Fly Fishing Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia

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Piscisfly
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:54 am

Fly Fishing Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia

Post by Piscisfly » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:16 am

Part 1 – Intro

My first trip to Hervey Bay (HB), in April 2014, was a combined family and fishing trip. I was really fortunate that my wife suggested I get a guide for 3 days fishing. I thought that 2 days was a more politically correct idea! My goal was to catch a Tuna on the fly rod, and while I saw hundreds of them I did not get a bite, the closest was a follow from a Mack Tuna. It was thoroughly frustrating, although I did manage to get a few Brassy Trevally fishing deep fly over a reef. Like all Trevally, they pulled very hard even though they were only small specimens.

My next trip to Hervey Bay was in late April 2015, this time it was a fishing only trip with my Malaysian friend, Chew, for 5 days fishing.

We landed in Brisbane at 0900 to temperatures in the low-mid 20’s and humidity of around 80-90%. Having picked up our rental car, and got over the fact that my Aussie SIM card had been deactivated (which meant no GPS), we managed to get onto the Bruce Highway to head north to Hervey Bay, an easy 295km, 3.5hr drive. The temperature rose steadily heading north, with intermittent heavy downpours, culminating in a temperature of 28 at HB. Very few drivers seemed to exceed the posted speed limit, due to a lack of tolerance by the authorities apparently, and the posted limit changed frequently between 80km/hr and 110km/hr so you had to be vigilant. By NZ standards, the roads are very good.

After checking in at the Boat Harbour Resort (and putting the air conditioning on in our 2 bedroom villa) we visited Coles supermarket to stock up for the week, before retreating back to our unit to soak up the aircon – it was really hot and humid!

The next morning saw us up early and walking down to the waters of the Great Sandy Straits (a large body of estuary type water that separates Fraser Island from the mainland) to do a little casting, to prepare for the following days fishing. Chew hadn’t used the Rio Outbound Short before, so was keen to put in some practice. Thankfully it didn’t take him long to get used to the front loaded integrated shooting head. It’s not a pretty line to cast, but it sure is effective. One of the key aspects in fishing for stupidly fast moving Tuna is the ability to get the fly near them, and quickly. One or two false casts at most, and let it rip. I sat very comfortably at the 70ft mark day in day out, and occasionally the whole line. Better casters than me would be able to consistently cast the entire 100ft line. Having too much stripped line on the deck can be a disadvantage at times though.

My gear consists of a Nautilus NV 10/11 fly reel attached to a 10wgt Sage Xi3. I purchased the reel from Steve Gerard at ‘The Flyshop’, after a chance look at his ‘specials’. I was rapt to be able to buy, in NZ, a USA made reel that most consider sits up there with the Tibor and Abel range, and at a price that is very competitive with buying from overseas. My back up rod is a 10wgt TFO BVK also purchased from Steve (having a spare rod turned out to be a good idea later in the trip). The reel has a fully sealed cork and carbon fibre drag and is extremely smooth and powerful. The Nautilus reels are very, very light, yet very strong. Steve also got me in 2 spare spools so that I could load up a floater/intermediate/fast sinker to cover all situations. The only real disadvantage of the NV reels is that conversion of the winding direction requires a complete swap out of the sealed drag hub, however, the conversion is done for free by either the factory or a distributor ( The Flyshop in my case), but more about that later.

The rest of the day involved visiting two of the three local fishing stores, there was some laughter from us at the fly fishing section of one of them which consisted of half a dozen flies and even fewer fly lines, and the sign stating ‘Fly Fishing Section’! Most HB anglers seem to fish only bait and lures (hardbodies, metals and soft plastics). We also visited the famous Urangan pier, which is approximately 700m long, where anglers, often referred to as ‘Pier Rats’, catch Bream, Whiting, various Trevallies/Mackerel and even Tuna! The baitfish visible around the pier must have numbered in the millions.

After a day in the heat, I was pleased to get back to the sanctuary of the aircon in our villa. The rest of the evening was spent preparing leaders, choosing flies, rigging rods, eating and drinking. We also watched on the news, with some concern, the footage of a huge weather system already pounding Sydney and expected to worsen and move further north. The local forecast for our first day of fishing was sou’westers and 90% chance of rain………Part 2 to follow.



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