about us

A social group of dedicated fly fishers who are passionate about fly fishing in the tropical north of Australia and equally as passionate about the close camaraderie this sport brings. This passion and dedication led to the creation of the NT Flyfishers Social Mob blog site; an interactive and creative outlet where everyone can share our wonderful fly fishing adventures and link into the “after fishing” social events we enjoy in this incredible part of the world.

Monday, 16 October 2017

CANADA PART TWO - ALBERTA AND BRITISH COLUMBIA

  Well after travelling around the north of Saskatchewan for a week and having a ball with the pike we travelled back to Regina after visiting a heap of big lakes for future fishing trips.  Some of the lakes very close to Regina had a heap of pike and while we were there a young fellow caught and released a huge Walleye in Lake Diefenbaker.   He had a para vane on though and for fly fishing I don't think dredging goes quiet that far, for me anyway.   After a bit of a rest we were off again, and I have to say how good the roads and Highway we travelled on were, hardly any big trucks and that may be because of the rail network there.  I counted one hundred and seventy cars on one train and it was only one of the trains on the lines.  Must take a lot of the loads by rail instead of road which was very impressive compared to our big highways down here.

But we were off the Calgary first so I could go shopping for trout gear.  Roggie wont tie flies on anything below a No.1 hook and usually draws the line at a No. 2.  But I was going trout fishing for the first time....I'm too used to always stripping the fly...and Roggie said I had to let it float around...that was going to be hard for me.  Just let the bloody fly drift he said....well!!!!! that's easier said then done but have a look at the backdrop for the fishing....so who cares ...magic.

Trout fishing...all new to me....but first I'm going shopping!!!!
Well....we left early in the morning so that we could reach Calgary around  lunch time and I could go to have a shop in Bass Pro ....how exciting.

Come on..so I was running...I was excited..a fishing shop the size of a small suburb..who wouldn't be!!!
OMG they even had a plane in there..fish tank..shooting gallery and heaps of flies
The boys had a bit of trouble getting me out of Bass Pro...I could have spent a lot of time...and money...they but they wouldn't let me and Roggie said you could see the drag marks in the floor and parking area where they dragged me back to the truck....not true...the truth is, I couldn't carry anymore.

Our next stop was Banff and the rockies...amazing.   Lots of water around and snow up high...beautiful.  This is a little spot we had our six casts near Banff under a road bridge....then and an earlier photo when Richie was there in January..

This is just after the pylon on the road bridge and where the first trout came from..crystal

We had been just the other side of the pylon on the left, but this is January and ice with no flow.
We had our first couple of casts under the road bridge,.....and yeah ...again Roggie got the first fish...a small bull trout

Only small and took a three inch yellow and white clouser on a 1/0...but could not shut Roggie up...first again!!
We didn't fish a lot around Banff, but took a lot of trips around the area to have a look at the beautiful place that the area is...too many people at the Fairmont in Lake Louise for Roggie...it was so crowded there..beautiful but I have to agree too many people, whereas Banff was not overcrowded at all, heaps of Aussies there and for the best coffee ever go to the Good Earth Coffeehouse in the Elk & Avenue Hotel

On the trips around Banff we came upon a few of the locals, this bear just having a stroll up the highway right up beside the truck and then strolled off into the bush....




maybe not quiet as exciting these too...

....and there were a lot of deer around in different spots.

One of the magnificent glacial streams around Banff.
I suppose I better get onto the fishing for real now.  After Banff we travelled south to our next accomodation at Fernie which was just in BC.  On the way we did our usual and fished any spot along the road that looked fishable. While we were fishing under another bridge beside the road in the Kootenay River we saw the red coloured salmon rolling over from us but couldn't get close enough to get photos but on the St.Marys near Cranbrook we saw a lot of these red salmon at the end of their run when they turn red before dying.  We were told that they were sockeye but are called Kookanee because unlike many other salmon they are landlocked and do not go to the sea, but at the end of their life they still head up into the headwaters to spawn before they die.

There is a lot more on these landlocked salmon on a separate blog so click on KOOKANEE see more on these...fascinating.

