BIG IN JAPAN — South African flies shine in The Land of the Rising Sun
by Nick Taransky www.taranskybamboo.com.au

I GREW up in South Australia, hardly a renowned trout fishing destination. As a teenager, the creeks I fished flowed through harsh country which was regularly brought to its knees by baking summer heat. Though unheralded, these streams and the hardy trout that survived, nay, flourished in them, were all I had, and I treasure the experiences that they gave me.

Of course I read of iconic waters across and around the world, and later went on to travel and fish places like New Zealand, and across the USA from New England to the American West. Was the fishing in these fabled locations amazing?

Absolutely, but often fishing that I’ve experienced in “off the radar” places has been equally memorable, sometimes more so. To me the food, language, scenery and people are a big part of fishing, and travelling as an angler often takes you off the tourist routes, giving you a more genuine cultural experience.

One thing that really interests me about “out of the mainstream” fisheries is the range of fishing styles and techniques that evolve in these places. We all have a common origin based on a wonderful tradition and a time proven wealth of literature which gives us a set of tools and framework for our fishing. I truly love how often the ideas in hundred-year-old books are still proven true in modern situations.

I’m also inspired by how local requirements and challenges can produce innovative, fascinating developments. There may be a range of reasons for these including lack of existing dogma of “the way it’s always been done here”, or an inability to procure tackle or other materials in isolated places which leads to necessary invention. It could even be a result of blissful ignorance. But at a fundamental level it’s probably people observing their own conditions and working out how to catch the fish that have been eluding them.

I like to think that over the history of Australian flyfishing, there have been original flies, strategies and tactics developed for some of our brown trout fisheries, notably the shallow, natural Tasmanian Lakes, and the selective, spooky trout of our fertile mainland Monaro tableland streams. But that is a subject for another day…

Read the full story in the October 2017 issue of FLYFISHING magazine.
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