Saturday, April 28, 2007

Any day on the carp flats, is a good day! KB and I headed out Saturday morning with visions of large carp tailing in shallow water. For our first trip out this year, it turned out really well but the conditions were tough. The wind was kicking up off and on, causing a combination of hard to see through ripples, and some extra turbidity in the water. All in all, visibility was really poor. That said, we did still spot plenty of fish!

Right after getting into position on the main flat I spotted a carp slow cruisng in about 2 feet of water. The fish was only a rod length or two away, and that would set the tone for the day. Nearly all of the fish we spotted were within about 10 feet of us. This meant that we had to move like ninjas through the flats. Basically, I planned on moving as slowly as I could possible move, and then moved even slower. The first fish I saw took my fly (Justin's soon to be fabled crayfish pattern) and headed off the flats for deep water. It just blasted out of there, and my hunch is the fish is still swimming. 90 ft of flyline was gone in seconds, and the backing was just flying off the reel. I snapped this quick photo of the battle.

This fish took a massive amount of backing. He just kept running and eventually the weight of all that line broke the tippet and he came off. Kim spotted the fish leaping nearly on the other side of the lake right when the line went slack.

After 10 minutes of reeling all the line back onto my reel I was ready for some more fishing, though I was now short one crayfish pattern. Most of the fish I caught were in the grassy pockets.

I would creep along and spot the fish tailing in amongst the grass, and gently drop a fly right in on his dinner plate. Usually the fish would either immediately spook, or turn his head slightly and suck in the fly. I managed 3 fish with this technique, two 8 lb common carp and this nice 7 lb mirror.

The fish were taking primarily a large prince nymph with rubber legs, though I believe nearly any fly would have worked on these tailers in the grass. While I was chasing these fish in the grass, KB was working the main flat. He hooked several fish, and finally landed a 5 lb common. Scott Turner had joined us for a short while and helped KB with that fish. I don't think Scott had any hookups, but conditions were really tough. We also ran into our friend David, fishing with his buddy from reno. They were bass fishing, and seemed to be having a pretty good day! The biggest fish of the day was this nice 12 lb common I caught on the edge of the flat. This fish took a massive swipe at a small crayfish pattern, and made two strong runs into my backing!

I landed 4 carp for the day, and KB landed one. Kind of tough for our first outing, but with conditions the way they were, I was satisfied. We just couldn't see the fish, and there were not nearly as many fish as I've seen out there in the summer. Highlight of the one point both KB and I were deep into out backing with nice carp...too bad we lost both fish!

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