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President’s Letter 2017

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Dear Members,

Let me start by thanking you all, as without our club members there is no club.

Thank you to Ted Whittam and Ben Le Vagueresse for running the very well attended casting tuition.

Many thanks to Tony Mockunas for the brilliant job teaching tying.

A massive thank you to the wonderful guest speakers who gave up their precious time to impart their knowledge.

Last but not least, a huge thank you to my fellow committee members for all their hard work and support throughout 2017.

There were so many highlights this year at the club, from special guest speakers, to club trips, fly tying and casting, it’s difficult to know where to start.

The year began with the AGM, where the CFFA committee was elected, followed by a great talk at the February GM from club member Stephan Toman on Victorian saltwater fly fishing for beginners in preparation for our day trip to Geelong.

Several members headed to the Swampy Plains, enjoying some great fishing and company.

March saw Jim from FlyFinz bring a whole pop-up tackle shop to the club rooms! Many members left that night very happy but with lighter wallets!

Ben took some members on a trip to find Murray Cod in a storm, with a great effort from club member Michael Kee getting his first cod on a fly.

May brought about an extended club trip to Ecumbene in the Snowy Mountains, in search of pre-spawning trout. The lack of rain saw much lower numbers of fish caught than last year, but it was a great chance to catch up with each other.

We were very fortunate to be graced by Josh Hutchins (Aussie Fly Fisher) who convinced us to try fishing for species other than trout.

The inaugural Knot Pull Competition was held and won by Warren using an Improved Blood Knot.

The most excellent David Anderson came to show us his new book and how to take better fly fishing photos.

The big event of the year was the hugely successful, Kids and Family Day. It was attended by over 150 kids, teens and parents.

Scottie X from Wilderness taught us how to fish mayflies, which was put brilliantly into practice at the following week club trip.

Another well attended lake day saw most members catch trout at our final club trip to Moorabool.

Look forward to seeing you all at the AGM on January 24.

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.

Kind regards,
Chris Schrueder

Kids and Family Fly Fishing Day

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We are having a FREE Kids and Family Day on Sunday October 8th at Walter J Smith Reserve at Riddells Creek from 10 – 2pm.

It promises to be a great day with:

• Fly fishing
• Fly casting
• Fly tying
• A sausage sizzle
• A raffle with great prizes

If you have kids or teenagers who want to learn about fly fishing, then come on down!

NOTE: Children will need to be accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.

Fly Fishing Photography with David Anderson – Coming Soon!

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At our August GM, David Anderson, a recently retired rock & roll and celebrity photographer, (regularly published in FlyLife Magazine) will be showing us his brilliant work and give us tips to make our fishing photos better.

Just in case you don’t know much about the lanky yank we like to call DA, check out his Bio below.

He will probably sledge some hipsters along the way. Should be a great night!

CFFA AUGUST GENERAL MEETING
Date: Wednesday August 23, 2017
Time: 7:45 pm

DAVID ANDERSON
David was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up in America after his father, a geologist, moved the family to Boston in 1965 to attend Harvard and thence to Champaign, Illinois two years later where he taught at the University of Illinois.

David’s first serious fly fishing experiences were on one of his dad’s summer field trips to Wyoming at the age of eleven or twelve when one of the professors loaned him a rod and reel and showed him the basics of trout fishing with a fly on the Wind River. It’s been a serious addiction and never far from the front of his mind for over forty years.

The photography thing started during a trip to Egypt in the early eighties when his mother, a Middle Eastern news correspondent, loaned him a Nikon, a couple of rolls of monochrome film and just enough instruction to make it a lifelong pursuit.

David returned to Australia at age twenty in 1984, flyrod in hand, on a six-week holiday where he found people of a like mind, very interesting long-lost relatives and excellent trout fishing not far from Sydney on the Turon River and somehow never got back to the United States.

After a few years working in Sydney music stores as a guitar salesman by day, and part-time rock and roll photographer by night, David started full-time photography in 1989 and was soon working for several record companies, music magazines and local bands like The Screaming Jets, Silverchair and many others.

