Plenty of fly targets
  |  First Published: April 2005

In dams and rivers around Tamworth you don’t just use a fly rod for trout – cod, golden perch and the ever-pesky carp are also willing local takers.

On the western foreshore of Chaffey Dam you can walk the banks and see the carp with their backs out of the water, making it easy to sight-cast.

It’s a great rush to see a carp take your fly in its mouth, then set the hook and watch the fish take off, often taking more than 40 metres of line at a single burst.

When I am targeting carp I sometimes tie my own creations, experimenting with different colours and textures. I also have had luck on red Fuzzy Wuzzies and imitation mudeyes. I don’t like to use a fly that’s too heavy because you really want the fly to stay just under the surface so you can work it slowly and keep it in the strike zone.

The secret to sight casting is a light presentation, which is essential if you don’t want to spook the fish.


Cod are another prime local target with flies. When I’m out targeting cod in our local rivers, I use an 8 weight Strudwick BWS with a 9 weight Teeny floating line and a three-stage leader with a 40lb butt, 30lb mid-section and 20lb tippet.

The heavy leader helps cast heavy, weighted flies like Gold Bombers, Fat Alberts and big surface Dahlberg Divers. You can also use any type of barra fly when targeting cod. A Barra Thing fly with lead eyes gets down reasonably deep and cod love it. I have had a lot of success using darker Barra Things like brown and black.

Because cod are so territorial and aggressive they tend to quickly inhale the fly a long way down. Because of this it’s a good idea to crush the barb of the hook so it is easy to extract the fly from its mouth without harming the fish.

I work sinking flies slowly, pulsating them through the water. This technique makes the feathers or deer hair on the fly puff out and make it almost irresistible for the cod.


When out targeting golden perch I again like to experiment with the colours and textures but the main flies I use are Crazy Charlies,

Bass Vampires and Double Bunnies. Quite often the yellas don’t aggressively hit the fly, they usually kind of gulp it and because these flies are sinking flies, they are ideal.

I have found that when I’m out targeting goldens the silver perch also like the same sort of flies and often fall for them as well. A great feature of the fly is that you are able to add a weed guard which enables you to work through reasonably heavy structure where you couldn’t work a treble-armed lure.

The great part about fly fishing is that you don’t have to have expensive gear to have fun. Any ‘starter pack’ combos are ideal and will work a treat.

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