about us

The Mob are 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 Fly Fishers 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, 5 October 2015


We are going down to Bynoe early because we haven't had a fish for nearly three months!  Really looking forward to catching up with everyone, especially over a drink so we can share the gossip that I've missed out on.

I hope we don't Jonah anything but here is the predicted winds and tides for the weekend...looks great...I know some are only fishing a short time and then socialising...but it looks like the wind might favour us finally.....tides are good and even though there is a chance of some showers predicted, it should be great on the water.......and at the bar.  I'm sure that Tommy and Julie at Sandpalms have stocked up on the Pepperjack shiraz for me !!!

Here is the graphs of the predicted wind...though Roggie thinks it might change for Saturday a bit....

Using up extra brownie points.....

Courtesy of the STIG

Using up extra brownie points.....

All week I have been working on our 5 acre block at the back of Humptydoo (30 minutes from Darwin) - clearing, gathering fallen timber into piles, removing dead trees etc. Main task was the putting up of 900 meters of star pickets and pig wire. dividing the block into three parts - two for horses and one part for the house and front lawn - love a large lawn of green grass (good for teaching my kids fly casting!)

Talk about hard work - mostly because I have grown soft in my air-conditioned school science lab! As a sheep farmer's son, my long dead father would roll over in his grave at my softness!
I am still sore all over, with old sports injuries inflamed and pain-killers taken.
But lifting a 20 kilo jack hammer to head height 180 times will do that - used the jack hammer to drive in the 180 star pickets in to compacted ground for the fence line. Then again using the jack hammer far easier than the old ram style by hand method.

So the wife was looking kindly, maybe even fondly!, at me each evening for the 'hard work' I have been doing. So there was not even a murmur when I said I was thinking of fishing on Sunday.

Peter and I hit the water Sunday morning around 6:30am. Hightide was at 9:30am and a spring tide, so we needed to be back at ramp by 2 to avoid not enough water at ramp when taking boat out with Low tide under a meter due around 4pm.

Given we like to SWOFF hard at Lee Point a couple of hours after the high tide, the plan was to detoured to Weed Reef and Mandorah before heading to Lee Point.

But the big problem with fishing Sunday was the wind, the forecast on Thursday had me thinking fencing would be better - lots of wind forecast. On Sunday morning a quick look in the iPad and the forecast was better but gusty 10-15 knots by midday - would that be enough time to target the prime dropping tide at Lee Point??

Weed Reef was empty, Mandorah was empty at first glance but then we saw the birds and then the queenfish and small grey mackerel under the birds!

The water was already exiting Darwin Harbour at 8am and as the water pushed over the reef ledges the predators were taking full measure of the baitfish schools.

We hooked up to several fish, the several boats of lure tossers and bait guys caught nothing!
Another win for the SWOFFERS!!!!!!

Every queenfish that attacked the fly (to its downfall!) - used the fast flowing out going tide to make it feel much larger at the end of the taunt fly line. it was a lot of fun. I once got three fish in four casts - see video for a bit of this action.

After chasing these fish around for an hour or so we continued on our journey towards Lee Point. I almost convince Peter to turn back given the ugly swell and wind chop we were pounding into. Peter's boat handles this swell when going into it but travelling with the swell and chop, is a very different and a very wet story at times. (Might be the two 120amp batteries for the 80lb electric up under the front deck - his is thinking of shifting them)

The extra swell and chop between East Point and Nightcliff that pounded us as we traveled out of the harbour stopped by the time we got to Lee Point.

Finally at the reef, the water flow just wasn't there. Which was strange given an hour earlier we experienced much faster tidal flows at Mandorah! We still needed an hour at Lee Point before the conditions were similar to the awesome SWOFFING we have had here over the last few months.

For the next hour it was one eye on the reef looking for baitfish being harassed, and the other eye on the expected and forecast strong wind from the East-North East. As usual Peter kept casting and casting with the occasional follow and a few fish hooked - me just waiting for some action before casting (remember the getting soft concept - got to save my energy for the important moments ).

First sign of action beginning was the quantity of garfish increasing. These slender long fish were zipping about the inside edge of the reef. Then the garfish started to show panic and would jump about as mackerel and queenfish marauded the smaller baitfish amongst them. Occasionally, quite large slashes were happening as larger fish were really attacking the garfish. You just had to cast when this was occurring.

We caught plenty of fish but then the wind came! And came with a passion!
Frustratingly the fish were just starting to go crazy with regular surface bust ups along the edge of the reef - BUGGER!

However, we kept casting but the wind was causing havoc with out casting. One fly into the back of my head, one in Peter's shoulder blade, then one near Peter's nose with the hook point sticking in his buff material just below his nose - a close one! Time to go home!

But you know how it is even if you have caught some good fish, in numbers - you just can' help to try another location on way home. so we ventured across harbour to Mandorah again.

We caught no more fish but did have a shower from the wave wash the boat created as it hit every swell and chop wave there and back. Both of us were absolutely soaking wet as we drove the boat back to the Dinah Beach boat ramp. we just had enough water to get the boat in. A tiring but good day's SWOFFING.
I kept a few queenfish for the kids and myself. Been on a health kick for a week now,
heaps less sugar, no fizz drink (coca cola mostly!), less processed foods and more exercise!
So breadcrumbed fish fingers and finely chopped salad for dinner tonight.

Today was a good warm up for the NT Fly Fishing Social Mob's Sheep Station Stakes on next weekend.

The five fish species drawn from a hat for Saturday's bonus points are  - Mackerel, Mangrove Jack, Cod, Diamond Trevally, and Threadfin Salmon.

