Fly fishing is not limited to the summer months with the right knowledge and approach; you get to enjoy your passion any time of the cod season. Though you do not always come produce the goods with a fish or even get a strike, you are still able to pursue your passion all season long. Make every opportunity into fly fishing season and hit the water.
Depending on your local climate, it is still possible to make winter a productive time for your fly fishing. Late cold nights on the rivers give you rare opportunities for some winter fishing being surface or sub-surface fly fishing. Seek out different deep pools where fish collect during the low season weather. Fish do not feed with the same regularity, so take multiple flies to try to tempt them in to any strike. Identify pools, logs, weed beds, boulders, under cut banks and any standing and submerged structure that attract Murray cod. Behaviors of cod do change in all seasons and when fly fishing opportunity arrives, you know where to go and how to fish a certain spot.
Surface fishing flies hard up against the bank in a foot or 2 of water is a blast; the strike is instance, with the cod attacking the fly as soon as it hits the water. A shot gun sound rings though your ears and the commutation of a crocodile drag a deer in to the water is how I can explain it. Murray cod lurking the water edge looking for a free feed is common.
Water tempter and weather conditions come in to play but if you’re not on the water in any condition that big one might get away or just not happen. I hope this revs you up on purchasing an outfit and flies to join very few anglers that can say “I land cod on fly”. If you haven’t given this technique much consideration as a productive way to fish for Murray cod at any time during the season you should rethink your thoughts and give it an honest try.
Fly fishing is it an art! There is an innate beauty in a fly cast. There is a sense of satisfaction and wellbeing that comes from standing in a river or on the river bank. A rhythmic cast of a fly line back and forth. It’s a sense of being in time with nature, in tune with the solitude of the great outdoors being a part of the whole sentry. The fly line gilding through the air, unrolling, seems weightless as it appears to defy the law of gravity. Fly casting has a poetic nature all on its own, there is a connection here; it’s with the heart of the game.
Anglers are familiar with Spin or Bait casting equipment. In fly casting we attempt to cast an almost weightless artificial fly, made of feathers, hair and thread. To target and present that fly in a manner that will imitate a natural food source. In Fly Casting the line itself is the weight and the fly is along for the ride.
There are many parts to sport of fly fishing from the aquatic entomology to the presentation. The fly fisherman and women must know and understand the cycle of nature, the food sources we try to imitate and their life cycle. Of course tying flies is an art form all on its own. The creator brings fur and feather together in a very individualized interpretation of nature. This interpretation is to be inspected up close and approved with a strike or rejected at the very last nanosecond, this will skip a heartbeat so be careful. The artist is attempting to represent life itself be it, insect, baitfish and amphibian through colour and shape. Be careful fly tying can be very addictive especially when using you’re own creation.
The equipment fly line, rod and reel are fairly simple in form and function. From natural hand crafted bamboo to space age materials, all with their own characteristics and advantages. Fly casting equipment has become more specialized and can add real enjoyment whether it be that extremely smooth performance or simply the pride of ownership of a finely crafted instrument.
Casting of course as I said above has its own rewards not only in the artistic but also the practical. Understanding the concept of the mechanics is the first and essential step in mastering the art of fly casting. The laws of physics and their application to a flexible lever (rod) being moved through a casting stroke to a point that aims the line precisely at the target, landing exactly as intended is challenging and exciting. I have spent just over 8 years learning and yet there is always more to learn. Every step of the way has been enjoyable just pure fun and accomplishment. It’s not hard anyone can do it. It just takes a little practice. The only difference between a good fly caster and a Master is practice!
Springtime means some of the best Golden perch fishing of the year, but it also offers its’ own set of challenges. The warming water temps mean the yellow belly are more active and moving shallow, but they are also very sensitive to any drop in air and water temps caused by Springtime cold fronts. These fronts may only result in a slight drop in air and water temps, but they can completely shut down the bite.
It’s a country that has it all- wilderness, dramatic scenery, water of chalk-stream clarity, substantial runs of fresh Murray cod and the opportunity to take them on the surface with the riffle hitch – every conceivable fly fishing box is fundamentally crossed off! The variety is astonishing and the fishing is nothing short of addictive, and those who are fortunate enough to venture in to the night in pursuit of the might Murray cod. Soon find themselves planning their next fishing trip time and time again!
While one might expect nonstop action on the lake one should visit the river in the same mindset. Equally, the fishing on certain rivers isn’t for the faint-hearted, in some places verging on extreme with challenging wading and unpredictable conditions. It’s a matter of what you hope to get out of your trip. Bear in mind also that the fishing can and will vary greatly from one time to the next. But, whatever your priorities endure the elements and your cod fishing dreams will almost certainly come true.
