway Hotel in Artarmon, on Monday the 17th June 2024.

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 June Meeting Guest Speaker is Josh Mulders. Josh is guiding bass and trout around Sydney with April Vokey, under the Haul Fly Fishing banner run by our recent presenter Angus Reynolds. This represents a great option for our members to do some good local guided fishing with some top guides, and adding bass into the mix is an interesting opportunity for those who are looking for an option that is closer to home than trout waters.

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 GPS). 

Looking forward to catching up at the meeting.


Last Month's Casting Practice Report

By David Caddies (with photos courtesy of Vorn Sweeney)

It wasn’t as cold as it might have been – very comfortable in fact for the 10 or so attendees. And the sun shone - as it always does, upon the righteous. The day was given over to saltwater type casts and tips, but the basics don’t alter so we did some casting fundamentals as well.

The sun always shines at casting practice

We explored some issues pertinent to casting to fast-moving pelagic fish: not only accuracy but speed. Above all, speed of delivering the cast. Which means, in practice, being organized and ready to cast in most directions to sighted fish. If you don’t sight fish you can fish the water, just as you might do in freshwater. You will eventually catch a fish like that, but it’s a bit ‘ho hum’ if sight fishing is available.

Discussing the need for a quick recast if the fish doesn't take the fly

Assuming you see a fish, it’s almost inevitably moving: either hunting, chasing or being chased. Therefore, be quick; be alert to where on the fish’s path to place the fly to adequately lead the fish (ie quickly calculate speed, distance and factor in what you know about the habits of the species – if you can identify it and if it makes any difference).

Vorn Sweeney showing good form with her new Epic graphene rod

What we did practice in particular was presenting the fly to a target without any slack in the line between reel and fly. This enables the initial strip to instantly move the fly. If you commence to pull the line to do your retrieve and all that happens is you take up 1, 2 or 3 feet of slack without moving the fly, the fish may not take. The line hand has to do a lot of work in this kind of fishing, involving repeatedly stripping, letting go, reaching up the line for another strip and then not forgetting to use the same hand to set the hook, without lifting rod at all until after the hook is set. In a pitching sea everything just gets harder, including staying balanced, not stepping on any loops of line on the deck and never taking your eyes off the fly.

When casting to pelagic fish, be ready to strip stike without slack in the line

One quite different activity we did was just getting to know line characteristics a bit better. I’m pretty sure that the particular line you cast can make more of a difference to your fishing than the rod you use. In one day, you could usefully change your line more often in salt water fishing than your rod, I reckon. If you take a look at the variety of lines available for saltwater use it would outnumber the freshwater ones. There are lines for individual fish species; lines for cold water; tropical water; floating; sinking; partly one and partly the other; multicoloured; textured; not-stretch, slick coating etc etc. The marketing people have not been idle!

Line identification time

We looked at a few different lines and discussed what ‘weight forward’ really means and why you might not prefer it to a double tapered line for some applications. Not many who were in attendance had any experience with a double tapered line or why it might be very suitable in some situations or just for a particular angler’s skill level. Even the fact that a WF line might have a head length 50% longer than another WF of the same weight was a novelty to some. Nevertheless we literally felt our way along some of the lines to figure our where the running line met the back taper and how the taper itself varied along the length of the head. And yes, there is also a belly involved, not forgetting the front taper (compound or not compound) and the tip. The tip is level.

If you want to immerse yourself in the technicalities of the latest rods and lines, you may be aware of the annual ‘shootout’ conducted by Yellowstone Anglers in the US. They have just released the May 2024 5- weight rod shootout in which they test and rate a dozen or more rods, together with a summary of relevant lines to go with the rods. These guys present a colossal amount of written information on the gear and is the most exhaustive and detailed comparison anywhere. If you manage to read all of the data and commentary, let alone absorb it, you will be permanently altered; maybe not for the better.  I suggest that if you are the owner or intending purchaser of one of the tested rods (not all of them are expensive) you might find the results interesting, even if just to confirm what a genius you are for selecting the rod you have. Just in passing, you will also be able to read about “the rod you will eventually own” – which to my mind is the most audacious piece of marketing fluff by one of the big brands, way beyond the claims of others to have nailed the ‘accuracy’ business or the ‘tip dampening’ or ‘swing weight’ capabilities.

Anyway, worth a read and you’ll be better informed when making choices. Probably the best aspect after all are the nice observations on many different popular lines. Good info there, even if just helpful in understanding how lines are designed for purpose. 

See you next time, in the park.



Club Monthly Casting Practice - Details and Event Schedule.


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. 

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

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. 

For 2024, we have moved to the second Sunday of the month, except for May as it's Mother's Day.

So put these dates in your diary for 2024:

9th June 2024

14th July 2024

11th August 2024

8th September 2024

13th October 2024

10th November 2024

8th December 2024.


Next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting

Our next Monthly Fly Tying Meeting will be held on Monday, 24 June 2024, from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. The doors will open at 6:30 pm to give you time to set up for a 7:00 pm start.

Jared Klein will be leading our fly tying meeting.

He will be instructing on a Tabanas fly and a CDC split wing (Caddis and a Mayfly dry patterns).  Both are great flies for Thompson Creek Dam and Kosciuszko streams. 

Jared is a competition angler and has considerable experience in fishing these flies.

Tabanas fly - a great pattern for dry dropper as it floats like a cork

Beginners are very welcome with experienced tiers giving help. 

We provide all materials. If you don’t have your own tools, we have loan kits.

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.


Book Review: The Optimist - a Case for the Fly Fishing Life

By David Blackwell

The author David Coggins is a New York based writer and journalist. He is also an avid fly fisher.

Coggins explores his sometimes excentric, fly fishing habits in the opening chapter. What I found fascinating, was that I have share many similar habits. Amongst his many eccentricities, he describes how he cannot drive over a bridge without extending his head out of the window to observe the stream below and ponder the fishing potential. I admit to the same hazardous practice.

In following chapters, the author recounts his many fly-fishing adventures and the colourful personalities that accompany him. He covers many great American Rivers and includes his international travels including fishing in England, Canada and Patagonia.

Written in an engaging, relaxed, style, the author describes his many fishing highlights and failures in entertaining detail.

A good read and a great way to pass time during the closed season.


New Members

We extend a warm welcome to new members Glenn Rowland-North, Jianyi Lu and Harry Wubben.

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.


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.

Jason Hemens

Editor, Flyrodder



The End