29 Jun. 2006

Images 2

Winter dawn at Lake Purrumbete.

A nice brown from the "G", on one of my little foam beetles.

A Hepburn 'bow taken on a Tom Jones

My first ever Atlantic Salmon. Taken on a prototype hardy head design fly at Lake Bullen Merri, off the bank. These fish go off! The pull so much harder than trout...

Looking towards the dam wall at Womabt. Very pretty.

They say never shoot into the sun, but this looked too good. Eastern bank, Harcourt

28 Jun. 2006

Flies I've tied and love to use

Some cicadas I've developed based on a concept I I've seen done with hoppers. They will hopefully get a swim in New Zealand shortly.

A couple of new flies I tied after an afternoon on an Alpine meadow stream. The 'Meadow Emerger' dry and a 'Sneaky Pete' nymph. Both were tied from the need to suppliment the fly box with patterns that represented the food we thought the fish were feeding on. Both flies worked well - It pays to pack the tying gear sometimes!

My favourite smelt pattern and a success fron the first outing taking some nice Atlantic Salmon at Bullen Merri. Fuzzle dub and crazy lace. A take off from Murray Wilsons Fuzzling method, the dubbing is trapped above & below the hook shank to allow the 2 tone effect. The eyes make this fly.

These spent red spinners had the hackle tied in with a 'gallows tool' and clipped to shape. They low in the surface film just like the real thing!

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I recently had a ball taking many Australian Salmon at Barwon Heads on this Chris Beech inspired candy. Grey over white polar beary fibre.

26 Jun. 2006

My Photo Galery 1

A late season Goulburn hopper

My lake oufit. 10 foot GLX GLoomis. SA LA II 678. Sweet.

That memorable first trout from Harcourt that kicked off a lifetime pursuit. 3lbs, 18 1/2 inches. Not a bad fish to cut your teeth on! Rod is a GLoomis IMX 7wt. The reel, I think from memory, is a Hardy Princess.

A feisty little 'bow that surprised me. The bit of water it came from was naught but a pond and disconnected from the main reservoir by a small waterfall. Pretty though.

A lovely little brownie from the upper Yarra, great fun on the 3 wt!

A recent pic I took at Lake Purrumbete. Being winter, I thought it odd that any sort of flower would bloom. It was such a pretty yellow, I had to caputure it.

22 Jun. 2006

Harcourt & my first trout on fly

Harcourt Reservoir. Also known as Barkers Creek Reservoir. Constructed in the late 1800's to supply water to nearby orchards and recently undergone major dam-wall reconstruction. So what is the significance? Lets go gack a few years. August 1991 - bleak, bitterly cold day and I was there, only my second outing with the fly rod. I was clad in a pair of Hornes thigh waders (my first pair of waders) freezing my shins standing in the icy water, concentrating on casting. I was casting about 40 feet reasonably well. I remember thinking, "concentrate, concentrate!". I made sure I stopped the rod at 10 and then at 2, (like I'd been told) watching the line sail overhead, loop unfurling and leader opening out to gently plip the fly down. Every now and again, I'd stuff it up - badly. No worries, keep at it, mate. Gradually, I began to creep into new line. This made me feel good, knowing that bit by bit, I was casting a little further each time.
The water level was the highest it had ever been. The pin rushes were well inundated and the small spill near Schoolhouse Bay was flowing hard. As I slowly retrieved the olive Hamils Killer, I watched the water, willing a fish to show itself. None did. My hands were beginning to get numb as the freezing southerly threatened to slice right through me.
A jolt! A hit! Instigator's, I lifted the rod and my left hand pulled the fly line tight. The rod tip dipped immediately and a boil appeared some 20 feet in front of me. I was on, man, I was on! And bugger me if it was not a bloody good fish, too! I could feel the fish's surging power through the rod as it made off with line. In seconds, all the loose fly line was taken up and I could play it off the reel. Yar-hooo! What a rush! Then, after a another run, he headed straight for the pin bush in front of me... Oh no! He swam around it, grating the leader against the sharp edged grass. Thats when it all stopped. No movement. 'What do I do now?' I thought. I lifted the rod slowly higher and lightly applied a little pressure. Nothing. A slight boil appeared to well up from a under the bush. He was still there. I relaxed the pressure and stepped forward. The water was close to the rim of my wader tops. I needed to get closer. I edged my way forward, aware that the icy water was very close to entering my waders. I was reaching forward as far as I could, stretching out my arm as far as I could without overbalancing. I raised the rod a little to try and loosen the leader when I felt the first razor-like slice of cold water slither down the indide of my thigh. My breath drew in involuntarily. I raised myself up on my tip-toes but it was too late. One wader was inundated, the other was filling rapidly. Next step forward reminded me I was a man, as my nether regions got wet! With 'the boys' frozen, a wet butt, I waded out to the bush. Lifting the rod again, I applied some more tension and suddenly the line shot forward and headed for the middle of the lake! As I let the drag slow the fish down for me, it turned and boiled under the surface. I swung the rod sideways, pressuring the fish to turn toward me. It resisted and arked out wide. Gradually I gained line. Not having a net, I back up towards the bank. The trout was not very happy about being guided towards the shallow water and make a couple of runs but to no avail. I soon had the flapping fish firmly in my hands! What a battle! What a prize! I dispatched the fish quickly. Nowadays I'd have released him.
I lay on my back and raised my legs up to empty my swamped waders. Looking up, I saw another fly fisherman walking towards me. We had a chat and he commended me on my effort. We chatted about this lake and its fish. Well, he spoke and I eagerly listened, that is. I took in all his tips and comments, the chill in my legs going unnoticed. He mentioned Newlyns and that it was fishing well at that moment... but that is another story... (and you know, I still have that fly in the box!)