Bluegills, the Gateway Drug.

5 07 2020

It’s a pretty safe bet that most anglers got their start with bluegills.  They are the gateway drug to all other fish.  Once some discover other fish they never go back.  I may forget about them from time to time but at least once a year I go back to my beginnings.  Today was one of those days.  With water levels on The Huron being very low I went back to Pte. Mouille to see if the Bowfin were still in close.  They weren’t but the Gills were plentiful and I was luck enough to find an area with a lot of slab size fish.

I probably caught 30 or 40 in this size with a few even larger.  All of them on a shrunken down version of one of my carp flies.  They were a lot of fun on my 6 wt rod.  I keep thinking about getting a 3 or 4 wt. for this but I always manage to talk my way out of it.  Probably because I keep thinking about a 10wt for salt water and pike.

Maybe someday, until then here’s the the Bluegill.  Small in stature but the start of a life long journey for many.





Redemption

30 06 2020

As fishermen we all have those days where nothing goes right.  Whether it be from poor conditions or mental lapses it is going to happen.  Sunday night (6/28) was just one of those evenings.  I spotted several carp and I was able to cast to three of them effectively. They all swam up to take the fly and on every occasion I got twitchy and set the hook early.  Of course I missed every fish and they all swam off to find less intrusive water.  People relaxing in the park were probably contemplating calling the police to report some lunatic fisherman that was walking around and cursing, rather loudly, at himself.

The following night I sought redemption.  I know better than to get to anxious and to wait for the fly to disappear.  If I can still see the fly that means the carp didn’t eat it and I shouldn’t be setting the hook.  I repeated this to myself as I ventured off to my happy fishing grounds.  With the high water I went to a spot that floods out and it gives me a pretty shady and advantageous view of the river.  I climbed up on a log and leaned up against the tree and waited.  It didn’t take long and several fish moved into the area.  When one got close enough I dropped my fly ahead of him and he immediately charged it.  I thought he ate it but apparently he didn’t.  When i set the hook he was gone and my fly was in the tree.  He took off along with a couple of the fish that came with him.  While I scanned the area another fish had moved in and was feeding just out of range.  He had his back to me so I worked my way a little closer.  I tossed my fly out ahead of him and to the right.  He moved towards the fly and I waited. Once I saw the puff of silt I lifted up, felt the weight and drove the hook home.  At this point my main concern was keeping him from diving under the log I was standing on.  I jumped in the water and kept him away.  A few minutes later he was in the net and I was redeemed.

After that the area was pretty trashed so I just headed for home.  The humidity was terrible and I was dripping with sweat.  Not a bad way to end June and I still have about 4 months left to go.

 





Father’s Day Mixed Bag Weekend.

22 06 2020

It’s not like I need a holiday for an excuse to go fishing.  I can pretty much go whenever I want, wherever I want.  I didn’t have anything planned with the kids anyways so off I went.

Knowing that the levels on The Huron River were still going to be low I decided to try out Pte. Mouille.  It had been awhile since I was out there last.  I took my 6 wt and 8 wt rods, the 6 wt was set up with an SA Sonar sink tip line and a Mini Game Changer fly.  The 8 wt was rigged with my standard carp fishing set up, floating line and one of my burnt orange OCD flies.  I made the journey out to my usual fishing spot along a very dry and dusty road.  That didn’t help my asthma much but at least it wasn’t windy.  Just unbearably hot and humid.  Water clarity was good up close but I couldn’t see more than a couple of feet out past the rocks.  These same rocks were covered in that slimy green moss and and weeds growing up in between them.  About 20 yards further out were even more weeds.  This would prove to be my undoing today.

As I worked my way along the road I would stop and make a couple of casts here and there with the game changer.  On my first stop I hooked a fish and to my surprise it was a bluegill.  I was not expecting this.  Maybe some smaller bass but not a gill.  They aren’t exactly known to chase down and grab 4 inch streamers.