By 1995 David’s career had expanded to include work for most mainstream Australian magazines and many others from around the world and he was soon working all over and shooting anyone willing to stand still including the Queen Elizabeth II, The Rolling Stones, Pink, U2 and John Farnham, as well as a large collection of local movie and TV stars and many of Hollywood’s finest. This work can be viewed at www.dsaphoto.com

Fly fishing photography was, of course, always there, but with the launch of Flylife Magazine in 1995 there were new opportunities to shoot both locally, in Tasmania or in New Zealand.
With encouragement from editor Rob Sloane and a lot of help from good mate and fellow photographer/writer Peter Morse, David wrote his first article ‘Cryptic Creeks’ on small streams of the snowy mountains in 2005 and many more have since followed.

Nowadays, David lives a quieter life in Albury, NSW very close to the trout-infested 4×4 paradise that is the Victorian high country with his wife and three children, and writes and photographs for Flylife Magazine and his own small-stream fly fishing blog www.twigwater.com

Calder Migration Delivers Mixed Results

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Each year in May & June trout from Lake Eucumbene in the Snowy Mountains migrate from the depths of the lake up the river for their annual spawn run. Fish will travel many kilometres in search of suitable gravel beds for females to release their eggs which are fertilized by the males.

The contingent split into smaller groups over the trip and fished some amazing pieces of water which included the Eucumbene River, Three Mile Dam, the Thredbo River, Tantangara Reservoir & the Swampy Plain River.

The majority of fish caught were migrating Brown Trout from the lakes as well as resident Rainbow Trout and even an elusive Brook Trout.

The fishing this year was arguably harder than previous years mainly due to the lack of rain which triggers the fish to start their run. Regardless of the numbers caught this was a fantastic trip filled with comradery and a shared passion for fly fishing.

Cheers,
Simon

North Island Trip Report – Tony Mockunas

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Fellow members, I was not able to photograph all the fish as it’s not always practical to photograph the release of one when in freezing water up to your chest.

I caught about 40 fish, in excellent condition that gave great accounts of themselves and the best fight lasted 20 minutes roughly on the 8lber.

Next best was around a good 15 minutes with plenty of 10 minute battles.

All caught on Loomis Eastfork 5 weight bar one fish on 6 weight Loomis until a guide came away, and it was abandoned for the 5 weight again.

The 6 wt will be ok for repair.

If I go again I shall be taking Neoprene waders as I froze with undies on, merino long johns and 2 pairs of tracksuit pants and then the waders, that water is so cold!

I believe in releasing them mostly and keeping only a few and this is the most fish killed by me for years.

I might add that when you spot 15 fish working off a bank and take a few they are quickly replaced.

The biggest fish taken so far was by my mate at 9lb, and then he got an 8lb Rainbow yesterday as well.

We saw a lot of double figure fish in another lake but they had been worked over already prior to us arriving.

Best fish sighted by both of us was a giant Rainbow of around 15 lb and about 75cm length estimated.

I trust you are all ok.

Tony

JUNE GENERAL MEETING – JOSH HUTCHINS

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AKA – AUSSIE FLY FISHER
The most awesome Joshua Hutchins is coming back to present at the Calder Fly Fishing Association June General Meeting.
Josh will be showing us some amazing pics from his latest adventures – travelling and guiding across the globe.
He will be talking all things trout, Murray Cod, plus exotic locations. One GM not to be missed!
Patagonia have also donated some great prizes for the raffle!
For those who haven’t had the pleasure, check him out on Instagram @aussieflyfisher
Date: Wednesday June 28
Time: 7:45pm

VIC Central Highlands Report May 2017

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Whenever I’ve got a day of fishing planned the days leading up always deliver the perfect forecast – light breeze, frosty mornings and plenty of afternoon sun. When Saturday arrived the wind speed was up to 25km/h but I wasn’t going to let that deter me. I pointed the car in the direction Moorabool Reservoir and by 7am there were a number of anglers enjoying the crispy and windy conditions. I settled for a spot along the South West shore so the wind was at my back, assisting my poor casting technique. It’s at this time I remembered the wind can help an angler fool a wary trout as they’re far to wise to fall for my tricks in still conditions. Casting a wet fly beyond the weed beds it didn’t take long to feel the connection of a feisty brown and successfully land it in the net. It’s always such sweet relief landing a fish though some of my best days on the water have been fishless. Sometimes it’s the location, sometimes it’s the company you’re with and sometimes it’s just because you’re outside doing what you love.

