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PB luderick on fly 43cm


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Hi Again,

I went fishing with an Italian friend, Stefano, last Saturday in Sydney harbour. No squid. No fish action either. After finding out that he used to fly fish back home in Europe I suggested we try for some blackfish on fly. He had no suitable gear but fortunately I had both my saltwater 7 and 9 weight rods and a few reels in the car.

I set him up on the 9 weight (I know overkill for luderick but it was all I had spare) with one of the floating lines, one of my home made strike indicators and a weighted weed fly and explained the concept. We didn't have burley but based on recent successes I didn't think it was necessary (although I'd prefer to have some if I have a choice). Once I'd seen he knew how to handle a fly rod I set up my own gear and fished alongside him. We don't need to cast far (less than 6m) as we are working the edge of the weeds. The weed fly generally about 2m +/- 50cm under the strike indicator. After about 30 minutes without action I was getting concerned that Stefano would think I'd been pulling his leg about this blackfish on fly business. Then my strike indicator ducked under the water. I set the fly and called out to Stefano who came over to watch the fight. I didn't have a long handled fishing net but fortunately Stefano hand lined the fish up at the end of the fight and was kind enough to take this photo.



After seeing this Stefano went for it with renewed enthusiasm. At this point @Mike89 rocked up to join us. I left them to work what we thought was the prime area and moved backwards and forwards along the rock wall. At one stage I saw Stefano's strike indicator go down but he missed the strike. Mike then pulled out a legal blackfish right in front of Stefano which left my Italian mate feeling a bit sweet and sour at the same time. Unfortunately they were not playing hard and Stefano and I were on a time limit.

It turns out the week before Mike caught 12 (10 legal) blackfish fishing the same sort of area. It was one of his better sessions to date and it was without any burley.

The area's we have been fishing have a bit of tidal flow and a lot of ferry movements. I suspect the resulting wash and currents ensures a plentiful supply of small pieces of weed in the water which closely resemble the flies we are using. I'll have to try some areas with less water flow to see if the flies are still effective when the luderick are around.

Previously my home made strike indicators (indicator yarn, a small o-ring, and some braid to tie it up) were working well for just one fishing session after which they would absorb water a lot more quickly and lose their buoyancy part way through a session. I've since been trying two types of floatant to solve this problem. The first is dry fly silicon mucilin - there is a pocket in which you drop the fly/indicator and turn it upside down to saturate it and then squeeze off the excess and allow to dry. The second is a wipe on silicon gel. Both have worked very well to date and have lasted the whole fishing session.

Stefano did point out that in some ways we were essentially fishing an artificial bait with a float. I agree in that we are not having to work the fly in the traditional sense but we are still having to get the fly in the strike location using the weight of the fly line. The actual fight is the really fun part as they put an awesome bend in the rods.

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On ‎7‎/‎15‎/‎2020 at 10:18 PM, Pickles said:

Brilliant report with great info, many thanks Derek. 

Thank you for the compliment, Pickles. I'm looking forward to meeting you when @big Neil gets up here in the next few months (assuming NSW doesn't get shut down again due to the recent outbreaks).

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  • 11 months later...
4 hours ago, Xuanhong2 said:

Hello, which tackle shop was it that makes these mixed packs? I would really love to try these flies :D

Hi Xuanhong,

At the moment the store I use has not had the flies for months. If need be I can PM you the actual store. If you keep an eye out several other stores including some of the bigger outdoors chains are currently selling weed flies. The problem with most is that they don't have the little bit of lead wire wrapped around the hook to improve the sink rate. If you are using a classic float outfit you can put a small split shot above the fly.

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9 hours ago, Brendonjohnson said:

Awesome write up and lovely fish!. I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time so thanks for the insight!

Hi Brendon,

Definitely worth giving it a go. In areas where we know there are blackfish (or even better, can see them) the weed fly has been a very effective technique.

I was pretty lucky in that I worked out and resolved the minor issues with the process pretty quickly. I also got very lucky with the flies at my local tackle store in that even now I think they are excellent and effective. Some of my learnings over the past year.

If you have a fly rod, floating line is the best as an intermediate or sinking line can drag down your strike indicator. Doesn't really matter what weight class the line and rod are as it comes down to the leader and tippet. I usually buy a tapered leader but then run an 8lb or 10lb fluorocarbon (sinks better than monofilament) tippet of at least 1m. I need the thicker part of the line on which to slide the strike indicator up and down. You could also use say 20 to 30lb line for the upper section and then tie on the 8 or 10lb tippet. Overall my leader and tippet is 3 to 4m long.

If you don't have a fly rod you can still use the flies with a traditional outfit.

The strike indicator I made by hopping on Ebay to find O-rings with a 5mm inner diameter and 8mm outer diameter (any thicker and they don't bend well and the line kinks instead). I then bought some strike indicator wool (yellow or orange) and cut into lengths of around 4-5cm. I doubled these through the o-ring and then lashed into place right next to the o-ring (see photos loaded with the original report). The ends will fluff up during use. These will work for the first session after which you will need to use floatant once or twice a session.

There are a number of people making weed flies (these will vary in cost from $3.50 to $10 per fly). While the basics are similar you will find a number of variations (different colours, different hook sizes, some hooks have better corrosion resistance, the way the strands look in the water). My favourite ones have a small bit of lead wrapped around the hook to improve the sink rate. I've lost very few weed flies. The best part is that I can head out for a blackfish session whenever I have a little bit of spare time and don't have to worry about getting burley. Not to say the burley wouldn't help but it saves me a trip to the coast to get the cabbage weed I like to use.

As we are often fishing locations a few meters off the water I picked up a 3.6m telescopic net off Ebay for about $70. The smaller ones can be handlined but it would be a shame to damage/injure the fish and loose a fly at the same time if they were too heavy for the tippet.

Looking forward to hearing how you go. Between several of us we have been getting consistent and good results. You may still have to move several times to find the schools but when you do they will hit the fly.



Edited by DerekD
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  • 3 months later...

I picked up a 44cm recently on fly but unfortunately due to the angle of the camera the photo with measuring tape on it makes it look smaller than it actually was. Damn parallax..... My fault for not having a brag mat to lay it down on.

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