As you read this issue of Fishing and Boating News the mayflies of our Tasmanian waters are already listed in the specials on the menu board for our brown and rainbow trout. On clam afternoons the lowland rivers and lakes are already abuzz with red and black spinners, and the mayfly duns float adrift as the intermediate stage of this amazing insect makes its journey from nymph to spinner.
Muz Wilson is perhaps Australia's best know fly tier and more importantly he is one of the most innovative fly designers on the planet.
Recently while Muz was visiting Tasmania and participating at a fly fishing workshop at our Cressy facility Mike Stevens was able to identify the importance of this man and his contribution to fly fishing. Mike has asked me to pen a few words about this remarkable individual.
It's amazing how close to home good dry fly fishing can be found. As summer comes along the lowland rivers start to offer some exhilarating, and often challenging dry fly fishing. From trout cruising the slow moving glides or pools sipping minuscule offerings out of the surface film, to excited brown trout freely leaping from the water to catch mayfly and damselfly on the wing. These fish are catchable. With a little patience, intelligent fly choice, a good leader setup and accurate casting they can be brought undone, and once two or three of these fish come to the net you can really feel a sense of satisfaction about achieving a challenging task.
Anyone who has picked up an English fly fishing magazine will have read about the virtues of the Booby. This bizarre looking fly has been around the lake fly fishing scene in England for close on twenty years. In this time it has become one of the "must have" patterns in fly boxes for everyone from rank beginners to the top competition anglers. The Booby is a fly that can be fished on every line from a super fast sinker to a floating line, it can be used for very specific purposes as a sacrificial fly, but will catch plenty of brown and rainbow trout in its own right.
You would think that a fly with such abilities would be well recognised here in Tassie, however if you asked ten fly fisherman about the Booby, I reckon about 8 or 9 of them would be thinking lingerie not fishing.
"Give the fish a chance, put the fly on, or in the water"
Fly fishing, by definition, must involve a genuine attempt to capture fish. Armed with a balanced outfit and adequate casting skills the final element, fishing the water, is still not without it's challenges. This is particularly so for our ever increasing, urban based, aspiring fly fishers who, more than others need this type of outdoor activity, but have little experience to draw on to understand the aquatic and marine environment of the fishes. It is most likely unfamiliar and the mirror like surface of the water, denies vision of the fish habitat and behaviour below.
The Hedged Bet
Fishing two flies is often referred to as hedging your bets - typically the leader will consist of a buoyant dry fly such as Royal Wulff tied on the end of the tippet, and tied between 30 and 60 centimeters off its hook bend will be a nymph such as a Pheasant Tail nymph. If the fish are feeding off the of surface, then the fish may take the dry, however, if the fish is feeding below the surface, such as trout feeding on nymphs, the fish will probably take the nymph trailing below the Wulff, hence the reference to a hedged bet.
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