As I worked my way down I spotted a pair of bowfin in close.  They were just lying about so I dropped my carp fly near them to see what would happen.  They really didn’t seem to care so I just moved on.  A few minutes later I spotted another one feeding so I snuck up and dropped the fly next to him.  I could see him move suddenly towards the fly so I lifted up and he was on.  I let him run and that was my first mistake.  Into the taller weeds he went and I couldn’t get him out of there.  Eventually he came off.  This scenario would repeat itself throughout the day.  I had two choices.  Fight the fish close among the rocks and hope the leader doesn’t get frayed and break or let him run and try and keep him out of the taller weeds.  Throughout the course of the day I would go through this 3 more times.  Twice on the carp fly and twice with the game changer.  I have to admit that watching a bowfin charge a streamer from 5 feet away and inhale it is pretty cool.  Watching him keep on going and into the weeds is not.

For the next few hours I continued to catch bass and even a small pike, my first for this area.

Eventually I started to head back but at a slower pace.  I was determined to land a bowfin so I was taking my time and watching for any movement.  Eventually I spotted the tail of another feeding bowfin.  I worked my way down to the shoreline and laid the fly on the downward slope of a rock he was feeding next to.  As the fly slid down he saw it and came up and grabbed it.  This time I kept the fish close and hoped for the best.  A few minutes later I was able to get a hold of him for a pic and then sent him on his way.

I must have see two dozen of these today, the most I had ever seen here.  I don’t know if they were in close to spawn or because the habitat is so weedy they prefer to be there now.  I’ll go back in a few weeks and find out.

The next morning I decided to stay close.  I probably logged about 4 or 5 miles the day before and I was still a little tired.  I headed back to The Huron and as expected, levels were still low and clear.  I saw carp at the first few spots but I couldn’t get any of them to cooperate.  The next place was more of the same.  Low clear water and no fish, at first.  Eventually I found them, multiple fish in the middle of the river casually feeding on the gravel.  I tried casting several different flies at them but they ignored everything.  While I was taking a break Jesse, from Schultz Outfitter’s (My local fly shop), showed up as well.  He was getting a few hours in before he had to go to work.  He started casting to the same carp I was seeing but to no avail.  While we talked I saw one moving in closer to shore.  I pointed him out to Jesse and let him take a crack at it.  A few minutes later I spotted another one moving in and he started feeding in the nearby shade of a tree.  I worked my way in, laid the fly down to his left and he spun around and ate it.  I set the hook and off he went.  With the tree in the way I jumped into the water to keep him under control.  I worked my way upstream where I could beach him and without hesitation Jesse waded in and landed him for me.  I quick pic later and he was on his way.

While Jesse and I talked another fish moved in and Jesse laid his fly out in front of him.  I watched the carp swim up and take it and Jesse drove the hook home.  I worked my way back into the water to return the favor but the leader busted before I ever got a chance to help out.  After that I told Jesse good luck, wished him a happy Father’s Day and headed home.  I had chores to get too and fresh waffles that my daughter was making for me.





I Got Wet.

12 06 2020

Thing is though, I knew it was going to happen.

A front had moved through our area the night before, knocking down the heat and humidity and making conditions more bearable.  After dinner I packed up and headed to the river.  When I arrived there was someone fishing in my usual starting point so I just moved up stream.  I snuck into a shaded area and scanned the water for a feeding carp.  Eventually I spotted some movement and I got into position.  He was about 20 feet away and looking straight at me.  Fortunately for me he hadn’t spotted me yet so I cast my fly out and carefully dropped it just inches from his nose.  As soon as it landed in front of him he stopped feeding.  I gave the line a small strip and made the fly jump about 3 inches.  He moved up on it and I thought for sure he was going to take it.  Instead he just swam right on by it, turned and headed back out into the main river.  This is the most frustrating thing about fly fishing for carp.  Just when I think i have one dead to rights the fish goes and does something like that.

