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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 Flyfishers 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, 14 September 2015

THE STIG - Bynoe DFR Slam weekend

See the Stigs blog at THE STIG

Late start leaving town with wife having a riding time with her horse on Friday arvo.

Peter picks me up and we arrive at Sand palms at 9pm, Got into the donga straight away and asleep in seconds - tough week and I was completely stuffed.

Day One:
While we were not fishing the DFR competition the goal of the day – catch the seven species of the DFR Bynoe Slam – Barra, Tarpon, Queenfish, any species of Snapper, Salmon, Trevally, and Mackerel. Far easier to say than do. 
But ya gotta try !

Up at 5:40am, on water just after 6am. Plan was to fly fish Knife Island at top of tide for pelagics -- macks, queenies and trevally, heading to far back of Charlotte river to chase barra on flats at bottom of the low tide. Good plan – but fish didn’t buy into it.
We managed a few queenies and I got a mack and queenie at top of Knife – missed a good trevally at side of boat. Fish were sporadic in activity but there at least. 
Local fly guide Graham comes by in his 21 foot Hewes, quick chat and off he goes up inside of Indian Island (maybe should have followed!).
The weather is not too bad - little wind, dropping tide – thought the SWOFFING would have been better.
We head up to the Charlotte River arm at back of harbour. Haven’t been up here in a long, long time.
At the main rock bar at back of river we venture further upstream and see a few fishing busting up surface – just small trevally. On gravel bars we see black fish (pikey bream?) but flighty.
All day any sighted fish was spooked on the cast even before a fly was placed near it. Tough day.
We cast to every dribble of water entering from drains, casting repeatedly along and through colour changes, cast to every rock bar and structure – zip – well almost not zip as sadly on one retrieve along a rock strewn edge as I prepare to roll cast – this giant flash of crimson chases the fly to the surface and turns leaving the hugest boil where the fly was. Bugger missed a very good Mangrove Jack.
We see rays, sharks and baitfish – but none of the target fish we wanted to catch from this backwater – Barra, salmon and tarpon.

We try several places on way back up the harbor towards Crab Claw Peninsular. Get my third (small snapper) and fourth (small trevally) species. Peter was after his fourth at Kiara Rock and rock strewn flats behind it but wind blew us off this area.

Wind gone crazy by now. We think to try top of Knife Island but by time we get there the wind has shifted 180 degrees and increases to a gale or so it seems. So off to Milne Inlet ramp we head – done for the day.

Peter gets three species – a queenie, trevally and a small mack from a spot way up the charlotte river – that you would expect to get a barra from – a muddy drain – what a crazy day.  
I was two species for the day after the first couple of casts at Knife Island (a mack and a queenie) then zip until Kiara Rock, where I picked up two tiny fish but two species all the same -- a trevally and a Russels Snapper. 

Main flies used for the day were small white clousers (some bucktail, some goat hair) and small silicone surf candies.  

Tomorrow if wind is nice we plan to fish the top of Harbour. Here’s hoping. 
Had as always a great counter meal at the Sand Palms Pub for dinner, then caught up with Lord Jim for a bit (he found it a tough day too!). 
Lot of new faces amongst the DFR members. a few of the regulars missing. Didn't hear much of any DFR competition results. Will have to check out DFR club website once updated with comp results. 

Then off to sleep and hoping to be off early to do it again on Day two.
(a bit pessimistic given same wind and tides on Day Two)

 - Day Two

Day Two of the Weekend dawned spectacular
We were going to head right out to Quail Island region at the front of Bynoe Harbour for the pelagics on our DFR Bynoe Slam list (and planned later to hit the flats on the western side of Indian Island for salmon, barra and tarpon as the tide bottomed out round midday) but as we sped passed Knife Island towards our planned destination we noticed regular bust ups along the sand bar that extends southward from the south west corner of the island.
With in a couple of casts both of us had a couple of species.
But just as quickly the fishing went quite as if there was no such thing as a fish in water.
We then continued our journey to the front of the harbour .
As you can see below Peter was quite comfortable during the ride north. That's Knife in the middle and the pearl farm sheds on the left.

We just could not catch a break out front
no fish showing, likely ambush points of predators empty of baitfish and predators

We come back in to Simms reef. Peter gets a follow of a large trevally when he hooked a smaller one.
I cast to a rock ledge and fluke a nice mangrove jack on a tiny anorexic bucktail clouser - which made my day!

on trip back up into harbor
Turtle island empty too
The flats opposite six pack we got blown off by the increasing NW wind

Just as we were starting to hear barra 'boofs' and see panicking bait at the front of drains - I lose control of fly line and it wraps securely around the electric motor. We didn't have the right socket to undo the locking nut on the motorguide. Pliers didn't work nor any other tool on the boat.

So that was it for the day - very sad. wind the surging wind and the need to control the boat to cast in the right places - would make it hard work and we were a little flat (particularly me!) - back to the boat ramp to head home.
I put the poor results down to the wind in particular (could it be flies, casting or me not showering!)
Sooooo looking forward to the calmer mornings prior to afternoon storms during the build up weather period over the next couple of months here in Darwin.

NT Fly Fishers Social Mob and its Sheep Station Stakes is on in four weeks - similar tides, so hoping the winds are kinder in four weeks time
see you there - start tying your flies!
The Stig 

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