Welcome to what looks like another great year of fly fishing.
Thank you to all of you who attended our Christmas party at the club. Although numbers were down on the year before, everyone I spoke to said they had a great night, with great food, and looked forward to this year’s. The club’s prize giving was exciting, with a few surprise winners. David Screen was again the winner of the major raffle prize, a Simms G3 Guides Vest.
On a different note, David, Uncle Jim and I had a great end to last year in Patagonia, catching a lot of very, very large rainbows. You’ll hear all about it at our meeting with our presentation, but we’ve included some pictures to whet everyone’s appetite.
I know it’s been very hot so far, but hopefully, rain will come and freshen up the streams in NSW and elsewhere. As I write, there’s an intense storm through the South Island of New Zealand where I’m heading with David on Friday for two weeks.
As always at this time of the year, with it being hot, be aware that there are a lot of snakes about (except in NZ!), so make sure you take bandages, an EPIRB, if you have one, and let people know where you’re going.
If you can, don’t fish alone. By the way, the club has an Epirb you can borrow if you need to take one on a trip.
Fly fishing clubs converged at Wallerawang in May for the annual NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers (CFA) inter-club meet.
A super group of David Screen, Uncle Jim Screen, Bill Toorak and twin terrors Robert and Alan Steege represented Lakeside Fly Fishing Club (LFFC), pitting their skills against seven other fly fishing clubs. LFFC were confident with the local knowledge of Bill Toorak, our great advantage. But Bill earned himself the moniker of the PHANTOM over the weekend because he wasn’t sighted by his team members (busy with family commitments, Bill did fish on the Saturday and turn up with his catch sheet).
Robert and Dawn Steege had won a voucher for one nights stay at Rocky Waterhole BnB overlooking Lake Wallace at Wang which the brothers Robert and Alan took advantage of. Rocky Waterhole BnB is a very nice facility that we can highly recommend and no, Alan didn’t have to wear a dress.
On the way up Alan and Rob fished the Coxs River off Mckanes Falls Road for a few hours but aside from spotting a five centimeter monster, they didn’t spook a fish. After a few drinks at the old pub in Wang they invaded Peter and Dot Drinkall at the BnB, providing a nice bottle of red consumed by all, then retired for the night.
When the fog cleared after breakfast the next morning, Alan and Rob fished the Coxs river just below the Dam wall on Peter’s property. They spotted two fish but couldn’t tempt them. So Peter took them through the nearby national park to another section of the Coxs. The nice clear water looked promising, and a few small rainbows were granted a ‘long range catch and release’ i.e. nothing landed. Still, it was a great location and nice of Peter to take the lads down there.
On Friday night the official welcoming festivities were held at the Blackgold Motel in Wang and LFFC fraternised with members from other clubs, many of whom were familiar faces from club meets past.
The main day of competition dawned on Saturday bright and sunny. At least that’s how it was when Rob and Alan took to the water after most of the keen anglers had left.
Most fishos hit either Thompsons Creek Dam or the Fish river. David and Uncle Jim made for the Kowmung, a rather steep drive suited to David’s four wheel driving skills, and they both caught a few small rainbows.
Peter Drinkall let on that there were some good fish in the SECRET RIVER which also had a fair percentage of carp. The brothers Steege wrongly decided not to go to the SECRET RIVER and headed instead to the Duckmaloi where a farmer ordered them off his land, even though they gained access along the river bank.
So they checked out other stretches of river and this time they sought permission at the farm house. No one was home but points were earned for trying.
Despite low water levels a couple of decent rainbows were spotted in a deep run and Alan floated a dry right over the biggest fish’s nose, to no avail. The big fish then followed some streamers but ultimately refused.
Hedging their bets, the lads made for a proven spot on the Fish river and broke their ducks with a small rainbow each.
The clubs convened back at the Blackgold motel to share fishing stories around the barbeque. Most reported catches of small rainbows. The best fish caught was a 65 centimetre rainbow in, you guessed it, the SECRET RIVER. The largest impoundment fish was a 53 centimetre rainbow.
Sunday was land activity day, distance and accuracy casting with nine foot leaders. Competition casting is usually done with six foot leaders and LFFC gun caster, Uncle Jim, couldn’t adjust.
All the lads competed but trophies were elusive with LFFC finishing a respectable middle of the ladder. Neil Nelson from sister club Illawarra Fly Fishers snuck in some practise before hand and snagged the trophy. Well done Neil.
All up, Wang treated the LFFC lads to three days of excellent weather and good camaraderie. They’ll return next year determined to reclaim the inter-club trophy.
Skills night 2017 was great fun with Warren and Trevor sharing their fly tying skills, Don educating us on skagit lines and John showing off the slim beauty knot. At least that’s what it looked like but it was so slim and beautiful it was hard to see. Either that or it was too hard to see the monofilament. Next year John will be back tying the knot with something more visible.
Welcome to what I hope will be a great fly fishing year. I hope you all had a restful break, either fishing or tying flies, or just relaxing. I want to start by thanking everyone who attended our Christmas Dinner and party at the club in December.
What a great night it was and my special thanks to everyone who helped out, particularly Don and David, and Alan and Robert. A particular thanks to Juan Del Carmen for his generous major raffle prize, luckily won by David Screen. The meal was fabulous.
We have a busy year ahead, with the closing and opening of the season, the CFA event, and my first President’s Challenge, as President. On a personal front, I head off to New Zealand for 2 weeks’ fishing on 3 February, and am also looking forward to a week in Patagonia, fishing with David and Uncle Jim.
Speaking of Patagonia, over the Christmas break I visited the Patagonia shop in Kent Street. As well as having some fly fishing clothing downstairs, they also run a clothing repair service, to repair rips and tears to jackets, etc.
Whilst they prefer to repair Patagonia gear, they will repair other brands. So if your gear is looking a bit worse for wear, consider giving them a go. They sponsor Josh Hutchins, a good friend of the club.
See you at the February meeting.
Wednesday 1st February:
First club meeting of 2017 and a screening of Complete Casting with Lefty Kreh
For those who are planning a fishing trip over the break, please stay safe. Recent statistics place middle-aged men at the apex of accidents around water– although often associated with alcohol, so we’re probably a little bit safer.
However, take care, tell someone where you’re going, or better still, go with someone else. Also, don’t forget your EPIRB and snake bandages. My recent camping trip to the Snowy showed me how active the snakes are at this time of year.
Speaking of places to go, my camping trip also showed the general improvement in the waters around the Eucumbene, and in particular, the Yarrangobilly, where a lot of good fish were caught. Of course, the fishing pressure over the break may put paid to any good fishing, but the waters are up and flowing well.
We’ve had a great year, with great guest speakers to our meetings, and an increased turnout for which I’m grateful. Our move to Grandviews has really paid off, and I want to thank the management and staff of the club for allowing us to meet and use their facilities. They have gone out of their way to make us all welcome.
Again, have a great Christmas and New Year, and I’ll see you all at our meeting in February.