After that I moved on to the next spot.  With the river being low the weeds were getting thick and flowing downstream with the current.  As I worked my way along I could see several carp in the weeds mouthing them, looking for nymphs.  I kept a close eye on them as they moved their way in and out of the weeds, sometimes out in the open and at other times disappearing completely.  I was about to change my fly to a damsel fly nymph when I spotted a carp moving into and opening and grubbing along a log.  I figured if I could drop my fly on the log he might grab it.  Problem was the fish had 3 options once he was hooked.  Bury himself into the weeds, take off under the log or head downstream into open water.  I figured I would worry about all of that later, first I had to get him to eat.  I flipped the fly out in front of him and by some miracle I got it to land on the log.  He spotted it right away and took it.  I set the hook and he dove right into all the weeds.  I tried everything I could think of to get him out of there but they were just to thick.  I realized I only had one option and that was to wade in after him.  I took my phone and wallet out of my pockets and waded in.  I cleared all the weeds away and was finally able to get him into the net.  A quick pic on shore and he was back in the water.

After that I headed back to the car.  My knee boots were full of water and I was soaked all the way to my belt.  There will be other days and next time I’ll have enough sense to bring my long handled net along.





Game On.

9 06 2020

Well it looks like things are getting back to normal on my river.  I had some free time after dinner so I decided to make a quick trip Monday evening.  Temps are supposed to be in the 90’s on Tuesday and they are calling for high winds and rain on Wednesday so this was my best shot.

I started off at my honey hole thinking there might be a few hanging out in the shade.  I could see a couple of carp feeding out towards the main river so I just hung around for a bit.  During that time there were a quite a few Largemouth Bass in the area so I started casting towards them.  I hooked one who went tear assing all over the place and stirred everything up.  I eventually lost him so I just waited for things to calm down.  The first carp I saw were still out on the edge of the slack water so I climbed up on a nearby picnic table to see if I could get a little extra distance.  I was next to a tree and well shaded so I figured they couldn’t see me.  I still couldn’t reach them so I just waited.  While I waited a pair of more respectable size bass moved in so once again I started casting my little crayfish fly their way.  They looked at it, bumped it but never really committed to it.  While this was all going on a carp had moved into range right below and started rooting around in the leaf packs underwater.  I slid my fly right in front of his nose and he immediately chased it down and hoovered it up.  I set the hook and the splashing soon started.  It took me awhile to get him under control.  Every time I was about to net him he’d take off again.  By the time I finally got him in the net he was covered in leaves, weeds and sticks.  I cleaned him up, set my camera on the picnic table for a pic and then sent him on his way.

After that I headed for home.  I was a sweaty mess and a cold shower sounded pretty good.  Hopefully we will get some rain Wednesday since some of my ambush points are to shallow now for the fish to get into.  If not I’ll go to some other spots.  I have all summer and Fall now.

 





Weekend Report

8 06 2020

Well now that the flood waters have receded, temps have stabilized and the Carp are now in their post spawn let’s eat status it was time to get back down to business.  Of course with all the rain came the next plague….Mosquitoes.

 

I first discovered how bad they were when I went out Friday night.  Everything was fine until I got to the river and then the swarm surrounded me.  I was about to say screw this and head home but I saw a carp feeding along the shore.  I got into range and just as I was about to make my cast I swallowed a mosquito and started coughing.  Of course, that spooked the fish.  After that I said screw this and went home.

The next day I was better prepared.

The last few weeks had been very unproductive for me.  I couldn’t buy an eat if my life depended on it.  Spooky fish with no interest in any fly I presented to them.  Of course I was questioning everything I was doing.  It didn’t help that I was seeing tons of posts from other carp anglers and the fish they were catching.  Before I even started the day I decided to go back to what worked so well for me before.  The Kung Fu Carp Fishing handbook says you can use any color to catch carp, as long as it is orange.  So that’s what I did.  I tied on one of my orange crayfish patterns and headed out.  The first section of river I stopped at had someone already fishing right in the middle.  I moved farther upstream to my honey hole to see if any fish had started to show up yet.  There were carp in there but they were all just resting.  Probably regaining their strength after spawning season and staying out of the current.  It was obvious I wasn’t going to get any of them to eat so I just moved on.

