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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, 26 October 2015


The Stig has put out his second piece of the Sheep Station Stakes, click THE STIG to see his report

We are just back from a few days down on Bynoe for the good tides, we did not really expect too much because it has not been the easiest of years with the wind and dirty water.   But late October has always been kind to us and it didn't disappoint. 

 I am probably going to waffle on a bit about the paradise we live in up here, to use a Pete Davies quote,   "On the Great Northern Pond".  I mean Lord Jim got into the Barra last weekend, and now this weekend we all killed a pig, so to speak.

As I was saying we did not expect too much, and I had tied up a heap of new flies to try.  Most of the flies were our standard clousers, but if you have a look at a lot of the photos being posted by lure fishers on line when a barra has been caught, the lure is usually a green top with yellow and orange in it.  So I made up a couple that colour too on 4/0 hooks and about four inches (100mm) long.   I also made ups some with a blue top yellow bottom and red bib like the blue nilsmasters and spearheads that used to work for us years ago.  Made up some gold bombers too, because the barra seemed to be more interested in them if they were down deep.  These two were Cathies 'best' selection.

Tied these in various sizes, on No. 1, 2/0 and 4/0 hooks just white EP fibre with a DNA 'sea foam'line in the centre
the EP fibre becomes translucent in the water and doesn't seem to scare jumpy fish, leave the nose a bit longer for macs, but had to tie short wire traces on out there .

This again is EP fibre green top and white bottom, with a pearl DNA centre.  Had these in clouser style as well but this one was the best and is the only survivor of half a dozen similar.  It is on a Mustad C70SD 2/0.  Used thin Loon UV glue to finish the head and believe it or not, the eyes stayed on most of them.

This is all that is left of these 'strange'ones, the top and bottom one are a bit large, but they were totally swallowed by Fingermark and Jack, to the extent it was difficult to get the out of the fish.  
 There were some good fish out there, but on the first day the only good barra we saw was one about 80cm, and it was the only big one all day.  But....there were heaps of small barra who loved the fly above in green and white.  Its great when you can 'complain' about fish, but the small barra did become a pain when we were trying to get into the threadies.

The first of many..but who is complaining
 Just on threadies, we saw one out there that had to be 120cm, it was huge.  I know they get bigger and have seen Peter Morse with a 150cm, but this was the biggest we had seen live, and it was  monster.   Could not get it to take a thing, although it did follow a black, red and gold bird fur thing, but would not take it.

....and another

..they just kept coming
The normal size threadies were around out there, about 65cm to 70cm, and around is probably the best word for them, because they were like wagons circling, going around and around in every increasing circles but could not be coaxed onto a fly, but that was mainly because of the small barra.  We were using the green/white flies and dropping them just in from of the threadies, letting them sink so they had to go over them, but the small barra would dart out of the rocks and take the fly.  One must have been really hungry because it became airborne to take the fly as it hit the water in front of the threadies.

There were schools of these small barra in patches with schools of black bream which we had first mistaken them for, but as soon as they started to feed the barra just took over from the bream. Speaking to Graeme the Grey out there, the bigger barra came on on the second low just on dusk.

Cathie was having a ball.....so then she wanted 'more' and bigger fish, that's a lot of pressure on the poor old skipper.

Crystal clear water with fish all around

Well we did get amongst the fish, we were in crystal clear water and it was alive with macs and queenies, all around the 60cm mark with some getting to around 70cm, and some bigger ones were lurking around.  But it was the other fish that were exciting.

A typical Queenie
One of the 'other' fish were tarpon, they were mixed in with the feeding Macs and Queenies, but they were only 40cm or so, until Cathie hooked a big one.   It was at least 80cm but could have been bigger, it left the water on three occasions and on the last I thought it was going to come into the boat.  I have seen a lot of shots from the US where their Atlantic Tarpon, a cousin of ours, but much bigger, is often photographed leaping clear of the water with their gills flared.  Well this fish did the same, and although it spat the hook on the third leap it was incredible to watch.

 I have seen fish of that size caught up here, and have seen some that would have been a metre in the Blue Holes, but this one was spectacular in the crystal clear water.

Another of the other fish were the wolf herring.  The didn't seem to be in the schools with the Macs. Queenies and Tarpon, but they would come up in schools chasing the bait, or either something was chasing them.  If you got a small clear fly near them, you could have pulled in dozens.  As it was I think Cathie alone got over sixty fish (60) that day.
A very slimy wolf herring
Released the rest of them outside the boat for domestic peace
Cathie has another herring on, and in the background
you can see the turbulence on the water where the schools were on the shallows.
Now the most outstanding of the other fish was the small schools of Permit (Snub nosed Dart) about 70cm) that were feeding along the sand in the shallows.  Cathie had me following them everywhere, but we couldn't get a proper cast to them, so she 'commanded' that I put her on the beach and she would catch one there.    Well!!! I don't know if you have seen the film 'Running down the Man' which is about running down the beach to catch Rooster Fish, but Cathie's time on the sand could have been an episode for that.   She was running up and down the beach pointing at the fish, would cast, then off again.   I got tired just watching.

Finally she hooked a fish, the screams of joy could be heard in Perth I'm sure.  Then with all my advice being yelled to her (none of which she took any notice whatsoever of) she looked like pulling the fish in as gently as possible.   In the meantime I had got the underwater camera ready for one of those great underwater shots of the Permit, like Jono Shales from Exmouth Fly Fishing takes. I  took the boat in and beached it, but by that time Cathie had the fish in.  It was, "another @!*#@ Queenie," which must be one of the exotic types?.  Isn't it great when you can whinge about catching fish!!

We did not see the Permit anymore until the next day when we saw only three of them, but they were skittish and we never got a cast to them.  We have caught different dart before but never one of these.
Here is some of the action...
"I'm on", was the call...

Yes it was a  ??????Queenie.
Lord Jim and Graeme the Grey with two of his mates joined up in the fishing, and what a ball we all had....
Lord Jim was "Woo Hoo"ing with all the fish around

Pulling in another with Graeme the Grey

Graeme took Cathie for a blast on the Hewes...she is a bit of a poseur 

Just on the flies....we pretty well ran out of all of the EP white with sea foam flies, because even though we put on short wire traces, some bigger fish, like monster Barracuda and Macs etc. kept chopping us off.   We loop to loop connect our class tippet of 8kg to the 15kg that is tied to the fly
line and the Macs we attacking the loop to loop connection as well.  Back to the tying bench, with a good glass of red, not that I need much more red, because I think we nearly drank our wonderful hosts at Sand Palms out of it.

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