Sunday, May 24, 2009


Three steps onto the flat, one cast and 15 seconds later this is what I could see. The first carp of the day just ripped the flyline off my reel and blasted into my backing. Safe to say the water has warmed up and the fish have some zip again!

It was a pretty auspicious start, and while the day was a great success, it did come in fits and starts. After that first fish I spent quite bit of time stalking through the high, cloudy water vainly trying to spot a fish before stepping on it. I found a few, and even managed to hook and land a couple, but it was pretty tough overall. The water was very high and cloudy...I just couldn't see them. After a couple of hours of searching with only one or two more fish to hand, things turned around in a hurry. As usual, it was just a matter of finding the right water type. I found some small bays surrounded by rocky points. The high water had pushed the fish right into shore, but they felt pretty secure in these little bays, and I started getting into them regularly. I was walking upstream, making short casts at tailers with a double san juan worm rig. If you are making good casts with an SJW at a tailer, you might as well be using a net. That fish is caught. It held true today too...The presentation from directly behind them was tricky...trying to get the fly on their nose without lining the fish wasn't easy, but everytime I made the right cast, I hooked up with a decent carp.

For some reason, the fish only wanted the worm today. I had gone through the usual run of carrot flies, hare's ears, various crayfish patterns and other misc. flies, but the carp were all about the worm today. This nice mirror came on a great big SJW...tied on a size 4 hook with a normal size black bead...Just for the heck of it I had tied these big worms, and I actually caught quite a fish on them today. I'll have to add a few more sizes of the SJW to the box.

In total, I think I landed about 15 carp. I only landed 2 big fish, both scaled out at 17 lbs. Most of the fish were around 10-12 lbs, and they were all tough today. I saw a LOT of backing and by the end of the day my rod arm was cramping...the carp kicked my butt today. I did have 2 fish on that were likely over 20 lbs. One that looked to me to be in the low 20 just popped off right at the net. The fly just pulled. The other fish was a serious fish...easily the biggest fish I've hooked this year, I'd guess that it was pushing 30 lbs, but when I reached for it with the net the fish gave one more head shake and popped the tippet. I was pretty bummed...I really wanted to put the scale on that fish.

All in all a great day on the water. I was faced with some tough conditions today with the high water, poor visibility and some strong winds, but I managed to find some fish! Only a few weeks and Wendy Berrel and his brother will be out here, as long as the water comes down a bit and clears up a touch, we'll have a great trip.

9 comments:

roughfisher.com said...

any chance of showing us the mega worm?

Also using the crapmanjake method of scaling fish, you sure you didn't lose a 50 pounder at the net?

john montana said...

Same exact pattern I always tie, only on one of those slightly curved hooks Wendy Berrell loves...about a size 4 hook I think. I'll put up a picture, but it is about as basic as it gets.

I fully realize the irony of the "big one that got away." Even accounting for a little fisherman's memory...easily the biggest fish i've hooked this year. I think it was probably 30...i'll have to get back out and see if i can get my fly back!

Wendy Berrell said...

ACOE needs to get the water level down. They can't mess with our trip.

Glad you got out for a good one. I'm very envious, as I've not logged a carp day (or hour) since you left MN.

Do you think you are rushing those fish to the net? Maybe you need to play them out - 45 minutes or so.

Anonymous said...

Do fish on the Oregon or WA side? Also, do fish on the big 'C' in the Ptown/Vancouver metro area, or do you go up the Gorge? I've never seen carp near the shore on the Vancouver side...nice catches!

Uncommon Carp said...

Nice fish! I am sensing a theme here with murky water and larger worm patterns...

Mike said...

John, I'd love to do an article on you and fly fishing for carp for the Eugene Register-Guard's Outdoors section. If you're willing to talk about that, please send contact info to: outdoors@registerguard.com.
Thanks, Mike Stahlberg, outdoor writer.

David McKenzie said...

Nice blog and beautiful fish!

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