Karen Brooks was the guest speaker at our July meeting. She is one of our top female fly fishers and represented Australia at the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships in New Zealand last March. Her report on the Championships is given earlier in this issue. Karen has also very kindly offered to contribute to our Fly of the Month section by describing one of her favourite flies – the Squirrel Nymph.
Fly fishing in wintertime around Warrnambool can be tough. There are few insects hatching and very little surface action. So, when I woke a few weeks ago to a bright sunny morning with a light north-westerly breeze I took advantage of the break in the weather to do some loch-style drift fishing on Lake Gillear [Ed: a small lake just to the east of Warrnambool].
It is so sad to report that Julian died in early May. He joined the VFFA in 2007 and became a very popular and highly respected member. He had many friends in the Association who regarded him with a great deal of affection. Jim Allen, who knew him better than most and was a close friend for many years, has written the moving tribute which is included earlier in this issue.
This fly is truly a wonderful Australian fly. It is often called the Geehi Beetle these days but is more correctly called Zwar’s Geehi. It was written up in our June 2007 newsletter, so is well and truly ready to be featured again in our Fly of the Month segment.
I had always regarded the Zulu as a small wet fly, and never bothered with it much anyway. But I had a discussion recently with Dick Clark, a VFFA member who spends a lot of time fishing Tassie’s highland lakes – and very successfully too. Dick is quite an authority on Lake Botsford in particular and wrote an article on fishing this popular lake for our September 2015 newsletter.
This is a great fly, and is relatively easy to tie. But first, two acknowledgements. Bob Wyatt has been a very significant contributor to fly fishing literature in recent years. He has written countless articles in fly fishing magazines, has authored a superb book (What Trout Want – the Educated Trout and other myths), and produced a two- volume set of DVDs entitled Flies That Catch Fish”. And I’ve undoubtedly omitted other contributions he has made. His Deer Hair Emerger is demonstrated in Volume One of his DVD set. Thank you Bob for this great fly.
Rick Keam came up with this suggestion a few weeks ago when I was looking for a candidate for our Fly of the Month. As Rick said, how about the all-but-forgotten wet Black Beetle? It used to be one of the great stand-bys, but for some reason unrelated to its effectiveness, has fallen into disuse. It is also dead-easy to tie.