Friday, June 29, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The John Bartlett Interview
John also has a blog online at:
Carp on the fly
Monday, June 18, 2007
Here is a head shot of the same fish. You can see the fly in the top of its mouth. This fish was special because I've been trying to figure out how to better feel a pickup when I cannot see the fish take the fly. Today I tried my six weight Cortland Camo Intermediate line, thinking that it might give me a better connection and feel. When I hooked this fish I figured, "Perfect. This is going to be the solution." However, I didn't get many more opportunities before the wind came up and the fish moved out of the area.
I did manage one more fish later in the day, still using the Intermediate line. This one was caught totally blind as I didn't spot the fish first. I was just randomly casting through an area that I thought might hold some fish - not a high percentage game. This one was small - 5 1/2 pounds.
The fly of the day was a yellow nymph with rubber legs and small dumbell eyes. I've done well on the color yellow in this lake before. Not a good picture, but here is a shot of the fly. This camera does not do well with closeups.
I'll continue to use the six weight as I experiment with the Intermediate line. If this proves to work better than a floating line, I'll buy one for the seven weight that I usually fish.
Friday, June 15, 2007
And this one, which went 6 pounds.
The pictures were taken with my time release camera on a portable tripod. I just set it up in the area I fished and when I caught one, I carried it in the net to the spot that was set up. Both fish were released unharmed.
Earlier this year, when carp were spawning in this area, quite a few fish made their way up this ditch. I checked it again today but there was nothing there.
I made it home in time for supper and an early bedtime.
Friday, June 8, 2007
And here's a 5 1/2. This one was a really hard fighter - more so than even the larger ones I caught.
No really big ones today. I ended up with 2 @ 3 lbs, 1 @ 5 1/2 lbs, 1 @ 6 1/2 lbs., and 2 @ 7 1/2 lbs. Had some trouble with my camera so I didn't get pics of all the fish. Got to see some new country and found a couple of spots to check out on future trips. All in all it was a good day.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
April 20, 2007
I got out for awhile today. The weather was beautiful! 60 degrees. Light breeze. High sun. Lots of carp in the shallows. Some big ones, too. I arrived at my favorite flat (the main one in the entire lake) and saw about 15 carp scattered across the span. I carefully stalked to within casting range. Just as I was stripping line from my reel to cast a large flock of geese spooked across the pond. There must have been 200 of them and they headed right for me. Needless to say, as all their honking got louder and louder and they passed directly overhead at about telephone pole height, all the places where I had seen fish were now just mud trails. Not a fish left in sight. I left the area to give it a rest. When I returned three girls on bicycles were throwing rocks in the water. (Sigh. No school today.) I left again and moved around the pond to the other side, returning in about an hour. When I did the kids were gone and a few fish had moved back in. This time I got off a few casts. This 10 pound hen took it right away.
I landed another that was about 6 pounds later in the day on a rust colored rubber legged Clouser Swimming Nymph but was mobbed by a group of kids on bicycles who wanted to know all about the fish, so I didn't get a picture. Needless to say, they were impressed. One kid kept telling the others that his dad was a fly fisherman and if he were here he would catch a bunch of those fish.
There is a pic of the Clouser Swimming Nymph on Wendy Berrell's blog. I've added orange rubber legs since that photo was taken.Anyway, as the warm days increase, I hope to have many more days like this - or better. Hope you do, too.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
And these fish fight long and hard. I get to see my bright orange flyline backing multiple times on each trip. In a lake especially, or a big river where a BIG carp has room to run, you'd better have 100+ yards of backing because you'll need it if you want to see your flyline again. If you fish for them in an area where they've had enough years to get really big, you'd better leave your wimpy five and six weight at home - that is unless you want to make your two piece Sage a three piece or your four piece Scott a five.
