Captain
Stephen Gaynor

Member since January 2019 Sydney, Australia
Background
I have been fishing since I was 4 years old and have always been around the water, either surfing, spearfishing, prawning, crabbing, or, of course, fishing. Before I started fly fishing, I dedicated 5 years to the elusive Jewfish, but now I love to chase a multitude of species on the fly, including Jewfish. I’m passionate about what I do and love to share that with other people.
Techniques
I’ve been through a lot of different styles and species, but now I can’t keep a fly rod out of my hand. From fresh to saltwater, I just can’t get enough of it. The one-on-one connection with the fish and love of the cast has changed my life forever.

Hey, I'm Captain Stephen Gaynor

Sydney, Australia
Background
I have been fishing since I was 4 years old and have always been around the water, either surfing, spearfishing, prawning, crabbing, or, of course, fishing. Before I started fly fishing, I dedicated 5 years to the elusive Jewfish, but now I love to chase a multitude of species on the fly, including Jewfish. I’m passionate about what I do and love to share that with other people.
Techniques
I’ve been through a lot of different styles and species, but now I can’t keep a fly rod out of my hand. From fresh to saltwater, I just can’t get enough of it. The one-on-one connection with the fish and love of the cast has changed my life forever.

My Charter Listing

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(13 reviews)
Sydney
trips from US $524

