Thursday, 28 February 2013

Introducing the "HonkDawg" pattern.

As of recent months I have set out to start a new line of flies designed for catching Murray Cod.
There will be range of premium flies under the Cod Dawg range as I develop them. The first one in the series is the HonkDawg! It's a kick ass tandem fly in excess of 180mm long with a 5/0 up front and 3/0 in the tail. It has 12.7mm Lava Clear Cure Eyes, Clear cure Expando Tube immediately behind the eyes to keep bulk in the Body and create irresistible movement as well as featuring the stunningly good looks of Misfit Hot Hackles!
I had my first Murray Cod on this pattern within 15mins of tying it on! And he absolutely inhaled it!
I can guarantee it will work on most predatory fish and not just cod though... Musky and pike immediately come to mind.
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P.s you can watch the video here!

Hohnke Hooks Field Test: Honkdawg Tandem from Ben Hohnke on Vimeo.

I recently came up with a new pattern designed to target the Murray Cod that inhabit my home waters.. i tied a few up and took them for a run on the river.. The Results were impressive as this Young Murray cod launched himself at the fly as i drew it out from the structure.
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Thursday, 7 February 2013

'Twas The Night Before Bassmass

Well it's almost here, it's the night before my weekend adventure on the bass. The car is packed and fueled up, the boat is ready. Throw in some food tomorrow and by the time it's 3pm we will exit the Country Music Capital of Australia stage right and head off across the Divide to Lake Glenbawn "Home Of The Mega Bass".
I havn't done any bass fishing for almost 4 years now, so I currently feel like a small child the night before Christmas, especially considering this will be the first time I chase them on fly!
While packing some gear I found a photo of the 2nd ever bass I caught off the surface! They are a brutal striker and fight to the end.

All this aside I should try and sleep as I still have to work early tomorrow... Actually this morning.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Expanding Horizons: Tasmania

I seriously cannot believe I forgot to upload this trip!! (well to be honest I was that busy explaining to every one where I went what I did Etc Etc, you know how post holidays are, not to mention the transferring of literally HUNDREDS of gigabytes of video footage). But any ways enough excuses.

On the 8th December 2012, was the slowest day on earth ever recorded.. well at work any ways.
But the time came and myself and Mark left the country music capital of Australia via plane in search of Tasmania's wild brown trout.

We rented a car, grabbed some fishing licences, and some last minute supplies before heading to our base camp at Great Lake, and by camp I mean room at the great lake hotel, with electricity, pub food every night and warm cosy beds. The first arvo we got lucky with Mark landing his first tassie brown!

This was my 2nd trip to Tassie exclusively fishing (been heaps for family) and i was yet to land a Tassie brown on fly after the last disastrous trip. But I knew deep down things would be different.

one afternoon we went for a drive in desperation to find fish, we passed over a canal and I saw a really decent trout with its fins out of the water!! and another one jump as we went passed, to make sure my eyes weren't going crazy I made Mark reverse and yep they were defiantly fish! we pulled out our fisheries book and check the regulations and as it turned out it was a declared trout water with a size and bag limit.

I made a cast to the big fish in the hole (his name is now Boris) but he just plain refused. Long story short I caught this one after he rose to some caddis shortly after! My first tassie brown!

The best part of the trip was when we met up with world Famous Fly Fisherman Chris Reygaert and headed out into the Western Lakes, what put in a solid effort to the campsite (10km walk in) setup camp and headed off for a fish.

Mark or myself both managed a Brown for the day and all three of us dropped/got busted off to some cracker fish. The Western Lakes should be on every fly fishermans to do list!

Unfortunalty we only got one days fishing in the Western Lakes as when we woke up the following morning a Storm whipped up and forced us to leave (typical Tasmania).

We made one last fishing trip after the Western Lakes.. and that was to a Beautiful rainforest creek.
and we managed a handful of the most vibrantly coloured Brown Trout I have ever seen.

The weather turned crap so we packed up the fly rods and did some touristy things, like Visiting the James Boag Brewery!
It finished the trip off nicely and finally washed the bitter taste out of my mouth from the trip 3 years prior.
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Saturday, 2 February 2013

Australian Bass. Could It Be Species No. 20 On The Fly?

I still remember the first time I ever went bass fishing, It was peak summer Tim and I weren't even really going fishing we had planned to go for a hunt with the bows and the property owner mentioned there was the odd fish in the river we would camp on and to bring a rod just in case. Of course back then we were to young to own a drivers licence so we were dropped off at about 11am, it was stinking hot and cicadas filled the air. We decided instead of going straight out for a hunt we would dip our feet in the river and chuck some spinner baits out (hadn't learnt to fly fish back then). On my first cast I had a good hit which completely spun me out, and second cast in the same spot and I had my first Australian Bass, what stemmed from there was us not going hunting the whole time we camped there but rather just fishing the river, we ended up with 28 bass and yellow belly between us and 2 of the bass coming off surface! Also my first fish on surface techniques. Bass consumed my weekends from then on and made me long forget trout for awhile, pound for pound bass kick ass!

The last time I caught a bass was just after my 18th birthday.. Which seems like yesterday but in fact it's coming up close to 4 years ago!!!
So when a trip had been planned for this coming weekend down to Lake Glenbawn "home of the mega bass" I was just a tad keen to accept the offer.

It feels weird to be finally going to chase one of my favourite fish and do it with my fly rod! Something I should have done a long long time ago. But in preparation I have been tying these up:
Frog poppers
Wooley Bugger variants with a cone head and ribbed with lead.

In this impoundment I know it's important to get down deep with the fly!
Less then a week to go. I'm keen. Keen as mustard.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Glass Is Not Dead! A Craftsmans Journey

If I mention the word fibreglass among many Australian anglers (especially spin fisherman) their thoughts instantly flood to visions of that crappy rod they once owned that flopped like a noodle and couldn't give the lure the feel or movement they wanted.
When I heard that glass was the new thing in town I dismissed it as a fad, why would anyone want one of those crappy things when we have graphite? That is lighter and gives more feel and sensitivity? And many more ramblings rolling around in my head.

In my curiosity as to why anyone would want to fish glass rods again I came across the following blog , dismissing it again at first, but something in my mind must have clicked with something on the page, something that festered in my soul.

My curiosity with glass grew as did my desire to make my own fly rod and reel, I read up on why other people like glass the main pro's being:
Soft delicate presentations (perfect for spooky fish in clear shallow water).
That slow action in the casting stroke, you know throw it back eat a snickers bar and then slowly move the glass back forward as the line rolls out in a nice loop.
And the final thing, the noodle it turns into when you hook a fish!

Most people think a rod has to be stiff to stop a fish which is not true, the soft noodle u shape the rod will often turn into acts as shock absorber spreading the weight the entire length of the rod.

So then I bit the bullet, I ordered a book and materials pack on reelsmithing, and a CTS quartz 4 weight 7'6" 3 piece blank from Peter & Tony from HardCoreElement and my glass journey began.

First I made the reel, half my journey with that was buying tools and imperial sized drill bits and taps which were a NIGHTMARE to find in Australia! But once that battle off finding tools and bits was done the rest flowed pretty easily.

Then came the rod, I spent hours on the mud hole website just watching rod building videos over and over again, it all seemed a little daunting but once I broke it down into methodical steps and only took it a step at a time before I knew it I had the epoxy on and the rod in the roller I made from a BBQ rotisserie from buntings warehouse.

And of course the product testing stage came, and I was off to the small creek near my house in search of carp. And boy oh boy it was everything I had hoped for!

Enjoy the pictures