"But carp are ugly!" you say. Well, beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder. I recently had a friend show me a five man limit of Sturgeon caught on the Columbia here in Oregon. The smaller ones were as long as your leg and well... they were ugly. Yet these guys paid $175 each to hire a guide and a boat half a day to catch them. My friend told me it was a trip of a lifetime. I can understand his rationale. Then there are guys who catch sharks. Talk about ugly! And scary, too. And did you know that fishermen used to call those bonefish people people pay thousands of dollars to catch in places like the Bahamas... did you know they used to call them "fresh water suckers?"
OK, OK. Maybe I won't convert anyone to carping. So far I've had more people turn up their noses than take a genuine interest. But hey, that's OK with me. I'll have that many more uneducated fish swimming in my favorite waters.
So how BIG do carp get? I think the world record is 70+ pounds. Generally though, in my part of the world, a 20 pounder is big and a 30 pounder is really BIG. I haven't caught a 30 yet, but I've come close. The fish in the picture above was 28 pounds.
Then there is this one, caught about a week later in the same spot. Exactly 28 pounds. But I have a confession to make...
After releasing the fish, when I got the photos home and began to compare I discovered by seeing several distinct markings that I had caught the same fish twice! (Could there be a better testimony for catch and release?) Some other carpers I know encouraged me to name the fish, citing an English custom of naming fish that have been caught multiple times. At the suggestion of another crazed carper (thanks, MrP.) I named this one "Lightning" because I learned, after a long, tough battle, that lightning does sometimes strike twice in the same place. And he/she is still out there. Maybe I'll let things move along so that this fish gains a few more pounds. Then I'll get the 30. Hehehe.
Go ahead and turn up you nose if you wish. I'm OK with it. Leave the fish alone. Leave them for me and those select few who have discovered a brave new, nearly untouched fishing world - the world of carping.
Monday, June 4, 2007
I fished a favorite lake today and caught only two fish - the tiny three pounder above and this more respectable nine pounder. The wind was blowing hard and it was cloudy so spotting fish was impossible. Under such prohibitive cirumstances I sometimes sweeten my fly with a little bit of crawfish scent or even a tiny bit of bait. This allows the fish to hang on just a little longer before rejecting my offering.
I left the lake early to go check out a local river that I've had my eye on for a few weeks. It's very small and quite murky - and just loaded with carp. Most of the ones I've seen look to be between 3 and 6 pounds. There are probably some larger ones present and with time I hope to find them. Today I fished a short stretch that had fair bank access. The carp were there and willing. I ended up landing 5 additional fish from 2 to 5 pounds. I usually fish a 7 weight fly rod but had brought my 8 weight this trip because I've hooked some large fish at the lake recently. When I return to this river spot I'll bring either the 6 or the 7.
The remarkable thing I noted today was that the carp were attempting to jump a barrier in the river. On six or eight occasions I spotted them jumping completly out of the water toward the little dam. They looked more like salmon than carp. As I've never fished a river for carp before I don't know if this is common behavior. I tried to get a picture of the jumpers but you know how that sort of thing goes. You hold and hold and hold, then just when you lower your camera, one jumps. Anyway, no fish jump shots but here is a picture of the barrier.
I'll be back to this river spot. It looks very promising. Since so few people ever fish for carp in my part of the world, I'll have it all to myself to explore.
A face only a crazed carp fisherman could love!
Most of the fish you see here have been caught and released to fight again. I make few exceptions to this. I like to eat fish but I enjoy catching them even more, so I'll usually make every effort to return them to the water, able to recover quickly from the fight. I'm glad to see many other anglers doing the same.
I fish by myself mostly, though occasionally with a friend or with my grandchildren. The photos, of necessity, are usually self generated. I either take them with the fish lying on a grassy spot or set up my camera on a portable tripod in an area I'm fishing and use the timed shutter function. I'm just an average guy who uses a mostly automatic camera so take that into consideration as you judge the pictures. Occasionally I'll get a lousy picture or a really big fish. If that happens I'll usually post it anyway, preferring a bad pic of a good fish to no pic of a good fish. This is a fishing blog, not a photography blog.
This first month of June, 2007 I intend to post some of the trips I've taken this spring - at least the successful ones. Like all anglers, sometimes I get skunked. Then sometimes I do really well.