Fishing Reports

December report
December report
Dec 5, 2019 Sydney
Sydney Harbour fishing report In Sydney Harbour the transition from winter fishing to summer fishing has definitely thrown up some challenges for anglers. The fish are there in big numbers, salmon, tailor, bonito and kingfish are smashing the surface everywhere. But some days you can literally be surrounded by fish on the surface for hours and not get a single hookup. At least its not me, I get to watch everyone thrashing their lures and flies around and no one can hook up - it's like the fish are on to us! After trying to work out what they're into (eating) the next challenge can be hooking up in a transit zone and having to fight a kingy while you're travelling six knots in the opposite direction! But whether you hook up or not, either way it’s great fun to be out there witnessing the amazing urban fishery in Sydney Harbour. On fly. It’s been a challenge over the last month. I’ve spent hours watching schools busting up in the harbour and aside from some special spots I haven’t been able to really figure out what they're eating... one though is the last new moon got the jelly prawn running - and that’s all they would eat. Even the salmon have been a challenge. If you haven’t hooked up before the sun gets up good luck trying. It seems like they're super line-wary after 2 months of being smashed. I’ve had better luck drift-trolling/swinging flies than constantly casting and retrieving... that being said if you are there at the right time you can hook up one after the other. How fickle is this fishery! On bait. Live yakkas are killing it right now. There are plenty about and they have definitely been on the menu for the bigger fish hunting the harbour. The squid have been slow most days but always a great bait when all else fails. Jewfish seem to be everywhere right now. And it seems a few anglers have been losing a lot of fish! I’ve seen lots dead jewfish floating between Garden Island and Clark Island, some with long lengths of of line attached. And all good size fish around the 80 cm mark. I wonder why they died? Maybe they're breaking off set lines? Anyway it’s very important to fish the tides and have your well presented baits out for the golden hour before and after slack water. With fresh or live baits there is a very good chance of picking up a good jewfish right now. Look for bait fish on the sounder and the larger predators won’t be far away. On lures I've come to respect the humble vibes fish-catching ability. From large flathead to jewfish the 100 mm 20 g Samaki vibes are just awesome right now. Fished vertically on a slow drift the fish really can’t seem to help them self’s. Just make sure you set that hook hard on the initial hookup or you discover just how hard a jewfish mouth is when it spits the hook and gets away mid-fight. Get in touch now to book your fishing day out on Sydney Harbour. It’s going to be a great Christmas season so don’t miss out. Contact Flyboat fishing charters today.
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Spring update
Spring update
Oct 19, 2019 Sydney
Try a Sydney Harbour fishing charter - nothing quite like it! Its been an interesting few weeks on the harbour. The school holidays didn’t live up to expectations weather wise with rain and strong winds an unwelcome feature. If you did manage to get out on the days when the weather took a break then you could expect to find mixed results. After the king-highs of winter, coming back to water level has been a bit tough! But, silver lining wise there have been loads of salmon around the heads, and good schools of trevally, bream and flathead on every sandy drop off. But where were the kings? What had once been as easy as turning up and dropping a fly near a school, was now a real challenge. BUT THERE'S ALWAYS A TRADE OFF - ASK TRUMP! The trade off, the few remaining fish were all serious trophy fish and best of all, on the surface. You needed a keen eye and nerves of steel but if you got your fly in front of a hoodlum there was an excellent chance it would be engulfed! Overall, it feels like we are in a state of transition. Schools of bait are building around structure and drop offs and the water temperature is on the rise varying around the harbour - a balmy top today of 20.5 degrees c (on the surface). Kingfish on fly As I said before it isn’t as easy to find the fish as it has been through winter. Every day, they're in a different spot. What produced and worked one day was stone dead the next. If you did find the fish there was a good chance you would have the spot to yourself - for just a while anyway. I'm a big fan of the whoop whoop when I'm onto good fish which always attracts the pond dwellers. But a good Sydney Harbour fishing charter operator is always happy to share the love! Anyway, goodbye sinking lines and hello floaters and nice tight loops. It feels so good to throw a whole line with a tiny surf candy attached. And the smile when a great cast transforms into an amazing hook up. Fly choices range from small surf candies to over-sized articulated squid patterns. Again, what got fish yesterday won’t necessarily catch today. Mini-clousers in natural colours are a great way to start, but if you aren't hooking up swap flies until you get the bite (as Dracula says). Salmon on fly There are literally football-field-sized schools of salmon around the heads right now. Best to get there early, as they can go off the bite after a few hours of merciless harassment by countless boats. These fish range in size from 1-5 kg, but whatever you hook will test your gear. They are real mongrel fighters. Floating or intermediate lines with 20 lb leaders are the go-too combo, with small surf candies your best fly option. I found a slower retrieve got more hooks ups - on average. But mix it up if you're not hooking up - or if you're only getting small fish. Another trick is to get in front of the fish and cast in front of the approaching school. This gets a pack of fish chasing your fly. Just remember never to drive through a school of fish on the surface - eek! If you get bored of chasing salmon, try a sinking line for the chance of kings and trevally swimming below them. And keep an eye out for porpoising striped tuna which are never far away from the same bait. Bait and soft plastic This is such a great time of year. Fresh squid, pilchard and chicken are my go to baits right now. As always location, timing and burley are the key to success on the harbour. Fishing the tides, an hour before and after each tide is a great start, with different fish preferring either a low tide or a high tide. The most important thing you should remember is to fish as light as you can get away with. You won’t catch much using a 1 ounce sinker and 40 lb line. But a small split shot on 4 lb fluorocarbon will get you non-stop bites. The trade off is you're going to struggle when those pesky kingfish take your bream baits. ? Yee ha! BURLEY BURLEY BURLEY! If you've got a burley trail going you would be mad not to have an unweighted bait drifting down your trail. The largest trevally are often caught this way along with numerous kingfish. We watched some guys doing this from their boat a few weeks ago using a 20 foot pole-rod with a bubble float and hooking heaps of kings. A few of these were rats and definitely didn't get returned. Don't get tempted into that lark folks, our small fish are our future fish. If you're cubing stripeys or pilchards keep the bait the same size as the rest of the burley and you should hook up. I've been a bit slow to get onto using "vibes" but they are quickly becoming my favourite on the secret sandy drop offs hidden everywhere in Sydney Harbour. Working them the same as a regular plastic produces heaps of good size flat head . And in the deeper water a slow jigging motion can hook kings, jewfish, and almost anything else down there. As with all plastics fish the lightest jig head you can for the conditions. And watch your line for those gently gently soft sneaky annoying takes!
