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Thats What We Want To See...salmonfest


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Well Raiders, it finally happened for me this season. Came around to North Head at about 5.45 am and you beauty, a heap of salmon schools lined up from North Head to almost Quarantine. I was the first boat, but within 10 minutes there were 5 others, with one of McGills boats and I also saw MarkD and Phil. I was using the Struddy 7wt, intermediate line and eye fly and hooked onto 3 salmon all about 55 - 60 cms, they were quite big and took about 10 minutes to get in each. Unfortunately I busted my Struddy on no. 3 :thumbdown: , but luckily always carry a spare rod. Followed the school around North head, then they disappeared, or so we thought. I headed to Spot X to try and hook some kings and trevs, not much happening, but really good conditions, calm and clear. Then around 9 am, a huge flock of birds came around from Bluefish and I just had to have a look, for the next two hours it was the best flyfishing session Iv'e ever had, and there was only one other boat there and he was swoffing too. Altogether I caught 8 salmon, and dropped 3, as b4, each fish took about 10 - 15 minutes to get in, a 7 wt is a bit light for salmon, plus I didnt want to bust this rod. It was great seeing the schools and where they were heading and then getting in front of them to wait and cast, they were everywhere, my knees were wobbling from excitement as I anticipated their approach. Learnt heaps about positioning today and also how to cast to them a bit better. Anyhow, it was a great session, hope you guys have a good one this weekend.

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Couldn't go and my damn morning meeting was called off too :mad3:

Ken, sounds like you had an absolute ball out there this morning and not before time considering the hours you've put in. :thumbup::thumbup:

Bad luck about the Struddy - hope its still in the warranty period.

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come along to the flyfishing social and have a go of one of the rods there, you might win the prize! Its not that hard casting from a kayak either, I did it for the first time last weekend.


the wait for the "big one" today was well worth it, but as you know, plenty of hours have been put in, with only small pods found b4 today. As for the Struddy, I think it has a life time warranty, will check it out, luckily I bought a spare tip for it last time it broke, this will be tip number three.


it was technique rather than the rod, I held it too high for the first two, gotta go lower for the bigger powerful fish. The Struddy cost over $300, the spare I have only cost $90 and handled it with no worries once I adjusted, I just keep the angle in relation to the fish, like, if the fish is under the boat, the rod is pointing straight at it, hard netting a big salmon on your own as well, so I just made sure that when the fish was almost in, I grabbed the leader, and netted it.

broken rods are part of fishing I suppose, especially bigger fish, all fish were very powerful and over 55 cms long.

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YEHAAAAAAAAAAA Ken nice work mate ,shame about the rod but hey there is plenty more where they come from and you broke it on a fish anyways :yahoo: .Looks like a wonderfull day out !!


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What a top day! Good going Ken.

Shame about the rod. If you do it again, would it be with a 7 WT or would you try an 8 WT, if you had one that is? Reason for the question is that I am looking at getting a rod and was undecided on which weight to go for.

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Well done Ken :thumbup:

Sounds like you had a pearler, :yahoo::yahoo:

Graphite fly rods HATE being hi sticked all it takes is the smallest nick or scratch in the rod (getting clipped by dumbell eyes is the cheif culprit) and then when they are in compression ciao bella.

Never mind though always better to break a rod on a fish than in a car door or ceiling fan ( been guilty of both)

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Thanks Swordfisherman,

now I dont feel so bad when reading about your fine exploits of late, cheers!


sent you an PM, I'd go an 8 wt on todays fish if I had one.


it was a great day. I bought a spare replacement tip last time I busted it, warranty covers the broken one, onya Struddy, this one will be going back as well.


highsticking, yep, my mistake, learnt quickly though. Caught salmon b4, but not in todays numbers, so when it busted after no. 3, I had to change fighting technique and landing technique as well. Iv'e busted one in the car door b4 too, doh!

cheers guys, I'm still buzzing!

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Nice stuff Ken and im pleased to say i had a good day too. I was on McGills boat and recognised you (gave a wave but you mustnt have seen me) I was on a shared charter with a father and son duo who were lovely blokes but inexperienced and as a result we missed ALOT of fish :05:

I mangaed to land 1 salmon 5 minutes after we got there (bout 6) and dropped another shortly after and i also dropped a bonnie which spat the hook :ranting2:

sounds like we left em all to yourself after that (we took off about 9) but it was pretty lumpy out there, you did well to keep your balance in your boat mate, well done :thumbup:

as for your casting Ken, i saw you and your pretty ordinary :1prop: ...only stirring mate, your tally today tells me you cast fine.

