Flyfishing for Australian Murray Cod

Fly Talk

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Cod Snack Cod Snacks

A brilliant little fly when tied correctly, creating a seductive darting action thanks to the use of natural fibres. The beauty of this fly if the flexibility to add or substitute materials.

Many of our ties feature materials such as Arctic Fox, Finn Raccoon, Bucktail, Big Fur Fibre, Ostrich Feathers, Peacock Hurl and silicon skirts. For the most part, Rabbit Crosscut Marabou and Senyo’s Lazer Dub head are the main ingredients.

Hook                            Gamakatsu SL12s 4/0

Thread                         Black flat waxed

Weed guard                 60lb looped mono weedguard

Eyes                             Clear Cure 3D 8mm dumbell eyes

Tail                               Pinch of Bucktail to prevent tail wrap. Finn Raccoon, Arctic Fox plus added  variations.

Flash                             Crystal flash

Body                              Crosscut Rabbit fur, Marabou

Lead Wire                      0.15 guage, 8 wraps

Head                             Senyo’s Lazer Dub, Head trimmed to shape

Big Poppa

Tied up by James Nicholson, this is a must have in any flybox for Murray Cod.  I fish this on a floater flyline, sometimes I use a inter sink tip flyline if I’m in a hurry.  The surface strikes with this topwater fly are very positive, most times they’ll slide under it and sip it.  Tie in a pencil sized bunch of Bucktail, top with purple/black Sparkleflash. Cut 2mm foam sheet strips into 18mm widths x 3, shape foam at the tie in areas into a point. Add super glue onto all tie in areas,  making sure foam is tied in even, so it doesn’t tip the fly sideways on the water.  Add 80lb RIO shock tippet looped weedgaurd at this stage.  Tie in rabbit crosscut and wind forward, then tie down.  Now tie down foam just before the hooks eye, one at a time, adding glue along the back of the foam strips.Tie off thread.  Place 3D eyes on and then fill void with Clear Cure Goo “thick”.  Apply Thread Varnish over eyes and  Clear Cure Goo.  Enjoy!   

Hook                            5/0 Owner Spinnerbait  

Thread                         Black flat waxed

Foam                           2mm Sheet Foam, 18mm wide strips glued together

Weed guard                 80lb RIO Heavy Shock Tippet 

Eyes                             1/4 silver 3d Eyes

Tail                               Purple Bucktail

Flash                             Blend Purple and Black Sparkleflash

Body                              Black Crosscut Rabbit fur

Clear Cure Goo              Thick

Dirty Bird

The Dirty Bird got its inspiration from many fly tiers around the globe, people like Bob Popovics, Brad Bohen, Brian Wise, Simon Graham and Swede Nick Bauer.  The simple procedure of reverse tying Bucktail gives a large profile and sonic signature without using excessive material.   First tie in and splay out Bucktail, then add some Krystal flash followed by some Grizzly hackle.  Splay in another bunch of Bucktail, but instead of cutting off the butts, flare them back. Next process is to tie in some Big Fly Fiber over the top of these butts, this gives the illusion of bulk, length and adds movement.  Reverse tie in some more Bucktail, then add the all important front mono loop weedgaurd.  Then it’s time to tie in 10mm Clear Cure dumbbell eyes, weight can be added at this stage with Lead wire wraps.  Last process is to form a head by spinning some Senyos Laser Dub.

Hook                 5/0 Owner Spinnerbait hook

Thread               black flat waxed

Head                  Senyos Laser Dub 

Body                  Pink and Black Bucktail

Tail                    Pink and Black Big Fly Fibre, 4 Grizzle Hackle feathers

Flash                  Krystal Flash “UV enhanced”

Eyes                   10mm Clear Cure dumbbell eyes

Weedgaurd         70lb Schneider Klear-Line mono   

Huntsman 2

Basically a modified Huntsman, tied using native and exotic materials.  Great for shallow and clear water conditions, since it uses very minimal flash material.  Start with the grizzle feathers then spin a clump of clipped Finn Raccoon.  Tie in two strands of Crystal flash to the top and each side of the fly, then add a veil of Emu feathers around the fly.  At this stage tie in the mono loop weedgaurd, before repeating the procedure of spinning the Finn Raccoon, Crystal flash and Emu again.  Tie in a small clump of red Artic Fox to replicate bleeding gills.   

