Fly Fishing. The Secret to Getting Them Off The iPad & Into Nature
Posted on Thursday, 20th of November 2014
Some say the late Steve Irwin was one of a kind, but not so, when you meet Craig Daly. Craig (or Daff as he is fondly known around Thredbo) lives and breathes his fly fishing and when he’s not teaching people how to learn to cast through Clearwater Fly Fishing Guides, well…he’s out fishing. It’s worth booking in a lesson just to see what all the fuss is about fly fishing and why it’s the word on families’ lips this summer.
Fly fishing lessons at Thredbo
The younger generation are pretty hard to impress these days, with their sophisticated iPads and other handheld devices. To get them out in nature sometimes is a feat, but an important one at that. Fly fishing is a great idea for parents who struggle to find opportunities for activities with teenagers who would rather hang out with their mates.
Jesse, Byron and Zac, three young guys from Sydney had a casting lesson with Craig and came away with a wealth of knowledge to knock the socks of their teachers back at school this week.
Zac said “It’s cool the way the line moves, it’s pretty fun”. Byron said “it’s easy but it’s still exciting”. Jesse confirmed that it was “exciting, just to have a go”.
What makes it different?
The point of difference with fly fishing as opposed to other forms of fishing is that the line is made from a special polyurathane with a braid inside it with air bubbles so the line floats on the surface of the water.
The bait can be chosen from hundreds of different handmade artifical insects as diverse as Christmas beetles to grasshoppers, depending on the season and what is actually hopping around in nature to catch the attention of the trout.
The actual fishing sessions need active, constant casting and recasting over and over the fishing line and lure ‘in the hunt’ for the fish, rather than the other way around. This makes the fishing sessions interactive with nature, as opposed to just a passive activity.
A sport growing in popularity
Craig says no longer is fishing the domain of ‘older retired gentlemen in tweed and hats’ but it is experiencing real growth as a great pastime with girls and families.
“This type of fishing is more active than lure fishing as you have to stalk the trout and cast directly to them and not just stand there doing nothing. Also because it doesn’t use live bait, so it’s less smelly and gross for those who can’t stand the smell of bait nor the action of threading dead worms”.
Fly fishing for beginners
As the head guide of Clearwater Fly Fishing in Thredbo, Craig runs 2 hour daily classes to teach people fly fishing basics in the Snowy Mountains area. Each class is aimed at age 13 right up to much older people.
These casting classes are the precursor to slightly longer ‘streamside sessions’, if you enjoy the casting you will enjoy the next step up, which looks at knots, equipment, currents, how to read the water, best spots to fish and lots more.
If you like these sessions, Craig also runs half day tours. He will pick you up from your accommodation at 8.30am and take you further down the Thredbo River or out of town to the Indy River, depending on the weather then have you back by 1.30/2pm and will provide snacks and refreshments.
These guided trips are aimed at people who can already cast a line and are looking to challenge themselves with that next step.
Craig says females show natural competence with fly fishing “They already have rhythm and timing, they tend to be good at it” while men have to “get over the inclination to use the rod as a golf driver”. Could be a good challenge for couples. So get out on that water and see who can catch the most fish.
Try it out yourself
Craig runs a Thredbo fly fishing expo in February from the Kosciuszko Room of the Alpine Hotel for those wanting to try it out as a taster. This February 2015 will be the third year of the expo and will showcase some of the best fly fishing destinations around the world as well as great equipments, DVDs, casting competitions and demonstrations. Plus workshops on making different types of flys. A great wholesome event for kids and families.
Contact Craig 0417 240 797 and book in a session this summer, get off that iPhone and get into nature.
What better way to enjoy fishing in Thredbo than with a stay at the Lantern Thredbo Apartments’ range of 1- 4 star accommodation right in the heart of Thredbo Village. Contact Jill and Ian for this season’s three nights for the price of two specials.
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