Author Archives: bill

Fly Tying – Wed 23 Sep 2020 – Original Sawyer’s Pheasant Tail Nymph and His Killer Bug

Shaun is the instructor and offered these notes.

Original Sawyer’s Pheasant Tail Nymph.

It’s such a common fly now that its easy to take for granted, but the original is quite different from what you might pick up from your local fly shop, and has a history that’s worth understanding.

Frank Sawyer was the inventor of this fly. No flashback, no peacock here, just a simple fly that he used to catch trout for a living on the River Avon the 1920s as a keeper. There are several Avon’s in England, this was the one near Salisbury/Stonehenge. It’s my favourite river name and Avon in proto Celtic means river, so it’s clear what the waterway is!

The Sawyer nymph is just small or extra small copper wire (gold, silver and red also work), and several long pheasant tail fibres – not even any thread is required. It’s so simple that I left out the materials list because it looked embarrassingly short! Add a nymph hook of your preference and you are all set.

The tying instructions are also pretty straightforward. Rather than write out a very short list, perhaps it’s best to see Frank himself tie it for us. This is the only footage of him tying recorded:

His Killer Bug

Out of guilt for the simplicity of the nymph, I’m going to show a second on the night – His Killer Bug. Originally a Grayling fly, but trout don’t seem to be so sophisticated as to care. Again the tying list is three items long, same hook, same wire, and a pinkish, brownish or greenish hank of wool. There’s a whole mythology behind what wool to use, and I have a collection of the ‘right’ ones if anyone wants to drop in and collect a sample, but again, I suspect the trout don’t spend enough time in knitting stores to really care.

Coming Events

Next Meeting

Wed  14th Oct. Meeting most likely via Zoom at 7:30. Speaker is yet to be confirmed – advice will be emailed. There will be a discussion/decision on CAA affiliation with NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers.

Other Events

Sun 27th Sep. Free flycasting lessons for the public – the final weekend at Googong Dam – go right to the end of the road to carpark/BBQ area near boat ramp. See separate post here

Wed 23rd Sep. Fly Tying, over Zoom. Details were emailed (and are in our Fly Tying blog).

2020 Free Fly Casting Lessons to the Public

Yes, it is that time of year again. We are organising COVID-careful fly casting tuition for the public on the lawn at Old Parliament House on (13 and) 20 September then moving to Googong Dam on 27 September to cast on the water and maybe catch a fish. For Googong, go right to the end of the road to carpark/BBQ area near boat ramp

It is an excellent opportunity for outreach by Canberra Anglers’ Association and we have had scores of people tell us that their first exposure to fly fishing was at Old Parliament House. Not to mention the opportunity to sell the best sausage sandwiches in the southern hemisphere … no, the best on the planet.

We anticipate having our usual fantastic CAA casting instructors and members to circulate amongst members of the public to fine tune their casting. And, as usual, we will have raffles for all kinds of angling gear and hopefully a major raffle prize of a fly rod from a generous benefactor.

The best news is that we will have Master Casting Instructor, author and photographer Peter Morse joining us on 13 September to showcase the latest in Sage fly rods and Rio lines so we expect a big turnout by the public to meet him. Peter was the host of the long-running SBS fly fishing TV series Wildfish and our own Secretary as been asked more than a few times when they were travelling together “Is that the famous Peter Morse?” “Naaah, this bloke just looks like him.”

Please block off 13, 20 and 27 September in your diaries and come to the premier fly casting event of the year in Canberra.

A copy of the flyer is downloadable from the link below in case you want to print it off – pop it up on a notice board at work!

September 2020 Burley Line (Newsletter Issue 159)

Oops, Event Calendar should show Brogo, 20-22 Nov. Earlier error now fixed

It has been the Annual General Meeting season – CAA, CFA and MAS (delayed from Feb) – even Queanbeyan Angler’s Club.  Notes are here from our AGM including new committee, trophies, Life Membership award and the raffle results plus our outgoing President’s Report on 2019/20 (copied here for those who couldn’t make it to the Zoom meeting).  Notes later from CFA and MAS AGMs.  QAC was very relaxed so nothing significant to report.

Incoming President, Claude, has penned a message sent out by email to all members.  An abstract is included here ‘for posterity’.

Peter and I got up to Jindabyne and the outcome is described here.  Where are the other reports on trips folks?  I had to convince Jason M to take me out on Lake Ginninderra just today to ensure another fishing report. J  Jason has also provided a couple of pieces on gear.

Jaime has sent me a link to remind me of the benefits of fishing as a way to help reduce stress during these COVID times.  It would appear that the angling community in the US are commencing a campaign to raise the awareness by the non-angling public of these benefits.  Read about it here.

Don’t forget, now that the AGM has passed, membership fees are due.  Fees remain at General Membership $40.00, Family Membership $50.00, Concession Membership (age pension or concession card) $15.00 and Junior Membership (U18 years) $15.00.  Bank transfer to BSB 032-727, A/C 24-0140 would be preferred.  Any contact detail changes can be advised via the webform on our ‘join us’ page.