Everything is firing!
  |  First Published: December 2005

If August is the month of fewest options on the Armidale fishing calendar, this is the time of year when everything is firing.

Although the days are getting quite hot some good trout can still be taken if you’re willing to get up before the magpies and be on the water at the crack of dawn.

With their higher oxygen requirements, the bigger fish will be out and about near the surface while the water is still nice and cool – cooler water holds more oxygen.

With a lack of any form of hatch in the early hours (even the insects have more sense than to get up at this time of day) the best fly technique to tempt these bigger fish is an unweighted Woolly Bugger retrieved in short, sharp strips to get the fish’s attention.

In sections where the current is a bit faster a small, weighted nymph under an indicator can also produce good results. These tricks have produced quite a few fish for us over the last few months already.

Spin anglers should do quite well using lures that swim just under the surface or by retrieving a spinner or plastic through the top metre of the creek.

Once the day starts to warm up and a few insects hatch, a switch to dry flies such as a Royal Wulff or Elk-Hair Caddis (my two go-to patterns) can often provide some variety. That said, Buggers and nymphs will often continue to produce until the fish shut down for a siesta around lunch-time.


Up to early November the bass fishing in the Macleay River has been a hit-and-miss affair.

Although we’ve had a few good doses of rain to keep the river flowing nicely, we are in serious need of a good fresh to clear the insidious green slime that makes fishing 50% of the water almost impossible.

And because the water is so clear, the fish have been particularly wary. Some good fish are being taken by concentrating on deep holes and hard up against structure during the day and there is still plenty of action fishing the surface at night.

There have been good reports coming from down-river towards Kempsey as well.


It seems to have taken forever this year, but December 1 is about to roll around again and we’ll be able to go fishing for cod.

The combination of local stocking efforts and the closed season seems to be working too, as each year there appear to be more cod around.

For once, good rains over the past few months have rejuvenated the rivers and although there is still quite a bit of weed clogging things up, at least we don’t have to worry about the fish having nothing to swim in.

Coming off the end of the breeding season, the fish will be hungry and aggressive and this can be when you’ll get some of the most exciting river fishing.

I’m constantly amazed at how big a lure these fish will take, so don’t be afraid to tie on the biggest offering you can throw. After having my eyes pop out looking at some the lures Jamie Flett of Mudeye Lures regularly used last season, I’ll be upsizing to some of his Big Ones and Happy for most of my cod fishing this season.

Looking at these lures has also made me reassess the flies I use for these bucket-mouths and I’m looking forward to swimming some of the ‘budgies’ I’ve tied up in anticipation of the coming season.

Fun times ahead!

Coming off the end of the breeding season, Murray cod will be hungry and aggressive.

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