Hook                       Gamakatsu SL 12 s 6/0

Thread                     red flat waxed

Body                        orange Finn Raccoon, red  Artic Fox bleeding gill  

Hackle                      4 x orange grizzle saddle hackle, natural Emu feathers

Flash                        red and orange Crystal flash

Eyes                         10mm 3D eyes

Weedgaurd               Rio 60lb Heavy Shock Tippet looped

Epoxy                      Devcon or 5 min Z-poxy,Clear Cure Goo

Mega Dobson

We’ve stepped up the size of the original Mr Dobson fly, to create the Mega Dobson.  One of our most successful patterns that’s taken a while to perfect.  The weedgaurd has been stepped up to match the 5/0 Owner hook.  Vary the eyes from 3d to weighted 7/32 eyes to match the water depth.  Overall fly length is 150mm.  The combination of pink Marabou tail and black collar has accounted for a lot of fish in the past few months.   

 Hook                 5/0 Owner Spinnerbait hook

Thread               black flat waxed

Body                  purple rabbit zonker (not crosscut) 

Collar                black artic zonker

Tail                    4 strung marabou feathers

Flash                  Sparkleflash “black rainbow”

Eyes                   3 D eyes – 7/32 Real Eyes Plus 

Weedgaurd         Rio 60lb Heavy Shock Tippet looped 

Epoxy                 Clear Cure Goo

Gurgler 2

A  more conventional style of Gurgler. Strangely the smaller bib creates a lot more noise than a larger one, which tends to make the fly skim.  Fish this style of Gurgler on a floating flyline, allowing you to fish the fly slowly. The foam strips are 16mm wide, I glue and tie each strip down individually.  This makes them very solid.  To create the tail use a large needle to thread the silicone skirt in and back out of the last foam strip of the fly, then glue in place on the inside of the foam. 

Hook                       Gamakasu SL 12 s 6/0

Thread                    tan flat waxed

Hackle                     UV Polar chenille, gold UV

Foam                       2mm foam sheet, white and tan. Pink sight indicator post

Tail                          white silicone skirt

Legs                         white silicone skirt

Weedgaurd               45lb Schneider looped

Super glue 



Developed by Peter Morse, it has become a favourite amongst Murray Cod and Barramundi flyfisherman. It was designed to create a large underwater sonic signature, with the benefit of being easily cast.  It can be tied with a variety of tails, but i tend to stick with an all synthetic fly.  Many of the New England rivers hold a population of Common Carp, to represent these baitfish the red/orange colour combination works best.  This pattern has also accounted for many large Golden Perch.

Hook                  Gamakatsu SL12s 6/0

Thread                red flat waxed

Body                   Wapsi 3/8 Flexi-cord light/pearl. Orange and red Slinky/Kinky fibre

Tail                     orange Slinky/Kinky fibre

Flash                  Sparkleflash “Rainbow Trout”, red Gliss ‘n’ Glow

Eyes                    5/16 silver eyes

Lead wire             10-12 turns .030 lead wire

Weedgaurd          45lb Schneider looped

Glue                     Zap Goo  


When Cod blow up behind a big noisy popper, it’s more of a territorial reaction than a true feeding response.  Either fish the popper less aggressively or switch to a 6/0 Gurgler, the added bonus is the consistant hook ups, something the Bendy Roller popper can fail to do.  Fish this on a inter sink tip line for added commotion.  Foam strips are 20mm wide tapering down to 16mm , glue and tie each strip down individually.   This makes them almost bullet proof. 