Moorabool Reservoir began to really chop up so I headed off to Newlyn Reservoir where I was hoping to get shelter along the dam wall. This move wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped landing a small redfin but not a trout in sight. Next stop, Hepburn Lagoon. This piece of water has always intrigued me, relatively shallow compared to some of the other lakes and lots of weed beds. I arrived at the North West corner and began chatting to a bait fisherman who told me it had been quiet all morning. The water was really green so rather than tying on something bright which I’d normally do I went for a Fulling Mill Living Damsel in Olive.

Surely with the water this colour my fly would look realistic I thought to myself. As luck would have it, it did. On my first cast I started the slow retrieve working the fly through the water when I felt the strike and the unmistakeable fight a trout. Once landed I took a few customary photos and sent the 1lb brown on its way. I also received a thumbs up from the angler I was chatting too earlier which was nice.

My Hepburn duck had been broken and a new level of confidence gained. Employing the same method I worked a section of the lake and hooked up a larger brown getting closer to 2lbs. This fish put up a really great fight with lots of runs before I successfully netted it. What followed was more photo’s, more thumbs up from my new friend and a brown trout that swam away for someone else to catch.

I had 2 hours left of fishing time when the heavens really open up. For the record a spray jacket won’t keep you dry in a downpour so I headed back to the car for more suitable attire. I was almost like a child running back to the water, eager to extract every last minute of fishing time I had left. More of the same technique followed along the North West shore, intermediate line castings into the deeper water, letting it sink and with a slow retrieve. This method along with the same fly fooled one last brown trout for the day.

Hepburn Lagoon & the Fulling Mill Living Damsel truly delivered on what was a great day out on the Victorian Central Highland Lakes

Cheers

Simon

2017 Native Fish Trip

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It was time to lead the club out on our annual native fly trip once again with our summer coming to an end. Flies were tied, leaders changed and gear checked in preparedness for the trip but our Murray Cod’s feeding habits mean that we’d need to be on the water at first light so the camping gear was also organised.

I camped by myself that night and met the two Robs at day break then went on to meet Michael so that he could follow me to our destination. I opted to teach Michael how to fly fish for the elusive Murray cod and to say this is different from trout fly fishing is an understatement, big flies, heavy leaders and stiff fly rods were the order of the day.

A few tips on casting and retrieves had Michael going through the motions but he soon understood that the timber where the cod lives is a great trap for wayward flies.
I pointed to a likely spot and instructed Michael to put his fly there and this was followed by a hit and trouty strike but no hook up. We left our cod there and fished the pool below him and revisited him a few minutes later. The hit came on queue and Michael’s strip strike hooked his first cod. A quick fight and obligatory happy snaps had the cod swimming home safely. Michael then went on to hook and land his second cod a few minutes later before we called it a day.

The two Robs were not having any luck but we did get a picture sent to us when we were having a bite to eat. A carp was spotted cast too, hooked and landed. It was a worthy fight and the stats showed it to be 76cm long and 12lb. Not a bad effort and goes to show that carp will take cod flies, even if tied on a 5/0 hook.

Michael called it a day so I spent the later part of the afternoon with the two Robs but the weather had really turned foul by then. I changed from the cod snack to the same fly with a tail to be rewarded with two hits but no hook up. This is the reason why the cod snack is my go too fly as it seldom gets short strikes.

We’d all had enough by 4.30 pm and headed back in light rain. A quick change and we were on our way for what was a 2 ½ hour in the pouring rain. I can say I slept well that night while Michael dreamt of the cod he’d landed.

Ben Le Vagueresse

Fly Fishing as Meditation

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Readers may think Club members are a group of men, women, and youngsters who are all just interested in the art, science and methodology of fly fishing (as well as having a lot of fun). But in the context of “mindfulness as meditation” let’s also consider mindfulness when fly fishing as meditation and the possible ensuing benefits.

I believe the essentials of mindfulness and the benefits flowing from it are natural to the sport: setting some time aside from the everyday; observing the present moment as it is; not judging your performance but focussing on the actual fishing; staying in the present moment even when your mind wants to wander to other matters.

Imagine carefully casting that sinuous fly line across the water in a graceful loop and gently placing the fly in anticipation of the swirl and splash of the rising fish; standing in the open, with the sensuous surrounds of water, living vegetation, insect, and animal life, bounded only by the vault of the sky: to me, living in that moment is mindfulness “meditation” . That’s an experience that always brings me a special sense of peace and rejuvenation.

Louis Bokor