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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

Mid-Week Moorabool

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Tuesday 4th of April

Being a creature of habit my preferred local lake option is normally Lauriston or Coliban for its close proximity to home and knowledge of sheltered bays to get out of the wind. Having received some great intel from Mark & Michael (club members) and Rick Dobson (Aussie Angler Greensborough) I set the nav-man for Moorabool reservoir and it didn’t disappoint.

There’s always an air of excitement and anticipation fishing a new location, have I made the right choice? What’s it going to be like? Do I have the right flies? Am I going to be good enough to fool a fish? With those fears aside I hit the water with an intermediate line and a trusty “Ginger Mick” and began my slow retrieves.

Within the first hour I’d hooked a small rainbow only to lose it at my feet. The next few hours was spent lamenting over the one that got away as I worked my way around the south-west end of the reservoir without success. After a short lunchbreak I was back into it walking the shoreline and casting into the deeper water giving my line plenty of time to sink down. It wasn’t too long before I felt a tap, lifted the rod and waited that brief moment to assess the situation……was it a snag? was it just weed?…….no, fish on! I quickly got my rod tip high and began to put tension on the fish getting line back onto the reel. I knew it wasn’t a monster but none of that matters, it was a Tuesday, I was fishing a new spot and I had a fish on. After a short but nervous fight I netted a 1lb rainbow and was able to breathe a sigh of relief. The rest of the afternoon I watched the lake come alive with rising fish well out of casting distance and completely happy I’d ventured out to Moorabool reservoir for the first time.

Cheers
Simon Hall

Snowy Mountains and Swampy Plains River Experience

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Calder fly fishing member Andrew Martin gives us a report on the recent club weekend to the Snowy mountains.


At the last CFFA General meeting for 2016 Scott Xantholakis presented a talk and slide show about Fly Fishing Swampy Plains River, this was in preparation for our January 2017 Association trip. Swampy Plains River described as a classic trout fishers mecca just over the border of Victoria into NSW.

Nothing like early planning and a ‘ripper’ talk and slide show showing the battle of wills between a trout and fly fisher! Will the master escape artist go back to the deep or will the fly fisher, exuberant about the clear water running quickly over rocks and boulders and then into a deep dark pool, his well chosen fly presented perfectly as juicy morsel attract the cunning laziness of the trout?
A great cast and then the concentration sets in as the fly-line and tippet are behaving like a stealth aircraft under radar; hoping they remain unnoticeable to the cunning trout, hoping there’s just the nymph bobbing over rocks and the fly floating naturally catching a ride on a ripple, the fly-line swinging lightly downstream.
The trout can’t resist, it launches itself out of water like a dolphin happily showing off its ability to fly it latches onto the fly! The fish is landed; the fly fisher puts the fish back to run under its terms yet again … now that’s fly-fishing! Scott’s presentation was inspiring!

The questions started whizzing through my mind, as they do. What flies are likely to be needed! Will I need my 4, 6 and 8 weight rods, perhaps not the 8 unless the there’s carp the size of a submarine, I decided to leave the 8 weight! Scott thankfully provided a comprehensive list of flies and gear we might need! The list seemed to indicate a marathon Caddis Hatch … ha ha, surely the Swampy can’t be that good!

I think all ten of the CFFA members that were game to take on the 4 days at Khancoban, started fly tying and stocking up with all stages of the Caddis from larvae, pupa, emerger, adult and spinner. To emulate the complex transformation of the Caddis I made sure I had plenty of Stick Caddis, Sparkle Pupa, various Nymphs and a couple of Lafontaine Pupa. As far as the emerger was concerned I tied various coloured Klinkhammer’s however, my first attempt at these looked more like a something out of nuclear horror movie! I had better luck with my Elk Hair Caddis; with other fly patterns needed I succumbed to purchasing Kosciuszko Dun and Tungsten Caddis Grubbs.

Having arranged a lift with Craig and Graham we set off on the five and half hour drive. We arrived at the at the Khancoban Lakeside Caravan Park and after settling in to our well-appointed single units we set off to discover the Swampy River.

We were all struck by the beauty of the area, Khancoban nestled into a large valley, to the East was Kosciuszko National Park and to the South East Mount Kosciuszko and the Snowy Mountains, all around were treed undulating hills, a magnificent part of the Australia.

We drove down the banks of the Swampy River below the Khancoban pondage dam wall to a point where the riverbanks were accessible and a well-worn track indicated that this was a reasonable place to start fishing. A small bridge provided access from one bank to the other however, we were not game to cross the bridge incase we were sent packing by a marauding aggravated farmer!