The next spot was a pool that had formed downstream of a blow down.  As I snuck up I saw one carp with his nose buried in the roots of the blow down.  I assessed the situation and realized that the only way he could get out was if he backed up or turned to his right.  I carefully dropped the fly on his right side and back towards his tail.  I figured if he turned or backed up I could give the fly a short strip and hopefully he would commit.  After a few second he slowly backed up and turned.  Once I saw he would be able to see the fly I gave it a twitch and he pounced on it.  I set the hook and off he went.  This was a small are with more logs downstream so I had to keep him close.  I had lost one last week that went under a log and I wasn’t going to let them happen again.  After a few minutes I was able to corral him close to shore and take a quick pic.

After that I was feeling a lot better about the rest of the season.  The last few weeks had me re-thinking everything I was doing and wondering if the success I had last Fall was a fluke.  After I got myself all organized I walked back to my car and drove to the next section of the river.  As I was walking to my starting point I let my cockiness get the best of me.  I took a straight shot to the river instead of going downstream and working my way up using the cover to conceal me.  Sure enough there were two feeding right along the edge and when I popped up they took off.  After mentally yelling at myself for being such a bonehead I regrouped and worked my way up.  For about the 1st quarter mile I didn’t see anything but small largemouth bass and the occasional smallmouth.  There is more current in this section and I was beginning to wonder if the carp were purposely avoiding it.  As I was sneaking along I saw another fishermen set up ahead of me.  I walked around him and worked my back to the river about 20 yards upstream of him.  Just as I got to the edge I spotted a lone carp feeding in the current.  He was nose down, tail up and not going anywhere.  I slowly worked my way up into casting distance, staying in his blind side at all times.  Once I got into range I made a cast up ahead of him and let the fly drift down.  The first cast caused no reaction.  The next one was spot on, as it drifted down I saw him make a sudden move to his left.  I lifted up, felt the weight and drove the hook home.  He took off downstream and I put the brakes on him before he could get to the tree in the water.  I kept him out in front of me as much as possible while I tried to figure out how I was going to land him.  The bank was higher here and there really wasn’t a shallow area I could step into to land him.  I worked him upstream until I found a spot I could work with and landed him.  Another pic and he was soon on his way.

By now the sun was well above the trees and the humidity was rising with it.  Time to head for home and a shower.  I got a lot muddier than I had intended but I really didn’t care.  The carp were getting back into their old habits and Found a few that would cooperate.  I also found a few smallmouth with this one be the largest.

Not to bad of a morning.  The forecast is calling for rain later this week from the Tropical Storm that is working it’s way up from the Gulf.  That should change things up a bit for the weekend.





Memorial Weekend Fishing.

26 05 2020

Two weeks ago we had snow and overnight freeze warnings.  This weekend we were flirting with record breaking highs.  On top of that central Michigan had a 500 year rain event (though no one knew Michigan existed except for the current residents back then and I doubt any of them had calendars) that caused several dam failures.  Lake front homes now became mud front homes and the lakes are gone.  My local river flooded out as well and several fields were still underwater.  With all that in mind I made my plans and went fishing.

Saturday

Knowing that the river was still blown out I decided to take a walk down to Pte. Mouille and try that area out.  I left early figuring there would be a fair amount of people.  I didn’t leave early enough, by the time I got there (around 7) the parking lot was practically full.  I grabbed my gear and started walking.  I took my G Loomis 6 wt and my Helios 2 7 wt.  The Loomis was rigged up with a floating line and a small nymph for gills.  The 7 had a Pearl Chenille Game Changer tied onto a Sinking line.  I figured I could cast for some Gills with one and Bass with the other.  If I saw any feeding carp I could quickly swap out flies.  Turns out I would never have too.  The water was so dark I couldn’t see any carp, just the occasional small bluegill or bass near the edge.  I made the best of it though and stuck to the game changer fly and blind casted here and there.  I managed a few Bass, no monsters but enough to keep me interested.  It was cool to cast that big white fly and then watch it disappear as a bass hit it.