In Fernie we had a three bedroom aparment for a ridiculously low rental because it was off season, the partment complex fronted the Elk river which was about 50 metre from our door, crystal clear and full of fish, bull and cutthroat or cutbar.   You could actually see them laying in the water in groups, facing upstream.   We only got a few fish here. cutthroat or cut bar, not sure of the difference,  but luckily ran into an English couple who were avid fly fishers.  They put us onto the lighter gear and tiny leaders, with even tinier flies.  That was a new experience for Richie and me, and not stripping the floating fly was even more difficult when all the fishing I have done in the Salt and  billabongs required some stripping at least.   More on that shortly.

Looking south you can see our apartment complex in the centre of the photo

View of the same area from the back of the apartments

Even had seats for the 'Old' people

This is the river just below that seat, crystal clear and you can see fish laying either side of the log.
Richie with the first trout from the Elk River,  finally someone beat Roggie.
Our English friend gave us directions to some out of the way places further along the river to try, but prior to going to these spots we had to get smaller flies, not the ones that Roggie had tied,  which we were told might entice some of the bigger bull trout,  and they did because we watched the big trout following them in the clear water, but would not take them.  There were heaps of drift boats going past all the time and all they did was short casts and left their tiny flies to drift.  Didn't see them catch any fish like us though, but we could concentrate on an area longer I suppose.  So off to get the flies...

This might give you an idea of the size of the flies on size 14 or 16 hooks.  There is a lot missing
because of my 'Tuna Fishing'.
The Elk River fly shop was wonderful, could have stayed there and talked to them all day. George, their big black  watch dog , adopted Roggie and would follow him everywhere then lay down with his head on Roggies feet.  We nearly stole him, even when we went back for MORE flies George would run out and greet Roggie then curl up at his feet.   Might have just like the drone of his voice?

We also got some lighter leader at the shop, we had been using 10lb, but had been advised to use the 4lb, because it was the only size that would go though the eye of the small hooks.  We got some of that, it was so thin Richie and I could not see it, but the Old Fella had no problem, he tied all our flies on, and with my tuna fishing that was quiet a few flies initially. So with our new flies, and the thinnest of leader material we headed for some of the spots down the river.
Even the drift boat came down here, miles from where they lauched
the river split here under a railway bridge and had a smaller stream that went to the right in this photo.
This is the smaller stream off the river that joined again 100 yards further down. crystal clear
 The water in The Elk at a spot near a railroad bridge that we found was beautiful and it spit the river in two with the main river going straight under and a smaller stream off to the side.  The water was so clear and some of the bigger bull trout frustrated us in the main stream, we could see them clearly but they would not take a floating fly or even look at it, but if a two or three inch bunny eel or clouser went past them they would follow and turn away.   Very frustrating.  But the smaller stream to the side had less flow in it and some still pools and it was where I did most of  my fishing. 

Now I should first set the scene, I was determined to fish with my eight weight, it was a lucky rod after all, Roggie kept saying I should use a lighter six weight and I think he may have called me  'pig headed'  but I stuck with my eight weight.  I must admit Roggie was right in the end, the first half a dozen or so (seven I think) that took the fly I tried to 'Tuna Fish' and lift out of the water.   Not on that light leader...it breaks.   Finally after Roggie threatened not to tie on any more leaders or flies I let him give me instructions as I fished again.  (He never shut up)  His instructions worked..I didn't slam the next fish, took everything gently and Yay!!!!! I landed my first ever trout.

My first trout....I wasn't letting it go until we got a photo.
After that I was finally convinced to use the lighter 6 weight, it was very soft and sloppy more like an old car aerial from the 70's, but I never lost another fish and it would cast further than I needed.  Not stripping the fly was hard but I did get used to it, but having learnt to fly fish on queenfish around a metre in the Robinson River at Seven Emu, where you stripped as fast as you could to get the fish, it wasn't easy.

We got a heap of fish on the light gear, honestly lost count, they came from both the main stream and side streamof the river but no big bull trout, all the smaller cutthrout or the rainbow cross cut bar.  Next time we will take our four weights.

This was typical of the catch, there must have been a river full of them.  Great fun on light gear.
We explored most the rivers and streams around Fernie but a lot were shut off because of bushfires so we were limited to access beside the main roads a lot.  In one spot, as we were driving across a bridge on a smaller river, I forget its name, we slowed down because we could see fish in the clear water below.   There were big bull trout, facing into the flow, they would have been about 5lb and bigger Roggie guessed and amoungst them were large groups of the salmon on the end of their run.   So as usual found a track down and had to have a cast.   The bull trout ignored us, even with the larger flies that seemed at times to interest them but no bites.  We were told later that because the salmon were spawning they were waiting for the loose eggs to float down to them so should have used glo flies that looked like the eggs.   I'm not sure what type of fly that is, but you may.

