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Special Interest > Fly Fishing
Mary River Cod on surface fly
After getting my first cod on a homemade lure last weekend I vowed to try and get my first surface caught bass on the fly rod. I've caught quite a few on subsurface flies but never really givin' surface flies a big go yet mainly due to oppurtunities available to try them. So after studying google over a few nights I decide on a new location not really sure whether the images on the PC were going to match what was on the ground and just as well I got there real early as a kilometre walk downstream in the dark across huge gravel beds confirmed my suspicions. Upstream it'll have to be which was alot more open than the intended water but hey I was here and was going to make the most of it. I fished the first pools around the launch area with the rubber legged popper fly before I paddled through them in case any fish were in close but no takers. A local platypus was out feeding , so while I watched him diving and vacuuming the bottom for breakfast I tied on a surface walking lure on my backup spin gear as an alternative. The first pool was quite long and relatively shallow with a variety of bankside and mid stream structure showing evidence of last seasons floods. I worked the fly in all the usual places with a few shrimps leaping out the water whenever it passed close to structures ( probably what the platypus was eating). After about an hour of no action I swapped to the spin gear with the Kozami 60 top walker and went back over the area I had just fished to see whether a different presentation would get any interest but again all quiet. I changed the lure to another homemade I did this week and found I may have to add a belly treble to help keep bib down as it had a tendency to roll over - thats bouyant balsa for 'ya !. A small boof under an overhanging branch looked alot like a bass taking an insect off the surface so I immediately swapped back to the fly rod which I had the line left stripped into the towel in my lap ready to go. A couple of casts either side of the tree tip didn't elicit a strike but a log anglind down into the water about three metres away looked inviting so I checked my backcast room and cast the fly in beside the log. One plop and the fly was boofed but no hookup. I waited for the rings to dissipate then plopped the fly again with no result. OK I'll put the fly in deeper so recast further into the pocket behind the log and first pop it disappeared in a small splash coming up tight and I was in trouble. With the front of the yak pulled around toward the snag I felt like the fish had buried me so I passed the rod to my left hand and started to paddle out with me right inadvertantly giving the fish a moment of slack line whereby it swam out. Lucky !!! I furiously stripped line coming up tight and then he woke up bending my 9 foot rod the the butt and going deep swimming in strong lunges. The rod was being bent around the hull of the yak and I was having trouble keeping it from contacting it thinking geez this is a stonker bass. After a few tense moments it started to get close to the surface 'twas then I realised it was a dirty great cod - I couldn't believe it two cod in two weekends. This was going to be interesting holding the long floppy rod outstretched in my left hand trying to bring the cod to my lip grips in my right. Once I got the grips on I released the pressure on the line laying the rod down looking at this magnificent fish and its fantastic camofluage colours. The popper fly was well and truly down his throat stuck in the rear of his tongue. I always depress the barbs and the fly came out without any resistance. Keeping the fish in the water I splashed some water onto the towell in my lap supporting his belly and lifted him in laying him gently across my lap. I splashed more water over the top of him then grabbed the camera for a few pics, making a note of his length against the fly rod. The tail bends up and over the side of the yak so he is a couple of cm at least longer than he appears. Measuring the rod later he was somewhere between 65-67 cm not overly fat but a picture of health never the less. I paddled a few strokes back to the snag supporting his belly I lifted him back releasing the grips and holding his tail I swam him until he quicky was active and swam back to his snag. Well I was aiming at a bass on surface fly but a cod just exceeded my expectations. I could have gone home at that stage but I was meeting some people locally for a chat and a quiet bevvy around lunch time so I thought I might as well still try and get that surface bass I set out to get. About ten minutes later a small bass around 28 cm snaffled the fly coming out from under a laydown and the mission was accomplished. I decided to just have an explore from here on out taking some photos of the structure available and found another long pool above a short portage which had some great shady banks especially for an afternoon fish. By this time it was around 8-8.30 am and there was still a platypus active in this top pool right out in the direct sun. I decided to turn back as the creek rapidly narrowed and I didn't want to negotiate a long rod (fly) through the sticky stuff so headed back to the launch area. I was still in disbelief at scoring the cod on fly and had many a laugh whilst loading the yak and later relaying the experience to friends over a couple of coldies. Cheers Pat.
great fish, congrats, and on the long wand even better :youbeauty