Of late the water I’ve been targeting has been small skinny water with deep holes and a lot of structure and not very wide. Cast long distance hasn’t been an issue as for some of the casting has only been a few meters in front of me. It helps if you know your water your casting at for night time, fishing structure of any kind you may not see 100% isn’t a problem as you will have a fair idea were bout’s it is. When mentioning structure you’re not just looking for timber there is an array of obstruction’s’ to aim at. Standing and submerged trees, root balls, logs, small or large branches over hanging the water surface, then you have weed, lily’s pads and cumbungi weed beds. Let’s not forget rocky out looks like; undercut banks, boulders, drop of points under the water and rock walls! These are all spots were Murray cod and not leaving out Golden perch out as they will have a crack at a surface flies too. The depth of the water has an effect while surface fishing; you wouldn’t waste your time casting flies of any kind over 20ft of water. Ideally depth from 6ft to right in to the shallows of a foot you would cast at. Once the depth of the water starts getting too deep the fly won’t be in or even near the strike zone, you don’t want to waste valuable time casting and walking or night long. Working your fly right to the 10ft from the rod tip keeping tight and connected to the fly at all times. It’s like the cod knows that the fly is just about to be lifted off the water and an insane strike happens at your feet and scares the life out of you.
The technique is to cast your fly across the river, small stream land base close as possible to the back and any structure. Immediately being to twitch, strip and rip the fly back in a similar way to any lure you might fish. Often action is instant and cod boil at the fly surface or sub-surface. Constancy moving fly will entice more strikes from the fish, than a non-moving fly. Not to say that also seduces the cod to woof the fly down too. Even tho they will reject the fly, casting several time in the same location could produce another savage strike. Quite often the same fish will rise, boil and break the surface behind the fly. As the fly desperately swim away from the fish, it will finial take it with a huge swirl or splash and race off with it.
As I work my way through the tiny pockets or larger pooled water, I sat the fly in the main current of my peripheral vision. Something huge and green rolled though the surface at the bottom of the run. The fly came flickering back across the lie when I experienced that supreme, magical moment that sets Murray cod fishing apart from all! Other cast, a great table of black, glossy water rose up behind the fly and suddenly the fly was snatched from the fly line. Even before I could react, the rod buckled over wildly in my hands. An impossible bow-wave ploughed through the water and the frame of a truly huge cod rocketing though the water resorting back to his dungeon. I felt a mixture of fear and adrenaline though my whole body. WOW! The hair not just on the back of the neck stand up, but the whole body is covered with goose bumps.
Alone in the darkness, I scooted along the bank retrieving the backing quickly as possible, I stared down at the water to my amazement a huge flank flashed by and a unstoppable cod bolted home bound again. Minutes passed with every second counting my mind began to fill with what ifs thoughts, was my knots right will the leader hold and Arrrh! The head shakes will it spit the hook, so many questions for myself, but keeping it calm at the same time. Finally success the fish was landed a senesce of relief and a fight that seem to last a life time was over. Photos taken and without them it would feel very much like a dream, even tho its dreams like this that wake you of the night!
I figured that the action was going to be thick and fast, I tracked down to the next pool with a immediately a response. Despite a number of swirls behind the fly over a couple of cast, I persisted and paused the fly waiting for the weight on my rod. I continue to cast and had no other inquiries! As you know casting at night you have to have your wits about yourself and I stopped to think where did this fish go? Well after looking around I noticed a semi submerged structure to my right that I could just see with the moon light. Out bound cast past the log 1 or 2 meters as I didn’t want to spook the fish; as I retrieved and slowly twitched the fly right over the snag BOOF game on and cod. My hart went up to 180 beats a minute and with a great battle with short blistering runs I come out with a Murray cod looking at me saying you basted. I netted him and let out you beauty to put it nicely! Fishing partner bolted over to see a horse of a fish just kicking back in the net contemplating defeat. Up with the big fella a few photos; and can I say it is a little difficult to produce good photos at night but I’m working on it, once a few shots had been taken back in to the cold depths’ the fish went. Persistence does pay off and always think outside the square if your fishing techniques don’t work try something different.
Being in the right state of mind for casting – You need to relax not rush the cast, which sounds ridiculous I know, so you really need to calm yourself down and breath! Cast accurately at structure and bully these fish from their haunts. If you don’t; you’ll land lesser fish if any; be prepared at all times. It maybe needs to strip strike and if so, do it as hard as you possibly can and set the hooks.
Takes from a large cod are easily missed due to a sudden strike; instead fill the weight then strike. Tackle selection can be trial and error, rods break; fly lines get raped and knots will fail and rise anglers frustrations to the max! A selected range of fly rods 8# – 9# and 10# weights load with the correct fly line may it be; floating, intermediate or fast sinking. A shooting weight forward head will assist you to haul out those huge flies.
Hook setting is manifested by hand with little control strip striking. This may not permanently set the hooks, but pulling the rod butt towards the body and lift the rod tip high to ensure the best hook up. Hooking up or setting the hooks? Hook up is when the fish has done the job for you and he or she has hit the fly that aggrievedly and the fish has pieced the skin on the outside of itself or has in hailed the fly, there isn’t much more to do then fight the fish. Setting the hooks on the other hand is lifting the rod tip at the correct time to hook the fish. Feeling for the weight of the fish you strike by lifting the rod while crossing the fingers that the fish didn’t spit the fly. If the cod doesn’t stay connected take the slack up and start retrieving the fly slow it may entice another quick attack and continue to work the fly right to the rod tip and belt out another cast in the same direction. I tenuto repeat cast after a exposition up to 6 to 10 times, if no inquires I will move on but do remember on the way back to give yourself one last crack.