Whilst the Bull trout wouldn't take the flies the small spawing salmon did.  They hit us all the time.

Thee were on their last legs after spawning but they still had a go at the flies?
There is schools of the spawning salmon just laying under the bridge.
Saving up now for our next fishing trip, our mate Canadian Pete who lives in Darwin is from BC so we are going to get all the drum from him before we go next time and fish a lot more in BC, and probably some of the rivers in the US just below Canada.   Will leave some time for the Pike in the lakes, might be a long holiday I think. 

We didn't only fish in Canada, spent a lot of time with our extended family there, Roggie and Gord (Richies father in law) were in their element with red wine and Irish whisky. But what a wonderful time we had,  AND Richies brother in law Reilly even took me to a football match in a convertible black Audi.   The family get - togethers were the best.

Roggie and Gord...they had finished the Irish and wanted more.

My ride to the 'Game;  ...go the 'Riders'
The game.....the 'Riders' won....
Over the recent years Richie has been travelling around Canada and the US just below the border exploring for the fishing areas, (he grew up travelling around Australia fishing and it has still got him hooked).  He showed us a lot of the places on the map and this trip we did around 5000 kms and visited a few of those fishing spots, BUT  there are a lot more.  So planning the next trip for a longer driving/fishing holiday, but right now, back home and the Darwin Harbour is fishing well, Dundee and Bynoe are going off and then we will take a couple of weeks to visit our good mate Jono Shales over in Exmouth.  Roggie said its no good trying to save up for our old age,  it's too late, so lets go fishing.  Isn't he wonderful.









Saturday, 14 October 2017

CANADA PART ONE - SASKATCHEWAN

We have just returned from nearly six weeks in Canada, where we fished in three states (Provinces) Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia (BC).  We tried as many streams, rivers and lakes that we could in the time we had.  (Going back for three months next time).  For the trip  we took Eights and six weights, and wish we had taken a couple of four weights now.

First we visited Roggies son Richie at his home in Regina so we could have a look in Cabelas, what fun...Bass Pro was on the bucket list for the trip to Alberta.

Finally made it...shopping what fun.
Then we all went to one of the one hundred thousand lakes that State has, in a place called Thompson's Camp on the Otter Lake, north of Regina on the way to the Yukon Territory.   Log Cabins, float planes the whole thing. This map gives you some indication of the thousands of linking lakes in the area, a huge are to fish.

A lot of water to fish???
You can fish via boat or plane, and even off the pontoons
It's an absolutely fabulous spot, we were there at the end of the school vacation break so there was not a lot of people around.   As soon as we arrived Roggie, as usual, had to have a cast off one of the pontoons, .."Just to check the line", he said.   On his first cast he though he caught weed, but the second cast produced our first of many pike to the trip.   Not big, on a big 'No see Um' fly on the sloppy six weight, and as usual you couldn't shut him up then.

Not big, but a first on the six weight.
Richie and me at the front of our log cabin...Richie's Tundra (I love it) in the background.

Next morning bright and early we hired a boat and a guide for the day thinking that we would probably get lost on all the waterways if we were by ourselves.  Our first priorty according to the guide was to catch enough Walleye for lunch.   The boys got into it and started off with small ones then progressed to a couple a bit bigger.  There is strict limits on the amount of fish you can keep in these areas to prevent overfishing, and all the catch that was legal size was kept in a fish tank on the boat, and our guide, Austin, ( a young trout fisher from BC)  kept replacing the smaller ones as the boys got bigger fish.  They got heaps, but both Roggie and Rich were disappointed in the fight, even on 10lb leader and light gear they said the fish were a bit like weed to pull in. We kept the legal amount for lunch and a couple of larger ones for the guide and his mates to have.  I think for the day we got about sixty fish all up.  Landed that is.

Richie with the first Walleye for the day, too small and had to throw it back.
Austin cooking up lunch of Three different Walleye dishes.
Sweet and Sour,  Chilli and normal Walleye for lunch.
Our flash fishing boat.