First Three should be ok and I feel confident of catching, but the last two will be more challenge. 50/50 on the Threadfin but the diamond trevally will be interesting.

Look for the Sheep Stakes report after next weekend outing.
Tight lines and go tie some flies
The Stig (aka NT Swoffer)

Friday, 2 October 2015


Thursday, October 1, 2015
From the Canadian Deckie....and the STIG
From the front Deck (for a change of author)......

As some of you may have heard, or not, my 81 year old father, William travelled from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada through Manila to spend 3 weeks with us in Darwin.  We did our best to treat him like gold (my wife did a much better job at this than I did) and show him all things that is Darwin and the Top End.

William grew up in war torn London in the 30’s & 40’s so the Bombing of Darwin was of great interest to him.  The East Point Military Museum and Winnellie Aviation museums were a highlight and he was very surprised to learn of the extent of the bombings and the sustained war effort in Northern Australia.

Being a Canadian fly fisherman he couldn’t wait to get ‘oot and aboot’ on the water and try his hand at hooking a few unknown troppo species. 

Given that I’m an emerging authority on the best time to fish Lee Point (thanks to The Stig); Dad and I made a beeline for the high and dropping tide on and near the reefs around Lee, which I think was on Monday, 24 Aug 2015. Moments after arriving, which was almost exactly at high-slack, the first hook up was a 75-90 cm Golden trevally, which after a strong initial run ended up within a ½ meter of the net, of course resulting in a freaked out trevally going down and away again.  After a total of about 20 minutes, the gold leviathan broke the leader and the deep, sagging feeling of loss quickly set in, mostly because I didn’t expect that we’d hook anything like that again while my Dad was here!!!  We’ll dub that moment as “the great disappointment” (TGD).

Canadian -v- Queenfish
After some searching we found the main reef on the sounder and hit the anchor button on the electric.  Dad spent some time figuring out his 300 grain sink-tip rhythm and after flailing around a bit and wondering where the fish were the Gar started to accumulate right behind the boat.  We took this to mean that the bait fish might soon be flushed through the area and we tied new Clousers on and let our leaders sink just a little more.  We soon started hooking grey mackerel at fairly regular intervals and the odd school of queenies would bust up within striking distance.  Dad was shocked at the toughness for the relative size of the fish compared to trout and North Pacific salmon.

We hung out on the reef throughout the tide and the first Can-Aussie fly fishing experiment was over for the day.  Next stop, the kitchen, to try some local caught fish in the fry-pan.  Dad prides himself in filleting, skinning and de-boning any species of fish so we had some flawless, crumbed white meat in the pan before we knew it.  Good on ya Dad!

Four similar Darwin Harbour/Lee point outings happened over the subsequent three weeks with similar fish searching/catching efforts.  All up, dad landed about 30 fish and 6-7 species in the salt water.  On the last day, he’d really tuned into finding fish by watching birds and sighting bait balls.  I think he’d soon start out-fishing me if he lived here, crafty ol’ fella!

On to Corroboree to test out the fresh. 3 ½ short years ago I was pronouncing Corroboree - 'Core-ahh-bore-eee'.  You shoulda seen the looks I got from locals when I dropped that one on them, like they’d just tasted something bitter. J How things change.

We got off to a shaky start in the billabong with Dad being stranded in the boat 20 meters out from the launch without being able to start the motor and without having the opportunity earlier in the trip to put the electric down or control it with the remote, after shouting some possible fixes from the car park, a trusty local suggested I jump on his boat so I could attempt a rescue.  I didn’t get his name but he was a very thoughtful bloke to suggest such a practical response to the problem.  Unfortunately, when I attempted to board the Good Samaritan’s boat, which was still on the trailer, I slipped and my ribs dropped onto the top of his winch. Whooph, all the wind knocked outta me!  I kept a very fake ‘I’m ok’ look on my face and soon after boarded the boat with my dad, thumbs up to Good Samaritan and all was almost back to normal.  Turns out the safety switch under the key hadn’t been pulled out enough by the clip/separator device.  I managed to catch my breath after the full contact with the winch post, we got geared-up and off we went to find Barra and Saratoga.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t scare up any fish until I got a 55 cm Saratoga at about 3pm on my trusty orange and black whatchamacallit fly.  It was tougher fishing than the Social Mob comp in May and Dad was starting to wonder if it was a fishless billabong. L

After a micro-SD card full of pictures and harassing what seemed like a multitude of crocs, two of which circled the boat while we ate lunch, we were done for the day.  Dad was super impressed with the billabong and was shocked overall with the wetlands and fishing opportunities so close to home.  He was amazed by the crocs, birds and lily pads at Corroboree and the rest of the wildlife observed at the Humpty Doo Hotel.  Dad’s an adventurous guy but he couldn’t stomach the idea of a kangaroo or croc burger, buffalo it was!

Dad admitted that he didn’t think he’d be very impressed with Darwin but around every corner there were good restaurants, excellent museums, beautiful sunsets, the Territory Wildlife Park, Crocasaurus Cove and accommodation that included a deck overlooking the Beagle Gulf.

 Despite being from arguably the most beautiful scenic region in the world, he admitted, “I could live here”.  That moment was a source of pride that he’d approved of me living in this foreign land that we call the Top End.  I’ve invited him to join us in May at the Core-Ahh-Bore-eee Social Mob Challenge.  He says he’s really gonna try to make it.

Croc -v- Canadian
After an epic journey back to Canada, within days of being back home - Dad was out on the local river hooking Pink Salmon on pink Clousers.  Crazy, eh?