The Dahlberg Diver would have to be my all time favorite fly. Anything that swims and feeds off the surface of the water will be tempted by the Dahlberg. Murray cod, bass, golden perch, saratoga, barrumundi, even turtles and water dragons love this fly.
There are a number of pattern variations of this fly and so it can be tied to imitate a frog, insect, lizard, fish or even a mouse struggling on the water. Retrieving with short sharp strips causes the fly to bloop, leaving a bubble trail in it’s wake. Another retrieve that works well with bass is to just leave the fly sit in one place. Every now and then a little shake of the rod tip causes the fly to vibrate like a cicada caught in the surface tension of the water.
The Dahlberg also has a very good hook up rate. When fish strike surface flies tied with foam, the fly will often bounce away from the fish and fails to hook up. The Dahlberg is made of deer hair which tends to stick to the water and is less buoyant than foam. I believe this helps ensure the fly enters the fishes mouth.
If you love fly fishing for Australian native fish and are looking for a good fly this spring, look no further than the Donnie Brasco Fly. This is a great all rounder fly for species such as golden perch that school up in our impoundments over springtime. Also with bass season now open, this fly is bound to tempt a bass or two.
This fly can be tied in a variety of sizes. A good starting point for bass and golden perch would be to tie on a 1/0 hook. Larger hooks up to 4/0 would be ideal for Murray cod when summer rolls around. Both the body and tail of the Donnie Brasco Fly consist of rabbit fur. This material is well known for its fish enticing action. When retrieving the fly with short sharp strips, rabbit fur tends to pulsate in the water, closely resembling the movement of a fishes fins.
Black and purple are proven colours when it comes to attracting Australian native fish. By tying on a purple tail and a black body you have a very versatile fly for both clear and turbid water. More often that not I tie in a weed guard too. By tying a double loop weed guard you can work the fly right in among the structure without snagging up too often. The weed guard shown in the video offers good snag resistance whilst collapsing easily when a fish bites.