After a few hours I headed back home checking out the sights and trying not to step on anything.

Lots of these guys around today.

Almost stepped on this little guy.

Around 7:30 pm I packed up the boat and headed to the Detroit River.  The fish that shall not be named had moved in so I took my fly rod along to play with before it got dark.  I used the same Game Changer fly and ended up catching about 30 of them before dark.  Around 9:30 pm I put the fly rod down and broke out the Rapalas.  An hour later I had 6 more walleye in the boat and I was headed for home.

Sunday

Knowing that Pte. Mouille was to dark to see I figured I go and check out The Huron and see just how much the water had gone down.  Water levels had receded some but a few fields were still flooded.  As I was walking along one of them I could see nervous water and signs of life.  Sure enough, several smaller carp were in the field cruising around and looking for breakfast.  I carefully waded in and waited until one got close enough to present my fly.  Eventually one did but I missed the hook set.  That sent him off back to the river along with the few he passed along the way.  I worked my way into the shadows of the trees and waited for another fish to come by.  I figured I could keep myself hidden better in the shade but it also proved to be my downfall.  I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and saw a carp swimming right at me along the bushes.  I carefully dropped the fly a few feet in front of him, waited for him to get close, gave it a twitch and once he picked it up I set the hook. He immediately took off through the bushes and back out into the river.  The leader snapped and that was that.  Now there is a carp swimming somewhere in The Huron River with my fly stuck in his mouth.  After that I left that area and went on to check a local pond.  I had never fished it before but I was curious to see if there were any carp in it.  When I arrived there were a few other people fishing and a lot of walkers and joggers.  I just grabbed the carp rod and starting walking the perimeter.  Much to my delight I started seeing carp cruising just out of range.  I made a few attempts but it was obvious these fish were on high alert from all the foot traffic.  I headed for home and decided I would come back the next morning ahead of the crowds.

Monday

I got up early and headed to the pond first thing.  As I hoped for no one else was there.  I grabbed the Loomis rod and worked my way to the edge of the pond.  I quickly spotted a silt cloud, something I haven’t seen it what has seemed like forever.  I waited until I could figure out which way he was headed.  Once I saw which way he was going I cast my fly past him by about 20 feet and then stripped the fly to his left by about a foot.  As it dropped into his field of view he moved on it and sucked it up.  I set the hook and off he went.  Since this was a pond and no trees or bushes to worry about I just let him run.  He wasn’t a big fish but it was my first one of they year so I was going to enjoy this.  After about 5 minutes I got him into shore, took a quick pic and sent him on his way.

First carp of the year and the first fish on my G Loomis X Pro.

After that I walked the perimeter of the pond again, saw a few fish, spooked most of them, didn’t catch anymore.  They look like they are getting ready to go into spawn mode.  After about an hour I headed back to the car.  I was going to just go home but it was still early so I figured I would head back The Huron and take another crack at that flooded field.  Much to my dismay the water had receded some more and that section of the field wasn’t holding as much water or any fish.  I moved on to another area that I figured might be flooded and sure enough, there were carp swimming around.  Once again I carefully waded in, spotted a lone carp, presented my fly, missed the hook set and sent him back to the river, along with the rest of the fish that were there.  Once they all spooked I walked towards the drainage ditch where they were coming in from.  I leaned up against a tree on the shaded side and waited.  I figured one would coming cruising back in soon.  With all the worms I saw on the paved trails I figured the carp were in the field feeding on them.  I switched flies to a black hybrid carp fly with a red chenille tail.  About 5 minutes later one lone fish came cruising in.  I placed the fly in his path and once he got close I gave it a twitch.  He figured he had an easy meal and pounced on it.  I set the hook and quickly cut off his escape route to the river.  He turned and headed out towards the field where I could keep him under control.  It was really something to see him speeding through the shallows, throwing a wake as he swam by. After a few minutes of chasing him down I was able to corral him and take a picture.  He swam back the way he came, no worse for wear.