The afternoon was very overcast hot and humid and there were no visible signs of life on or underneath the water. The river was running fast with deep drops away from the banks in places, the centre of the river showing signs of years of huge releases of water from the pondage. We fished for about three hours moving up and down the river using various flies, no fish caught in our first session and a storm was setting in … tomorrow was another day!

Saturday Morning and we all assembled for a briefing by Scott, he let us know how the Swampy Plains and other rivers and creeks were fishing. He gave us all invaluable advice and set us up with as much information as we could digest!

talk

Saturday was slightly less cloudy but hot and humid. We again revisited the Friday sessions of the Swampy but with the knowledge that if we used the Cow Bridge we’d be ok, no marauding farmer, he was cool!

The weekend fish went like this:

Andrew Martin:
Saturday morning, my first session was quite a triumph (for me) I chose a fast running spot leading into a large slow pool, however; back casts were difficult due to the large Willows behind me. I was tempted to move on but decided that I’d give my side casting and little knowledge of Italian casting a go. In the whites of the cascades I couldn’t see my Elk Hair Caddis which was leading a beaded Pheasant Tailed Nymph … (I’d also tried Caddis Grubs earlier in the morning) so I decided to change both to a sparkle Nymph under a slightly more visible size 14 Royal Wulff! So by wading precariously into waist deep and slippy flat section, I executed an ok cast to middle of the run and swinging the line I managed to hook my first Swampy trout, about a pound’ish (well maybe, like Dusan I’m not good with weights). I tried this a few times but lost one, I don’t know if it was the Nymph or the Royal Wulff it attempted to take; I also think I let the line swing too far as my Nymph was almost pulling the Wulff under; any way I was amused!

The Caddis Hatches during the evening were something to behold, Scott’s emphasis on caddis was well and truly understood now! Seeing the Hatch with thousands of white Caddis appear as if from nowhere and then the steady appearance of trout rising and launching out of the river was just a wonderful experience! Taking complete advantage of the Trout gorging themselves was great entertainment, I chose a grey Klink Hammer with a Sparkle Pupa underneath and managed to get a couple of nice one pounders (or half Kilo)!

sunset-swampy

Sunday morning was spent on Nariel Creek with Graham and Craig. This is a really picturesque Creek with trees either side river running quickly over boulders and rock beds and steadily flowing down the Nariel valley its source somewhere up around Tom Groggin.
We fished up stream from a bridge with easy access and within 200 metres of the bridge I caught a small rainbow in a deep pool using a #14 Royal Wulff and again a Pheasant Tailed Nymph, it was the Nymph that was taken!
Shortly after Graham arrived saying he’d not caught or even seen anything and no sooner this said, he cast slightly up stream into a deep hole and he was smashed by a Rainbow about one and a half pounds, very fat for its length; he was not the runt of the litter and was not going into Grahams net easily!

I walked further up stream to where a large deep pool followed by 3 other smaller pools fed a long shallow run over pebbles and rocks, to my absolute surprise there were lots (hundreds) of fingerling trout all less than a half pound, this had to be the sign of a healthy river; I didn’t fish again that morning as I just watched the little fellas go about their business and thought that next year will be awesome!

Craig McKenzie:
The Swampy and the surrounding area also inspired Craig “how great is this” his comment was when we arrived. Craig had an exciting but frustrating Saturday trying his best to entice the trout with his selection of flies however, he had no luck but the emergence of the Caddis hatch also confirmed the reason for his Fly Fishing! Sunday for Craig was a better day he managed 3 very reasonable size Trout his comments to me: “Just got the 3 and lost one. 2 fish from the same spot upstream from where you were mainly fishing. Last spot before the access ran out. 1 on olive/black size 14 nymph, the other on light brown/ grey elk hair caddis.
The best one was the last- downstream of bridge just before the rapids where Graham got a bag load. Just on darkness- last cast- Size 14- no nymph- Royal Wulff. 1.5- 2 pds. Best trout I have caught”.

Graham Lorrimer:
Grahams fly-fishing expertise was well and truly on show! His quiet, cool calm and collect approach enabled him at one time in the evening hatch to catch 3 trout out of 3 casts making his total haul about nine in the evening session!
Sunday was no different, Graham again gave us a great deal of pleasure seeing and hearing about his great efforts.

