The first general meeting of the Calder Fly Fishing Association took place at the Gisborne Community Centre on Wednesday 24 May. It was a great turn-out with a mix of experienced fly fishers and keen newbies, with ages ranging from kids to the more seasoned.
After introductions and a bit of general chatter, club member John Waters gave his first instalment in a series of talks on fly casting. While he downplayed his expertise, a brief glimpse at his resume tells a very different story—he’s been Australian casting champion several times and been on numerous national teams. When it comes to advice, however, John makes it all sound very easy. Basically, he talked about a few broad principles: use a grip that fits the rod’s handle naturally, be sure to throw the line more up and down than back and forward, and understand that the key to good casting is the crisp “block” of the rod (stopping on the back and forwards casts). There’ll be more talks to come at future meetings, plus practice casting sessions at the nearby oval.
With a quick coffee break out of the way, Ben Le Vagueresse put on his first fly tying clinic, introducing the group to the world-renowned streamer, the Woolly Bugger. With some marabou, chenille and a lot of years of experience, Ben had a very edible-looking creation tied in no time. Several of the attendees then sat down at vises and had a go themselves with surprisingly impressive results. It was a great demonstration of how simple fly tying can be, although there are sure to be some more complicated flies featured in future sessions.
Two hours flew by and it was soon the end of an educational and entertaining evening that left everyone looking forward to the next meeting.