While walking the banks night or day I carry a light weight back pack, its contains – camera, fly box, pliers, leaders, water, torch a measuring mat and my landing net that I have clipped to the back of the back pack for easy access. It seems a lot and you would have thought and that it be heavy; keeping a small arranges of surface flies is all you need and the essentials’. Walking distance and the amount of casting you do will verily on each trip, be prepared for any conditions you many come across. Even a small first Aid kit is handy you never know what may happen while out and about, accidents’ are known to Accor. Also so keep your mobile phone in a water tight case along with the camera the last thing you don’t need is your perishes shot gone and if the uninspected does happen you can make an emergency phone call. Remember to let someone know where you’re going for the night; so if there is any trouble while out the right authority can start searching in the right spot!
Once hooked in to these fish and wait to be well rewarded you’ll soon realise what all the fuss about is! Epic fights – blistering short runs with incredible and dramatic power. The hook set your silence is no longer an explosion is astonishing as the fish powers away.
Fly tying and constantly developing new patterns and concepts. Creative approach to fly tying, you will discover a new use of fly tying materials and gain inspiration and ideas.
Remember that effective flies catch more fish – It seems simple and straightforward … almost logical that it is so. Consider that the only thing the fish should ever see is your fly. The fly cast, the tackle and your fishing techniques are only tools to bring the fly in the right position. Innovative and strategic approach to fly tying creates the best flies.
Kaos flies catch fish! They are quite crude, not what a connoisseur of well-crafted angling artefacts would want framed in a display box on his den wall. I tie a lot of wet and surface flies, but avoid small trout flies because constructing them irritates me to the MAX!
People tie flies to save money or for the enjoyment of experimenting with new patterns. They do it for the pleasure of catching fish with a fly they develop themselves.Anyone can copy your killer fly for his own use. Usually the best you can hope for is that your fly will appear in books on the subject, either named after you or crediting you with its creation.
Kicked start off to the 2015/16 Cod open in style, I managed to have a few hours flick on Saturday Avo. Moving away from the crowds having the river to myself is truly magic. Casting watching the wild life and listing to the sweet sounds of the Australian bird choir nothing quite like it anywhere else….Below a few tips, enjoy!
The fly rod is and tackle is one of the easiest bits of fishing equipment to carry with you. It assembles and dismantles apart in to 4 pieces and tuck’s away in to a tube you can’t get any easier than that. A fly reel is also very compact to travel with and a small fly box; who I’m I kidding? A large fly box with your favorite flies and you set ready to go. My fly rod is with me 100% of the time when I’m traveling around; you just don’t know what water you might come across a creek, river or passing by a lake. Within minutes you’re set up ready to attack any stretch of water. Compact easy to set up and will fit just about anywhere in a car, the fly rod should be your best friend. Why my rod is in the car all the time; it’s not just so I can have fish any time, even tho I love too, it’s also to work on my technique and casting skills.
Positioning the boat in shallow water; punch a cast out over the drop off, which any sounder will show you undulating ground. Once over the drop off or structure give the fly time to sink before stripping back. The sink rate is slow with an intermediate line but this means the fly is in the strike zone a lot longer too. Casting the fly past or over the structure; then stripping the fly back towards the strike zone – prepare yourself to get smashed, as Murray cod and Golden perch hit with an almighty force. Repetitive casting in the same spot will in carriage a hit, mixed in with big rips or two or three quick twitches at a time.
The best advice I can offer, is to never pass by any small creek or river system if it has shallow water. And if it looks too difficult to cast at, that’s the spot to have a shot at as you may be amazed at the size of the fish living beneath the water! However, there are many small creeks and rivers and lakes where you can fly fish from the water’s edge for Murray cod or Golden perch locally.
Local knowledge on the area is paramount; receiving any information about the location you’re going to fish is very valuable. This makes it easy to go for a couple of hours of casting after work or on the weekend. Take in to consideration of other anglers’ technique and revert those in to fly. Anglers that might have been casting spinner baits or any other artificial lure in certain colours and had good success, then the same colours can be used in any fly style. There are quiet and tranquil spots along most water ways and can be very rewarding for fly fishing anglers who want to catch a Murray cod or two.
The spring thaw means full rivers and high currents are flowing and the fish began to move. These conditions are not the best for flies sitting on the surface, so try your luck with wet flies. Fish are hungry after a season under the icy conditions and wet flies are the best way to take advantage of spring appetites. Fish also seek out the warmer, shallower water, so fish close to the banks and away from any lingering icy cold shelves.
Whether you are perfecting your cast or mapping out details of your favourite fishing hole, there is always a reason to get out on the water. If you have a passion for fly fishing, there is no need to ignore it for months on end. Make your hobby a year-round affair by using each season to improve your skills.