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Ben Le Vagueresse,
Cod Fly Fishing Guide

Trusted Cod Fly Fishing Guiding

I guess I have been fishing for as long as I remember with my first rod being a bamboo pole, no reel or runners and that’s what I caught my first fish on with my late father.

I went through bait fishing, to live bait, then to lure fishing and finally started my fly fishing journey in the mid 90’s in Victoria. A five year stint in SA saw me fly fish for saltwater species in summer to give the trout a rest from the heat. Some saltwater fish were bread and butter species but the stand out was definitely getting stuck into the mulloway population across that state. 

I then moved back (family in tow) to Victoria and kept fly fishing for trout until 2012 when I heard of Murray cod in the Yarra river. There wasn’t much information on Cod fly fishing then so I started fishing for them with my successful saltwater flies. I caught my first cod on my third trip and started to look around for new spots. The Loddon was next on my list, having minor success I invested in a Water strider float boat to enable me to get to more water after being influenced by the NSW (Cod’s country) crew. The influence didn’t just go as far as float boats but influenced my flies, rods and lines.

That was a new beginning and I really explored the Loddon but then targeted the Buffalo and Ovens in the float boat with a good mate Ashley. The float boat got to swim in the Campaspe where I had minor success.

This was followed by smaller waters where the fly fishing is from the bank. I have explored these waters and have regular success there to this date.

My cod fly fishing journey has seen me as a pseudo guide, putting many of my mates and good friend onto cod. My fly designs have gone from the saltwater flies to purpose tied cod flies tied to suit the waters I fish. 

Last year I was asked to sell cod flies and before I knew it was selling quite a few of them when I was approached by Rob Gee of Troutlore to sell my cod flies through his website and shortly after by Theflyfisher in Melbourne. 

The subsurface range of Cod Snacks has caught a lot of Murray Cod and a few Yellow Bellies (Yellas).

The range of colours has got the right triggers to fire the cod up while the Murray Cray Cod Snack is a great imitation to the Murray Cray. Both the White and Chartreuse Cod Snacks are attractor flies while the Purple Cod Snack is more like a yabby but they all share one thing, they behave the way I want them too for the water I fish. All are well proven flies with several fly fishing guides using them when they want to target Murray Cod which says a lot about their confidence in my flies.

I remember walking back to my car in the dark with a couple of mates, I stopped and pointed to a bull frog and explained to them that this is what I had based my cod poppers on. They pop well, are tied to minimise water absorption while the body’s hydrodynamics act like chewing gum – they just stick to the water. There are two models, a frog, available in two colours (purple and chartreuse) and a cicada. The shape and size of the later based on the real thing that is plentiful during our summer.

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