They say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I’m here to tell you that’s an unfounded myth. The last month has seen me embark on an exciting new journey into the world of fly fishing.
Truth be told, it actually started a couple of years ago, when my Accountant rang me and said he’d received a gift voucher to do a charter with a guy called Justin Duggan, and would I like to tag along with him. Well, “Yes” was my automatic response. I knew of Justin and also knew he was a well respected fly fishing guide in Sydney.
We had a fantastic morning on the Salmon in Pittwater, and it sparked an interest to want to learn how to fly cast well. I booked in with Justin for a couple of Park sessions, and felt like I made some really good progress. I went away pumped to go out and put everything he’d taught me into practice on my own.
Despite all of the best intentions, somehow, fishing kind of just got in the way. When you invest so much energy into fishing tournaments as I have over the last few years, and fishing socially is a treat that rarely occurs, it’s hard to find the motivation to pick up the “long wand” and practice on the water.
Funny how things pan out. At the beginning of the year I got an invitation to go to Christmas Island in October this year with Chris Stannage, and this renewed my interest again.
Now, as you know saltwater fly fishing media was always a big influencing factor in us starting this blog, and I have to say I’m very, very keen to go. Chris and I have been threatening to hit Sydney Harbour for ages, and finally a few weeks ago we did. Fly rods were the order of the day, and spending half a day on the water with an accomplished angler to help hone my skills was invaluable motivation for me.
The next few trips, I’ve left the spin gear at home, and swapped them for the 6wt and the 8wt fly rods. I’m determined to master the art, and even more determined to conquer the wily Sydney Harbour Bream on fly. I still haven’t managed this, though I know that they are still in all the usual places. I’ve focused my practice around the pontoons and boat hulls, and although it’s been frustrating at times, I’ve got to say my casting has improved out of sight with a bit of practice.
Josh has always been excitable, as he’s encouraged us to expand our fishing repertoires, and since joining the crew, Vicki has brought a new level of enthusiasm to the mix. So when the 2 of them conspired together to get me make the 10 and a bit hour round trip to the Snowy’s because the “Trout have been on the chew”, they used my new found addiction for flyfishing against me. Promises like “I’m certain I can get you one on fly in the first few minutes” were ringing in my ear, and I succumbed…
Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. It certainly wasn’t quite so easy as Josh had predicted, but nevertheless it did happen, and early on Friday Morning I landed my first Trout on fly. I still have a lot to learn about this new world of “fluff chucking”,with its own vocabulary of jargon to boot, but I think I’m hooked!