Flyfishing for Australian Murray Cod

Archive for March, 2012

Sweet Water Cod

It’s been awhile since we’ve put in the effort to reach “sweet water”. To get there it involves a backache, sweat and socks full of burrs. We really wouldn’t have it any other way, knowing when the river is reached we’re going to have a good day.                                                                                                      

What a day we had, with an estimated 15 Murray Cod. Once again the fly that produced was a pink/black combination Mega Dobson, tied on a 5/0 Owner spinner bait hook. I also put the new Kaos 10wt Extreme Fly reel to the test. The reel easily handled the knocks and bumps that invariably happen when thundering down rapids.                                                                                                                                                                                  

We found the submerged granite boulders to be the prime areas to target during the bright daylight hours. We would have loved to fish top water poppers on sweet water but unfortunately time restraints restricted us to fish sub surface flies only. If you’re serious about your cod fishing, why not lace up your hiking boots and go find your very own sweet water.                                                                  Nick



Early Morning Cod

What a difference a week can make when Cod fishing.  A rising barometer and stable weather conditons can bring Native Murray Cod to the boil, from the first moment I hit the water, things looked good.  It was amazing to see how narrow water can hold such good fish, ones that were also super eager to smash a well presented popper.  This coupled to the fact I had put in the hard yards to reach the river at first light, it would ensure the highest chance of success.  The fly of choice was an upgraded 8/0 Bendy Roller Popper. The fly was designed to be thrown and skip cast into the most overgrown sections of the rivers.  When it quietened down on the surface I then switched to sub surface, the fly was a mega Dobson fly tied on a super sharp Owner 5/0 hook.  I’ll be covering the tying instruction of both these flies plus weedgaurd construction very soon.                Nick.

Frustrating February

This year the opportunity to fish the rivers in the New England have been very limited, Mother Nature insists on flooding all our major waterways at every opportunity.

Our planned overnight fishing trip would coincide with the worst conditions imaginable. We would be enduring dirty water, low water temps, strong easterly winds and the high probability of rain.

Jason and I both had a mixed variety of flies equipped with heavy weedguards, which was the one thing in our favour. We expected the fishing to be slow, but after countless hours of nothing we agreed they were more likely in the positively “lock jawed” category.

After a long day on what is usually very productive water, Jason at his best, could only manage a couple of gentle nudges. I eventually hooked up to a feisty Murray Cod of 60 cm’s, just as the evening light started to fade. The fish had taken a liking to one of my prototype 6/0 Huntsman flies.

Between the mozzies and the light drizzle we soon retreated to our tents for protection and a good night sleep.  We were definitely hoping for better things tomorrow.

Over breakfast we discussed a game plan, the decision was made to move further downstream. The morning sun finally broke through the low clouds, even the dreaded easterly breeze slowly faded.

Encouragingly the fish started to co operate and Jason began to draw interest from several aggressive cod. I opted to upgrade fly size, tying on a weighted 140mm pink/black Dobson fly featuring a huge Arctic fox collar. The fly change soon paid off and I landed a chunky 72cm Cod, this was from under a previously worked snag.

Excitedly, we began to take risks, casting deep under the Bottlebrush limbs. This is why we’ve now chosen to upgrade to 60lb mono for the weedguard. Jason worked the opposite bank, using his signature 4/0 Fatboy fly.  At one stage, all I could hear was his load cursing with fish constantly short striking and hooks pulling.  I landed another 66cm cod from under the edge of a submerged Bottlebrush, I was now convinced they were starting to hunt on the fringes of the snags.

You can sometimes forget that these rivers also hold big fish, I was soon reminded when a big fish flashed from under the rising fly.  Another valuable lesson was learnt that barbless hooks can sometimes cost fish if tension isn’t maintained, note to myself “concentrate”.

By late evening we had released 4 Murray Cod, in very unfavourable weather and river conditions.   We had learnt a lot over the weekend, things like fly sink rate, fly presentation and future fly developments.                                                Nick