Hook                       Gamakasu SL 12 s 6/0

Thread                    black flat waxed

Body                       10mm Sparkleflash Chenille, red

Hackle                     UV Polar chenille, rusty-copper

Foam                       2mm foam sheet, black and brown. Yellow sight indicator post

Tail                          orange Bucktail

Flash                        rootbeer Gliss ‘n’ Glow, gold Crystal flash

Eyes                         8mm Joggle eyes

Weedgaurd               45lb Schneider looped

Super glue   

Mr Dobson


Marabou and Rabbit fur are a perfect match for a Cod fly.  I’ve added weighted eyes to get it down and a wire weedgaurd to save the frustration of snagging up,  let it sink and fish it slow. 

Hook                 Gamakatsu Siwash 2/0

Thread               black flat waxed

Body                  black cross cut rabbit 

Collar                purple cross cut rabbit

Tail                    3 strung Marabou feathers

Flash                  black Crystal flash

Eyes                   3/16, I-Balz 

Weedgaurd         45lb plastic coated steel trace

Epoxy                 Devcon or  5 min Z-poxy 

Gusty Muddler

A cross between a Gusto and a Kinky Muddler. All the attributes for a Cod fly, Marabou provides movement and the Kinky fibre/Steve Farrar’s flash blend head pushes plenty of water.  Unlike the Fatboy the hook gape isn’t compromised, easy to cast thanks to the synthetic materials.

Hook                                  Gamakatsu Siwash 2/0

Thread                                Flat waxed

Body                                  10mm Sparkleflash Chenille, red, white version- pearl 

Hackle                                UV Polar Chenille,  red version- rusty copper UV, white version- olive/brown

Tail                                     White version- strung Marabou.  red- strung Marabou

Flash                                   White version, silver Gliss’n’Glow, pearl Crystal flash.  Red version, red Gliss’n’Glow, red Crystal flash, orange Crystal flash

Head                                   White version, white and grey Steve Farrar’s Flash Blend.  Red version, red and orange Steve Farrar’s Flash Blend.  May be substituted with  Kinky Fibre or Slinky Fibre.  Trim to shape

Eyes                                     6mm 3d eyes 

Weedgaurd                           45lb Shneider looped 

Glue                                     Zap Goo                                  

Bunny Strip Deceiver

A simple tie with lots of inbuilt movement, strikes will occur on the drop with this pattern and the Huntsman.  The wire sprig weedgaurd assures the only thing you’ll be catching is fish.

Hook                         2/0 Gamakatsu Siwash

Thread                      green flat waxed

Body                        olive Sparkleflash Chennile

Hackle                      olive Palmer chennile

Tail                           olive magnum Zonker strip. Variation Tiger Barred magnum Zonker strip, black/orange over yellow

Collar                        rear olive Rabbit crosscut, front yellow Rabbit crosscut. Variation EP Sparklebrush black-red 

Eyes                          6mm silver 3d eyes

Weedgaurd               45 lb plastic coated steel trace

Tail loop                   30 lb Shneider mono tail wrap loop

Epoxy                       Devcon or 5 min Z-poxy



The Huntsman was designed by Victorian native fish specialist Rob Meade, It has tremendous movement thanks to the combination of Ostrich and Arctic Fox fur (Rob uses Rabbit fur).  It can be tied with aluminium deep sea eyes, or in this case lead wire under wraps. 

Hook                       Tiemco 600sp 2/0

Thread                     black flat waxed

Body                        red Arctic Fox 

Hackle                     4 x black saddle hackle, 4 x orange grizzle saddle hackle, black Ostrich plume

Flash                        red and black Crystal flash

Eyes                         8mm 3d eyes

Weedgaurd              45 lb Schneider looped

Epoxy                      Devcon or 5 min Z-poxy

Lead wire                10-12 turns .030 Lead wire

Rattling Clousers


 During Autumn, our rivers start to run very clear, Cod may become timid on flashy flies such as the Rattling Bendback. This de-dazzled version is a blended combination of slinky fibre and sparkleflash.

