With memories of that monster surface boil still etched in my mind, I was keen to see if old man Cod was still lurking under his favourite log. Slinging the Floatboat pack onto my shoulders and the bare essentials in hand, I set off on the short 2km trek to reach the river. Inflating the Incept boat took only a few minutes, this gave me time to work on a game plan. I had been busy tying up lots of new Murray Cod flies and what better way to test them out. The water temperature was still very pleasant as I finned the boat to the opposite side of the river, deciding to fish the shaded side of the river first. It was quickly determined that the fish were still getting over the slightly turbid water, with cast after cast drawing no response. By 1pm it was time for a different approach, it was time to try a Bendy roller popper. Most consider surface fishing reserved for sunrise/sunset, not so. Twenty minutes later the bet payed off, when a Cod flashed from under the fly. It was like a cat playing with a mouse as it eyeballed and chased the fly, with just a few subtle twitches the rabbit strip tail wiggled seductively. Bang fish on!, the strike was so fierce it pulled me forward from my seat. Fighting these powerful natives on the flyrod is such a different feeling. Slipping a glove on before thumb gripping (assured I didn’t end up with Cod thumb). The tape revealed a length of 75cm’s, which according to the Fisheries handbook is equal to a 9 kilo fish. Approaching “big Cod log”, I positioned my Floatboat so I could fire casts deep under the shaded bank, earlier I tried sub surface flies at him for no result. But within two casts of the noisy popper he raced from under his log, slashing and tailing under the fly. He then simply turned and vanished back under his log, I had a clear view of him and he looked to be at least 30lb maybe more.
When I reached the end of the hole I was keen to prospect a bit further downstream, carrying the Floatboat down to the next narrow section. I switched to another fly, a 6/0 Gurgler and fished it on a Rio Outbound short sink tip flyline. It didn’t take long before the fly attracted the attention of a small Murray Cod that constantly flashed at the surface fly, before giving up. Casting at a cluster of limbs when another fish emerged under the fly, with a few little twitches he decided the Gurgler was going to be his next meal. The fish wasn’t that large, but he put up a strong and determined battle. With failing light and dark clouds I deflated my boat, packed it away and headed back to my ute. I will be experimenting with 6/0 Gurglers in the future, trying a combination of floating flylines and sinking fluorocarbon leaders. Nick.