Flyfishing for Australian Murray Cod

Archive for February, 2012

Fly Development

After much consultation and field testing, Jason and I have been piecing together proven materials to construct a simple but effective Murray Cod Fly.

Over the years we’ve trialled many fly patterns and have caught fish on just about every weird fly design. We have discovered that certain materials and patterns have started to emerge as constant fish producers.

Cod are one of those species that for the most part tend to be a frustrating species to pursue. Very rarely do find “them on the chew”. Being like most Aussie native fish, they’re very sensitive to barometer levels, water temp and turbidity.


CONDITIONS       Inactive Fish

Falling barometer, low water temp, super clear water, easterly and southerly winds.




Stick to subtle approach forget spinster blades, rattles and reduce flash material. Add weed guards and use flys with a slower sink rate. Use slow, do nothing retrieves.

CONDITIONS        Active Fish

Constant stable conditions, ideal water temp, high barometer. Ideally high barometer before impending low change. Low visibility.



Use reaction and pushing style flys, consider the use of rattles and extra flash materials. Impart faster fly retrieves


 Any one of the unfavourable listed variables will send them sulking deep under the comfort of their favourite snag. We have learnt that the most consistent fish producing patterns have had inbuilt movement and pulse without being threatening. We found that one of the most effective fishing methods is to simply let the fly pulse and sink seductively under snags. The technique is similar to nymph fishing on a flowing Trout stream. But the one difference is the mandatory installation of heavy duty snag guards. Although, I do like the durability and water shedding qualities of synthetic materials, we’ve found natural furs and feathers to be more effective. Here’s a list of materials needed to tie up an ideal and successful, New England Cod Fly.

Hook – 3/0 Gamakatsu Siwash, very strong, large gape and super sharp. With longer and select grade marabou feathers, then look to upgrade to a 4/0 Siwash.

Weighted Eyes – X large bead chain, or alternate with the use of 3/16 I-Balz. Have a selection of varied weighted eyes, depending on water depth and current flow.

Tail – Strung marabou. Look for quality marabou in the longer lengths, better still go for UV enhanced feathers.

Flash – Gliss ‘N Glow and UV Sparkle flash. Tie in a small amount of Gliss ‘N Glow, then add Ultraviolet Sparkle Flash. We’ve had very positive results using UV flash materials in low visibility conditions.

Body – Rabbit fur crosscut

Collar – Arctic fox fur crosscut.

Snag guard – 60lb plastic coated multi strand steel trace. Alternative is a hard mono leader material 55lb – 60lb. In a sprig or front loop configuration.

Tying Tips

Lay thread base down, then smear super glue along thread wraps. Add super glue around weighted eyes, I then mix epoxy with superfine glitter.  Cover between eyes and over weed guard.