Tuesday, May 15, 2007

That picture pretty well covers my report. My birthday is tomorrow, and generally I take a day off of work this time of year and go fishing. Of course I went carp fishing this year. The conditions were just about perfect...80 degrees, constant sun and decent visibility. The only drawback was just enough wind to make a light chop rather than a ripple. I probably shouldn't complain, it was one of those days that reminds you just how beautiful nature is.

The fishing was pretty good. There were spawning carp all over the place, so the trick was to target fish that were single, not in a pairs or groups. The single ones ate pretty well, the spawners had other thoughts on their minds!

I fished a wide range of flies, mainly crayfish type patterns, or general nymphs. The fish were a little deeper than normal, so I needed a fly that got down to them in a hurry. Takes were really hard to detect at times as well because of the chop on the water and the depth of the fish (maybe 3 ft of water instead of the usual 2 ft or so.) I fished my 9 ft 9 inch 6 wt st croix legend ultra (the albright is still being repaired) and that rod got a serious work out today!

I'm not exagerating when I say that nearly every fish I hooked went well into my backing. The fish were just full of fight, and would immediately run to the other side of the lake once hooked. There was just no way to stop them, and I lost several fish in a big weedbed. I can honestly say that my arms are shot from fighting fish all day. Thank god that 6 wt has a fighting butt!

All told I landed somewhere between 12 and 14 carp. I hooked at least 3 or 4 more that got off in the weedbed, and one fish broke my 1x tippet when I tried to stop him from getting to that weed bed! I lost another fish or two that I'm pretty sure were snagged. It seems to me that if I foul hook a carp, they pop loose...if I hook them in the mouth, I usually land them, or they break me off. Their mouths hold hooks pretty well!

The fish today were big. Much bigger than I usually catch in these areas. I landed at least 6 fish that were in double digits...probably more but I only weighed the really big ones. Three fish bottomed out my 14 lb weight net. Two of them I would put in the high teens, and one in the mid teens. Really big fish today.

There were several times when I thought my 6 wt was going to snap. Those big fish are fun to hook and fight when they run so hard, but the last few feet of tug of war is pretty taxing on your equipment. You can hear the rod strain as you try to turn the head of such a big fish. My net is stretched pretty good now, so if I can get the head of a big fish into the opening, I'm pretty well set. Some of the fish I caught today were monsters.

As the sun got lower and lower and visibility got worse, I started blind casting up the shoreline whenever I saw nervous water. This is not my favorite way to carp fish and I never have much success, but tonight I hooked 4 bass blind casting in the shallows. I was pretty surprised to be pulling bass out of 1 ft of water...2 largemouth and 2 smallmouth. They were all nice sized fish, but as WT says, "Bass are the whitefish of the carp flats." That pretty well covers today's bass fishing!

It was a great day on the water. I caught lots of fish, and I caught big fish. I saved up a ton of perfect visual memories. Looking forward to the next trip!


Anonymous said...

what a great day. happy birthday!!!

Anonymous said...

you really needed a photographer yesterday. kim

texasflyfisher said...

excellent report and happy birthday! close to 20 big fish in one day is a good fishing day indeed!

Anonymous said...

Please refrain from quoting WT; it's wrong on so many levels


Anonymous said...

Hi John,

I knew I shoulda gone with you! Great report and pics. Happy BD. you were born to carp fish.


Wendy Berrell said...

Happy b-day JB!

Glad you got into some great fish. I wish I could have been there with you. I'm all about logging visuals.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a fantastic day :-)

Happy Birthday

Anonymous said...

Were you down in the PDX area or up my way?