fly fishing gear

FIVE TOP FLY FISHING TARGET SPECIES IN AUSTRALIA

Know your fish species for better fly fishing with this guide.

Aussie anglers are lucky. We have a huge array of fish species patrolling our lakes, rivers, estuaries and seas, and many of these feisty fish are happy to snaffle a fly. These common freshwater and saltwater target species provide fantastic sport and can be consistently targeted by the average angler.

Here are five great fly fishing targets accessible to most Aussies and tips on how to catch them with suggested fly fishing gear.

AUSTRALIAN BASS

Australian Bass are among the most avid fly crunchers in Australian waters. Bass are aggressive and rarely shy away from a well-presented surface offering, especially in the warmer months.

Fly fishing is one of the most productive methods for targeting Bass in isolated backwaters or when Bass are schooling in deep water impoundments. Bass hit flies hard and dive straight for thick cover. If you are new to fly fishing, Australian Bass are an exciting target species that should be at the top of your list.

Fly outfit: 7 weight
Flies: Try Dahlberg divers and popper flies on the surface and bass vampire patterns subsurface

TROUT

Trout take the crown as the most traditional fly fishing target species across the globe. Although they are an introduced species in Australian waters, they abound in the temperate streams and lakes of South Eastern Australia.

Trout are a sensational species to stalk, hook and battle on fly. To top it off, smoked Trout tastes amazing. Trout can be targeted in lakes, rivers and streams with a variety of fly fishing techniques that include, subsurface presentations, dry flies and nymphs.

Fly outfit: 5 weight
Flies: Try Royal Wulff and muddler minnow patterns on the top, woolly buggers and streamer patterns subsurface, and Prince Nymphs for nymphing

BREAM

One of the most challenging fly fishing targets in Australian waters would be the humble Bream. Bream are plentiful in most Australian estuaries but they can be wary and tricky to deceive. This adds to the challenge and fun. Once they do bite, it is incredibly rewarding and they fight remarkably well on light fly outfits. Target Bream on fly around mud flats, bankside snags, weed beds and artificial structures.

Fly outfit: 6 weight
Flies: Try muddler minnows on the surface and bream busters, small clousers or BMS flies subsurface

KINGFISH

Kingfish are the steam trains of temperate coastal and estuarine waters in Australia. Kingfish fight hard and dirty and deliver an unbelievable battle on fly. Once you get a good grasp of fly fishing, kingfish are one of the high-impact species to set your sights on.

Kingfish can be targeted around rocky reefs, rocky shorelines, moored boats, and marker boys in estuaries. They also frequent coastal headlands and many inshore marks. Use long fish profile flies, strip them fast, and hang on!

Fly outfit: 9 weight
Flies: Clousers, polar fibre minnows and surf candies subsurface and poppers on the top

GOLDEN TREVALLY

Golden Trevally are one of the iconic tropical flats target species in Australia waters. They’re common in coastal environments and are particularly abundant on the sand and mud flats adjacent to reefs and river mouths. They can also be found scrounging among rubble beds in deeper water.

Large marine creatures such as sharks, turtles, and rays are often accompanied by Golden Trevally. Don’t be scared to cast into the wake of these creatures in case a golden is lurking nearby.

Golden Trevally use their rubber lips and protruding jaws to mooch in the sand and mud for crustaceans. They are also versatile and aren’t afraid to chase down baitfish profile fly.

Fly outfit: 8 weight
Flies: Try clousers, crab and prawn patterns

If you are a newbie and want to get into fly fishing, the best way to get started is with a fly fishing combo reel and rod.

 


Is there anything you think should be on this list? Share your detailed experience with everyone through the comments section below.

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Peter Hollingsworth
peterh@dinga.com.au

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.