Just so much going on!
  |  First Published: December 2011

There is always plenty happening at this time of year away from the fishing scene – end-of-year work parties, Christmas shopping, kids’ school assemblies, barbecues, the list goes on.

But when you’re a fisher and the cicadas are singing in the trees at the shopping centre, when the cloud base is mushrooming out to the west as you stand at the afternoon school assembly and your wife is asking you to brush those annoying flying termites off her back, when a large goat moth hits you in the back at the evening barbie – well, it all gets a bit much! What can I say?


The wait is over; this cod season should be a cracker.

There has been plenty of good water moving down our inland systems over Winter so river levels will be good.

Cold-water releases from our major western dams will unfortunately affect some systems for quite some distance downstream; keep this in mind when planning a trip.

It’s a good time of year to chase a cod. The smaller fish are very active and very aggressive.

Spinnerbaits are a standout early on; it’s been a while since the fish have seen one, so they get eaten readily.

Be warned, though: The fish learn very quickly, especially in more popular locations.

If the right weather systems are coming through (warm, humid conditions are best), surface lures are a sure thing on the rivers.

Smaller paddlers, fizzers, and poppers seem to work best at this time of year. Try something around 60mm to 80mm; in fact bass size or a little larger is about right.

Late afternoon and early morning are prime times and the good thing is that while light levels are low, the cod could be anywhere in the pool so casting accuracy is not so important.

This is a great way to introduce somebody new to cod fishing.


Fly-fishing at night in lakes such as Lyell, Thompsons and Wallace is very popular during December.

The shallow margins come to life as the sun sets. Insects land on the water everywhere and soon enough, the distant dimples of trout rising can be seen off in the distance as the light fades.

On the right evening it seems like there is not a couple of square metres of water that doesn’t have a trout rising.

It can be quite frustrating. Just remember, your imitation fly is among millions of the real things out there floating amid the melee.

If your selection is right, if your presentation is good, then it will be a good night filled with screaming drags and jumping trout.

I always find that spending time walking around looking into the water and examining bankside vegetation well before you start fishing will hold you in good stead through the night.

This time allows you to see the insects in the water and on bankside greenery. It allows you to match the hatch.


Recently I have been working towards a new boat. Not having one has just about driven me, and everybody around me, nuts.

Let’s just say it won’t be long now. I am still not 100% certain on brand and configuration (I’ve had plenty of advice, mind you) but I have spent plenty of time researching what I think will suit my needs and am very much looking forward to tearing down the lake as safely as possible with the wind in what’s left of my hair.

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