Fly fishing Ballarat report

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Tim399
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Fly fishing Ballarat report

Postby Tim399 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:33 am

I’ve been wanting to get into fly fishing for a while, so a couple of weeks ago I saw a fly combo for sale for $40 from a fella on vyak and couldn’t resist. I was planning on using it for the first time at lake wendouree but during the week got invited to fish a friend’s employees family members private stocked dam in the Ballarat region (I was very lucky and honoured to be invited by a man I’ve never met to catch his own fish, so out of respect I won’t disclose the location). We arrived at sunrise driving through paddocks, closing gates and dodging sheep then got to the dam. My friends employee however had not been to the dam for some time and wasn’t aware lots of water had been pumped from it as it’s been a fairly dry year or so.
Already there we figured we may as well give the small body of water a crack anyway and after 30 mins my mate spinning a rainbow trout rapala countdown got chased then smacked by a healthy 52cm Brown. A new personal best for him. After a gripping fight it was baught to the bank and released after a couple of photos. With everyone pumped and keen to see some more fish needless to say spirits were lifted even higher.
After my mate caught the brown he retired his spin gear and got his fly rod out for his first time fly fishing too. After about an hour we heard the celebration of another friend as he hooked up to a big one. The trout gave him a bit of stick but he finally wrestled a big 63cm Brown to the bank, after a call to the owner of the property it was quickly dispatched for a feed for the owner that night. I was happy just casting the fly rod getting the hang of the rythm not paying too much attention as I was enjoying the company and the cracker morning flapping my gums when I stripped a little more line and had snagged the bottom. Then felt a twitch. Then pulled a little more line and lifted the rod and I was onto my first ever fish on fly. I had called it for a small one as it wasn’t putting up a fight like the others until it got close to the bank and woke up. After having a tough time getting her close enough to net, I had a nice fat 50cm rainbow on the bank. I was happy enough just to cast around a fly rod being privileged enough to be on someone’s beautiful land. But to land a rainbow my first time fly fishing and a personal best too was amazing.

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Things died down here a little so we headed off to another (smaller) dam to try our luck there. When we arrived the water was also low, and had a fair bit of weed in it too but we were all still over the moon with the morning so far and we set up again, 3 of us spinning and two of us fly fishing. 5 minutes in and one of the guys was already on again, and again. My mate on fly hadn’t land his first fish on fly yet and he was keenly surveying the water with his spotters (I tried them on at the end of the day, they really do make a massive difference in seeing what’s going on in the water) when he saw a trout near the surface, cast right near it and watched the magic unfold. The trout swiped at the fly, turned away then came back and engulfed it. After seeing him both the most excited and serious I ever have, the trout was diving for the weed trying to bust him off, then he finally got the trout in the net, another rainbow around 48cm. He topped both his pb brown and rainbow in one day. After rushed celebrations and quick photos it went back to be caught again another day although we completely forgot to measure it. Thinking about heading home now I had a few more casts then was on again, this time getting to watch the fish greedily smash down my fly, then fighting like a champ. Measured her on the bank and another pb a 52cm rainbow and on fly again!

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We caught more rainbows (smallest fish of the day went 45cm, total of 9 fish caught) and stayed later than planned, then all headed home after an epic day of fishing. I know it’s not the same as catching lake or wild trout, but for a first time fly fishing, and on a very generous mans land it was an incredible day that we will all remember for a long time. I’m definitely hooked on fly fishing now.

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gordo65
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Re: Fly fishing Ballarat report

Postby gordo65 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:42 am

congratulations on your fly fishing experience , I too have only just started - its really a different feeling catching on a fly - today is the end of the trout season in all inland rivers , please be aware where you can fish - check out www.vfa.vic.gov.au for more info

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Tim399
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Re: Fly fishing Ballarat report

Postby Tim399 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:51 am

gordo65 wrote:congratulations on your fly fishing experience , I too have only just started - its really a different feeling catching on a fly - today is the end of the trout season in all inland rivers , please be aware where you can fish - check out http://www.vfa.vic.gov.au for more info


Thanks Gordo, my plan for the near future is to fly fish open areas (like impoundments for trout and PPb for salmon from the kayak) and get better at casting before I tackle any rivers, so I won’t be trying rivers until well into the next open season. Thanks for the heads up though, it doesn’t hurt to give friendly reminders like you have. The trout I hooked wouldn’t run far enough to take all the line I already had out, so it really was different using only my hands to hold the line and not use the drag. Good times.


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