Kevin Laughton has been a fly-fisherman and competition fly-caster since he was a child, honing his skills at Lake Canobolas.
"In 1948 Bill Southam, the rodmaker, demonstrated fly-casting to members of the trout club. In those days the distance cast was 65 to 70 feet. I can still see those old blokes in their tweed jackets - they just couldn't comprehend that Bill could cast 108 feet."
I have been trout fishing since I was about five. My Dad was secretary of OTAS [Orange Trout Acclimatisation Society] many years ago. I used to fish in Meadow Creek Stream which runs into Lake Canobolas.
In 1948 Bill Southam, the rodmaker, demonstrated fly-casting to members of the trout club. In those days the distance cast was 65 to 70 feet. I can still see those old blokes in their tweed jackets - they just couldn’t comprehend that Bill could cast 108 feet.
In 1951 we went to Sydney for the first recognised Australian flycasting championship. At the age of 13 I won one of the championships. That started me on the long voyage of flycasting.
There's accuracy and distance events, various weights of line and various types of cast. The five hoops of 30-inch aluminium were put on the surface of the water. You've got to either hit the hoop or land within the confines of the hoop. I cast in my 54th tournament this year and came sixth in the champion of champions.
All our local championships are done on the eastern side of the lake where we’ve got two casting platforms. At the NSW championships this year in the distance event I averaged 172 feet. It’s timing, co-ordination, technique, and different types of lines now and, of course, carbon fibre rods.