Sunday, September 14, 2008
The recent death of my Albright EXS (good riddance, too brittle) and the sad demise earlier this year of my st croix legend elite put me in the market for a durable, lovable 9 ft 6 inch 7 wt. After some casting, research, etc. I put my hands on a Sage VT2, and pretty much knew immediately I was done. The rod casts like a dream, and reminded me that Sage really does make great casting flyrods. I actually liked casting the VT2 more than my Albright...and I really liked that Albright as a casting rod, though it was a terrible fishing rod. I bought the VT2 Saturday, and immediately set out to test it out.
For starters, the kids and I ran over to the local pond and put the hurt on two small carp. One of the takes was really great. The carp was plowing into some weeds, then backing up and chowing down. I waited until its head was buried in the weeds, then dropped the carrot about 3 inches away. When the fish backed up, I lifted the carrot and that carp HAMMERED the fly. I handed the rod to Elia and she duked it out with a little 3-4 lber. She got tired from holding the big rod and fighting the fish, so JJ lent a hand. Elia held on, while JJ reeled for all he was worth!
Eventually, they got the little bugger in close, and I helped them beach it. Neither kid was willing to lift the carp up, but they both felt his scales, and JJ actually stuck his finger in the carp's mouth. After releasing the second carp, Elia was adamant that we try to catch a Golden Dorado.
So the initial outing with the VT2 was a success, but a 9 ft 6 inch 7 wt is a little much for the local pond carp. I headed out to the big river today to put that rod through its paces. Simply put, it's an ideal carp rod. The tip is fast enough that you can shorten your casting stroke and punch into the wind, or you can open it up a bit and feel the rod flex into the butt section. I generally prefer slower rods, and this is a really nice mix. I fished mostly the Montana Carrot today, and the fish responded well to the fly. I managed this fatty that scaled out at 20 lbs on the nose.
For the day I laned 8 or 10 fish. They are definitely moving off of the flats. I wet waded today, and it was a bit chilly despite 85 degree air temps. The water has really cooled down.
I still saw plenty of targets, but not a lot of them were actively feeding or tailing. Most of the fish seemed to be cruising, or holding in a weed bed, or just hunkered down in a warm patch of sand, sitting there doing nothing. I tried the worm, and got one or two on that but the carrot seemed to be the best fly. I fish one in a drab brownish/yellow color, and add rubber legs as a split tail. The fish react pretty well to it, and when they eat it...they really eat it.
All in all this was a great day of carping. I had some memorable takes, one big 20 lb fish (bringing me to 14 fish over 20 this year. That number blows me away), and fell in love with my new flyrod. I might get one more trip in this year, but if not I am pretty satisfied. I caught lots of nice carp this summer, and still have Coho to chase!