Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lake MI day three

Exhausted and exhilarated...but ready for more, we fueled up on some good grub at the end of day two. We both had a whitefish rueben (with coleslaw instead of sauerkraut) and as we chowed down we lamented the state of our fly boxes. Simply put, we didn't have enough of the "right" offerings. Sure, we had caught fish on a variety of our normal stuff, with the legion of doom, soft hackle and even my first Carp (of several) on the venerable backstabber by Jay Zimmerman making an appearance...but what we wanted to fish was big, rabbit fur flies. We wanted the chase. Thankfully, Wendy came prepared and after dinner he whipped up a bundle of squirrel strip flies that would prove irresistible to these great lakes carp. With a fresh batch of flies and a forecast of full on sun...we had high hopes for day three.

And we were not disappointed.

















We took it to the carp. It was an absolute clinic. Some days you feel like you have the game figured out. Some days you just know that your next shot (or three or ten) are flat out going in the basket. Some days, you are basically unstoppable. Any athlete has felt it...we were in the zone.












The fish were cruising down the shallow flats, eagerly casting from side to side, and we were on 'em. Our casts were accurate and the fish were cooperative. We scaled a bundle of fish in the 16-19 lb range, and saw so many cool takes that I really can't remember many individual eats. There were a lot of eats.












Many doubles. We fished our first stop for the bulk of the day...it was simply too good to leave. Every time we thought about walking out of there another dark shape would appear on the edge of our vision and we would slip right back into hunting mode. I hooked a massive fish on the deep edge in 6 ft of crystal clear water. After a long battle (easy 45 minutes...just kidding) I towed the fish toward the net and as it turned for one last mini run Wendy and I knew we were in trouble. One slap of the tail against the roughed up leader and that fish was gone. In retrospect...likely a 30 lber.












Eventually, we left that magical flat...and found more magic. As Wendy said...we pounded on tailing carp until we flat out couldn't see anymore. I actually started blind casting for smallmouth just to change things up...and I caught three nice smallies in minutes. Sick, sick fishing. Oh...and Wendy stuck a 23 lb beast.












The fish were everywhere, and as the sun got low and visibility got worse, we saw a lot of this.






That'd be probably 40 carp swimming for safer waters. Being within casting distance of Wendy and I on this day equaled not safe.






We trudged back to the car in semi darkness...many, many fish were hooked. Many, many flies were mauled. All four of our legs were tired, and all four of our arms were exhausted. Catching that many carp is a workout. Our bodies were busted...our gear destroyed. We had no leaders left...just cobbled together bits of tippet, most of them frayed and ugly. Our flies looked like they had been puked up by a cat and both of our reels were wheezing like old men after a long walk. Even our boots had seen better days.






Yes...that is duck tape.

It was awesome. Lake MI...I thank you.

8 comments:

Auglaize Fly Shop said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing! Those carp are magnificent fish aren't they?

MG said...

You DO NOT mess around! How many rods have you broken this year so far?

John Montana said...

Hah...one thing about me MG...I fish HARD! Ask Mctage...I ran Trevor pretty ragged...but I know he had a good time. I actually haven't broken a rod in a couple of years (since going to a sage vt2 and then a gloom is native run) but I have broken a total of 7 rods since I started carp fishing.

Day three on lake MI is one of my all time favorite fishing days. Outstanding company, great setting and fantastic results.

Brian J. said...

Dang -- 7 rods? You should start buying the cheap stuff! Lower modulus graphite is actually stronger... of course there's the lack of warranty, sore arm, poor casting...

Ok never mind.

Looks like an awesome trip - that photo of the carp swimming away (fourth from last) is sweet. Somehow I bet you're still not tired of chasing carp...

cheers

John Montana said...

To be fair, I broke the same Albright exs three times...still sitting in the tube broken in the garage. That rod was not cut out for carp. Also broke a st Croix legend ultra, a st Croix avid, a targus, and Wendy berrell's redington. I kind of suck.

Once again...I have moved on from thinking about the last take to dreaming about the next take Brian!

McTage said...

Yup, he drove me right into the ground. Day 4 in OR I was done for. You are killing me with these posts. I miss MI carpin somethin feirce.

Wendy Berrell said...

That really nailed it. One of my favorite days of fishing logged to date. Great photos. Already longing to get back there.

We really swung the pendulum back in our favor after getting worked over last year.

John Montana said...

Looking back...stunning day of fishing. We milked it dry too man. I recall that thick feeling of exhaustion, and want it back.