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!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pete over at Fishing Jones sent me some questions the other day. For my pathetic answers, click the link.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I read through a few pages of "Fishing for Buffalo" by Rob Buffler and Tom Dickson tonight. What an outstanding resource. For those interested in pursuiing carp, I highly recommend you track this book down.

One quote: "I would say without a doubt the carp is the strongest swimmer of the warmwater species. Gamefish aren't even close."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Some definitions from a carp fisherman.

16 lb common carp, something that used to be referred to as a BIG fish but is now known simply as a NICE fish. Carp have a tendancy to skew your bearings a little bit.

That white, string like line that is normally hidden by your fly line. All of you trout fisherman probably last saw your backing when the store clerk was putting the line on your new reel.

What happens when a BIG carp (BIG, not NICE) grabs your size 12 rubber legged hare's ear and runs out into the middle of the Columbia River. Generally speaking, you get to see your BACKING before losing the fish to the BENT ASS HOOK.

From now on defined as something that meets or exceeds a 20 lb minimum, as verified by a digital scale. In the case of this slob, 24.2 lb readout. Take away a pound for the net and you get 23 lbs. For you trout fisherman out there...note we are speaking in lbs NOT inches.

When a NICE FISH decides he doesn't like the look of your net and tries to break your flyrod. Note, 15 LBS OF FURY is known as OH SHIT when a BIG FISH takes the place of a NICE FISH. OH SHIT is usually followed in seconds by the sight of your BACKING, and sometimes a BENT ASS HOOK.

Just another day on the Columbia...