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Russell Wins the Two Fly

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Russell Eldridge with the winning Brown Tout of 56cm

By: Shane Stevens

BALLARAT Fly Fishers Club member Russell Eldridge recently won the Lake Wendouree Two Competition and Jim Thomas Trophy for the longest fish during the competition. The Lake Wendouree Two Fly competition now in its third year continues to gain momentum around the fly fishing scene as a must do competition and certainly with the results from this year’s competition, next fly fishermen from all over the state will be coming to fish in the Lake Wendouree Two Fly. The Two fly is fished over two days on Lake Wendouree either from a boat or the shore. The hours of the were competition are 10am-4pm on the Saturday and 5am-12noon on the Sunday. Each competitor in the competition must supply 2 flies that are judged suitable for use on lake Wendouree and those flies are then placed in a ballot and drawn out and handed out to other anglers competing in the competition, they are the only flies that are eligible to be used in the competition if you happen to lose one you only can fish with the remaining fly until the end of the competition. The winner is the fly fishermen with the longest fish the competition.

The Lake Wendouree is a catch and release competition with all fish measured, photographed and then released back into Lake Wendouree to be caught another day. This year’s Two fly started off with very ordinary weather conditions gusty winds and intermittent showers on the Saturday morning and early afternoon, however the weather did improve as the day went on, the competitors all in boats fly fished all different areas of the lake trying to catch that elusive brown or rainbow trout with many tales of ones that got away at the end of the days fishing, on Saturday afternoon Russell Eldridge was leading the competition with a 53cm Brown trout. Saturday evening saw competitors and members of the Ballarat fly fishers club gather at the clubrooms for social evening which comprised of a fully catered meal and a few raffles, stories were spread once again of the fish that got away the ones that followed the flies right to the boat, the ones that got busted off etc I would suggest many fishy tales were told. Sunday morning saw bacon and eggs supplied for breakfast at the clubrooms, and then competitors hit the water with a target of 53cm to beat. The weather conditions on Sunday morning were ideal for Lake Wendouree with overcast skies and a light breeze once again all areas of Wendouree were fished again, a few more trout were caught measured photographed and released during the morning as the minutes wound down Russell Eldridge still had the fish to beat from Saturday afternoon, then just on the gong of 12 noon Russell Eldridge walked into the clubrooms with a massive grin on his face landing an even bigger Brown trout of 56cm at 11.45am this fish actually gave Russell the two biggest fish for the competition. The final results for the 2016 Lake Wendouree Two Fly competition saw Russell Eldridge as the winner with 1st 56cm Brown Trout Russell Eldridge 2nd 53cm Brown Trout Russell Eldridge 3rd 50cm Brown Trout David Bandy A total of 28 Fly fishermen competed in this year’s Two Fly competition with 15 Rainbow and Brown Trout caught.

Ballarat Fly Fishers Club member and competitor Trevor Crawford supplied the winning flies that Russell used throughout the competition for Trevor’s effort he received a hand crafted wooden pen donated by Bendigo Fly Fishers Club member Geoff Wiley Russell Eldridge for winning the competition was the winner of the Jim Thomas Trophy for the longest fish a 56cm Brown Trout caught during the competition and now the proud owner of a brand new Stalker Glide Fly Fishing Rod valued at $650 kindly donated by Hurley’s Fly World the major sponsor of the competition. A special thank you must go to the organising members of the Ballarat Fly Fishers Club and Trevor Martin from Hurley’s Fly World for sponsoring the event for the 3rd successive year.