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The Sydney Fly Rodders is without question one of Australiaís leading fly fishing clubs.  Based in the heart of Sydney it services the needs of both fresh and salt water fly rodders.   The SFR has a strong membership and a very active syllabus and website, www.sydneyflyrodders.com.au  Check it out and you will see what I mean.

David, master fly tyer, in his fly tying room.
8-11 FEBRUARY 2008

That evening because of the rain we headed back to Davidís home a little earlier than planned to set up the barbecue. 

We spent at least three hours in his fly tying room going through boxes and boxes of tying stuff and Kay, God bless her, kept the cold beers rolling in.  

David Wilson
David's Workshop

Sunday was the Workshop Day, a 10am start and 2pm finish.  Well that was the plan; I donít think we got away until at least 4pm.  The first part was the big hands on talking about fly fishing around the world and just how strong it is, Partridge and Mustad Hooks, Spirit River dubbing, Whiting Farms Capes & Saddles and Enrico PuglisiĎs EP Trigger Point winging material.
One of the big advantages for clubs such as this is that when we put on a workshop such as happened over that weekend, the members get to see a lot of new stuff, new developments and fly tying methods.  There is an old bit of philosophy that I adhere to and that is, we tend to grow and learn within a small or restricted circle but when someone comes in from the outside we can often obtain another perspective.  This hits home hard every time I travel to countries like England, Italy or America; it is a big learning curve.   I suppose the bottom line is that through workshops like this we can pass the knowledge on.    

John Vaccaro tying flies
A storm over Sydney

At this time in Davidís life he is going through a dubbing fetish; he has boxes of skins and fur dubbing fills pill boxes all over the place.  I am sure he doesnít know how much he has or if in fact his wife Kay knows how much he has spent. Somehow if Kay gets to read this there are at least three 6 month long trips to Paris tied up in that fly tying stuff!

John Vaccaro at his work bench - John is highly qualified and very skilful master fly tyer

Left:  Storms rolling in and they just kept coming.

As arranged, John Vaccaro was waiting for me at the airport and we headed off to start this long weekend of flytying, talking all things piscatorial and eating great Italian food (John is an expert cook; his Lasagne is to die for).
On the Friday night we had what could be only be described as  a private fly tying session with a group of the best and keenest  flytyers from the club.  They meet as frequently as they can to tie flies and talk about good fishing stuff, plus catch up on any new materials or methods that they may have come across.

Sunrise over Sydney

Well it was a little like a prelude to what was coming.  It was a great night, finishing around 1am.
Naturally during the evening there was some serious product talk, ranging from new hook designs and manufacturing processes, TPI winging material (Enrico Puglisi/ Mick Hall Trigger Point story on this site) and, of course, where Tom Whiting is taking us with Hackle development. 
It was a great way to start the workshop as a couple of these guys were actually going to assist on the big Sunday tie-in.   In all 26 people had booked in for the workshop so it looked like we were going to be busy.
On the Saturday my old friend David Wilson (past Australian fly tying champion) took me around Sydney to see the sights and have a bit of lunch down by the Harbour.  Well the rain set in and it was torrential.  So heavy in fact that when sitting under the balcony at the Restaurant we could not hear ourselves think, let alone talk.  But the lunch and the company were great.