Saturday, October 02, 2010

October Carp

The cool water was the only reminder that it is now October. Not a hint of clouds, nothing but sun soaked flats and my own shadow to keep me company as I walked along. Late in the day the worlds biggest beaver leapt out of the brush and splashed into the river, stopping my heart for at least a second or two, but other than that beaver all I saw was the sun sparkling off the water...and some carp of course. I did find a few carp.

Despite the heat and sun I was glad that I wore my waders today. The water has cooled noticeably, and the carp are slowly disappearing from the flats. I started fishing in the morning and walked about a mile before spotting my first fish. It took a while before the shallows warmed to whatever magic degree the carp want, but eventually the fished started showing up in ones and twos, and then threes and fours. I only landed nine fish, mainly for two reasons. One, the numbers of fish were down significantly from mid summer or post spawn fishing. And two, I told myself I was only going to cast at fish that I thought were in the teens or better. I managed to make good on that, and the smallest fish I caught was likely between 12-14 lbs. I weighed three fish, one was just over 20, one almost 24, and this awesome 18 lb mirror.

It was a bittersweet day. With every step, every cast, and every release I knew the season was ending. I couldn't help but think about the long winter ahead. Yeah, the deschutes will be there and winter steelhead, but my fishing joy is the stalk on the flats.

One take in particular was everything that you look for when carp fishing with a flyrod. As I walked along a narrow gravel bar I spotted a carp tailing lazily about a hundred feet away. I crept into position, using the bushes to kill my profile and moving ever so slowly on the cobble. The light was perfect and I could see the fish in high def, facing directly at me and casually moving along and feeding every couple of inches. My first cast was a good one, and the front fly of my two fly rig landed about a foot to the left and almost even with the feeding carp. It took only a second for the worm to hit the bottom in that shallow water, but despite a near perfect cast, the carp ignored the worm and moved forward a few more inches. I made a few short strips, envisioning the green fly hopping along the bottom like a tasty nymph. The carp suddenly turned it's head sharply to the right and i clearly saw big carp lips extend like a tube and then suddenly snap shut. I set the hook quickly and the fish shook his head violently and blasted for deep water. Just a perfect take, and it so happened to be the last fish of the day. Likely the season as well.


Carlos Del Rey. said...

Beautiful carp, had to struggle very hard.
A greeting from Spain.

Anonymous said...

brilliant mirror John

Pat Cohen said...

awesome man....carp on the fly is new to me....I have hooked a few, but nothing landed yet....

Kyner said...

I have seen my last Carp for the year myself (most likely) - very bittersweet.

FishnDave said...

I've fished rivers until after dark, then waded back upstream to my car. When a beaver (that you can't see) launches itself off the bank into the water, it DOES scare/startle you! In the dark, the first thought is that it sounds like an alligater jumping into the water and coming for you! Not many 'gators in the midwest, of course, but that is still the first thought. (I think my mind goes right to "What is the WORST THING it could possibly be?".)
I'm always proud that I didn't "soil myself". :)

Wendy Berrell said...

What a mirror. Interesting wound too.

I've basically abandoned carp fishing in MN due to the stamp of the Columbian River flats fishing that I bear on my brain.

Great final outing. Looking forward to next year.

Carpboy said...

Hey John,

Digging your blog man! The season is quickly coming to a close here in Colorado as well. I might have to venture south to find some "winter" carp! I see you have a link to my old homepage of my site. I'm slowly but surely rebuilding my site so if you don't mind, my new link is

Thanks John!


Chris (Carpboy) Cooper