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Full moon report
Full moon report
Sep 15, 2019 Sydney
Sydney Harbour fishing report. Fly Fishing Sydney Harbour and the full moon. Every month I promise I will never again fish for Kingfish on the full moon. Fly fishing for kingfish is painful, the fish were there, but too shy for even the best fly. First thing in the morning you have a chance. But as that day drags on the only hint of hope comes from the occasional school showing up on the fish finder. You keep telling yourself that the next cast can change everything. Even as the other fisherman power past on the way back home. You hold on to the belief that your fish is just a cast away. But as that sun sets so does the fire inside you, leaving you nothing but the same question you asked yourself last month.... I’m not claiming to know for a fact anything solid about Kingfish and moons, or to even try to understand the ins and outs of their behavour. But the anecdotal evidence from all fly fisherman I spoke with over the weekend. Tells a tale of long hours for nothing more than the occasional tap. There were some very experienced anglers amongst the mix and a wide variety of flies and techniques tried. So I’m going to be bold and call out the full moon. I don’t even think it’s anything radical like the moon's gravity pulling on the fishes otoliths, causing them to lose their appetite. No from my very simple amateurish observations and discussions I think the fish can simply feed all night. Therefore by sunrise the bellies are full and instead of being ravaging hunters of the oceans, they simply become picky, choosey and a pain in the you know where. Maybe the bait just turns off on a full moon. Maybe they just fast. I know from experience that bait has a slightly better chance than fly but even the best guys with the best techniques said their bites were all very subtle and the hook up rates were definately down. That being said I saw some amazing fish being caught and released by guys down-rigging fresh and live baits. I guess i'm writing this after my least succsesful day fly fishing all month. And just to throw a 16 ounce sinker at my theory, I should also mention that the week before a full moon can be amazing fishing. Which brings us back to the many questions and theories that come up every time we have a full moon. Sydney Harbour Fishing Report In this week's Sydney Harbour fishing report... There’s loads of good size trevally in the harbour at the moment. Just find a wreck or nice sandy drop off, get a burley trail going, send some unweighted pilchards down the trail and you should hook up in no time. You can use a sinker to get it down faster, but unweighted baits will land the bigger fish. Be prepared for a battle because this fish has some serious power. They also are great for sashimi. Still plenty of oversized kingfish inside the harbour, but what’s lurking just outside the heads has me excited! There are large school of baitfish and small slimies everywhere. These fish are being harassed by striped tuna and bonito up to 1 meter. They can be taken on surf candies or small stick baits. But hold on these fish mean business. Then there’s the schools of salmon working from Shelly Beach all the way to Old Mans Hat. Just spectacular amount of life out there. Things are looking good for summer. For tide and weather information check out Willy weather. The water temp is creeping back up with the harbour averaging 17c and slightly warmer just outside. Should be exciting times ahead as it gets back into the low 20’s. So, up for a bit of charter boat fun?
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Winter 2019 Sydney Harbour
Winter 2019 Sydney Harbour
Sep 1, 2019 Sydney
How do you write a fishing report when the fishing is this amazing and consistent? Anything I say just sounds repetitive and there are only so many amazing days you can put into words. But one thing is for sure, I will look back on the winter of 2019 and remember it as the year the kings came to hunt in Sydney Harbour. Its been so difficult to target anything else. As a sport fish the mighty kingfish really holds it own amongst the world trophy catches. Hard pulling, mean and tough. With enough habitat variation and hunting styles to keep you guessing year round. They can be caught on just about every fishing technique. And can punish even the best fishos on their best day – and reward the novice the next. I’ve spent many cold winter on and in the waters of Sydney harbour often for very little result. The expectation was always that when summer comes things will get better. But what about this year? How does it get any better? As a fisherman who has just experiences a once in a lifetime fishery, where do we go from here. It feels ridiculous to write but words fail to describe the memories of the last 3 months. If your struggling to catch kingfish right now pay attention, you don’t need the best gear and technique. On bait, use a pilchard tail on a 4/0 fine gauge circle hook. 20-30 lb fluorocarbon leader about 1.5 m along from a swivel and a 10 gram sinker on the other side. Drop it to the bottom, then wind up a meter or two depending on the depth. Place your rod in a rod holder and wait for it bend. A quick note on the beauty of circle hooks is the fish will nearly always hook themselves better than you can. And best off all they hook in the side of the mouth for a more successful release. It’s so simple and it really works. On fly…. heavy sinking line 400 grain or heavier – whatever your rod can handle, because the faster that fly gets down the longer you are in the strike zone and the more fish you will catch. Fly choice can be anything, from large clousers to bulky bait patterns. Lots of debate but I prefer to fish max 30 lb fluorocarbon leader about 9-12 foot long. You can fish heavier leaders but there will be days when you will get less attention and I’d rather break a leader than a fly line. It’s often not the 20 lb they’re actually breaking, they’re rubbing it against the bottom or structure which just wears it down. If you do want to fish a heavier leader for abrasion resistance purposes you can use a short lighter section from the fly line to main leader, to break before your fly line does. Remember most fly lines are rated about 40-50 lb give or take a nick or two. We all need to be aware – as users of this amazing natural resource – that we have a responsibility to protect and nurture it. How that’s done is up to the fishing and wider community, but we are all in this together. Let’s not be afraid of open and frank discussion on and off the water. Most off all let’s continue to make Sydney Harbour a world class fishery for everyone – and that means not killing everything, and letting some of the big ones go. Now for a fishing report….. Kingfish are everywhere right now….. Salmon are coming in closer to the heads everyday. There are some nice bream against the shore on the flooding high tide. And there;s plenty of surface action in front of Sydney’s number one harbour icons. The other big hitter at the moment are Mumma flathead sitting on the sandy drop offs of the upper estuary. They can be a hoot at this time of the year. Anything from pilchard sitting on the bottom or lightly drifted – or a live poddy mullet will catch. But it’s undeniable you can cover a lot more water with fly, lure, or soft plastic. Whatever style you go for I like to keep in mind that any fish in range will spot or sense the lure as soon as it makes a splash after the cast. With this in mind learn how your lure drops, moves and rises, and visualise your retrieve. So, up for a bit of charter boat fun? Book now! Low tides in the middle of the day for the rest of the week which means afternoon flood tides Willy weather says it all. It’ll be fine and sunny for the next week of spring, with maybe a spot of rain on Sunday.
