With Murray Cod season opening still another 4 weeks away, I predict things may get tough this summer. Once again Mother Nature refuses to deliver rain; if things don’t improve we may be facing lower than acceptable water levels. When the natural river flow ceases, we can be assured the dreaded weed will return. Without flow the river will become ultra clear, causing the fish to become very cautious and timid. Sunrise and sunset will always be considered peak times to fish, avoiding the bright day light hours as much as possible. “Work” and “Time Constraints” are two words that often leaves us fishing the midday runs.
The first obvious signs to look for are 1) fish following, and then turning away 2) fish, flash/ rolling 3) fish, tail nipping flys.
Let’s look at several tactics and equipment that increases the chance of success.
· For starters always use quality polarising sunglasses in conjunction with a wide brim hat. These two items will help identify fish holding structure, such as boulder/ rock bars and submerged logs.
· Switch to an intermediate sink tip fly line, which will give a very slow subtle fly sink rate.
· Do nothing retrieve (nymphing), this is a very effective method to utilize. Just cast along submerged boulders/ rock bar drop offs and let it sink deep, maintain flyline contact (ready for the strike), then apply the very occasional twitch. In the clear water, most times you’ll spot the inquisitive fish cruise out from under their cover and inhale the fly. If not, I’ll excite the fish into striking by employing a short darting action to the fly. Number one rule is to maintain line tension, slack lines and weed guards are a sure way to lose fish.
· Avoid bright colours and excessive flash materials, pink/ black Mega Dobson were great during the early high water season, now I prefer to use natural colours such as black/ rust browns with a splattering of bronze Gliss n Glow. I’ve reduced the weighted eyes to 3/16 to increase fly action and stepped up the mono weed/ snag guard to 80lb Rio Heavy Tippet material, full confidence is guaranteed with this set up.