Plaque for Dr Bryan Pratt

It has been one year since the passing of Canberra’s recreational fishing identity Dr Bryan Pratt. As well as establishing the A.C.T. Parks and Conservation Service he lobbied strenuously to have Googong Dam stocked with fish and opened to recreational angling. Many of you will recall his willingness to provide angling advice from his fishing tackle shops in Canberra and his relaxed and humorous fishing stories from behind the counter.

In memory of Dr Pratt, Canberra Anglers’ Association, of which he was long time President, has arranged for a memorial plaque to be placed overlooking his beloved Googong Dam.

Neil Grose Fly Tying Videos

Just got this hint from Shaun. Will pop it into our useful links page in due course:

Bill – I just came a across a series of recently uploaded tying videos from Tassie, tied by Neil Grose. Really good production, and flies you never see in shops or books. Worth sharing as a blog item I would think. Cheers, Shaun.


DPI Finally call for Interest to Fill RFNSW

The Recreational Fishing NSW Ministerial Advisory Council has been moribund for most of this year. Recall its responsibilities including oversight of spending of licence fees.

Finally, DPI has put out a request for expressions of interest from recreational anglers to join this body. Steve Samuels has been our voice on this body and I’m hoping he’ll re-apply, but others should think about it too.

Expression of Interest site, including remuneration and selection criteria is here.

More about the regions that members each represent is here.

Applications close on 29 Sep.

Some Tips from Shaun

Shaun has recently been to UK fishing in the Lake District.  He extracted some tips that would be quite relevant here.  One day I’ll assemble all the tips that people have offered to Burley Line and pop them in this category.

If you’re interested, this trip we fished Lough Corrib, Stocks Reservoir, and the Lake District, where I picked up my first grand slam (Trout, Pike, Redfin) near Lake Windermere. The following are a handful of observations that I picked up this time round.

When fishing at home it’s common to see a three fly setup with increasingly lighter tipper at each fly. Level leaders seem more common in Britain, and the locals were using some of the newer Japanese fluorocarbons in 0.25mm at around 18lb. These leaders are plenty stiff and even with my casting skills, unfurl nicely with the droppers rarely tangling. On the subject of droppers, one of our fellow fishers showed me a technique that I’m definitely trying at home. When you setup at the beginning of the day, you build your leader with the usual three section, two triple surgeon knot rigs. When during the course of a day’s fishing your droppers start getting short, or there’s a tangle that’s beyond help, you cut the dropper close to the knot, and then attach a new dropper with a blood knot, or even a perfection loop using the old knot as a stopper. I’ve even seen a knot tied above and below the old surgeons knot. When using a perfection loop the dropper will slide along the leader, and whilst I didn’t see it in practice, a missed strike with the setup can tell you which fly was hit, as the dropper will slide up snug against the stopper knot.

Flies as always are a contentious subject. Boobies in both floating and sinking forms are ever popular apart from with the purists, but unsurprisingly, the comp fishers are rarely that. Foam arsed blobs (FABs) are also in most fishers boxes, fished as an attractor in a standard sinking setup, commonly with a Damsel that’s similar to a Mel’s damsel on the point, and small dark fly like a cormorant. Alternatively, because the foam variants of the FAB float well, they are used as a point fly to suspend and indicate nymphs or buzzers just under the surface on a floating line. The main change I’ve seen is in the materials used. Regular fritz is being replaced with a jelly fritz, which is translucent when wet, showing through to the thread colour. It’s a trickier material to deal with, and it’s best tied in after a brief soak, but otherwise FABs are easy to tie, and an evening’s work will supply a seasons flies. The most popular of the jelly materials are made by frozen north fishing in dozens of colours. There’s even several greens that would make potential replacements for straggle fritz on a damsel.

The other fly I was introduced to, which has yet to be named as it was an experiment by one of our fishing mates, was a beetle pattern that was simply a tapered ball of spiky black dubbing on a size 14 hook, with a ‘flashback’ made from a strip of heavy duty garbage bin liner. The fish were quite happy to take this, and it sounds like a useful ‘guide fly’ for those of us with neither the skill nor inclination to tie complex flies.

Coloured hooks also seem to be a thing now, with a bare red hook and a small dubbed thorax making for very easy buzzers.

NSW DPI $for$ Fish Stocking

CAA has been successful in its bid to the $for$ native fish stocking program. Recreational Fishing Trust Funds dollars (ie our licence fees) will provide $2,000 to match $2,000 from club funds (this encompasses around $1,200 granted to CAA for stocking purposes from the wind up of the CRFA).

Jason M is project lead and no doubt will be looking for volunteers to help. Expect an email to all members soon.

Well done to JM for putting together this successful bid – I believe based on last year’s bid put together by Lyall. Last year’s $for$ did not go ahead due to poor conditions and competing demands for fish out of the hatcheries.

Native Fish Rating Tool

Did everyone note that Ash’s 60.5cm yellowbelly beat his 100cm cod this year for the Keith Shield’s Natives trophy? This is all due to CAA Native Fish calculator, designed to level the playing field for our different sized natives. The yella scored 85% vs cod 74%.

The key parameters in the calculator are the legal length in NSW and the length record as managed by ANSA. NSW length rules are unchanged and the record for the fish in the calculator has not been exceeded. So the calculator remains valid. I’ve now updated the page to show it is in effect for trophy year 2019-2020


Fly Tying 28 Aug 2019 – Double Decker Comparadun

The Comparadun series of no-hackle dry flies were developed by Caucci and Nastasi in the 1970s using a hair wing tied in a 180° flair. They are very effective patterns in slow-moving clear water where an imitative (as opposed to impressionistic) pattern is needed.

Comparaduns are one of the most versatile mayfly patterns in existence representing a low-riding mayfly to near perfection. They are commonly used during a PMD (pale morning dun) hatch. The fly we will be tying is Davie McPhail’s ‘Double Decker”. This is a relatively straight forward fly to tie and wont break your budget ….you may have the material in your tying kit.


  • Hook – size 14
  • Thread – 8/0 to match your dubbing
  • Tail – Microfibets, antron or Coq de Leon fibres (use pheasant tail if that’s all you have)
  • Body – Olive or any other natural dry fly dubbing
  • Wing – Deer Hair

‘Special’ Equipment:

  • Deer Hair Stacker – you can borrow other tyer’s stacker if you don’t have one

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