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Sydney harbour fishing report
Sydney harbour fishing report
Jul 1, 2019 Sydney
Sydney Harbour Fishing Charter - Fly, lure and bait. “Best winter in 30 years” I’ve heard this a few times of over the last few weeks. Theres no denying winter kings are bigger and meaner than their summer counter parts. But from what I've witnessed and experienced over the last few weeks. I can honestly say the amount of fish life around right now is phenomenal. Maybe it's drought related as the line between estuary and ocean blurs, starting with the big snapper a few months ago to the big kings now. Soon the salmon, bream, hairtail... Thumbs up to whoever or whatever is responsible because things have definately improved. But one very big negative over the last few weeks is the amount of large fish that have been killed. I’m no scientist but I know big fish are breeders. One fish is more than enough to feed 2 family’s for a week. So why we need to take everything we catch is beyond me. It’s great and totally sustainable to bring home a fresh fish or two after an awesome day on the water. But it’s got to be about the experience and the fun, not just filling the freezer. Sydney Harbour Fishing Charter - on the fly. It’s a great time to catch a fish on fly right now. From fishing the harbour edges and structure on rising tide for bream or hauling kings from depths. The last few weeks have provided the flyfisher a chance to test their gear and will on some serious fish! Monsters of the deep that can take your line and 150meters of backing in 30sec. Leaving you debating whether your line and backing worth more than the fish (and s fly)! Kingfish For the kings, getting deep is key as usual. I find no real difference in catch rate in bouncing the line out the end of the rod or sending out an almighty whopper of a cast (which of course I love to do). For those who have trouble getting their fly to spooky surface schools fishing deep is however the best option. Now is an easy time to get a great kingfish on fly. Once that fly is down there it’s really just a vertical jigging technique and then just hold on. Fly purists stop reading now but I’ve seen 2 awesome people who've never fished a day in there life, catch great kings on fly over the last week. The hard part was holding on. What fly? Fly choice is super heavy to get down fast and of course, plenty of life. Large clousers have been killing it right now. But any deciever or bait patterns are being destroyed. I’ve been tying some no name hybrid “Things”. Loving encorporating zonker strips and dragon tails on my fly’s right now. A 2/0 gamakso, yellow buck hair, with loads of bulk/ sparkle and movement is getting fish every time. For those who are sick of kingfish and yearn to create loops more in touch with there wicker-basket freshwater colleagues, there is loads of fun to be had on the trusty 6wt floating line. On each high tide the bream are moving onto freshly covered rocks, sand and mud flats so fish the high tide in shallow water for great results. Super slow retreave works for me with blue and white Crazy Charlie a favourite. Picture a prawn or crustations moving along the bottom. Hopping, stopping...hovering sinking. repeat, repeat,repeat. Finally I love telling people when you're tired of catching fish start flyfishing. But if you're new to flyfishing most likely you will struggle for a while so don’t despare keep casting, try every fly, every retreave and eventually a fish will stick. If you're desperate to feel the tug then don’t be afraid to burly up a little. Definitely white bread for mullet, garies and bream - $1.10 from Coles - or pilchard mash/cubes for everything else. If you have a cat, ‘whiskers’ tuna and sardines creates an oil slick that would get the EPA asking questions. Bait fishing Fresh is best live is better but sometimes the humble frozen pilchard tail on a 2/0 circle hook will get you a fish of a lifetime. I’m sure there are plenty of stories out there this week of fish caught on humble servo baits. But when days are tough you will need the gun baits. Depending on when and where you're fishing but the going baits this week were, squid, yakkas, slimies, pilchard and cuttle fish. If you had all these you were sorted....I know for a fact on one morning they would take yakkas and squid but by lunch would take nothing but slimies. So be prepared and if you're anchored up, burley burley burley Theres also loads of flathead, bream and pan size snapper chasing the same bait the kings are after so it never hurts to have a line on the bottom. Sydney Harbour Fishing Charter - Moon and tides. Some great looking tides this week and with winds to match, it should be a great week of fishing Get fishing today - book your next Sydney Harbour Fishing Charter experience with Flyboat fishing charters. We make fishing fun and easy. Just turn up and let us do the rest.
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Sydney Harbour fishing report
Sydney Harbour fishing report
Jun 11, 2019 Sydney
Fishing charter Sydney Harbour? Get on the water with Flyboat. Another great week of fishing on Sydney Harbour. We have been spoilt with a late run of amazing weather. Combine this with good tides ,great water qualityand loads of enthusiasm saw plenty of anglers to get out and amongst it and score some great fish. The best fishing was the snapper but there were still plenty of kings on the chew inside and outside of the harbour. But for those who like the surface action the salmon are showing up in better numbers inside the harbour. Bait fishing - Sydney Harbour fishing report Burley burley burley. I can never stress this enough. Fishing spots on Sydney harbour can be very funny. If you are off your off. Sydney Harbour fishing report - lure and soft plastic fishing What a week for Sydney fishing. Salmon are moving into the harbour in large numbers and there is some monsters among them. This week the are taking just about anything you throw at them so it’s a great time to get your fish count up. The snapper having been responding well to soft plastic inside the harbour and there are plenty of kings on the chew with lots of legal size in the mix. As usual fish light for more hook ups. Fly fishing - Sydney Harbour fishing report I saved the best till last this week. Firstly, the surface action is there! You just have to have your eyes wide open. By chance I came across one bait ball that was barley making a ripple on the surface. But underneath the salmon were in big numbers and considerable size. They are not fussy either. I found on the bigger fly’s the hits and follows were there but the hook up rate was’nt as high. Change to a tiny surf candy and it was fish every cast. It was great to be back on a floating line but the the salmon were putting a testing bend in the 10 wt, so be prepared for a long battle. It’s was great to have the visual fishing back and watching 20fish chase down your fly was a welcome change. After our fill of salmon we went back on the king hunt and it wasn’t long before we found the fish. As usual they were sitting deep which left us with fast sinking lines as the only viable option. We had to throw grace and beauty out the window; casting these lines isn’t as enjoyable as the surface gear. But when needs must… and hauling up vertical lines caught all the kingfish (bar one) this week. Fly selection wasn’t critical but larger bait patterns in darker colours – especially dark greens - with large profiles were hit on most drops. In the shallows on a run out tide, we used blue and white clousers on an intermediate line to nail flathead, bream and even one kingfish. We found the key this week was to find the fish on the sounder and get the fly in front of them. So check your spots, if your sounder shows arches or bait, then fish - if not then move on.
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Customer reviews

