DerekD

PB luderick on fly 43cm

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

This is a fly report but there is also a bit of history. Many years ago as a birthday present I was given a beautiful NZ made 4 piece 7 weight 9 foot freshwater fly rod with a gorgeous reel (and floating line) to match. This one in fact.

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It was from a very good friend who was in NZ and one of my bucket list items is trout on fly rod in New Zealand. When I got back I wanted to learn about fly fishing techniques and how to properly use the rod so I booked a one day lesson with one of the Sydney based trout guides (who has passed away in the last few years). Wasn't cheap but it was a really good introduction. In the morning he went through the background and theory. A short history of fly fishing gear. Older rods to modern rods. Line weights. Knots. Leaders. Very informative. In the afternoon we went through casting basics. The roll cast. Single hauling. Double hauling. Laying the line out. Loops. All in all it was a worthwhile day and shortened the learning process dramatically. I was still pretty uncoordinated (it is very like pat head circle stomach when starting out) but I'd learned enough to practice, practice, practice.

My first fish on fly (black woolly bugger) was a bass in Manly dam. I've also had nice carp in the Hunter Valley. As it was a freshwater rod I wasn't keen to use it in saltwater. Even with a good clean I'm afraid of missing a bit of salt and damaging the rod long term. I invested in a 2 piece 9 weight saltwater rod from the same NZ manufacturer - a bit of a broomstick but I like the stiffness of the rod. I found a couple of Scientific Angler reels online and got set up. Over the years I've had salmon, bonito, tailor and a few other species. I'm also looking forward to the day I hook a king on it. This outfit is a bit overgunned for some of the smaller saltwater species we have in Sydney harbour so this year I decided to invest in a 7 weight 4 piece 9 foot saltwater (stainless guides) outfit. Matched it with an excellent value ($170) reel with an insane drag and some intermediate (slow sinking) line. All up probably the most expensive outfit I own but with care it is something I could use for the rest of my life.

On the odd occasion I've been chasing Luderick (Blackfish) with @Mike89. He has gone to the dark side and acquired a centrepin reel and super long rod and has also been getting very good at it due to the time he has put in to it and the assistance of other Fishraiders. I'm quite capable of catching luderick but I use a spinning outfit as it is crossover fishing for me. This winter one of my goals has been to start catching luderick on fly rod. There has been a bit of a learning curve to work out how to approach it most effectively. The flies were easy as my local tackle shop ties them and does a mixed pack (light green or dark green - see photo) but it turns out they are either floating or sinking (tied with lead line). I've also included a wet fly in the photo so you can see how well it imitates green weed. Next step was the strike indicator. I am aware of the stick on foam ones but wasn't sure how well you could move them along the line once stuck. I found some waterproof indicator line which you can tie on the line but wasn't happy with the bend it puts in the leader. Online I found some ones with an O-ring attached (green, orange, red and yellow ones in photo below). These worked pretty well. I then hopped online and found some 5mm O-rings through which I passed the indicator yarn and fastened it with braid. This is what I am currently trialing. I pass a double through the O-ring and loop it over the yarn. When I pull the line tight the O-ring doubles on itself and creates a friction lock - the strike indicator sits where it is when casting but the position of it can be easily moved by sliding it up or down the line.

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One of the earlier trips out with Mike to one of his secret spots where he has been consistently been catching and releasing good luderick showed me the limitations of the intermediate line as it would drag down the strike indicator after a while. I had a few touches but no conversions. At this stage I was more interested in the learning curve than results. I fortunately had a spare spool with floating line so that problem was easily solved. This weekend I picked up some cabbage weed after work as I was going to introduce another friend to the joys of chasing luderick. @Mike89 was also free to fish the lower north shore with us. So with a goal in mind and company on Saturday we all headed down to the water. I cut up the weed and Mike made up the burley. We couldn't see too many luderick in the water but had seen them in the area on earlier trips. My friend Floris had an early down but was so in the zone he missed reacting to it in time. Mike then put a few on the board. Once I was confident my friend understood the concept I set up the fly rod and started fishing. I had a strike and set the hook. A luderick of about 20cm came up out of the depths. My first luderick on fly. I hand lined it up. The hook had caught near the eye which I carefully removed and then released the fish without worrying about a photo. A little while later the strike indicator disappeared under the surface and once I struck I ended up with a really nice bend in the rod. The fish was darting back to the weeds (6lb fluoro tippet) but I managed to keep it out. I saw the fish and thought it was average but was impressed at the fight it put up. Now in my defence I had acquired some polarised, prescription, sunglasses for my topwater bream fishing with @Niall over the summer and these throw my depth perception out pretty badly although they are as sharp as. Mike and Floris were telling me it was a good fish and it wasn't till Mike netted it that I realised how good it actually was. You judge.

