Trevally at Dammerels Head

Trevally at Dammerels Head

Salt Water
While camping at Emerald Beach, the lure of the many beautiful beaches surrounding us was far too great, and saw us heading north to explore Woolgoolga Beach. This proved to be a good decision as we drove onto the sand at the incredibly picturesque Flat Top Point. From there we headed south, looking for a good spot to setup camp for the afternoon. On route we passed multiple promising looking holes in the surf, all sure to hold fish, before coming to a stop at Dammerels Head. We selected the rocky point for both it's aesthetics as well as the promise of species other than dart, which we were beginning to tire of. Aerial photo of Dammerels Head While our kids chased (and amazingly caught) crabs, we kitted up our…
Read More
A Windy Fingal Bay

A Windy Fingal Bay

Salt Water
Warren fly fishing the rocks at Fingal Bay During a recent trip to Fingal Bay (Port Stephens) I snuck away for a quick hour on the water. I chose to head to the rocky point at the southern end of the bay, as I believed this had the best possibility of holding good fish. The beach was devoid of wave action, which made me believe it was unlikely to hold any good fish (or at the very least, they would be widely spread out and difficult to find). In theory this proved to be a good choice as I had access to good structure, deep water, and multiple impressive gullies. Sadly, the 40 km/hr winds made fly fishing exceptionally difficult. In fact, at points the wind actually lifted my fly…
Read More
Prospecting the Spit West Reserve

Prospecting the Spit West Reserve

Salt Water
Sunset at Spit West Reserve Having moved to Sydney just under a year ago, it was truely amazing to realise that I had not flicked a fly into the abundance of water available right at my doorstep. Eager to put a stop to this poor behaviour, I grabbed my fly rod (and the 6 salt water flies I own) and headed down to Spit West Reserve. On a previous visit (to the park) I'd seen a few trevally shoot out from under a yacht to chase some baitfish in the shallows. Unfortunately, fishing this part of the reserve was near impossible due to the many joggers, walkers, kids, dogs, and so on. I was therefore forced to fish the southern end of the reserve, closer to the rowing club. On…
Read More
My First Session in Australia – Toowoon Bay

My First Session in Australia – Toowoon Bay

Salt Water
According to my blog the last time I flicked a fly was at the 2017 Xplorer UHTFC Festival, which was way back on the 24 September 2017. WOW! I'm truly embarrassed. How can it be that for well over a year I never flicked a fly?! Putting the embarrassment aside for a second, I was massively excited to step out onto the beach, fly rod in hand, with the only 6 flies I own in my pocket. My target? Tailor (that's shad for my South African friends)? Luderick? I wasn't really sure to be honest. I just wanted to wet a fly. My family and I were in Toowoon Bay on camping trip, and I'd managed to sneak away for an hour in the early afternoon. The wind was howling,…
Read More
Buying My First Flies in Australia

Buying My First Flies in Australia

Randoms, Salt Water
[caption id="attachment_2981" align="alignnone" width="1600"] My first 6 salt water flies bought in Australia[/caption] Back in February I sadly got rid of all of my flies, as well as all of my tying material, when immigrating from South Africa to Australia. It was perhaps a little drastic, but considering the volume of natural fibre in both, it seemed like the most logical and simple thing to do. After all, I didn't want to be the next victim of "Border Security." Now while this may have made the packing process easier, it was perhaps little short sighted. With a weekend planned at Toowoon Bay, I headed down to a local fly fishing shop on my lunch-break. Much to my dismay each of the flies I purchased cost around $10 (R100). Considering these…
Read More
Bonito in the Bay (and Mackerel)

Bonito in the Bay (and Mackerel)

Bait, Salt Water
[caption id="attachment_2969" align="alignright" width="267"] Nick with a mackerel caught on lure[/caption] A family wedding meant that Sharon, the kids, and I boarded a plane and headed to Brisbane. Nick picked us up from the airport and, much to my wife's dismay, immediately started discussing the day's fishing plans. We dropped the family off at Nick's place, had a quick cup of coffee, hitched up the boat, and headed for Moreton Bay. Conditions on the bay were near perfect - well, for us humans. A warm autumn day with sunny, blue skies and not a breath of wind. The water looked like glass as we skimmed across, it heading for some structure between Peel Island and North Stradbroke. We started the day with some bottom fishing, using squid and pilchards as…
Read More
Durban Showing Off

Durban Showing Off

Salt Water
[caption id="attachment_2860" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Neill fishing the Durban beachfront[/caption] On Friday morning Neill and I took to the Durban beachfront for a pre-work fish. Despite being winter the water was warm and conditions looked promising for a few wavies. Consistent offshore winds in the preceding days had flattened the swell, other than a rather large shore-break which did hinder fishing slightly. Durban itself put on a great show with a beautiful orange sunrise illuminating the glass-like surface on the ocean. We fished for between an hour and an hour and a half, with not so much as a bump from the smallest wave garrick. This was irrelevant though, as it was great to just be out there with the sand between our toes before a tough day's graft. Fishing was followed by a…
Read More
Wavies and Cappuccinos

Wavies and Cappuccinos

Salt Water
Back before I had 2 children, in the days when my job was less time consuming, I used to often fish before (and after) work along the beaches of KwaZulu-Natal or in the Durban harbour. Those days now seem like a distant memory, although in truth it wasn't all that long ago. This morning I got to relive those days and realised that perhaps they're not out of my grasp, and reminded me that I'm getting a little lazy and that I can still wake up at 4:30am on a work day to get to the water. The fishing itself was very much a non event in terms of size and numbers. We fished a pushing, neap tide for an hour and got maybe five fish between the three of us. They…
Read More
Fun on Fly at Umngazi River Bungalows

Fun on Fly at Umngazi River Bungalows

Salt Water, Trip Report
[caption id="attachment_2780" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Sunset at Umngazi River Bungalows[/caption] We recently headed to Umngazi River Bungalows for a week long family holiday. The weather was sadly not ideal (for a family holiday) with most days being overcast and drizzly, with the added benefit of a few spectacular evening storms. On the up side it generally only rained in the afternoons and, despite the clouds, it was still warm enough to enjoy the beach and the pool. Conditions were also good enough to grab the fly rod and head for a quick fish (but then when are conditions not right for fishing?). The water was dirty from recent rains and chats with other anglers weren’t promising as nobody had caught a fish. But you can’t catch without a fly in the water…
Read More
Back To The Harbour

Back To The Harbour

Salt Water
[caption id="attachment_2543" align="alignright" width="225"] Leo with a nice gurnard[/caption] It's been a while since I've fly fished the harbour. In fact, according to this blog, the last time was back in January 2013 when we got some nice pompano and kingies. News was that it was fishing well so Keegan, Leo, Amy and I headed down for a quick flick. Spring lows were at around midday so we arrived at the harbour at 10:30am. The not uncommon first challenge was that Leo forgot his basket. This was (relatively) easily solved by lurking behind the restaurants and hunting down an old beer crate. This combined with a piece of soggy harbour rope made a great stripping basket and we were back in action. We started fishing near the concrete block and I quickly…
Read More