Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre
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Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre

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The Ten Commandments of Fly Fishing

The prophet Geoff has just returned from the mountains with two stone tablets. While he was there a huge rush of wind parted the ominous clouds. Down came a giant finger in a shaft of light, etching into the slabs of stone.

A booming voice commanded him, saying " These are the ten commandments of fly fishing….now go forth and multiply" or words to that effect! We have brought these commandments to you exclusively. Here is what is writ in stone.

1/ Thou shalt never drop thy shadow on the water. Seek ye the south bank in the morning. Seek ye the bend that puts the shadow on the bank and not on the water. Seek ye the ways of the skulker, the sneaker, dissembler of shadows on the water.

2/ Thou shalt not move suddenly lest ye shall spook the fish by movement. Fishes live in moving environments with eyes that train to detect movement against the background. Spook and ye shalt not catch.

3/ Thou shalt screen thyself with foliage green. Seek ye the camo screen of leaf and branch. Leave not yourself openly seen to the fish if it is possible to otherwise break up your shape and outline. This is when the fish shall reveal themselves on beat, whence you are not known to them.

4/ Thou shalt not expose thyself. Avoid ye the silhouette upon the sky whereby at low level fish can look upon the sky and see a human outline. Furthermore ye shalt be arrested, raincoat and all.

5/ Thou shalt not lay the line, nor the leader nor even they tippet across the fishes gaze. Cast ye not the shadow of the line across waters wherein lies the fish.

6/ Thou shalt not false cast with monotony. Remember that the fly must be on the water in order to catch a fish.

7/ Thou shalt not covet thy fishing partner's wife's ass, nor his wife's goat nor her other features such as ginger hackles, fly reels or other covetous objects of desire!

8/ Thou shalt not reveal to the world the Holy Grail. Mankind has sought the perfect fly that always catches fish. We know you have it so to reveal it would render the fly box to contain only one, thus ruining my day.

9/ Thou shalt not drag fish upon the bank but rather carefully handle gently without removing from the water. To harvest fish is against the holy law.

10/ Thou shalt not drag the fly upon the water. Drag is an abomination. The Sodom and Gomorrah of fly fishing. Mend thy ways and thy line, for evil is the way of drag. Cast the line with a stop and drop but drag you must not teach.

Thus spoke the piscator grande to his prophet Geoffrey, who finding his idolatrous congregation worshipping the unworthy graven images of loch style, glo bugs and boobies, smite the stones upon the earth.

Geoff Hall



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