After that I pretty much trashed the whole area so I just packed up and headed for home.  I wasn’t going to complain.  After almost two months of unpredictable weather I finally caught a few carp.  I got all summer to catch more.

 

 

 

 





2019 Review

30 12 2019

Fishing for 2019 ended the same way it started, fishing for Steelhead with no success.  It’s a pattern I was hoping to reverse this year but unfortunately conditions and poor timing prevented it from happening.  I really can’t complain though.  I ticked off a few times from my fishing “to-do” list and explored a few new areas.  One of them being The Clinton River which I fished for the first time this past Saturday.    I was up that way for a family gathering so I took advantage of that and went fishing first.  No Steelhead but I did recover a couple of these funny looking frisbees.

For some reason I decided to keep track of the number times I went fishing this year.  Why, I really don’t know.  I just started keeping track of when I went and what I was fishing for.  I went fishing 80 times over the course of the year. Some may think that’s a lot but my daughter thinks I need to double that in 2020.  I did notice a definite shift in the type of fishing I do the most.  Used to be it was 90% handling for walleye and 10% fly fishing.  For 2019 it flipped.  I only went handlining for walleye 23 times last year and fly fishing 57 times.  Walleye fishing, for me, has turned into grocery shopping more than anything else.  With my biggest consumers gone I don’t have the desire or need to go out as much.  It has become more of a hassle to get the boat out and go as compared to fly fishing, since I always have a rod in the car and plenty of areas to fish close by.  To really drive home how big the shift has become I went fly fishing for carp more than I went walleye fishing.  Even more surprising is that I did most of my carp fishing in September.  Once I figured out how to catch these things my success rate jumped dramatically.  Now I find myself looking for signs of feeding carp.  Even this past weekend I was looking for those tell tale craters in the muck and making a mental note to try that area come Spring.  I have a feeling that I will be chasing “Hillbilly Bonefish” a lot in 2020.

Back in August I was able to add another fish to my “fish caught on a fly rod” list, Cutthroat Trout.  I had a chance to fish the Coeur D’ Alene river in Idaho last August and caught several cutthroat and a few rainbows.  I am hoping I can go back in June to see if I can’t add Bull Trout to my list.

Also got the opportunity to go ‘mousing’ for Browns on the Manistee River back in June.  I’m no stranger to fishing in the dark but this was a completely different experience.  All night long I was literally casting blind because I couldn’t see a thing.  By some miracle I never lost a fly even though I caught dozens of trees throughout the evening.

Well those were the high points for the year.  For 2020 I’m planning on going back to Alaska to fish the Naknek River north of King Salmon for Giant Rainbows.  I’ll be in the Brooks Falls area so a stop by their may be in order to watch the bears do bear things.  That’s not until September though so I have plenty of time to plan.  Right now I’m thinking about Spring and trying out the new fly rod my kids got me for Christmas.  A G Loomis IMX Pro 9′ 6wt.  This is going to be my Summer Lower Huron Bass/Carp rod and I’m itching to try it out.

Have a great New Year everyone.





Holy High Water

4 10 2019

I really  miss having a flow gauge on my part of the Huron river.  It was so nice to look up what the levels and flows were like before I went fishing.  Now I have to go old school and drive to the river to find out what is going on.  Even then it’s a bit of a crap shoot.  The section I have been fishing for carp is between two dams.  I have watched the levels rise and drop in a day even when we haven’t had any rain.  After a couple days of rain I really had no idea what to expect.  The river could have been blown out or just a trickle depending on if the gates were open at the dams.  I had a free hour so I decided to go check it out.

