Flyfishing Tropical Australia.
Tropical fly in Austarlia’s Top-end.
Situated on the western side of Cape York Peninsula is Weipa, one of Australia’s last fishing frontiers. Weipa is well known though-out Australia as a “must do” fishing destination. The message of Weipa’s great fishing is slowly spreading, with ever increasing numbers of clients coming from all over the world. The major draw card for Weipa is the accessibility, with daily flights to Weipa from Cairns international airport. The added attraction for the fishing enthusiast is huge amount of species available all with-in minutes from the Weipa Township. Flyfishing is great way to experience Weipa, weather it’s wading the flats & beaches, casting shooting heads to schools of pelagic’s or drifting river flats and casting to the mangrove snags. Exploring new waters, for first time species can be exciting to say the least. The thought of the unknown, lets the child like imagination run wild. Coming half way across the world the last thing you need to leave to chance, is fly & tackle selection. Although most saltwater flies work well there are some that work better than others, understanding the target species is the key to good fly & tackle selection.
Let me introduce to you just a few of our tropical spieces.
Weipa is the Barramundi capital of Queensland, Barramundi are Australia’s premier sportsfish. We find Barramundi up the in rivers on snags, creek mouths and along shallow flats. They are regularly caught along the beaches & rocky headlands. Barramundi are ambush feeders, lying perfectly still until pray come with-in striking range then they spring to life, inhaling their pray with their huge mouths.
My favorite way to target these fish is by sight casting in shallow water. We use unweighted flies on floating lines, cast flies on the their noses, then short sharp 4 inch strips with a slight pause between strips. Fishing in deeper water use intermediate lines with lightly weighted flies.
Sometime we find Barramundi actively feeding on the surface mainly in muddy water, inhaling air as they strike at the bait, this is what we call a “Barra boof” it’s a loud unforgettable sound. This is the time to use surface flies like poppers & dahlberges. Barramundi have tiny sand paper like teeth so shock leaders should be
40 lb plus to stop fish wearing through them on long fights. When it comes to leaders it’s a bit of a compromise, heaver leaders get less strikes, go too light, and the fish will wear though the leader very quickly. The Barramundi are f
Barramundi can grow up to 60 kg, the biggest we have taken, weighed 28 kg.
Common sizes are around 2 to 4 kg, however these fish are normally schooling fish and sometime you can catch twenty or more out of a school, I have had a couple of clients catch 36 from one snag, that was exceptional fishing.
Outfits used for Barramundi can range from 6 to 10 weights. I like to use a light 6wt rod, this can be a challenge to cast weighted flies on 4/0 hooks, which sometimes you need to do.
Lines will depend on the water being fished, floating & intermediate are the most common.
Your fly box should include, pink things, deceivers (weighted & un-weighted), clousers, poppers, dahlberges & muddler deceiver.
Good colors include, all white, chartreuse on white, blue on white, green on white and orange.
Hooks sizes 1 to 4/0 with 2/0 being the most common size.
The Barramundi is our first species profile; please revisit us as we introduce you to the rest of our tropical species available here in Weipa. For more info about flyfishing Tropical Australia including, fishing reports, fly recipes, tips & techniques vist
Till next time
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