Hook                  4/0 Gamakatsu SL12S

Thread                Clear fine mono thread and black flat waxed

Eyes                    7/32 Real eyes plus

Wing                   Gold version-brown Slinky fibre, gold Sparkleflash, copper Sparkleflash, black Slinky fibre, black rainbow Sparklelflash and black Crystal flash

Wing                    Purple version-dark purple Slinky fibre, purple Sparkleflash, purple Gliss ‘n’ Glow, black Slinky fibre, black rainbow Sparkleflash and black Crystal flash

Body                    medium mylar tube gold or pearl. 4mm Wapsi Pyrex round rattle inserted

Epoxy                   Devcon or 5 min Z-poxy 


Bendy Roller Popper

This fly was featured in issue 63 of the Australian FlyLife magazine. Its huge success is no doubt due to the heavy mono weed guard; it was designed to be cast deep into snags and under overhanging Bottlebrush. When the bite has shut down and all else fails, I turn to this large surface fly. Time and again, it’s busted the theory that surface action is restricted to low light conditions. Best tip I can give is to strip strike when using this fly, then hang on!

Hook                                4/0 Gamakatsu Siwash

Thread                             Black flat waxed

Foam Head                      17mm Bendy hair rollers from $2 shop

Weed guard and mono tail loop   45lb Schneider and 30lb Schneider

Eyes                                 12mm Joggle Eyes, Epoxy in place

Tail                                    Magnum Rabbit fur

Collar                                Crosscut Rabbit fur

Super Glue



An excellent pattern that can be tied with various weighted eyes or better still, unweighted for maximum “hang in there face attitude”. When conditions are tough, tie one on and have faith in the wire sprig weed guard. Fish it deep.

Hook                          2/0 Gamakatsu Siwash

Thread                        Black flat waxed

Body                           10mm Sparkle flash Chenille

Hackle                        Black Palmer Chenille

Tail                             2 purple Marabou feathers, 1 black

Flash                           Purple Gliss ‘n ‘Glow

Collar                          either Schlappen feathers, Rabbit Crosscut or black Anadromus Brush

Eyes                             7mm 3d eyes

Weed guard                  45lb plastic coated steel trace

Epoxy                           Devcon or 5min Z-poxy   


Rattling Bendback


A truly deadly fly for the New England area, even more so when fished in conjunction with an intermediate sink tip line. There are two distinctly different methods of fishing this fly, depending on the mood of the fish.  1) Constant short quick strips 2) Fished static with the occasional small twitch.

Hook              4/0-5/0 O’shaunessy long shank hook, barb crimped and modified into a bend back.

Thread          Clear fine mono thread and Black flat waxed thread

Wing              Gold Sparkle flash, Copper Sparkle flash and Black Rainbow Sparkle flash. 

Body              Medium gold Mylar with Wapsi 4mm Pyrex rounded rattle inserted.

Eyes               7/32 Real eyes plus

Epoxy            Devcon or 5min Z-poxy


Green Deceiver

Another quiet achiever when a subtle approach is needed.  This fly works best when fished deep and super slow, once again it’s all about having faith in the weed/snag guard.

Hook                                3/0 Gamakatsu Siwash

Thread                              Black flat waxed

Tail                                   green wig hair, 2 grizzly hackles and 2 black each side

Flash                                green Crystal flash

Body                                 small gold Mylar

Head                                 Buck tail

Eyes                                  8mm 3D eyes

Weed guard                       45lb plastic coated steel trace

Epoxy                                Devcon or 5min z-poxy

6 responses

  1. Mmmmmmm…Nice flies 🙂

    April 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  2. James

    Nice, flies mate, your own ties? Website as a whole is looking SUPER! great stuff 🙂

    April 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm

  3. Leigh

    I love the Gusto it is as close to snag proof as one can get. Cast it in the snag and drag it back out. Fished along the bottom it looks just like a yabbie.

    April 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm

  4. Thanks heaps man. Super informative.

    December 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm

  5. David Ireland

    Great flies. Probably not the right forum but in my humble opinion, the rattling bendback in gold is about the best barra fly going.
    The more I fish for both barra and cod the more I notice how much alike freshwater barra and cod really are.
    Kind regards… David

    December 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

  6. Ben Le Vagueresse

    Great flies Nick – might have tie a few to supplement the arsinal.


    May 5, 2012 at 10:10 pm

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