Dusan Ivanovic:
Dusan also had a frustrating but exciting Saturday and being the life of the party kept us amused after a big day and late night fish followed by “quiet reflection of the day” over dinner and a drink!

dus-trout-2

Dusan’s comments (from his Facebook report):
“I had been warned prior to the trip by Philip Weigall, that a lot of things had to go right for us (water temp, water level) in order for our trip to be successful. But by day 4, we had worked out both the time to be on the water, and flies to be using to ensure a successful day of fishing would be concluded with smiling faces back at the caravan park.

We also managed a day on the Upper Swampy, near the intersection of the Swampy and Geehi River. Wow is the only way I can describe it, with plenty of fish moving around to entice any angler, and damn they were hard to catch. We managed a couple of fish each by the end of the day, but we were not to fussed, as fishing this beautiful stretch of water brought a sense of satisfaction, and conclusion that another water had been tread, fished and enjoyed.

By day 4, each member concluded their fish tally in double figures. There were no monster fish caught (I did get broken off by a nice 3lb fish on the last night, blame the 6x tippet) but each fish that was caught was successfully released.

Our last day of fishing was concluded on the Nariel Creek. Fishing at Nankervis Bridge was pretty tricky, with the bright day, warm water, and very spooky fish. We still managed to bag a few, including a nice 2lb fish that was sitting in a very deep pool on a size 12 Royal Wulf”.

Dusans report on Facebook is great and expresses just how well the trip went.

dusan-trout

Wayne Jeffs:
Wayne had taken advantage of the weekend to take his wife on short holiday and arrived a few days earlier than the rest of us.
On arrival Wayne proudly showed us a picture of his first swampy Trout a nice 2 pounder caught just below the pondage dam wall. Wayne’s luck continued throughout the rest of the trip with nice looking trout caught.

gates

John Fischer:
John like Dusan and Craig had a frustrating Saturday. Sunday however, broke the drought while trying his hand on the Upper Swampy with Travis. Despite a bit of dunking he caught a nice one and a half pounder.

smaller-stream

Travis Fischer:
On Saturday afternoon I saw Travis about 500m downstream of the Cow Bridge and his comment “I’m a bit pissed off lost three just over there”, he was pointing to a wide deep run which was perfect for what we later found to be a great Caddis Hatch section of the river. Travis tried this area later in the evening and had better luck than his earlier session.

old-bridge

Brian Thompson:
Brian fished with Dusan during the weekend however, I’m not sure how to explain Brian’s efforts other than to say there were not many moves as far as trout fishing was concerned he hadn’t tried, including being chest deep in a hole standing on a rock hooked up to a two pounder as holiday swimmers were waving to him as they swam by; surely can’t get better than that!

brian-trout

At one point on Saturday afternoon I was having a lot of trouble with my leader not unfolding, I put it down to the way I’d made it up of different weight tippet. Brian helped me out showing me his leader style and formulae using maxima brown tippet, he gave me one to try and I had no trouble at all the rest of the weekend.

Mark Hobbs:
Like Brian, Mark fished all weekend with great stories to tell of those fish caught and lost, Marks comments:
“I fished the swampy in the morning hooking a fish on black F Fly smashing 6lb tippet!  Upper Murray – a couple of fish on a Pilchard, then fished Upper Swampy a beautiful river, after numerous fly changes the Pilchard came out on top missed a few on Black F Fly! Back to the Swampy swinging Plichard and Caddis Pupa managed to get 5 fish on Pilchard none on Caddis; then later that night fished again, swung a Pilchard a couple more times before changing to a dry when the fish were up on top, putting on a Bobs Bits for a couple of fish and losing a few! Then to the Iron Blue Dun, well did it perform, fish after fish! I managed about 16 for the day missing quite a few, then Sunday went to the Nariel nice little creek, got 1 out of there seen another about 2lb but spooked him. I had Brad with me he managed 8 fish for weekend one being about 2lb out of upper swampy all up we both managed 25 fish landed for the weekend. WE WILL BE BACK THERE FOR SURE!” 

Don Houston
Don spent a lot of his time exploring the area and between his time fishing and touring he fished many more areas than most of us. The great Snowy Mountains scenery topped off his weekend.

There are no more words to explain how well this trip went other than to say many thanks to the people that made the weekend so memorable.

Scott Xantholakis of Wilderness Fly Fishing, Irene and Joe owners of the Khancoban Lake View Caravan Park and the CFFA members who shared the experience.

Andrew Martin.