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Hello from Sydney!

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Mike-L
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2022 11:49 am
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Hello from Sydney!

#1

Post by Mike-L »

Hi fellow wand-wavers,

A big hello from Sydney, Australia!

I've just taken up fly casting after 35 years of fishing using other methods, mostly luring for bream, flathead and whiting in the various waterways around Sydney. My home waterway is the Parramatta river is really quite polluted. This sounds bad until you realise that this pollution caused the buyout of the commercial fishing fleet and as a consequence, the fishing is really quite good!

I'm planning to target my usual species of bream and flathead on fly, with salmon/kingfish also on the cards. My reasoning is that they are easily accessible to me and I might as well target fish I know how to catch while learning how to cast a fly. To that effect, my outfit of choice is an 8wt Redington Crosswater outfit.

I've been learning to cast recently with the help of this site and a couple of more experienced friends. I'm to the point where I can double-haul and am now encountering the scourge of tailing loops (though I've since learned here that they aren't always a bad thing and you can use them to your own ends). However, I'm struggling to roll cast! With a little bit of work, I've managed to get the line airbone for a shortish length of line (I've learned that the wrist 'flick' is really important to that!) and secondly, with the tendency to need weighted flies, this adds an extra layer of difficulty.

My fishing environment is a little bit different to your average trout stream or lake. Firstly when fishing Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta river, I'm often 0.5-2m above the water. I've learned that I can change the angle of the cast so that it doesn't collapse after shooting, so that is workable.

Secondly, being in an urban environment, we have a lot of back cast obstructions, from roads, trees, powerlines, light poles and foolhardy members of the public (!). The latter is a big risk, it's funny how curious bystanders can suddenly appear in a deserted park at 5.15am in the morning! So the roll cast is kind of crucial to me; it's quite a drive for me to get to any decent flats. I'm thinking spey casting might be an answer for me, but I'm reluctant to invest in the gear or technique before I've had someone who is a good roll caster look at my technique and be satisfied that it is as good as it can get given my gear choices.

Anyhow, when I get a tripod or rope one of my curious bystanders to film me, I'll put up a video of my roll cast and see what you experts think.

Thanks for having me here!

Mike
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Paul Arden
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Re: Hello from Sydney!

#2

Post by Paul Arden »

Hi Mike and welcome to the Board!! I might be in Sydney (or Melbourne, or both) in February.

Roll casting a heavy fly is a problem and there is a balance between the mass of the line and the mass of the fly. Apart from the actual casting technique you need to have the fly close to the surface and not sunk (you can achieve this with a very short pick up and lay down, or actually two back-to-back roll casts. The other thing to try is more line behind you in the D-loop. You can slip it there, you can cast it there. But those two combinations; fly near the surface and more line in the D loop, certainly help. Oh - and tapering the leader, eg 60/40/20lb. With Bream (Brim :p) it needs to be a lot finer of course.

I wouldn’t go to a heavier line, especially for Brim, but you can often get away with lighter flies, depending on water depth.

All the Spey casts you can do with your current set up. There are advantages and disadvantages of a longer rod.

Welcome to fly fishing, mate. That’s fantastic :D :D

What flyline are you using?

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions
Mike-L
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2022 11:49 am
Answers: 0

Re: Hello from Sydney!

#3

Post by Mike-L »

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the welcome and the reply.

I probably could get away with a 60/40/20lb leader for flathead, but it wouldn't be sporting for all but the biggest lizards. At this stage, I don't really care...it's all about the cast 🤣 I might actually try it just as an experiment (though I might go down to a 15lb tippet as this is not too ridiculous for this kind of fishing). I'm just curious to see how much more efficiently I could cast the fly with this setup, along with your tips to get the fly nearer the surface.

My Crosswater outfit came with a Rio Mainstream Weight Forward Floating 8 weight line. From what I hear it is a reasonable line, at least for conventional casting.

I will look into developing spey casting skills with my existing outfit over the summer. I will need to carefully study your spey videos, and thankfully there's at least one individual with less than two degrees of separation from me who apparently is a double handed spey caster. I might see if I can coax them into teaching me a thing or two. Neither of my more experienced friends who have been helping me know anything about spey. I will probably rope them into learning alongside me.

