Apr 27, 2012

Casting and Head Scratching for Carp

One of my greatest hair pulling events from last season occurred while trying to entice a carp to the fly. There was a giant pod of fish cruising a shallow, Columbia River inlet mere feet off the bow of the boat. Over the course of an hour I had managed just two distinct follows/rejections. I tried different patterns, angles and presentations, but still, I could not hook one. Ranging in size from 5-25 lbs, I could only dream later what this connection would have felt like.

Talking with folks about patterns and techniques is always interesting… “The cruisers sometimes eat, the sunning-themselves- fish never eat, but the tailing feeders will normally eat”

They’ll inhale small nymphs, crawdads and bugger patterns and occasionally a dry. One particular man I have spoken with likes to find a Mulberry Tree and cast little mulberry patterns to fish that are sipping the fallen from the surface!

What a dynamic fish!

Local angler and buddy, Dan Pierce of Hood River was kind enough to share a few shots from a recent outing. If it has scales and eyeballs, Dan is there.

Got a handful today on the Crazydad.  The fish were caught in a slough off the main stem, and I really only had luck presenting the fly when they were facing away from me. When I was able to put the fly 3-5 inches away from their face on one side or the other they jumped all over it. But if it was directly in front of their face the paid no attention, shrugged their shoulders and swam away. Only one of the fish was actively feeding and the other fish were either slow cruising or staying still next to some cover. I haven't been able to figure out why some take the fly, I think if they aren't eating at the time it is just a reaction stroke, but the fly has to surprise them but not spook them.

Like Nigel from Spinal Tap said "It is a fine line between clever and stupid".

I really hope to find some out on the main river this year, as I think their fight will be magnified tenfold.


I have posted this before, but I could not help myself. Enjoy,

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