Friday, May 16, 2008

That's a lot of backing. In case the video doesn't load.

The carp were in full on spawn mode today. I saw HUNDREDS of fish, all zooming around chasing each other, leaping from the water and in general making a ruckus. Spawning carp are tough to catch, but I've found that if you look for single fish, you can still put together a nice day. I focussed on finding fish away from large groups, and really tried to feed the fly to them because they were pretty passive...I only had one fish light up on my fly all day, the rest only ate if you fed it right to them. Fortunately, I'm not exaggerating when I say I saw hundreds of fish...the numbers were in my favor and I managed to land about 25 before the day was over.

I fished a two fly rig most of the day, not something I usually do but the fish were so passive I wanted to make sure they had a couple of options every time I had a shot. I put a heavy worm on the front to get the set down, and size 12 rubber legged hare's ear on the back. I'd say overall the split was about 60/40 in favor of the worm, but the difference could come down to the fact that even with a double rig I really only fish one fly. I was putting the worm as close as possible to the fish, but they definitely at the hare's ear when they saw that first. I think I could have had success with either fly solo, but the double rig worked and I only changed it out when I broke a few fish off.

Yep, I broke off two fish today. Generally speaking the 1X leader usally holds well, but I was fishing near some large rock piles, and I had two fish (both easily 20 that was just a massive fish) run right through the middle of a minefield of jagged rocks. On both occasions they cut right through the leader, about 3 feet up from the fly. I had exactly 3 leaders with me today, they all came in handy!

The big fish of the day was this 22 lber. I spotted her from about 60 feet away, and snuck to within about 25 ft before making the first cast. I couldn't see anything to indicate a take on the first cast, so I took about 4-5 more careful steps toward the fish and made another cast. This time her head turned sharply to the left, right where I knew my flies were sitting in the cobble. It turns out she ate the hare's ear...I knew she was on the back fly and was pretty nervous. Matt had sent me some sample hooks that were heavy duty, and the perfect size for the hare's ear I like. I tied both of them up, but lost them both when the two fish cut me off in the rocks! I was down to my last hare's ear, and this one was tied on my usual cheap hook. I played the fish gently, and managed to get her in the net with the hook still intact.

All in all, a great way to spend your 33rd birthday. My lovely wife told me I could fish Saturday as well, but I feel good. I landed plenty of carp, stored up some great visuals and I'm looking forward to the weekend with the kids!


Unknown said...

Sounded like a great day. How many yards of backing do you figure that fish took out on your video?

Interesting setup with the two fly rig; you don't hear of many guys utilizing that technique for carp. I'll have to keep that in mind when the fish are in a neutral biting mood.

And as usual, you tied into another brute fish. Great report John.

Anonymous said...

Happy belated Birthday, John !!

25 fish day ? Holy Moley !!

My best is 8.

Anonymous said...

BTW, what are those heavier hooks ?

John Montana said...

Thanks guys. I've had a good start to the season (though a bit late due to cold water and heavy flows).

I'm pretty sure I had my goal of a 30 lb carp on the line as well. He cut me off pretty quickly in the rocks. It was a massive fish.

dpstar said...

Awesome again John!!
I had a great Friday as well and landed my first carp on the fly!!!!!!
Check it out at
Thanks for the inspiration

JM said...

Dan, you're off to a great start.

Looks like you are zoning now.

Anonymous said...

Awesome stuff. It won't be long before you land that 30.

Wendy Berrell said...

What a great report. "Storing up visuals" is a good way to describe how/why, IMO, sight fishing transcends a bit.

Really cool photos - nice work man. Can't wait to see that place... <1 month from now.

kais4795 said...

I am kind of new to the carp fishing with flies. Last year I really started tapping into them. I enjoyed your blog. Lots of useful information. Awesome video. Nothing like a carp screaming out the backing.