Evening Stroll

27 08 2020

After chucking streamers at Smallmouth Bass for 16 hours, this past weekend, I thought a casual stroll for carp would be a nice change of pace.  We received some rain earlier in the morning so I was hoping the levels would be up some.  They were but not enough to fill up my favorite spots.

I started at my usual area and sure enough there were silt clouds all out in the deeper water, just out of casting range.  While I stood there debating what to do I saw a tail through the clouds of a feeding carp in range.  I made a cast just ahead of him and much to my surprise, he swam out of the cloud and sucked it up.  He was a little guy and didn’t fight much so I got him in pretty quickly.

From there I went on to my next spot only to find that it was pretty shallow, about 6 inches of water in most of it.  I did see one smaller carp out in the center but he was swimming right towards me.  I waited for him to turn around and once he did I got into position, made a cast in front of him and then hung on as he took the fly and headed straight for the main river.  He wasn’t much bigger than the first but once he got that current working with him he was off like a bullet.  Eventually I worked him into shore and landed him.  I didn’t bother with a picture, he was the same size as the first so I kept my phone in it’s waterproof case.

From there I went to my last spot, on this stretch, that would hold fish with the levels being this low.  As I walked up I could see the silt clouds from several fish and one within range facing away.  I waited a few minutes for him to turn and once he did I dropped the fly right next to him.  He pounced on it and once I set the hook the splashing commenced.  Eventually he got his bearings straight and ran out of the hole and into the river, all the way across, into the weeds.  Once he made it to the weeds he slowed down but I wasn’t able to pull him out and eventually the hook came loose.  No biggie, my favorite part of this is watching the eat.  It still amazes me how sometimes they will completely ignore the fly and swim away like it’s poison and other times they attack it likes it’s the first meal they have had in weeks.

After that I went downstream to another area I discovered a few weeks back.  I’ve been waiting for some rain to help fill up one spot to help draw the fish closer into shore.  As I was walking to it I spotted some movement among some lily pads.  I worked my way closer concentrating on the pads to see if there was a carp underneath them.  I was so focused on that area that I never saw him swimming towards me.  he turned around and swam away.  From there I went to my next spot and as I was walking in I could see the back of one carp out of the water and about 15 feet from shore.  I got in line with a large tree on the shoreline to block his view and got into range.  After a little maneuvering I was able to place the fly just ahead of his nose.  He shot forward but since I couldn’t see the take I slowly lifted up, as I did he felt that hook and spun around.  I set the hook and held on expecting him to make a run for the river.  Problem was the water was so shallow he couldn’t get any traction so he just splashed and rolled right in front of me.  Eventually I waded out to him and picked him up.  I removed the hook and waded through the muck to some deeper water where I revived him and let him go.

It was getting late so I started back towards the car.  As I walked by I saw movement again at my first stop.  I snuck in again using the trees for cover and spotted another carp feeding with his tail to me.  I got into range and dropped the fly just off to his left.  He turned to his left and sucked it up.  Once I set the hook he took off through the lily pads.  I had tried to stay somewhat dry all night but I had no choice now.  I jumped in and started to clear my line from the pads.  He was already in the main river and pulling line so I was in a hurry to get it clear.  After about a minute of pulling pads out of the way I was clear.  I can’t believe I kept tension on him the whole time.  Once I gained some of my line back he just played around in front of me for the next 5 minutes or so.  Every time I would try to net him he would take off for about 10 feet and just bull dog me.  This went on for quite some time.  After about 5 or 6 attempts I finally got him in the net.  I got him on shore where I could take a quick pic and then waded back out into deeper water to revive him and send him on his way.

After that one I headed for home.  I was soaked up to my waist and in need of a shower.  I wasn’t going to complain, I went 4 for 5 tonight and I was only hoping for maybe 1, 2 if I was lucky.  Hopefully we will get some more rain this weekend.  Once we do I will be back out there.



A little rain is a wonderful thing.

16 09 2019

Originally my plan was to spend the weekend up at my Mom’s, take care of some of her chores and do a little squirrel hunting Sunday morning when the season opened.  Unfortunately it rained all morning long on Sunday so I just packed up and headed for home.  It had rained some at home so I was thinking I could get a couple of hours in Sunday evening chasing carp.

Around 6 I headed out with Orvis Helios 2 7 wt in hand.  I didn’t feel like putting my waders on so I grabbed one of my landing nets to save me from jumping in the water.  I really didn’t know what the water would be like.  I expected it to be somewhat dirty after the rains but I didn’t know how dirty or how high.  When I arrived I could see that the water was dirty but just visible enough to where I could see a carp peacefully feeding along the shoreline.  Easy picking, or so I thought.  I dropped the fly right on his head and he didn’t stick around to see what it was.  I worked my way up to a shaded area that is normally to shallow to hold fish.  Today it was about a foot deeper and full of feeding carp.  Spotting one was difficult but I was able to see some silt clouds and a few bubble trails.  I waited until I could see one working towards me and I carefully placed the fly in his path.  A few seconds later he was on it I slowly lifted up and once I felt weight I drove the hook home.  Five minutes later and the first one was in the net.

He pretty much stirred up the whole area so Once I let him go I moved on to another spot upstream.  The bank on this part of the river is a lot higher so I could see right down pretty easily.  As I snuck up there was a carp right below me, feeding upstream.  I placed the fly ahead of him and to the right.  Once he got close enough he saw it and sucked it up.  A quick set of the hook and he was off to the races.  Unlike the last fish he headed for the middle of the river and downstream.  I slowed him up to keep him out of the weeds and the logs.  I was able to turn him back upstream and keep him out in front of me for the bulk of the fight.  After about 5 minutes I was able to get him into the net.

2 for 2 in the first 20 minutes.  I was feeling pretty good but the next spot reminded me that getting to cocky can lead to a very humbling experience.  For the next hour I couldn’t do anything right.  It was getting darker and trying to spot the fish was becoming increasingly difficult.  Add that to the humidity, and my polarized sunglasses continually fogging up, and I ended up spooking more fish then actually seeing any.  I can’t complain though.  I was able to land a couple for about 90 minutes of fishing.  The last two years it would have taken me months to catch a couple.  Now I’ve caught more carp in the last 2 weeks then I have in the last two years and I still have a few more months left.  I’m learning more about catching these fish and how they react to the different water levels and clarity.  Next year should be epic.