Lake Macquarie and Blacksmiths Beach on Fly (and Lure)

Lake Macquarie and Blacksmiths Beach on Fly (and Lure)

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water, Trip Report
After months in quasi-lockdown, getting used to the new normal imposed on us by Covid-19, we finally managed to get away for 5 days of bliss at Lake Macquarie. We'd never been to the area before, but chose it for a handful of reasons. Firstly, it offered a great selection of both fishing and family friendly activities. Secondly, it's close to home, and wouldn't require hours of driving to get there, eating up valuable fun time. And thirdly, they had availability (yes, the majority of Australians were as eager to get outdoors as we were, post lockdown). We drove up on Friday, taking a quick detour via Hunter Water Sports to pick up a fish finder mount for my kayak. We also stopped off at Woolworths to stock up on…
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Kayak Fishing Budgewoi Lake

Kayak Fishing Budgewoi Lake

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water, Trip Report
Sunset over Lake Munmorah After a long and painful journey back from the USA, including a lost bag and a delayed flight, I was happy to climb into the ute and head north for Budgewoi. We'd booked a deluxe cabin on the banks of Lake Munmorah at the Budgewoi Holiday Park, and were ready for a long weekend of fishing, swimming pools, and beach. The cabin was by far the best we've stayed in. Firstly, it was either newer, or at the very least, recently renovated. It also had incredible, uninterrupted, views of the Lake Munmorah, whereas most of the other cabins we've stayed in have had limited to no views, and are usually surrounded by multiple other cabins. Inside the cabin was pretty standard; there were two bedrooms, one…
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Lake Oberon Trout

Lake Oberon Trout

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
My family and I recently headed out to Oberon in NSW, in the hope of finding some trout waters closer to home. While Lake Jindabyne and the Thredbo River were incredible venues, driving 7 hours to fish for trout is just too tall an ask for me to do frequently. So with that in mind, we left home after work on Friday, and started the 180km drive through the Blue Mountains, to Oberon. I was not initially impressed with our accomodation, the Jenolan Holiday Park, predominantly since it was located in the middle of town, under the clouds of steam billowing from the timber mill's stacks. That said, the cabins were comfortable, consisting of 2 bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower, and a small living area including an open plan…
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The Xplorer UHTFC Festival 2017

The Xplorer UHTFC Festival 2017

Event, Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
Having hosted a very successful (inaugural) fly fishing festival in 2016, we (the UHTFC committee) decided to build on the event by hosting our second festival in 2017. We updated the format, extending the festival by a day to 2 days, and then threw in a formal dinner and  braai. Although Neill and I were fishing in the festival, we were also partially responsible for putting the event together, and therefore had to do our due diligence. As such we drove up early on Friday morning and spent the day checking the condition of the festival waters, unlocking the various gates and boat houses, packing goodie bags, and setting up the evening venue. One of the waters was slightly off-colour, and we therefore removed it from the festival, otherwise all was looking good. With…
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Castleburn

Castleburn

Fresh Water, Review, Trip Report, Trout
I was lucky enough to win a 5 day stay at Castleburn in last years Xplorer UHTFC Festival. After (accidentally) letting it expire I managed to get it extended by a month and took the family up for a much needed break.  Having spent the weekend fishing the Boston Fly Fishing Festival this was intended to be a family trip. I did however manage to pack the  fly rod and to sneak away for the odd hour here and there. And I'm certainly glad I did - the fishing was great.  For the full (family) trip report please head over to my personal website. This blog post is going to be more focused on Castleburn's fly fishing, as well as any activities related to fishing. The Venue [caption id="attachment_2907" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Sunrise…
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The Boston Fly Fishing Festival 2017

The Boston Fly Fishing Festival 2017

Event, Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
Arrival and Registration The 7th annual Boston Fly Fishing Festival was once again held on the weekend of the 16th June. And for the 5th year in a row this meant missing my wedding anniversary in favour of the event. Thankfully I have a forgiving wife, and had booked a week-long family holiday at Castleburn, and was therefore given the much needed pink slip. Baha Fly Fishing entered the same 2 teams of four as the previous year. The South coast team was once again made up of Dave, Dan, Andrew and Richard, while the Durban team consisted of Neill, Bruce, Keegan and myself. Now while I named the team's Baha North and Baha South, the South Coast boys had other plans. They arrived at the festival early and used…
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Snow Hunting and a Tough Hour at Lake Ringstead

Snow Hunting and a Tough Hour at Lake Ringstead

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
I recently took the family to the Drakensberg in search of snow. Sadly our adventure was less successful than planned. Although there was an abundance of snow, all of it fell high in the mountains meaning we needed to make our way up Sani Pass to get it. So far so good. The problem however arose as we began to make our way up the bottom reaches of the pass and quickly discovered just how dangerous the pass had become. Our first clue should have been the various news reports we heard on the radio clearly stating that the top of the pass was closed. However we chose to ignore these in the hope that we could drive up the pass just far enough to get to the bottom of the…
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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…
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The Xplorer UHTFC Festival 2016

The Xplorer UHTFC Festival 2016

Event, Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
This year the UHTFC decided to host it’s inaugural UHTFC Xplorer Fly Fishing Festival. Apparently the club has hosted festivals in the past, but these were well before my time and have long since been forgotten by club members and the committee alike. Bruce Taylor put his hand up and did the majority of the planning and leg work, while I organised the advertising and online registration (and presence) for the event. In the end we opened it to 25 teams of 2, as well as 2 Xplorer teams, meaning we had 54 anglers. Alan did a great job organising the waters and we were privileged to include venues like Sani Valley Lodge (Lifton Lake), Giant’s Cup, Lake Naverone, and Castleburn in amongst the lineup of club dams. The committee made the…
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A Winter’s Day At Hella Hella

A Winter’s Day At Hella Hella

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Yellowfish
At 4am I was awoken by the sound of pouring rain which left me wondering if our trip to the Umkomaas was still on the cards. Thankfully as I lay there the downpour slowly abated and by the time I climbed out of bed there was just the slightest drizzle. I made a few rolls, packed the car, and then waited for Keegan and Nick to arrive so that we could head for Richmond. After a quick coffee stop we were soon descending into the Umkomaas valley. It was a chilly 10 degrees when my car started pulling to the left and I was forced to pull over. As I feared my front left tyre was flat and so began my first ever tyre change in the Fortuner. Apparently you're…
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