Dusk & Dawn
As the sun dips below the river gums, Galahs and Cockatoos take the opportunity to have the last sip of water, many have already settled down for the night in the tree tops.
It’s the time when Murray Cod feel comfortable leaving their snaggy lairs and go on the attack, seeking food from above and below the water line.
The pinnacle of Cod fishing for me is that last magical hour of light, with floating fly lines and large surface flies at the ready. Unfortunately over the years I’ve also been on the receiving end of some monumental wipe outs from big fish during these times. Perhaps the biggest heartache when fishing surface flies has been the amount of hook set failures encountered, particularly when using large foam patterns.
Many of my recent evening sessions, I’ve been trialling new fly/hook concepts in the hope of improving hook up rates.
Articulated flies are nothing new overseas; in fact many steelhead, salmon, pike and trophy brown trout fisherman have been twisting them up for years. Except for pelagic fishing, their use has been nearly none existent here in Australia. Some of the benefits of using tandem flies are:
1) Extra swinging hook for increased hook up rate
2) The ability to create larger profile flies
3) Weighted subsurface flies have increased undulation motion
4) Surface flies inherit a snake like swimming motion
The Big Poppa fly created by James Nicholson in Victoria, is one of my favourite top water flies for Murray Cod. It generates the most seductive sound and it has a real knack of taking fish under many varied conditions.
The Bendy Roller Popper and the Big Poppa both share a similar problem, a dismal hook up rate! Jason pleaded for a total fly reform, starting with a treatment of articulation. So far the mods have exceeded expectations and produced a deadly top water fly for Cod. Mono loop weed guards fitted on both hooks help maintain its snag resistance, which is an invaluable feature for the rivers fished around the New England.
The Big Poppa
Hook – Gamakatsu B10s 1/0 rear, Owner 5/0 spinnerbait front
35lb plastic coated wire trace, 2 plastic beads, thread wrapped and glued
Body – Large Krystal Hackle rear hook, rabbit zonker front
2mm sheet foam – 15mm width rear, 20mm width front
Tail – arctic fox tail
Flash – blended Sparkleflash
Weed guard – 60lb Rio heavy mono shock tippet rear, 80lb front.
3D eyes – apply clear cure goo, then coated with head cement