Category Archives: Favorite Fly Fishing Spots

Barramundi and Barrages

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

As our Australia trip progressed, we crept closer to the equator as we reached Darwin in the northwest corner. Still over 7000 miles from Bozeman, we were less than 700 miles south of the equator. This is a land of heat and extreme humidity, loaded with all manner of game fish offshore and in what seems to be an infinite variety of rivers, estuaries, and billabongs. Amid the CV craziness in the U.S., Australia seemed a bit laid back. Yes, precautions were clearly being taken across the continent, but it didn’t seem to be affecting everyday life in Darwin.

For the first time ever, we booked a trip online through Fishbooker and was not disappointed. Overall the booking experience and communications with the captain was very efficient. We got a bit of validation the day before our trip from a local fishing shop that our captain—Lincoln Kirby—was a good choice. It would be an early start—0530 just outside of Darwin. Once we met our captain, we’d drive well over 100 miles to the northeast to Shady Camp on the Mary River.

Shady Camp is a popular starting point for anglers on the Mary River as it is equipped with two very well constructed and large boat launching ramps. The two ramps allow access to a massive barrage that separates the upstream freshwater section of the river from the downstream tidal section. Other barrages downstream from Shady Camp would play well into my first Barra adventure. With an eight weight rigged up with a 5/0 Pink Thing we headed downstream in the raging waters of the Mary River. The Territory was at the tail end of the wet season and the massive flood plains of the top end were draining into the vast tidal rivers that flowed into the Van Diemen Gulf inside the Timor Sea. The tide was near low ebb and the exposed muddy banks of the river revealed a tide that might rise nine feet over the next four to five hours. more…

The “Odd” Cod, The “Odd” Yellowbelly, The “Odd” Perch

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Dana Stors Lamb was a New York investment banker, conservationist and author. His angling stories are renown for his poetic, lyrical style. He published nine titles in the 1960s-70s, mostly angling stories about pursuing Atlantic Salmon in New England, Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes. One of my favorite stories headlines the volume Not Far From The River (1967). Entitled “The Odd Salmon”, Dana laments a summer where salmon were scarce on the Miramichi, Magaguadavic, Nashwaak and Restigouche rivers in Quebec. A farmer on the river Nashwaak filled with anglers says,“There’s nothing in the river now.” Dana comments, “But surely there is something or they wouldn’t fish”. The farmer, while whacking the buttocks of a cow, “Oh well, they do get the odd salmon now and then.” At the tidal head of the Restigouche, anglers in boats plied the waters and Dana wondered to a local, “they must be there”. The local observer replied: “Of course they are there. They have to be, but all they ever take down here is sometimes the odd salmon.” Back along the Maine coast, Dana encountered a group of southern anglers extremely frustrated over the lack of salmon and crowded rivers. As Dana left the little Maine village, he wondered, “whether anyone [in the frustrated group] among the hundreds along the river bank would latch on to that famous fish so often talked about; so seldom seen; the so much sought but tough to kill the ‘odd salmon’.” more…

Pink Things and Goodoo Gurglers

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Last October I gave a presentation at our local TU Chapter on a different type of kayak fishing—Fishing the Last Mile First. This year I’ve been asked to talk about our 2017 trip to Australia. I am not sure that the program chair asked me because I am a good speaker, or he just needs to fill a slot. So, this year in October I’ll be giving my perspective on fly fishing for trout in Australia. As I’ve pieced together the skeleton of a presentation, I wish I had taken far more photographs than I did. Despite clearly not being any kind of expert on Australian trout fishing, talking about my fly fishing experiences in Victoria and Tasmania isn’t all that challenging. We tossed out a few different flies and caught fish in rivers and lakes that are much different than those I am used to. As I wrote about several times in this blog, fly fishing for trout in Australia isn’t all that different than here in the U.S. except that the trout swim on the left side of the river instead of the right. more…