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

From <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EFL41PzmvY>

CAA Joins the National Waterbug Blitz

You may remember our news post about the National Waterbug Blitz and that Jaime was negotiating for CAA to join in.

He tells us we’re in. We’ll be partnering with a local Waterwatch group who have experience in the conduct of the survey.

Pencil in Sat 16 Nov. We’ll be getting access through the Tidbinbilla Road gate for easy access to the survey site around Vanity’s Crossing. More info from Jaime soon.

Meantime read about this national program here:

2019-08-12 Media Release – National Waterbug Blitz Launch

Joint Statement MAS and Snowy Hydro for Snowy Hydro 2.0

We’ve just received this from Steve Samuels and the MAS.

After discussing with Steve can I dismiss one misconception, it was said to me that the grown out fish would not be permitted to be stocked into Tantangara due to National Par rules on introduced species. 1. Trout are already stocked in KNP eg the Thredbo, besides which 2. Tantangara lake is owned by Snowy Hydro. I should also add that MAS are quite confident that engineering efforts to develop barriers to redfin escaping down the Bidgee or through the Portal will be successful.

You will be aware that the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project poses a threat to Tantangara Dam with the possibility that redfin will be pumped into it from Talbingo Dam. The Monaro Acclimatisation Society (MAS) began negotiations over this with Snowy Hydro the day the project was announced by former PM, Malcolm Turnbull.

The MAS has taken a pragmatic view on this issue. We knew that it would be impossible to stop the project due the high level of commitment from the Federal and State Governments. Instead we started negotiating with Snowy Hydro to see if we could formulate a recreational fishing offset that could be implemented to protect Tantangara if redfin did get in.

Our experience in NSW is that wherever redfin have invaded a trout fishery, the trout (especially the rainbow trout) fail to thrive. The redfin prey on the naturally spawned young as well as the small fingerlings we stock.

We are aware that in Victoria, the preference there is to stock larger trout in redfin affected waters and this has had good success. However, in NSW we are very limited in the number of larger trout we can grow out for stocking. Both our hatcheries are not capable of producing the large number required if we were to make an impact on redfin.

The MAS has presented the idea of building a trout grow-out facility which would consist of grow-out cages to get the trout from 50mm to about 200mm. These bigger trout would be used to stock Tantangara if redfin got in there, but in the meantime they could be used to stock other Snowy waters that have redfin such as Khancoban Dam, or they could be used to bolster our stocking of other Snowy waters.

The attached Joint Statement outlines our agreement with Snowy Hydro to work towards a recreational fishing offset that will compensate anglers for the threat to Tantangara Dam.

At this time the agreement is to investigate the possibilities, but the MAS is committed to providing the best outcome possible to maintain Tantangara as a trout fishery of significance and the MAS will be developing a plan to put forward to Snowy Hydro and other stakeholders such as NSW Fisheries, local communities and the Council.

The MAS will keep anglers advised of our negotiations and updates will be posted on our website. http://www.monarofishsociety.org/

For further information please contact MAS or Burley Line via the CAA website

Media release – Working with fishing community

August 2019 Burley Line (Newsletter Issue 146)

oops, third time lucky.  Peter also spotted that in “Coming Events” I had the wrong date for the meeting and somehow “Bondi Forest Lodge” appeared in the heading.  (Second attempt had the wrong edition 🙂

A slightly smaller edition, but particular thanks go to John (for a report on our recent Saltwater event) and Andrew sharing his observations of a trip to UK – with success angling.

After Luke produced the new look for the newsletter (hope you like it), he and I have been discussing the general content.  We are looking for some feedback please.  Specifically:

  • Are there any specific topics or items you’d like to see included in The Burley Line?
  • Are there any existing topics or items you’d like to see removed from The Burley Line?

Meanwhile, two items have come up within the Council of Freshwater Anglers.  CFA are looking for copies of historical angler’s diaries to support Uni Syd study into recreational fishing challenges.  We’ll be formally approached in due course, but members with diaries are asked to consider whether they might be prepared to participate.  There is a serious concern about Recreational Fishing NSW Advisory Council ceasing it’s operation due to not processing wholesale replacement of its members.  Without this council, the trust funds holding our NSW licence fees cannot be properly managed.  All holder of the NSW licence ought to be concerned that the angling community have lost their voice in the management of what is arguably our money – watch this space.