Hope you enjoy your visit if you end up in Sydney!

Mike
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Paul Arden
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Re: Hello from Sydney!

#4

Post by Paul Arden »

Hi Mike,

It’s not the point strength that’s important but the taper. The diameter of the nylon butt section should be about 2/3rds the diameter of the flyline tip. For a 10’ leader to a 10lb point I might go 3’ of 40lb, 3’ 25lb and 4’ of 10’. For a smoother taper you could make the steps smaller by having more sections.

The reason I mention it is if you had say 10’ of 10lb straight to the flyline it’s going to create all sorts of problems. There are lots of leader formulae around. It’s possible to buy tapered leaders too of course but I’m a cheapskate most of the time, at least when it comes to SW leaders. :D

I also like twisted leaders. There is a video called 20.000 days of Flyfishing on our channel where I tie a twisted leader.

In terms of the anchor for Rolls and Speys this tapering is important. But even with overhead casting the loop will hinge if you drop to thin mono too quickly.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions
Mike-L
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2022 11:49 am
Answers: 0

Re: Hello from Sydney!

#5

Post by Mike-L »

Thanks Paul,

I have already noticed that I can't tie a pink thing on a 4X leader! In my lure fishing days, if I felt like it, I could tie a 5 inch soft plastic onto 4lb leader and whilst it is a bit silly, it would work. Not like that in fly fishing as it turns out. My friends told me that I was lucky not to lose the fly! 🤣

I'll give that leader formula a try. I'm as interested in tying my own leaders out of understanding the physics as much as saving a dollar 😎

Mike
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Graeme H
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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Hello from Sydney!

#6

Post by Graeme H »

G'day Mike,

Welcome to the board. (I'm way over in Perth. :pirate: )

I'd highly recommend spending some time getting a serious lesson or two from Morsie (Peter Morse, Wentworth Falls) or Brian Henderson (he's in Elizabeth Beach near Forster). Both are absolute experts in the casts, but much more importantly, are excellent teachers. Having someone who knows the cast, can find your faults and fix them is the quick and relatively painless way to learn Spey casting.

Watching videos is great, but you probably won't know where your own mistakes are found until an instructor is next to you (or at least, online and finding faults with your casts.)

When I was learning the casts, a got a big boost in the early stages by buying a Rio Single Hand Spey line for my 6wt outfit. It helped shorten the learning curve: Once I got to a certain level, I could make the casts work with almost any line. Having a line designed for the casts is wonderful. I thought of the line as a set of "training wheels" for Spey casting, getting me over that hump at the start. Now I still use the lines on my 4, 6 and 8 wt outfits for most of my fresh and estuarine fishing because I enjoy fishing them.

Cheers,
Graeme
FFi CCI
Mike-L
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2022 11:49 am
Answers: 0

Re: Hello from Sydney!

#7

Post by Mike-L »

Hi Graeme,

Thanks for the tips. I'll look into the lessons and I'll also have a good look at getting a single hand spey line.

I've just picked up the e-book on single hand spey casting by Simon Gawesworth. I see that he promotes this site on the book! 😎

I am seriously considering the lessons and joining a club. Spey casting seems like a relatively rare skill amongst amateur fly casters down here and the more help I can get, the better!

Mike
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Graeme H
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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Hello from Sydney!

#8

Post by Graeme H »

Ooh, I didn't know he had it out as an eBook. Can you post the link please? (I borrowed a copy of the actual book in 2018 but I'll buy the electronic version today if I can get it.)

Spey casting is definitely a rare skill in Oz. I'm probably the only person in WA who can do them, but there are a few who are getting interested in learning.

I didn't think I would use the casts much before I learnt them. How wrong I was!!! I use them many times in any session of fly fishing. I mainly fish salt water from a boat, so changing direction is very common. Spey casts are change-of-direction casts.
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Graeme H
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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Hello from Sydney!

#9

Post by Graeme H »

Scrap the request for the link: I found it.
FFi CCI
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Paul Arden
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Re: Hello from Sydney!

#10

Post by Paul Arden »

I've just picked up the e-book on single hand spey casting by Simon Gawesworth. I see that he promotes this site on the book! 😎
Well he had better! I’ve known Simon for over 25 years. :D
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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