When I began working at The Flyfisher in Melbourne, we were in a Covid lockdown and I couldn’t travel more than 5kms from home. Thankfully Port Phillip Bay was within that range and so I decided it was time to have a proper go at flyfishing in the salt.
I’d had limited success saltwater flyfishing in the past on the Victorian coast, including a horror day which involved a snapped 6-weight on a good-sized Australian salmon. Not wanting a repeat of this fail, it was time to kit up with some dedicated saltwater gear in a more appropriate line weight. The Primal Mega 8-weight with an Orvis Hydros reel and Scientific Anglers Sonar Titan Intermediate/2/3 sinking line was what I settled on, and in hindsight, I really feel I nailed my selection.
My first trip to try and put a bend in the rod was with my mate Dan and I also took Willow (my Labrador puppy) for her first fishing experience. I was expecting it would be a challenge to control Willow while fishing but as I intend to bring her with me on these trips, I thought I’d better start training now.
After wading into the water and putting a few casts out, I was enjoying being out of the house and casting a fly, until Willow tried to eat my fly as I was walking down the beach. Not the desired target species, Willow ran off so quick she actually pulled drag! Luckily the hook fell out and Willow was fine. Given my genuine concern, I doubt she’ll ever do that again… Lesson learned!
After that small drama, we were lucky to come across a school of Australian salmon being shadowed by birds. Dan hooked two and landed one before the school moved out of casting range. Still, it was a great experience to watch the birds work and see some activity on the bay. The birds were hitting the water at an amazing pace; it was spectacular.
Although a few more fishless trips in my local area followed, I wasn’t put off. So when restrictions lifted, we decided to do a few boat trips and my luck started to change. I continued to fish the shallow water and have managed to get a few flathead on most of my recent trips on Port Phillip Bay.
The Primal Mega rod really shoots out the sinking line with very little effort and just a single false cast. The rod has a heap of power for casting heavier Clouser-style flies. It’s such a fun rod to use. The fighting butt is the perfect size, and definitely aids in subduing fish. I look forward to more trips on the bay as the salmon start to come in.
The top flies we’ve been using are all-white Clousers, tied on Ahrex streamer hooks from size 2 to 1/0. Using Gulff UV resins in red, I’ve added some gills to this fly, and while it likely makes little difference to the fish, to me it’s a confidence-booster and looks great. Surf Candies in a blue and white have also done some damage.
The bay may not be an easy fishery, but to me it’s been a godsend having it so close and being able to wet a line whilst under restrictions. As for the Primal, it punches so far above it’s price tag that on my limited budget, I still feel I’m fishing one of the best outfits you can get.
For more info on Primal rods, come and see us at The Flyfisher or shop online.