BTW, the sambos were really fat and boy they never disappoint...God bless the closing of that Eden cannery...now if we can only stop the pros raping the rivers... :mad3:

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Excellent report Ken! Can't wait to get my fly outfit wet for the first time and what a way to get motivated for it, aside from the busted rod :ranting2: bad luck mate.



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Cheers everyone, it was a day to remember, they are all too few, for me anyhow.


now you know how I feel when you post a good report and I'm at work. Have a good trip up Glenbawn, I'll be looking forward to your report, reading it at work probably.

hi Jewnut,

sorry I didnt wave back, I saw you guys onto a fish, was that you bringing it in? What plastics were you guys using? Where did you guys go after 9? I went to Manly and hung there for awhile, then the salmon came. You probably noticed my tinny is a v-nose punt and not really suited for venturing out, great for rivers and lakes, but when it gets choppy like today, it gets exciting, lucky I can surf, that helps my balance when I stand up casting. Your'e right with the size of the fish, they are big and fat and plenty of power in those tails, I was beat after todays effort. As for my casting, it is pretty ordinary, should see me at the end of the day, bigger loops that the Big Dipper!


it gets exciting when you zoom in front of the school approaching and see them coming, then the noise they make when they are feeding around you, its like 100 people sipping on beers, its awesome.


I hardly had time to take pics today, glad you liked them. But Ive seen so many other peoples pics of salmon schools, I just had to take some.

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Way to go, Ken!

That's one for the diary, I reckon.

I remember about 2 years ago heading out into the harbour with a couple of mates and Dean Hayes and coming across a massive Salmon school busting up like that - there's nothing quite like it, is there?

But what is it with Strudwicks? I've picked a few up in the tackle shops and always thought that they felt like top pieces of gear, yet I've heard of a number of rods literally shattering recently. Have people been giving them more stick than they were meant to withstand, or is there a more fundamental problem here?

Just a question.

Once again, nice work, Ken - let's hope it's the first of many...

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Thanks Sputnik,

its my first serious stint with the big salmon schools, although I have gone looking for them many times and only finding small patches here and there. Previous to today, I had only ever caught 3 salmon on fly, today I just improved my tally, so I'm as happy as. It was good only having to motor around not too far then wait for them to come or look for the birds.

As for the Strudwick,

my busted rods have been my fault. One busted when closing the door, one cracked due to bad casting and a lead eye clouser hit it, the other was holding the rod too high for two protracted fights, then the 3rd one popped it just as I was getting it to the boat. I reckon the Strudwick is a very good rod and they have always replaced my damaged ones, just have to pay for frieght. Never owned a Loomis or Sage, so I cant say, but I hear they are the top fly rods, but I doubt if I could ever afford one of those anyhow.

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That was me pulling in the fish mate :yahoo:

We went for some squid after nine, then chased kings and blackfish for the rest of the day...no kings though. Our guide said we would return to the salmon later in the day but we got caught up with the other fishing and it didnt eventuate :05:

I got my fish on small metal raider, the plastics were proving a little hard to punch into the wind as the fish were hanging close to the rocks.

I reckon most of those salmon were around 2kg.

Edited by jewnut
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Hey Jewnut,

how did you guys go with the blackfish? I know McGills got a few spots, well saw it on his video. What about his jewy hole? Did you guys request to go for blackfish? Thought he might of gone for the more exciting salmon chase, although blackfish are heaps of fun and a good eating fish, better tasting than salmon. What time did you guys pull anchor? Iv'e gone with a few guides in the past, the good ones also teach you quite a bit as well as put you onto fish.

You had to get in the right spot to cast a fly, if the wind wasnt behind you, it was tough going. Metals would have been easier to cast, but all my fish were caught off tiny eye flies, but another guy was using candies and caught just as much fish as I did.


as Jewnut said, 2 kgs. They pack a punch too. I know you go hard on the kings, do you like chasing salmon? Thanks goodness for replacement warranty, it just costs a few dollars for freight.

Edited by Narralakes
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