Anglers and their boats lined up on the shores of Lake Lyell for the 12th ANSA Lake Lyell Convention.

The Convention was hosted by Sea Bees Fishing Club over 24 26 May 2019 at the Lake Lyell Recreation Park. The Convention is a catch and release length-based comp for Trout and Bass in Lake Lyell, Thompsons Creek Dam and Lake Wallace.

 I'm afraid I didn't catch a single fish, and don't even have any fish photos. I did get a lot of nice scenery photos but not enough material for an article to do justice to the Convention. What I did take home were intangible benefits that are rather difficult to put down on paper.

The Sea Bees Fishing Club booked a campsite for at the Lake Lyell Recreation Park at a special rate of $10 per night for each entrant at the Convention.

For this weekend, I was camped next to Faye and Ron Hanson from Nowra Sportsfishing Club, Michael from Newcastle Sportsfishing Club, and Gordon & Mitchell Jobson and Greg Oates from Wollongong Sportsfishing Club.

Evenings by the campfire was a great way to unwind, share a meal, and sample more than my fair share Gordon's favourite drop of Seppeltsfield Grand Tokay from Rutherglen, Victoria.

The fishing was rather tough this year, especially for those restricted to fishing off the bank. Slimy green algae and thick weed beds off the bank at Lake Lyell presented some challenges for bait fishing. Those in boats struggled to find Trout, though Redfin Perch were aplenty.

So I focused my efforts on fly fishing at Thompsons Creek Dam. It might be a 'lake of a thousand casts', but any Trout you do land will be a stonker. And the water is gin clear, and free of green slime, ravenous Redfin Perch and Carp. Being a land-based lure and fly only dam, it offers a unique advantage over the boaties for this Convention.

Fishing till the cows came home. Fishing off the bank at Lake Lyell was possible, but a boat was definitely handy.

Unfortunately, I could not capitalise on this advantage over the weekend. I had four encounters over the weekend but failed to convert them into captures. This included a small Rainbow that kept attacking my strike indicator, and a bust-off when I got over-enthusiastic in setting the hook.

As a minor consolation, the experience helped improve my fly casting under windy conditions and build my skills in 'nymphing' with a strike indicator.

Meeting and watching other anglers fishing the dam also helped in improving my fly fishing skills. While I completely failed to land a single fish, I at least returned home with improved fly fishing skills.

As I mentioned at the start of this article, I left Lake Lyell with no captures, lots of scenery photos, and an intangible personal growth in my fishing skills that are rather hard to capture on paper. Hopefully at next year's Lake Lyell Convention, I'll have more tangible results to report.


As always, Sea Bees Fishing Club ran a fantastic Convention. Thank you also to Faye and Ron Hanson for sharing their campfire and giving me their Redfin, which made for a very tasty dinner when I returned home.



Sunset over Thompsons Creek Dam on Saturday evening.

Rainbow over Thompsons Creek Dam on Sunday morning.

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