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Sea runners - Early Season Excitement - Christopher Bassano

Presented from Issue 100
Considering the world class quality of our sea trout fishery, these fish are not sought after by enough anglers. Sea runners live in the salt water and run up our estuaries and rivers from the start of August to the middle of November. At this time of the year, they are here to eat the many species of fish that are either running up the rivers to spawn or are living in and around the estuary systems. Trout, both sea run and resident (Slob Trout) feed heavily on these small fish which darken in colouration as they move further into fresh water reaches.

The majority of these predatory fish are brown trout with rainbows making up a very small percentage of the catch. They can be found all around the state but it would be fair to say that the east coast is the least prolific of all the areas. They still run up such rivers as the Georges (and many others) but their numbers along with the quality of the fishing elsewhere make it difficult to recommend the area above the larger northern, southern and western rivers.

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110 katePresented from Issue 110, June 2014
Winter is a time to reflect on the past season and contemplate the new one. In recent articles I mentioned what a hard season it was - especially for fishers of the dry fly. We had some good fishing to hatching stoneflies in November, but after that the best results were usually on wet flies with sinking lines.

I reckon this sort of fishing is hard work, but it certainly gave us some good results. Of course it makes sense, because as we all know eighty percent of a trout’s food is in the water, not on it. So with little surface activity it has been most important to find the depth the fish are at.

With all the gear we have at our service these days such as fish finders and lines to plumb any depth you can find the fish. Catching them might be a different story, but you know where they are.

Recently I was asked how to tied laid-back hackles for wet flies. This was for Woolly Buggers and English wets. I rarely use cock hackles, but favor the softer hen necks which give much more movement and life like action.

The fly I have chosen for this issue is a great little bob fly, which suits the fly from last issue (phantom).

The Kate McLaren was given to me by a friend from Scotland and I rate it very highly as a bob fly. This can be used on both floating and sinking lines. On a floating line when there is a good wave pull it quickly. On a sinking line retrieve half way and then lift the rod high, bringing the Kate to the surface, and create a wake through the surface.

Kate McLaren

  • Hook: Heavy gauge size 10-14
  • Thread: Black
  • Tail: Bunch golden pheasant crest tips
  • Body: Black seals fur
  • Rib: Fine gold wire
  • Body hackle: Black hen
  • Head hackle: Brown hen
  • The original uses cock hackle, but I like the hen much better.
  • Method

1. Take black thread full length of shank, tie in golden pheasant crest tips for tail, cut away excess feather and tie in gold rib.

2. Tie in rib firmly, dub on black seals fur and wind forward, finishing back a little from the eye.

3. Take black hen hackle and tie in so the curve of the feather is curl back towards the bend. Wind hackle to bend and then wind gold rib forward through hackle. Bind rib in with thread and cut away tip of hen hackle at bend.

4. With the brown head hackle tie in closely in front of the body hackle, wind forward to the eye and then back to where thread is hanging. Bring the thread through the hackle to the eye, cut away excess hackle.

5. With your fingers pull the hackle back and hold so you can form a nice head that pushes the hackle backwards. Whip finish and varnish.

You want a fly with hackles that looks similar to the photo.

Jan Spencer

110 kate

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