Port Macquarie angler Ben Harvey shares a cast of tips and tricks for getting the most out of your fly fishing in the Hastings.
Mr Harvey originally took up the sport within the last eight years while living in Illawarra, before moving to Port Macquarie. He has been a member of the Hastings Fly Fishing Club for around four years and president for the last two years.
"For me it was a progression from bait and lure fishing to the next challenge. Fly fishing is that challenge because it is so much more technical," he said.
"The presentation of the fly and technique of the cast is critical in getting a fish strike. In some cases if you don't land the fly next to the snag (fish home) then the bass won't come near it.
"Because the rod is so long and soft it means fighting a fish is a challenge as well. You're not using your reel and just letting line through your fingers, so it is a big difference.
"Each time is a challenge and fly fishing can take you to different parts of the river. It can take you to small sections that not a lot of people have fished."
Like many anglers, Mr Harvey creates his own brightly coloured fly fishing lures with designs based on insects, crabs, shrimp and invertebrates.
"Creating lures adds to the enjoyment of it. You can take it home and sit at a bench to come up with weird and creative creations," he said.
"You're imitating the bait that is already in the river systems."
Mr Harvey said there has been an increase of three new members for the club during the coronavirus lockdown, up from around 60 members in total.
"It is technical, it is a process that you need to be taught but it is something that once taught you can have the feel of how everything works," he said.
"Any species you can target with another fishing method you can target with fly fishing. They are catching marlin these days on fly. It's a simple equation the bigger the fly, the bigger the target species.
"The bread and butter species for us in the Hastings are trout, bass on the inland waterways or flathead, bream and whiting on the coast.
"An added bonus is that you can practice at home with your casting. You can learn a lot on your own and we have brilliant access to water in the Hastings.
"Certainly it is a great way to get outdoors in the area during the COVID-19 lockdown."
Hastings Fly Fishing Club Inc holds monthly meetings for fishing and is scheduled to hold this years annual general meeting from 2pm at Panther Port Macquarie on Sunday, August 30.