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A Dirty Manly Dam

A Dirty Manly Dam

Bass, Fresh Water, Kayak Fishing
On Saturday afternoon I made a sneaky dash for Manly Dam, eager to flick a fly for a few Aussie bass. After months of drought, Sydney had finally had a week of heavy rain, and I was interested to see the state of the dam. The water level was significantly higher than on my previous two visits and, as expected, was substantially dirtier. That said, looking at the water from the bank, it looked tannin stained rather than muddy, which gave me some hope that it would still be fishable. An afternoon kayak session on Manly Dam I launched my kayak from the ski area boat ramp, and was promptly given a talking to by one of the skiers. Unbeknown to me, the ski zone was for powered boats only,…
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Kayak Fishing Budgewoi Lake

Kayak Fishing Budgewoi Lake

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water, Trip Report
Sunset over Lake Munmorah After a long and painful journey back from the USA, including a lost bag and a delayed flight, I was happy to climb into the ute and head north for Budgewoi. We'd booked a deluxe cabin on the banks of Lake Munmorah at the Budgewoi Holiday Park, and were ready for a long weekend of fishing, swimming pools, and beach. The cabin was by far the best we've stayed in. Firstly, it was either newer, or at the very least, recently renovated. It also had incredible, uninterrupted, views of the Lake Munmorah, whereas most of the other cabins we've stayed in have had limited to no views, and are usually surrounded by multiple other cabins. Inside the cabin was pretty standard; there were two bedrooms, one…
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Aussie Bass at Manly Dam (First Outing on my Hobie Outback)

Aussie Bass at Manly Dam (First Outing on my Hobie Outback)

Bass, Fresh Water, Kayak Fishing
After months of deliberation around which fishing platform would be best suited to my use cases, having considered multiple options from boats to float tubes and paddle kayaks, I bit the bullet and purchased a 2019 Hobie Outback. Surprisingly, even after I'd narrowed my choices down to the pedal kayaks, the decision was still far from obvious. What drive system did I want? Should it be fin based or a prop drive? Was size and ease of transport important? Or was stability more critical, being a fly fisherman? These are however questions better suited to a future post, once I've had a few more sessions on the kayak. With a shiny, new Hobie sitting in the garage, I absolutely had to get it onto the water as soon as possible.…
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Excitement at Willoughby Creek Bay

Excitement at Willoughby Creek Bay

Salt Water
I snuck out of the house late on Saturday afternoon, fly rod in hand, ready to explore some nearby waters. Despite having lived in Sydney for close on 2 years, I had only fished the harbour twice, and was eager to find some good fishing spots close to home. When I arrived at the Willoughby Creek Bay, it was just starting to rain. There was a strong westerly blowing, it was close to low tide, and the water was murkier than usual. But none of that was going to put me off. I stood on the bank for a while, trying to work out my game-plan, before climbing down the steep wall into the water. The bottom was covered in oysters and, despite wearing rubber booties, it was still sore…
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Lake Oberon Trout

Lake Oberon Trout

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
My family and I recently headed out to Oberon in NSW, in the hope of finding some trout waters closer to home. While Lake Jindabyne and the Thredbo River were incredible venues, driving 7 hours to fish for trout is just too tall an ask for me to do frequently. So with that in mind, we left home after work on Friday, and started the 180km drive through the Blue Mountains, to Oberon. I was not initially impressed with our accomodation, the Jenolan Holiday Park, predominantly since it was located in the middle of town, under the clouds of steam billowing from the timber mill's stacks. That said, the cabins were comfortable, consisting of 2 bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower, and a small living area including an open plan…
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Trevally at Dammerels Head

Trevally at Dammerels Head

Salt Water
While camping at Emerald Beach, the lure of the many beautiful beaches surrounding us was far too great, and saw us heading north to explore Woolgoolga Beach. This proved to be a good decision as we drove onto the sand at the incredibly picturesque Flat Top Point. From there we headed south, looking for a good spot to setup camp for the afternoon. On route we passed multiple promising looking holes in the surf, all sure to hold fish, before coming to a stop at Dammerels Head. We selected the rocky point for both it's aesthetics as well as the promise of species other than dart, which we were beginning to tire of. Aerial photo of Dammerels Head While our kids chased (and amazingly caught) crabs, we kitted up our…
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A Quick Flick at Darlington Beach

A Quick Flick at Darlington Beach

Salt Water
During a recent trip to Emerald Beach we decided to have some fun, and put the 4x4s to use, by doing a little sand driving on Darlington Beach. After spending a confusing 30 minutes trying to find the very well hidden road onto the beach, we drove out onto the sand and headed south. The sand was solid underfoot (tyre), thanks to the many days of rain, and made for easy driving. Having explored the small region zoned for beach driving, we found a secluded spot and settled in for the afternoon. The girls got straight to business, building sand castles and collecting shells and rocks, while Nick and I kitted up our fly fishing rods and headed down to the surf. An aerial shot of Darlington Beach The water…
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Dominating Dart at Emerald Beach

Dominating Dart at Emerald Beach

Salt Water
A rainbow over Emerald Beach The family and I recently headed north (for 7 hours) to Emerald Beach, to spend a week camping with the Nortjes. The Baha Reunion had been long anticipated, but got off to a rocky start when the salt water flies I'd ordered online never arrived. This meant that the trip started with a quick visit to Coffs Harbour where we thankfully found the most incredible fishing shop, MOTackle and Outdoors, which was also home to perhaps the best camping shop I've ever seen. If you're even in Coffs Harbour it's definitely worth a visit. With my fly box replenished we headed back to Emerald Beach and kitted up for our first session. We opted to head south and to fish off the rocky point into…
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A Windy Fingal Bay

A Windy Fingal Bay

Salt Water
Warren fly fishing the rocks at Fingal Bay During a recent trip to Fingal Bay (Port Stephens) I snuck away for a quick hour on the water. I chose to head to the rocky point at the southern end of the bay, as I believed this had the best possibility of holding good fish. The beach was devoid of wave action, which made me believe it was unlikely to hold any good fish (or at the very least, they would be widely spread out and difficult to find). In theory this proved to be a good choice as I had access to good structure, deep water, and multiple impressive gullies. Sadly, the 40 km/hr winds made fly fishing exceptionally difficult. In fact, at points the wind actually lifted my fly…
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Prospecting the Spit West Reserve

Prospecting the Spit West Reserve

Salt Water
Sunset at Spit West Reserve Having moved to Sydney just under a year ago, it was truely amazing to realise that I had not flicked a fly into the abundance of water available right at my doorstep. Eager to put a stop to this poor behaviour, I grabbed my fly rod (and the 6 salt water flies I own) and headed down to Spit West Reserve. On a previous visit (to the park) I'd seen a few trevally shoot out from under a yacht to chase some baitfish in the shallows. Unfortunately, fishing this part of the reserve was near impossible due to the many joggers, walkers, kids, dogs, and so on. I was therefore forced to fish the southern end of the reserve, closer to the rowing club. On…
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