Rating summary
Excellent
4.9 / 5
out of 5 stars from 13 reviews
Boat
Excellent
4.8 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Photos & videos by reviewers (9)
Amazing experience
Amazing experience
Great day
+6
Angler rating
12
0
0
0
0
Anglers claimed
Good experience
100%
Friendly captain
100%
Recommend this charter
92%
Appropriate for children
100%
Satisfied with the boat
100%
Caught fish
100%
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5 of 13 reviews
Edrich A.
Melbourne, Victoria
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience:
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall

Amazing experience

VERIFIED   7 Hour Trip – Fishing on June 5, 2023
Had a lot of fun with Captain Stephen as he made sure that everyone was in good spirits due to his cheerfulness and energy....
Edrich A. recommends Flyboat Fishing Charters
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Edrich A. recommends Flyboat Fishing Charters
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Ron A.
Fort Collins, CO
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience:
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall

July fishing trip

VERIFIED   7 Hour Trip – Fishing on July 12, 2023
Ron A. recommends Flyboat Fishing Charters
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Ron A. recommends Flyboat Fishing Charters
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John M.
San Jose, CA
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Experience:
Very good
4.0 / 5
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall

November fishing trip

VERIFIED   Full Day Trip on November 15, 2019
Our guide Steven was amazing, which made the trip one that we will never forget!!  He is a true people person who is passionate...
John M. recommends Flyboat Fishing Charters
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John M. recommends Flyboat Fishing Charters
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You and 1 other person found this review helpful

Trent P.
Erskineville, New South Wales
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience:
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall

Great day

VERIFIED   7 Hour Trip – Fishing on January 18, 2020
It was a tough rainy day but the guide was excellent and we stayed after them. Managed to land a couple on the fly and moved...
Trent P. recommends Flyboat Fishing Charters
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Fadi L.
Warringah Mall, NSW
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Experience:
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Boat
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crew
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall

One of the best fishing trips ever

VERIFIED   Full Day Trip on December 21, 2019
It was my son b/day, we did have soooo much fun, the captain fully experience know his stuff and most of all he super friendly...
Fadi L. recommends Flyboat Fishing Charters
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