The South East Queensland Flyfishers Club hosted the 2008 Gold Coast Flyfishing Convention on the weekend 12, 13 and 14 September 2008. The ‘live-in’ event was attended by flyfishers from all around Australasia; from New Zealand to Perth, from Darwin to Tasmania, and from everywhere in between.
The event was held at Camp Bornhoffen at Numinbah Valley in the Gold Coast Hinterland. It was a perfect venue for convention, as the lawns sloping down to the Nerang River headwaters offered perfect conditions for flycasting.
Tackle distributors brought their best equipment with all rods rigged with reel and line for participants to cast and compare. Quite a few G.Loomis rods were tried and immediately ordered, and the new Orvis Helios were a big hit. The Great Bay range also caused some interest, and the new Sage TCX appeared at its world release at the convention.
To help the delegate’s assessment skills, champion practitioners Nial Logan, Peter Hayes and Gordon Low were there to demonstrate and provide tuition to improve our casting and line management abilities.
The fly tying benches were rarely empty as people learned and tied the latest fish attracting creations under the guidance of Shaun Ash and Jon Makim. The Fishhead stand carried every conceivable accessory in fly tying materials; hooks, flylines and all the gadgetry you could dream of.
The nights were equally busy with after dinner entertainment from Jono Shales, Peter Hayes, Darren Jennings and Shaun Ash. However, the highlight was always going to be the camaraderie that existed through story telling and the swapping of contact details ‘for next time I get down that way’.
There were a number of competitions over the weekend with the photographic displays showing some truly marvellous pictures. The winner, Graham Grice of Brisbane, exhibited a beautiful shot of an angler fishing a misty New England stream and was awarded a voucher from retailer Fishhead.
Nial Logan conducted a fun-filled distance and accuracy flycasting competition with Gordon Low and Geoff Volter being narrowly pushed out by the veteran of many world casting championships, Peter Hayes. Peter was awarded the rod used in the competition, a Canadian produced Great Bay MSR2 provided by Derek McKenzie Outdoors. Peter graciously donated the rod to 14 year old Harrison Perrin, who with his younger brother Timothy were everywhere and into everything over the weekend.
Steve Hoagland, Managing Director of Derek McKenzie Outdoors then offered Harrison a brand new rod of his weight choice, which he will have engraved with his name.
Attendees were invited to bring along their favourite fly to be swum in the pool and judged on performance by Jon Makim and Shaun Ash. The winning fly was Loudmouth, a popper that could be heard from 50m away. This unique and ingenious fly was created by Vince Margossian and earned him an almost lifetime supply of tying materials. Runner up was Laurie O’Sullivan from Cairns with a fluid actioned ‘Pink Thing’.
Closing after lunch on Sunday with the prize presentation and the raffle draw. First prize was a beautiful acrylic of a bonefish flat by Tina Goodey which was won by a very pleased Geoff Volter.
All went home laughed out, learned out, worn out and asking for the next one. For more information on the South East Queensland Flyfishers visit www.seqflyfishers.asn.au – Tom BoylandReads: 2342