Like most angler anticipation has already set in for what the coming season may bring. The past season was rather hectic for us. We fished a lot of areas, both near and far, and as always if one happened to be in the right place at the right time fish were caught. Always remember the more you fish the more you achieve in learning to catch fish.
There are certainly more fish caught on the water than sitting in an armchair thinking about it. So for the start of the season pull on the woollies and waders and at least go out for the outing.
I will miss the start as we will be chasing Cape York salties in much warmer waters.
Local water temperatures at this time of the year are very cold and fish are normally deep. To get down to the fish you will need a sinking line and intermediate line plus a sinking leader and some weighted flies. I prefer two flies - a larger point fly and a small dropper. I know I have probably said it before, but for early season there is no better fly than a woolly worm. The combination of colour is many fold. Personal preference is black with red tag, brown/green in various shades and different tail combinations.
Hook; Heavy gauge size 8
Tail; Olive grizzle marabou
Rib; Gold wire
Body; Olive and firey brown variegated chenille
Hackle; One very soft red hen hackle
Take thread along shank to bend, tie in tail and rib, tie in chenille and take thread forward close to hook eye. Wind chenille forward, tie down and cut away excess. Tie in red hen hackle and wind back to tail, stopping immediately in front of the rib. Start to wind rib forward through the hackle keeping each turn tight to secure hackle well. When reaching thread tie rib down firmly and cut away excess rib. With the thread form a nice head, whip finish, cut away thread and varnish head.
Hook; Long shank, heavy gauge size 12
Tail; Red cock fibres
Rib; Copper wire
Body; Claret seals fur
Wing case; strip of turkey feather
Thorax; Claret seals fur
Eyes; Jungle cock
Thread along shank to bend, tie in tail and rib, dub in body of seals fur and finish half way back to eye. Tie in turkey slip for wing case. Take two slips of jungle cock eye and tie in by the tips, leave these facing back along the body. Form a nice thorax with seals fur and finish back from the eye a little. Pull the turkey slip across the top of the thorax, tie down and cut away excess. Now pull the two slips of jungle cock forward on each side and tie in. Form a head, whip finish and varnish.
Both these flies can be weighted if so desired. Fish them on a seven foot tapered leader with a ten pound tip, then add six inches of eight pound, four feet of six pound, double over the top of the six pound and leave a tag of six inches. This is an ideal leader for shore based anglers when often you must cast with, into and across the breeze. If you are fishing from a boat, with the breeze at your back a level leader will do just fine.
I can't emphasise enough the importance of experimenting with your leaders, not only will it make you a better angler, but there can be some brilliant fishing with some fish moving in the onshore waves mopping up all the delicacies that have rolled in with the swell.
These would be ideal for bead head nymphs. There are the normal brass, copper and lead beads around for some time, but Tiewell have been very innovative in sourcing some coloured metal beads. There are two sizes - medium and large. The large is 3.2mm in diameter which makes them suitable for small, rather than large flies. Very interesting is the colour range; chartreuse, claret and tan - all very useable for trout flies.
Round End Eyes
These are machined brass eyes similar to bead chain, but solid and therefore they sink much faster. The range goes from extra small through to extra large. Have you had trouble with flies, tied with dumbbell eyes snagging in stones. It is because they are too wide for small flies. These round eyes have a short centre shaft and are very narrow and compact. This brings the whole fly system in line with the body. This very important with nymphs tied to bounce over rocky bottoms. The largest sizes would be very suitable for saltwater flies.
They come in brass only.
Hour Glass Eyes
Also made from machined brass, the mini size really takes my eye for shallow nymphs where a little weight is important. As the name suggests they are shaped like an hour glass. The size range is from mini to extra large. Good for small trout flies through to large saltwater flies.
Over the years there has been a number of similar products to this. Tiewell have come up with a great colour range. There are twelve colours to choose from. Body Flex can be used for a number of tying techniques - including tails, bodies, legs to name a few. For bodies take two strands of different colours - such as tan and firey brown. Tie them in firmly - take both strands together and pull together, winding forward. This gives a segmented body effect.