The Polar Minnow
  |  First Published: June 2013

Some rather large schools of Australian salmon are cruising the beaches and estuaries of Victorian and Tasmanian coastlines.

This year the average size seems to be significantly larger than in the previous few years. They have also thus far eluded the best efforts of the commercial trawlers to decimate them.

These larger specimens provide some excellent late season fly action as they just don’t know when to quit once hooked. The best fly action is in the channels and flats inside most of the estuaries, but occasionally when the winds are offshore and the gutters are close in shore some handy surf action can be had as well.

Beach casting for these bruisers does not require you to be casting full fly lines, most fish cruise well within the average cast, sometimes closer on dull days just behind the waves is sufficient.

If the conditions are good and visibility is ok and if the school is particularly large you can follow the black mass up and down the gutter, providing you with some endless action.

Inside the estuaries you have several options, you can also be land-based and use the same principles as in the surf, or you can be boated up and follow the bust ups as large schools maraud the schools of baitfish.

Cruise up to the school, piff your fly into them and hang on as some of these salmon have no manners at all.

Choice of gear is entirely up to you, but anything from a 6 weight up is good. If land-based I use a floating line, or if the inshore gutters and channels are deep enough a sink tip or intermediate line to get the fly down a bit.

Again, if chasing the schools in a boat, attacking the bust ups is fine with a floating line, but if there is no visible surface activity, get a fast sinker on and get the fly down deep, often it will get wacked on the drop.

There is no magical retrieve for these fish, as often once the fly is in the zone it doesn’t stay unmolested for too long, often 1, 2, 3 quick strips and bingo.

Salmon unfortunately doesn’t have a great reputation as a table fish, although some find it ok if done fresh. They can make reasonable Thai fish cakes too.

And when they are on, double figure numbers can be had in terms of captures, so unless you are going to eat one or two, let the rest go otherwise it’s a wasted resource.

Text Box


HOOK:Mustad 34007 # 1/0 to 4/0
THREAD:White 3/0
U/BODY: Lead wire.
BODY:Pearl crystal braid
WING:White craft fur & blue crystal flash
EYES:Clear cure goo eyes in chameleon
HEAD:White thread with clear cure goo.
Reads: 1997

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