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  1. #1

    River trees & Canoe fly fishing

    Hi guys / girls

    If like my self, you live in north Queensland you more than likely do a fair amount of your fly fishing out there on the salt water, while standing in a hot location, or baking in an open tinnie with very little shade to be had. In winter this stile of fishing is great, how ever as the summer heat gets into the 33 + mark in the shade, it can become darn warm even for us northern boys.

    To avoid this scenario I have developed a liking for fresh water fishing with insect type flies. And as the local river is only 20 mins away it seemed the place to be.

    As we are some what short on Brown Trout up this way, I turned my attentions to the fresh water archer fish. Which can and will give you one hell of a fight on light gear. I purchased a 13 6 Pelican navigator canoe along with a 6 6 fly rod in a 3 weight. Made my self a hand full of small floating foam type bugs and headed off down to our local fresh waterway.

    It soon be came apparent to me as I made my way from one over hanging tree to the next, that just being there on that tanning stained river with the cool breeze on my face became rewarding in its self as the canoe drifted down that shade covered river.

    As I passed around the next bend, my eyes were fixed upon a large over hanging paper bark tree. And the over whelming desire to cast one of my newly tied foam bug in under its low branches had taken hold.

    As the slow moving water drifted the pelican canoe down into casting range of that big old tree, I went into a back cast, and the fly was on its way.

    This scenario was repeated over and over as I passed by each overhung tree. As for the presentation, I simple flicked the fly hard on to the water with the first cast gaining the attention of the fish, and then lifting it clear, I replaced it with a second, softer roll cast, letting the fly lay there for a few moments, before twitching the rod tip. As the foam bug sends out ripples on the still water the Archer fish came up through the water film like a fired missile from a sub, then turn and dived back into the dark leaf stained water in an attempt to gain freedom as the fight began.

    By using the light 3 weight fly rod and a 2 lb leader it made for some great sport. As I gently turned them away from tree cover and out to wards the side of the canoe, As for the ones that gained the upper hand in mid stream. I watched them swim off with just as much satisfaction. As for my self, I will not use barbed hooks at any time, and try to release all my fish with out handling them if possible, as I believe we must look after our native river fish so that they will be there in the years to come. As for the short 6'6" fly rod it was just easer to handel in a small canoe.

    With the heat of summer coming upon us, this stile of fly fishing is very lay back in its approach. Most of the time you will have a cool river breezes as you drifting down stream. And as you pass from one shade tree to the next casting as you go, your time is well spent. And before you no it, lunch time has rolled a round.

    As you tie up to the bank and take a Quick dip in the river followed by a cold beer and a ham roll, there is nothing like a short nap under that old paper bark tree to complete a great day out on the river.

    I would like say to all you die hard salty give it a go, I know were I will be fishing until the summer is over. If any of you guys fly fish out there on the rivers or lakes, weather it be in a Tinnie or a canoe or just off the bank let us no, as I am shore others would like to hear about your fishing trips on the fresh water with you favorite wand.


    Common Name ( Archerfish )
    Lengths up to 250mm
    Diet, Worms & Bugs / Insects
    Natural Fresh Water habitat, ( Brackish Tanned Water ) (Overhanging shade Trees )

    fly gear
    Rod, 3 Weight +
    Fly line, Weight Forward ,Floating
    Tippit 2 lb -4 lb max
    Fly, Small floating type Bug, App 10 mm dia

  2. #2

    Re: River trees & Canoe fly fishing

    Good read there Michael. Only new to Fly fishing and have only tried saltwater so far. After reading your thread I may have to have a crack at the fresh. Cheers Shane
    Fishing! Its the way of life.
    Southwind 6.70

  3. #3

    Re: River trees & Canoe fly fishing

    Hi Shane
    Nice to know some one gets some thing out of these posts. Wish you all the best in the fresh water fly fishing, have a great new year on the water.


  4. #4

    Re: River trees & Canoe fly fishing

    A great read Michael.

    I fly fish from the tinny but not the canoe.

    Can you make a reasonable cast from a sitting position, if you have any tips I might give it a try. Always looking for a new challenge.

    Regards Gordon

  5. #5

    Re: River trees & Canoe fly fishing

    Hi Gordie
    As for needing any long casting distance from my canoe while sitting down,Is not a problem I Come Across very often, as most of my target fish are with in six meters or so of the canoe, and on the rare occasion's that may arise, I can get out to thirteen meters if I have to while in that sitting position. The only down side to it all are these old leg of mine, how ever that is another story. Over the years I have grown to love the some what slow and soft action of my trusted old fibreglass fly rod witch is not unlike a bamboo rod in the way it handles the fly line. If you can put up with the added weight of glass rods over graphite sticks, you get the added bonus of it built in strength which can come in use full when trying to retrieve your fly line from that low over hanging tree branch. Or retrieving your favorite hat from the river (yes we all do these things from time to time) and because of the rods soft forgiving nature it is ideal for general fly fishing. As for any tips Gordon I guess the love of what we do and the will to learn the art of the wand is the best tip of all.

    Regards Michael.

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