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.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


 From the STIG (click to see his blog)

Quite frustrating being off the water at the moment, really frustrating!       (especially when you hear of all the fish being caught currently)
Well, this is what happens when you regularly use a boat specifically designed for shallow calm water (like for east coast lakes and estuaries) on Darwin Harbour which while it can be quite calm most mornings, chops up into fair sized waves for most trips home across the harbour in the afternoon.

I hope you can see the 45cm long hairline crack along the front portion of the keel section of my boat in the image here

I have heard, and read a long time ago, that a few other aluminium boats (mine is a Stessl) have also developed similar stress fractures in their various welds from the constantly flexing of the light aluminium pressed hulls.
I believe in affect of the punching through the chop waves too much - having said that it is a huge repetitive impact punching through wave after wave and what aluminium weld could handle such constant punishment over extended periods of time

I had the same problem two years ago with this boat but the fracture was a little smaller in length and had it re-welded readily. (might also been the reason why the guy sold the hull to me so cheaply!)
I have been told that I will always have this issue now it has happened twice - as you can't properly weld from just the outside of the hull  (due to rib placement on inside etc).

So I have been looking at a bigger boat (dreaming really!), particularly something in fibreglass.
Used to have a fibreglass boat in my previous life on the east coast (had a Hewes bonefisher) but not working in IT anymore with money to burn like I had in the 90s. Secondary school teaching might be more fulfilling and a heap less stress but definitely is not paid the couple of hundred bucks an hour I used to earn being a computer systems analyst and project manager.

I was also thinking of making a flats boat like I did when I was a 17 year old teenager (1980). I took this 25foot old cruiser with a seized diesel inboard  (rotting away on the farm down the road), chopped its guts out ribs and all with a chainsaw and grinder. Then placed the right amount of weight in the right places to represent motor, me and fuel. Then put it in the dam on the farm and marked the hull 9 inches above the water. I then got the chainsaw out again to cut off the excess above that. I then put a few panels of ply on top for casting platforms, lots of sanding, grinding and shaping, add in a cockpit and a low profile centre console, add some layers of fibreglass and gel coat to hold it all together, copiuos and I mean a lot of sanding, and sanding, and sanding til my arms almost feel off. Add in a second hand 60hp motor and I was SWOFFING the flats of Moreton Bay and Jumpinpin on a great little 17foot flats boat.

From a new boat perspective......
Currently love looking at and drooling over the Cobia 21 bay boat - awesome 'turn-key' fibreglass boat for round US$43k plus transportation to Australia ($10-15k) - great value even with the falling $AUS. Such a boat if made in Oz would be $70k plus!
With such a boat I can still do my tropical flats SWOFFING in Darwin and Bynoe harbours, but also head offshore to chase sails, big macks and longtail tuna off Dundee and Peron Islands - and not even worry about ugly chop on the way home - yes I will still have to slow down a bit to soften the ride as in any boat but no rigid joint welds in aluminium to get a hairline crack in.

But with the wife super keen to finishing off the purchase of our rural block in February 2015 (and start to build on it at end of year), I doubt any new or used boat purchase is going to happen in the short or medium term (if at all! - might have to go back and work in computer industry! - as much more money per hour than teaching). If I can find the right large cruiser hull to attack with a chainsaw, the idea of making my own boat looks very interesting (use the 60hp four stroke I currently have and sell the hull once its repaired, to pay for the cruiser conversion).

But when you think about it, you can get a second hand even almost new pressed aluminium 5m side console with a 75HP four stroke for $25-$35k (for which will most likely get the same problem of keel weld fracture and wont even be built with SWOFFING in mind) and in comparison you can get a superb SWOFFING specific brand new boat with a 150four stroke for a little more, Plus with all the bells and whistles as standards rather than extras - why wouldn't you buy the overseas boat?
Furthermore, even the price of a heavy plate aluminium of similar size is well over $45k (if not $55k) more once you add all the bells and whistles and a decent motor big enough to push the heavier boat even more.

You also must compare that the price of just a new 4 stroke motor here is Oz is almost the price of the whole package of some types of "turn-key" bay boats in the US using the same motor. So you are basically getting an awesome boat & motor - for the price of a motor here in Oz - i.e. free fibreglass boat. (we also must ask why this is so - it cant just be quantities sold in the US)

I will just have go out and buy a lottery ticket - wishful thinking given the poor statistics and chances of winning!!!

So at the moment trying to find someone to re-weld the keel. Updates soon.
Am hoping the guy who did it last time can do it again.

