I have been an avid fisherman for as long as I can remember, starting with a simple bamboo pole, no reel or runners, and catching my first fish alongside my late father. Over the years, I progressed from bait fishing to live bait, then to lure fishing, and finally embarked on my fly fishing journey in the mid-90s in Victoria. During a five-year stint in SA, I explored fly fishing for saltwater species in the summer, giving the trout a break from the heat. While some saltwater fish were common, it was the mulloway population that stood out as the highlight.
I continued fly fishing for trout until 2012, when I heard about Murray cod in the Yarra River. With limited information on Cod fly fishing back then, I utilized my successful saltwater flies to fish for them. It didn't take long before I caught my first cod and started exploring new spots. Subsequently, I invested in a Water strider float boat, inspired by the NSW (Cod's country) crew, which allowed me to access more water and explore rivers like the Loddon, Buffalo, and Ovens with a good friend named Ashley. Later, I ventured into smaller waters where fly fishing was done from the bank, achieving regular success to this day.
I found myself guiding my friends and fellow anglers, introducing them to the thrill of catching cod. My fly designs evolved from saltwater patterns to purpose-tied cod flies specifically suited to the waters I fish. The subsurface range of Cod Snacks, available in various colors, has proven highly effective in attracting Murray Cod and Yellow Bellies. The Murray Cray Cod Snack convincingly imitates the Murray Cray, while the White and Chartreuse Cod Snacks act as attractor flies. The Purple Cod Snack, resembling a yabby, has its own appeal. All these flies have gained the trust of several fly fishing guides who use them when targeting Murray Cod, a testament to their effectiveness.
Walking back to the car in the dark, where I pointed to a bullfrog, explaining that it was the inspiration for my cod poppers. These poppers are skillfully designed to pop well, minimize water absorption, and stick to the water like chewing gum, coming in frog and cicada models. The latter is modeled after the real cicadas that are abundant during our summer season.
I've been fortunate to share my expertise with others, witness the success of my fly designs, and collaborate with esteemed fishing retailers to offer my cod flies to a broader audience
For the last few years I’ve spent a day or 2 each season with Ben from Ozzy Native Flies chasing these elusive beasts. Not only has he watched me catch my first cod on fly but he’s also helped improve my casting technique with bigger rods and even bigger flies. He’s always keen to part his knowledge and try different things when the fishing gets harder. I can’t recommend Ben more highly for the novice or advanced fly fisher.
If you’re new to chasing this species, I highly recommend using Ben to put you on the right path and really flatten the learning curve.
Having never fished for cod before, Ben took the time to show me just how to cast. He was very patient with me as I learnt how to cast them. He showed me what to look for structure wise. We rested till late afternoon and then started fishing. I caught my cod that evening. The following morning we went for a fish together and even though he was not guiding me he still took the time to instruct me and help me onto more fish. I had an awesome time. Ben as a guide is very knowledgeable and patient. I would recommend Ben as a guide to anyone any time. You will have such a good time for sure.
At Ozzy Native Flies, we practice catch and release fishing, firmly believing in offering a sustainable solution to ensure abundant fish populations for generations to come.
Your experienced guide has over three decades of fly fishing experience in Victoria, your dependable guide possesses extensive knowledge of the finest hidden fishing spots and a collection of tried and tested flies that ensure a successful catch.
We tailor a customizable experience for anglers of all backgrounds. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice, we personalize your guiding journey to cater to your expertise level, ensuring a rewarding experience for everyone.