It didn’t take long and I had my answer, the river was up between two and three feet.  the water was so high that the carp were right along the shoreline with their noses in the grass.  Talk about an impossible situation to sneak up on them.  They were on high alert and I couldn’t get within 10 yards without spooking them.  The flows were so fast that if I made a cast the fly was by them or over their back before I could strip it into the sweet spot.  If I could find a pool, with no current, then I could get a shot.  In this current though it wasn’t going to happen.

My next spot was my honey hole.  I was hoping that it wouldn’t be flooded out and I might be able to sneak up on one.  As I walked in the water was over the bank and picnic tables that were high and dry were now sitting in about 3 inches of water.  The bright side though was the carp were there, everywhere.  I could barely see them but there had to be at least 2 dozen of them feeding.  Seemed like easy pickings but that many fish meant a lot of eyes looking for danger.  Spooking one could send them all back out into the main river.  Fortunately it was overcast so I wasn’t throwing a shadow.  I was able to sneak into range but the fish I was casting to were refusing my fly.  I was about to swap out flies when I had a smaller one take an interest in my fly.  I set the hook as he picked it up but lost him shortly afterwards.  That spooked every fish in the area so I left.

The next spot was more of the same.  Carp on high alert with their noses in the grass.  I tried a few more spots but the water was so deep and dark I couldn’t see anything.  I was about to head home when I decided to try the honey hole one more time.  I snuck my way back in and saw one lone carp swimming around.  I dropped my fly in the water and he swam right over it.  I lifted the fly out of the water and waited for him to turn my way.  When he did I lowered the fly into his path and waited.  This time he sucked it up and I drove the hook home.  He immediately headed for the main river and I put the brakes on him to prevent that.  I wasn’t dressed to give chase so I kept him as close as possible.  About 5 minutes later I got him in the net.

After that I packed up and went home.  I had some packing to do since I’m headed north to go duck hunting and hopefully catch an Atlantic Salmon or two.





Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.

1 10 2019

Last night I wasn’t even planning on going out.  My daughter and I had to go grocery shopping and I figured it would be to late by the time we got done.  Fortunately for me my commute home was incident free and grocery shopping went rather quickly.  Even with all that happening, in my favor, my original plan was to just stay in and tie up some more flies.  I tied up two rather quickly and I liked the way they came out so much I just had to try one.

Twenty minutes later I was walking to the river to start my usual walk upstream.  Right off the bat I spotted a feeding carp but his nose was buried under some exposed tree roots and there was no way to present a fly.  I waited for a bit but not to long since I only had about half an hour of daylight left.  He swam off so I just worked my way upstream.  Levels were up from the other day but the water was still somewhat clear.  Eventually I made my way to the shaded prime feeding area where I have been consistently  seeing carp.  The lack of light and deeper than usual water made spotting one difficult.  I could see silt trails but I couldn’t see the carp making them.  Eventually I did see one in some shallower water and I made my way over to present my fly.  He really wasn’t working my way and started to swim off.  I was about to cast in front of him when I saw another carp coming into the area.  I waited a few seconds and then stripped the fly into his range.  He turned towards the fly and blocked my view of it.  I saw what looked like him sucking up the fly, it was hard to tell in the stained water, so I set the hook and the barb struck home.  Off he went into the main river and kept out of range for a bit.  Eventually I got him close to shore, once I did I soon realized I had just hooked my first Mirror Carp.  Now I got serious and I was probably way to cautious about getting him into the net.  A minute later he was in and after a quick pic he was on his way.

After that I was pretty much out of light but I found out what I needed to know.  The fly worked and their are Mirror Carp in my area of the river.  Once I got home and cleaned up I tied up a few more flies for my next trip.  My next time out to Schultz Outfitters I’ll pick up some more dubbing brushes in natural colors.  I may trim up a few of them to make them look more like a small clam or zebra mussel.  My OCD had a hard time just leaving that scruffy mess as is.  Then again, the carp don’t seem to care.