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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.

Friday, 21 October 2016

The Cast the Strike

I'm watching, the Barra is a sitting duck all 80cms just laying there 7m's away,first cast short, I'm thinking "never aim at the fish", second cast 2m's to the right and behind, I'm thinking "not much practise here", third cast straight over the top and was drawn into the fish's side who decided there is no evident threat and swam off.

Next fish bit smaller slowly drifting off the flat first cast 3 mts in front and level, the Barra by the time it got anywhere near the fly saw us turned around and went back the way it came from.

Third fish,first cast not even in the same postcode ! second cast I'll be buggered perfect as it was drawn past the Barra ate it and spat it out again, blank look from me to my client who said "I didn't feel a thing" I said, "  neither did he".
Persisting on next Barra and excusing the first 3 casts details finally got it right, again coming across the strike zone perfect, I said expect him to eat it, it did and the rod shot skywards the Barra jumped once and gone.

This is my life for a very many guiding days and when someone says how did you go my comment is usually,".. caught a few scared a few".

Now this is not over critical but purely observation, this is experience and  is often  what you get when you dont get what you want.
There are two casts for Barra the right one and everything else if its not in the strike zone forget it.
Knowing that when it is in the strike zone expect them to eat it .When its mouth opens in goes your "you beaut" fly when it shuts out it goes, not the other way around they implode whatever they eat by opening their mouth and expelling it when they shut it all in one movement.
                                        What Fly? Take your pick but get it right on the cast

Lift strikes in saltwater do not usually work hooks are much larger and barbed and need to penetrate you will not do that over the slightest bend in a flyrod.  Strike with your stripping hand and stick it in.
                                                              Someones idea of a joke

For the next week I'm off to the Mini Mini Endalgut Island system one of my favourite places to guide on the Tropic Paradise. Will file a report when I get back.

Cheers Graeme

Thursday, 13 October 2016


It's been a while since we have spent so much time fishing in Darwin Harbour, Bynoe has been our main base for the past few years, but circumstances have us doing short trips now into Darwin and rediscovering our old fishing spots.   One thing that has really changed in Darwin is the skyline....with the Inpex plant monstrosity over on our old fishing spots at Catalina Creek...you just have to wonder how they could have even considered putting that ugly place there..madness.

Anyway, once you get past all the new bits and pieces in that part of the harbour,  weed reef and west arm are still magnificent places with the beautiful city skyline in the background.

We started fishing over in the crystal clear water along the edge of little west arm, hoping for a red tag barra but didn't see any, even without red tags.  Plenty of trevally, some big goldies and massive queenies cruising the flats and hunting the smaller fish.   The trevally were around 30cm and there were plenty of them. Here is a typical catch, but have a closer look and you will see a mark on it's side.  That was where a huge queenie T barred it. There were so many of these we decided to crush the barbs on the hook.  That might have been the wrong thing to do?

Typical trevally 
Those big queenies continued to chase the trevally and presented a couple of opportunities to sight cast at a couple of them as they put their bow waves across the shallows.  I managed to get one of them to take a pink and white clouser about three inches long.   OMG didn't that cause a panic.   I have caught a lot of good queenies over a metre in the past but this was the most acrobatic and biggest I have ever hooked.   Roggie said it was at least 120.   It took me to the backing twice, and at one stage I thought that it might spool me, the line was going a million miles an hour towards Darwin and it was jumping in the opposite direct.  Typical queenie.   After a good fight, we thought it was done and managed to fish it, bit by bit back to the boat. It had jumped about four times and you could see how huge it was, but right at the boat, it came out of the water about six foot away and sprayed us with water, then it decided to run under the boat, bugger.  Managed to get it out and nearly to the net, but it must have seen Roggie....it shook its head and threw the hook.   What did I do....guess....sat down and cried for half an hour.

But the weather was so beautiful, so while I was having my debrief over the queenie, Roggie took us for a long ride to calm me down.   We ended up out from Cullen Bay where we found birds working in a couple of spots.  There were bait balls coming up now and then with heaps of small mackerel chasing them.   I sacrificed that fly that had lost the big queenie to the first mac that bit it off while Roggie was making up small wire traces for the other flies.

This was typical of the smaller macs 

Another ...all around 55cm

They loved this little fly...about 4cm with an 'all clear' head and 6cm trace.
We got sick of chasing the small macs. even though there were tuna or bigger fish under them, you could not get the fly down past them,  so we moved a bit closer to the Cullen Bay sand bar where, in 2006 I got by PB tuna and broke my TFO rod.   This was the last time I had broken a rod.
My 2006 Tuna
We were around the same spot that I hooked my tuna when Roggie said theres' big fish under the boat, and there was a school of larger macs, just swinging around the boat, some were huge, but most appeared to be around 80cm.  The best we got was an 82 cm.  Cast in with my 9wt BVK and hooked up almost immediately.  I don't think the fish new it was hooked, didn't run until it got near the boat and then it took off.  Got it back to the boat and thought it was done but as Roggie was about to net it, the fish decided to make a quick dive.  Smashed my rod against the boat and the second piece became three pieces as it shattered.  Then the bloody fish came up to the top and let us net it.   Another broken rod ...Cullen bay curse?????

There were a lot of these off the sand bar, with bigger fish under them.  Strangely no birds working over them.
Great fun...

Sunday, 2 October 2016


A couple of the boys have been tying a fly which is a bit like a bendback pattern with a keel of ball sinkers.....from what I can find out,  it is a fly created by Gavin Davis of the Flyjunkies and it has been working really well with the barra.   The boys  have tied a bit smaller version and the barra have been taking them when the ever reliable clouser has been ignored.  Though on another day, who knows.  Going to tie up a few variations to try over the next few months.

Looks like a great dredging fly too for the deep water????

This is one of a 'Son of Cowan'  flies that works on the barra......
With a weed guard

extra sinkers and no weed guard
...yes....a bit like one of Ken Culkins keel fly with ball sinkers as the keel...

Ken's fly had lead keel tied in on base of hook
here is the Ball Chinian tying instructions courtesy of Gavin Davis the Flyjunkies....and the Saltwater Fly Fishing group

Gama SL12S 6/0

 tail with lead wraps around the end to give extra special fish attracting movement...

Some flash over the tail...

White kinky fibre on the belly and a piece of mono for the keel...

Some pink kinky fibre plus some lead wraps around the hook shank...

Pink kinky fibre over the top and white underneath...

Topped with black, a few stripes and the keel tied off with 2 ball sinkers plus a double mono weed guard...

Some crazy eyes and presto...

Some A-Grade snag proof fast sink slow retrievable maximum movement flies!