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For the record it was 43cm on fly and a personal best (bait and lure). Out of curiosity I looked at the lure records on Fishraider and this one would put me in equal second place behind the record 47cm luderick on lure. I'm looking forward to doing more of this style of fishing over the winter.

On a side note Mike has seen multiple times how effective it is to fish the weed flies even on the centrepin and spinning outfits. You still burley up but it saves the hassle of rebaiting the hook every time the luderick nibbles away at the weed on your hook. You can combine two flies by having a weighted fly at the bottom and a floating fly a little further up the line. He has also been using very small split shot sinkers to get the weed flies down into the water column.

Thanks for reading.

Derek

 

Edited by DerekD
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Awesome Dez!!! 

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Beauty of a fish derek!!

 

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Sounds like something else I need to add to my wish list Derek. Great report, monster catch...would have made a great video. I hope that you catch many more and keep us all in the loop with your adventures. Cheers mate, bn

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A good size for any time, even better on a fly.

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Great report DerekD and happy to see you land a PB.

I dabble in luderick on fly as well and like the look of your indicators.

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I have pretty reasonable results with bread burley and bread flies for Blackfish, with the added bonus of Bream and Trevally, I am certainly not an expert fly fisher, and mostly do everything wrong, but I do enjoy it, it's kind of hard to describe how it's different to "normal" fishing, but it is, it's great fun! 

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Found a photo of my PB fly caught Blackfish, check out how fat it is compared to a "standard" model.

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4 hours ago, Green Hornet said:

I dabble in luderick on fly as well and like the look of your indicators.

Thank you GH. So far they seem to be working pretty well as they don't put a kink in the line and don't seem to slip very much when false casting. Going to give some to @Mike89 and @Devon to trial over the next few weeks.

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4 hours ago, noelm said:

Found a photo of my PB fly caught Blackfish, check out how fat it is compared to a "standard" model.

Hi Noel.

You weren't kidding. That is a fat specimen. Pretty sure I've seen basketballs less round than your blackfish.¬†ūüôā

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, noelm said:

it's kind of hard to describe how it's different to "normal" fishing, but it is, it's great fun! 

Even the fight almost feels like you are hand lining it in as the strength of the rod certainly isn't in the top part of the rod. Also something about being able to land a lure less than the weight of a pinkie fingernail about 20 to 25m away when you load up the rod correctly and get the timing of your hauling right. I know it is more about accuracy than distance but I'd love to spend some time with someone who can get the whole length of fly line in the air.

Edited by DerekD
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There is a guy fishes in front of my place every couple of days and he is a gun fly fisher, he has given me some tips, he can do anything with a fly line, but I am very much a cast and hope type.

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Great report. Well done.

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When it's too windy for my "secret" spot,  I fly fish in Lake Illawarra, it's a great spot to learn, dozens of Mullet and Blackfish to practice on, some decent size, some just "target practice"

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What an awesome report @DerekD

We have no record on fly but we sure do now!

I will grab you a yellow badge for your sig shortly

Very impressed with the quality fishing reports at the moment from all raiders. ūüé£

Well done Derek

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Good size luderick and super fish on fly. I've just put a weed fly on my fly rod and will give it a try next time I'm chasing blackfish, never tried for them on fly. Your details of bite indicators etc is very helpful.

       Bruce

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Hi again,

Went out again with @Mike89 last weekend to try for blackfish on fly again. While he was heading back to his car to get some items I saw my strike indicator get ripped under the water. I quickly lifted the rod to set the hook and felt some weight on. A few minutes later this one came to the surface. As I was feeling a little smug I took a photo to send to Mike while he was at the car with a text message of "this is what luderick look like on fly". I missed the moment as he came back before I could send it. Thought I'd share it with you instead. Legal but not worth measuring. Went back in the water.

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I had some chores so Mike persisted without me and came back at me with this lovely photo.

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Recently we also caught up with @Devon and with afternoons like this fishing mid-winter in Sydney it hits home how lucky we are to live near this wonderful harbour.

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Edited by DerekD
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Turns out that @Devon responds well to peer group pressure. He sent me this lovely photo today of a blackfish he caught on fly rod with a message confirming that the strike indicator I gave him to try worked a treat.

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Turns out that @Devon is also a bit competitive as well as being a bit of an over-achiever as he picked up this really odd looking (but legal) yellow/green/silveryfish on surface lure in the same session. Funny looking fly....

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:mfr_lol:

Edited by DerekD
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Another beauty today ūüėćThanks¬†for the fly and indicators @DerekD¬†!!!¬†

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My pleasure @Devon - you have been pretty effective that combo so far. Be interesting to see how it goes when we get some burley into the mix.

Edited by DerekD

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