The Calder Fly Fishing Association is hoping an open day next month will lure new members from around the Ranges.

Australian fly fishing champion Mark Hobbs is encouraging fishing enthusiasts to be at Woodend’s Buffalo Stadium for the open day on October 16.

The Gisborne-based club was formed in 2013 and has 65 members.

Mr Hobbs hopes the open day will inspire more people to take up the sport. He has represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games, won gold in the team event at the Oceania fly fishing championships, and competed at the world fly fishing titles in the Czech Republic in 2014.

“I see fly fishing as a sport and an artform,” Mr Hobbs says. “It’s walking beside a river or lake trying to catch the fish you’ve seen rising for insects. Then there’s the artform of tying your own fly, which tricks the fish into thinking it’s alive and imitates what it’s been feeding on.

“No matter what size fish you catch, big or small, it still gets your heart racing. Every day is different. One day the fish will bite, the next day you won’t catch a thing. That’s the challenge.”

On a recent trip to Thailand Mr Hobbs caught on the fly numerous arapaima – giant fish up to 40kg which are also found in the Amazon River – and red tail catfish. “That really opened my eyes up to the different species of fish that can be targeted on a fly. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid fishing around the Macedon Ranges with bait then lures.”

The Calder Fly Fishing Association runs fishing trips throughout the season.

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