In my local waters, I have a new favourite fish to chase on fly – Murray Cod.
On December 1st I could once again enjoy the explosive surface hits from this stunning fish – and it couldn’t come soon enough.
Murray Cod have a special aura about them. Despite the challenges of catching this beautiful fish, they offer enough rewards to keep me coming back for more.
This year we expanded our guiding options to include Central-West native fish and we’ve enjoyed a great start. With many more Murray Cod and Yellow Belly in the Macquarie River than previous years, the results are positive. And on the rare occasion things are slow, there many large willing Carp to pass the time.
Hugh, one of my most recent clients, came out for a Cod session in early December. After a slower start to the day, Hugh found himself connected to a very large fish. Having successfully pulled it from its snag, I assumed the fight was over. But, one jump onto a ledge below to land the fish, and Hugh stumbled and dropped his rod. The line tension was lost and we said goodbye to that giant Cod monster – that fish may haunt us for some time.
Outside of guiding clients, I was keen get out on the water and throw some flies myself. Luckily, after a few trips, several nice fish on the board and some very close encounters with large fish, my longing had been satisfied. I also managed to land my first Yellow belly from the river.
With a great start to the season, I can’t wait to get back on the water for more Murray Cod very soon.
ROD – We are using 9 and 10 weight rods to chase Murray Cod, the larger rods help cast the large flies, and muscle the fish from snags when needed.
LINE – Fly line is very important when chasing Cod. A line that carries a heavy fly and gets you on the water with minimal casts such as the RIO Outbound Short series is perfect! The F/I (Floating Intermediate) in the tropical version has been our most used line – Sinks enough when needed, and still fine to use for surface poppers.
REEL – Reel is not so important, Cod will fight their way back to the structure they came from, but don’t make blinding runs that require extreme drag.
LEADER – Leader depends on the amount of structure present. 15-25 pounds at around 4-6 foot is what I use.
Four fly-fisherman, travelling from Sydney and Melbourne, previously unknown to one another, converged in Bright last week for four days of trout fishing. In partnership with Cameron and Katie from River Escapes, I was looking forward to showing Dai, Aaron, Shane and Nick, the beauty – and abundant fishing – in the area.
After visiting Bright regularly as a child, my wife and I have continued the annual trek to the picturesque town. With a combination of long-winding bike paths, beautiful scenery, great cellar doors and good fishing options, it seemed like the perfect holiday compromise for an obsessed fisherman and his wife.
I first met Cam and Katie over some roast pork on a holiday trip with friends. After a few days fishing with Cam, I was sold, and wanted to bring a group back to enjoy the experience.
All the fly fisherman were fairly new to trout fishing, and hadn’t visited the area before. While most tourists travel to Bright for its tree-lined streets and cute market stalls, these men were here for fish, and lots of them. And Bright certainly delivered.
We had four days scheduled fishing, three days mixed between the Ovens, Buckland and Kiewa rivers, and one day on drift boats on the Mitta Mitta.
At the time the Mitta Mitta was running high, making access difficult. The drift boats allowed us to travel to untouched water along the whole stretch of the river.
After catching over 120 fish in under four days, we were certainly kept busy. And with the majority of these on dry fly, we were spoilt by the endless opportunities to catch fish within clear water and flowing streams. It was the perfect trip for new, or experienced anglers to sharpen their craft and enjoy an action-packed week of hooking bountiful fish.
Each night we retreated to the River Escapes country lodge to share the tales from the day.
On the trip I saw my first ever Palomino trout, landed by Shane on our second day. With its pure white skin, the trout was easy to spot in the ovens river, and after rejecting nine different flies, it finally consumed a black nymph. A unique and fascinating fish.
Despite arriving as strangers, one of the best parts of the trip was sharing the excitement of one another’s hook-ups and debriefing after each catch. I think the joy of fly-fishing is meant to be shared and it was great to spend a week with these anglers.
Aussie Fly Fisher will be running these hosted trips each Spring and Autumn so if you are interested in a week of plentiful fishing with a beautiful backdrop, then please get in touch.
My wife Anna, had never caught a fish on fly.
Earlier this year, we made our way to the Snowy Mountains, NSW to change that.
I hope you enjoy the first of our Aussie Fly Fisher short films.
Many thanks to Timeflees – Filippo Rivetti Photography for his amazing work on this project.
Please share the film around. We look forward to sharing more adventures with you in the future.