Fly-fish­ing en­thu­si­asts fit to be tied

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - LORETTA LOHBERGER

FLY fish­ing is in Gra­ham Blight’s blood.

For more than 50 years, he has been test­ing his skill against trout in Tas­ma­nia’s lakes and streams.

And he says few things in an­gling com­pare with the feel­ing when he lands a fish on one of his own flies.

“The big­gest thrill a fly fish­er­man can have is to catch a fish on a fly they’ve tied them­selves,” he said.

Mr Blight, and oth­ers like him, are look­ing to share their pas­sion.

Af­ter a break of about 13 years, the Great Lake Tie-In is back, with or­gan­is­ers hope­ful of a strong turnout for Satur­day’s event.

Mr Blight said the tie-in was a chance for fly ty­ers to catch up with each other and share the art of fly ty­ing with the gen­eral pub­lic.

Tas­ma­nia will host the 2019 World Fly Fish­ing Cham­pi­onships and Mr Blight said ex­cite­ment was build­ing in the an­gling com­mu­nity.

“Tas­ma­nia was the first place that trout were in­tro­duced to, so we’ve got a his­tory of over 150 years now of trout fish­ing in Tas­ma­nia,” Mr Blight said.

“It was the old English gen­tle­men that in­tro­duced it to Tas­ma­nia.”

Mr Blight said the sport had evolved over the years, with the in­tro­duc­tion of syn­thetic ma­te­ri­als to make flies, new fly pat­terns and fish­ers catch­ing dif­fer­ent species us­ing flies.

“Th­ese days, it’s not just trout that peo­ple can catch on a fly ... there’s a lot of salt­wa­ter fish­ing that goes on,” he said. “Ev­ery­thing that’s out there can be caught on a fly rod. The ul­ti­mate chal­lenge is to catch a salt­wa­ter fish on a fly.”

But Mr Blight said flies were “pre­dom­i­nantly the same” as they had al­ways been, and feath­ers and fur con­tin­ued to be used.

More than 20 fly ty­ers from Tas­ma­nia and Vic­to­ria will be demon­strat­ing their skills on Satur­day.

The event will be held at the Miena Com­mu­nity Cen­tre at Great Lake from 10am to 4pm. En­try is by gold coin do­na­tion and the day will also in­clude a ju­nior ty­ing bench, cane rod build­ing with Bill Lark, and art, pho­tog­ra­phy and trade dis­plays.

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