The Art of Flyfishing

Words by Natasha Inchley
Photographed by Adam Gibson
Videography by Joshua Lamont

Story-boards help to conjure a mood, but when it comes to better understanding the inspiration behind Oroton’s latest collection, fishing in the wilds of Tasmania is required. We challenged a fashion team to try the sport with help from an expert instructor.

Here at the edge of Lake St Clair, in view of the glorious Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, a group of creatives has flown in from Sydney to immerse in the inspiration behind Oroton’s latest collection, and despite never having cast a line everyone is bubbling.

Sophie Holt, Oroton’s Creative Director explains: “The range itself was inspired by the idea of an untouched wilderness – we incorporated fly fishing motifs and maps throughout the silk scarfs. It’s a playful touch, and our key bag shapes, such as the Atlas Basket, were based on the old wicker fishing accessories and given modern twists. And so we were fortunate to collaborate with Tasmanian Tourism in hosting a group from Sydney, and I think everyone really enjoyed being transported to this incredible destination.”

Karen Brooks, a competitor and instructor who represented Australia this year in the South African Masters and was the only woman to do so, says: “One of my great passions is to encourage more women to fly fish. Historically, fly fishing has been a male-dominated sport but I think increasingly women are realising that it doesn’t require strength but rather finesse and technique.”

That challenge has been taken up by the troupe which includes Carmen Hamilton of Chronicles Of Her, Sara Crampton of Harper & Harley and Izi Simundic.

Crampton, a natural with the line, laughs: “My dad will be so jealous!”

Carmen Hamilton is a fan. “I was so surprised by the intricacies of fishing and how graceful it is up close. From afar it looks like you’re just throwing out a line, but Karen has taught us that it’s all about timing – and the scenery here is just so picturesque everywhere you look.”

Karen Brooks’s Top Fly Fishing Tips:

“One of the top priorities is learning to cast – you need to become accurate and control your line so that you can land the fly in the right spot. That takes practise, it’s a bit like playing golf and taking a bucket of balls to the nets, fly fishing also requires training. Ultimately, it’s not about strength but rather your timing and rhythm, the fly needs to land as delicately on the water as possible.”

“You have to be able to control your line – when you’re standing in a river and casting upstream, you end up with a lot of loose line which you don’t want snagging on rocks or making a disturbance on the water’s surface.”

“Being observant is crucial – you must be able to read the water, which means understanding the current, the wind, whether there are insects hatching, what the fish are feeding on and where to cast your line.”

“Patience is also super important, you have to be very patient and not just barrel up to the water in case the fish are swimming at the very edge. It’s about taking the time to quietly sit and wait and watch, and then fish slowly and calmly.”