After lunch the boys got Austin to change from the Walleye fishing so we could chase Pike, and got him to take us into spots that looked like you would get a Saratoga out of the weeds at home.   We had the Eight weights for this, with floating or intermediate 9 foot tips.  I think a sinking line would have worked in some spots too, but the pike were really there in large numbers, but you had to have a good wire trace as we learnt the hard way when a few bigger ones just bit the fly off.  Roggie cut the swivel off some six inch wire traces that Richie had and tied the leader to the top of the trace.   Worked for some, but we still had the bigger fish trying to take the fish that we had hooked and they would bit off the line a lot.   Lost a lot of big flies, but had a great time. Roggie had tied up a christmas fly last year and we had it with us so when we lost a lot of flies he put that one on.   It caught heaps until a smaller pike took it and this metre plus pike swallowed the lot.

Roggies Christmas Fly was a hit....until the monster from Otter Lake took it and a fish.

Richie with a typical Pike we were getting you can see the type of water in the background, shallow and weedy.
We will take single strand trace wire with us next time, because we couldn't get any in Regina, only the seven strand stuff and Roggie couldn't make up the proper traces like he does at home.  Old age I suppose but I better be careful there because he was the only one who could see, and without glasses, to tie 4lb leader onto size 14 and 16 hooks when we were after the trout.

As I said we stopped counting fish after sixty so what a great days fishing. We were trying to decide what to do the next day, hire a boat ourselves or take a road trip and fish all the accessible inlets.  We chose the inlets because initially in the morning it was cold on the water and you know who wouldn't stop whinging.

Too bloody cold.
It was cool but not too bad I thought, got quite warm in the sun during the day and then cooled off at night.   We had a 'Pot Bellied' stove in the cabin so Roggie got it going to warm up.   He had it red hot and we had to move the rods away from it before it melted.  Then had to open all the windows until it cooled down.

Don't let Roggie play with fire

Our plan for the next day was to go fifty kms or so and fish some of the inlets just to see what it was like.  We said that we would limit ourselves to half a dozen casts each just to see what was there and then move on.    Well the boys made the plan, and you've probably heard about the best laid plans of mice and men.  Ha Ha.

Our first stop the next day was only about 10kms north of Thompsons, it was one of the many little spots where you can pull off the road and launch a canoe or have a fish, a lot of these have little spots to camp as well with wood already cut for your campfire.  We were out of the really big flies so only used some about three inches long in difference colours and styles, but anything with yellow and green seemed to be the best there was not one spot that we stopped along the road, where we did not catch fish, sometimes only one or two but we covered three hundred (300) kms that day and had an absolute great time.   We only kept one rod rigged so had to have our six casts each.  In one spot we landed twelve fish in the first eighteen casts, and had huge fish, Pike we think, take some of the smaller fish as they were coming in.   It was not that deep and you could see the fish a lot.   The line was a 9 foot ghost intermediate tip with a floating back.  In some spots, where we could get room to cast in the trees behind us, I think a 300g might have coaxed a few more of the bigger ones up from the deep. With a big fly. 

There are little spots like this all along the rod and this is a typical pike 
Another 'First cast' fish, that was lucky to be landed because a monster trying to eat it.

The pike apparently grow to about 1.5m and 30kg, this one below might give you and idea of one of the big ones and you would almost need an 18 inch trace to stop it biting of the line?? We saw some huge ones, maybe not quiet this big, that took smaller fish we had hooked.   Ten weight and longer tracs next time.

Courtesy of fishing in Saskatchewan





Saturday, 8 July 2017

BARRA - A FEW GOOD FISH

Courtesy of Tony ORR


Apologies for the unashamed brag-photos...
Haven't had as much time on the water as I would like over the last few months, but managed a couple of crackers nevertheless. While I acknowledge that barra are not at all difficult to coax into eating feathers, big ones can be quite difficult to bring to bag when there is no boat involved!

Three 'meteries' so far this year, all on the 9-weight, and all land-based.
Hope you enjoy the photos:

Right on 100cm, caught during the 'wet' on one of my flashy gold rattle-rousers.

This one scoffed a 4/0 rattling 'Pink Thing' and measured 112cm.

Also taken on a rattling 'Pink Thing', this specimen dragged the tape out to 113cm.
All were extremely challenging amongst the waterlilies, hyacinth, and submerged paperbark logs!
But that's all over now....

The cool weather has brought the tuna and mackerel into the harbour, so....
Hi ho, hi-ho, its out to sea we go!