I spent the second half of today chasing one of my favorite fish - the common carp. As I flyfish most of the time, flyrodding is my chosen method for these fish. I caught my first carp on the fly in September of 2006 so I'm still fairly new at this. Having flyfished for over 40 years and caught thousands of bass and trout, along with a fair number of steelhead, shad, bluegills, crappies, and perhaps a few assorted bullheads and other fish I figured that carp on the fly would be a piece of cake. Not so. Those buggers are hard to fool with feathers and a hook!
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!