Tom grew up fly fishing with his father in the UK and in Victoria. He started competition fly fishing at age 16 and by age 18 was selected in the Australian Team to compete at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand. Over Tom’s ten year competition career he has won multiple competitions in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales/ACT and South Australia. He has represented Australia five times internationally, and has competed in the World Championships three times. Fishing in the last three consecutive World Championships, held in the USA, Slovakia and Italy, he finished in the top 25 each time. When not competing you’ll find Tom on the water guiding for trout or at University studying Wildlife Biology.
Tom’s hot tips on becoming a better fly angler are;
- Nymph under dry fishing is great fun way to fish, it is very effective, however sometimes it is prone to not detecting takes because of slack between the indicator dry and the nymph. To ensure you have the best control and chance to detect all of the takes, make sure that every cast you make lands with the nymph upstream of the dry, and ensure that both the nymph and dry land in the same current line. This way the nymph sinks in contact with the dry, and remains relatively tight to you dry throughout the drift.
- Everyone gets hung up on the bottom when nymph fishing, we hook rocks, sticks, anything and everything. We generally reach down and get a wet sleeve/arm when retrieving our fly. I find I often can free my fly by wading over and using the toe of my boot to lightly kick or shuffle around the rocks, timber etc. This either frees your flies, or dislodges the rocks or sticks that your fly is caught on, and you can generally lift up the stick they are caught on, unhook them and keep fishing whilst staying dry!
- I cannot dry fly fish or fish with a floating line and some kind of indicator without using some form of floating line grease on the tip of my fly line, and then leader. What this does is allow superior mending, and effortless pick up of your fly line and leader off the water. By doing this once at the start of the days fishing, you’ll find that mending, picking line up off the water becomes so much more efficient all day.