Sunday, 25 January 2015


With water levels dropping where to fish on a long weekend without the masses?? East Alligator River.  Arrived just on 6am only to have been beaten there by 50 million mossies that have not eaten for the last 6 months, seriously bad. The Magela Creeks on the way in @ 300mm with the first having a bit of speed and pressure with it but no problems. Fished the upstream section. River height allowed a launch without putting the boat out into the main current which was a bonus as the river was roaring past being low tide. Colour of the river at the ramp “Iced Coffee”. Moved upstream about a kilometre where the flow was less concentrated and started exploring the many snags along the edge. Floating line, 9’ intermediate tip, 9’ leader, Roggie Dodgie fly with weed guard. Second cast 68cm bronze Barra, fat as, and fought well above its size using the river flow too.

 While I could not find any areas of Barra schooling working the edges and current channels flowing through the trees gave me 15 Barra for the day 68cm – 76cm and by their colour have spent the last 9 months land locked. Plenty of good sized tarpon to fill in any quiet moment.

Long weekend and the only boat on the water, two others were launching as I was pulling out, where else can you have that other than the NT.

Had a look at Shady on the way back. Masses of boats heading down stream. No one on the fresh so that’s where I went. Water a great colour, a bit on the nose, flowing over the two new barrages on the second bend (going over, not a bust through). Most of the lillys are dead but need a good push of water to get rid of them. Right at the top of the billabong good flows into the system and I was able to get right out onto the flood plain ¾ of the way to the treeline! Tarpon but no Barra. All looking good but need 600 – 800mm of the wet stuff over the next 6-8 weeks to get thing really moving for the dry.

Remember, “You’ll never never know, if you never never go. Get out there and fish!”

Tight lines
Jim Churchley

Thursday, 22 January 2015


Right now there are so many reports coming in for great fishing, NT News showed fish in the Alice, and good barra are being caught on road crossings, off bridges, in billabongs and dams, as well as numerous reports of so many meteries around shady.  What a great place we live in!

The weather and wind looks like it might go to the 'toilet' a bit but I don't think that will turn the fish off much.   Watch the lightning on those composite rods, remember "one flash and your ash" and be careful of the crocs, as the NT News, and NT Police point out in these links...."Croc on beach"  and "4m Croc at Culvert" .  

Dave Krantz has been tying up some big bombers for the meteries and Pete Davies is going make one of his dark side Gutta Ratz lures to compete with it.

Dave's bomber on a 6/0

Pete's 'Gutta Ratz' in production.
Should be interesting...will add a plate to the Corroboree Cup this year for those who want to stick to the dark side...more to come on this later.

Saturday, 17 January 2015


The Year has only started and there are a lot of fish being caught, apparently meterys at the mouth of shady, the harbours fishing well and plenty in the billabongs already.  All these below are recently caught...(courtesy Tales from the Tinny)

 A couple over a metre from the Shady Mouth

...and from the fresh a little smaller

Then Darwin Harbour
Corroboree has been slow for some of us for the last few years, we had great fishing a couple of years ago when the rains cleaned out all the lilies and fishing  was great, but the lilies came back and the rain was not enough to clean them out properly.    Normally the first half of the year is taken up on Corroboree and the billabongs,  but because they have not been firing the Salt has been te favoured destination for a lot of us.  Maybe this years wet will change that...lets hope so. 

We have not locked in a date for the 'Corroboree Cup' until we see when we can get into the billabong and this year we will add a 'Corroboree Plate' for those who want to fish on the Dark side. Remember its all 'Just for Fun' 

The 2014 cup

Thursday, 15 January 2015


Looking at all the weather sites, and there are heaps of them, it appears that while Saturday might still be a bit windy and wet, the monsoon trough will be leaving for a while and Sunday looks like a good fishing day.  Tides are good for the flats, storm predictions are down, and it could be reasonably dry if the weather sites are anything to go by.... here are the predictions if any of you are thinking of venturing out....
Storm outlook is low to nil

Wind for the whole of the NT is low

Monday, 5 January 2015


Just back from 3 lovely days at Yellow Waters. Took Dimity and two granddaughters out - for a break from Darwin. Beautiful conditions - no wind, no current and plenty of fish.

 All those using dark side stuff were telling a different story altogether. My poor little green clouser was far more the worse for wear after each outing. In fact the thinner it got each time, the more they liked it. I did change it a few times but always to another of the same style.

The flies got chewed up but they still caught fish.
The rain sort of slowed things up a little in that it was necessary to run the bilge pump all most continuously on some days but the fish made up for that. Tarpon about 36 cms were common and barra about 55 to 60 in the early mornings.

The rain was so bad one day that I actually had the bimini up to stop the stinging from the drops but continued to fish and catch fish!!. Being by myself made it possible to fish with fly even with the lid up.

All the fishing was on home billabong although it was possible to get through to yellow waters - apparently Saratoga were being caught there. I didn't see the need to venture down there. The crocs were also plentiful and also very friendly.