Friday, June 29, 2012

Next up

The one and only McTage comes to town. This has been a crazy spring, one in which I have not fished my "home" waters in the month of June. Wow, I feel like I need to double check that statement, but it is true. Not complaining as I have had great trips this spring, but I miss my flats.

Thankfully, in just a short time McTage flies in and he and I have several days of stalking my home water. Anyone who reads Fly Carpin knows that McTage knows his carp...And he put the hurting on the OR fish last year.

See you in a week or so Trevor!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

US Carp Pro

Looking for a place to talk fly rod carping? Fly Carpin points out that there already is one!

Get on over to US Carp Pro Fly Forum and join in the conversation!



Monday, June 25, 2012

Slab of the Month!

Moldy Chum


Thanks to all who voted for me! Nice to see a carp take home the slab of the month!



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day Four

Or, we slink home with our tails between our legs. The truth is, we got crushed this trip. Last year we caught at least 80 carp...this year (with an extra fisherman) we caught 11. The fish were there, but not in a feeding mode. I couldn't tell you if they were about to spawn, or they just spawned, but they wouldn't eat. We did everything we could, pushed hard, walked far, tried every technique in the book, but we couldn't get them to eat consistently. Thankfully, these guys are not so complicated.

Recollections on the bass vary since we really didn't target them, just took the ones that sort of offered themselves up, or caught a few blind casting in bad light but I can say this with complete faith. On day two, we landed a minimum of 80 bass between the three of us. That was clearly the biggest bass total of the trip, but we caught bass every day, and with few extended dry periods.

The largest bass was between 19.5-20 inches. Many, many, many bass were 17-18...really high quality bass. They ate pretty much anything we threw, but a rust orange bunny leech was my best overall pattern of the trip. I landed the bulk of my fish on that fly, including five of my six carp. Yep, I only caught six carp. Big carp of the trip...two fish at 17 lbs. Tough, tough fishing.

Big thanks to a bunch of people for another fun trip. First off, my lovely wife and kids for letting me run off on these adventures. I miss them everyday that I am gone and can't wait for the kids to join me and Wendy. Big thanks to Wendy and Joe's families as well. We all have young kids and very significant others, and are fortunate to get to spend this time together. Lastly, thanks to Joe and Wendy. You could not find two better guys to spend four days with. When things are tough, we laugh it off, and when they are good we cheer each other on...till next year boys!



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day Three

Tough. The carp fishing is tough. The bass fishing continues to be solid through fantastic, and a smarter group of fisherman would just bite the bullet and go full on after bass. But not these guys. We are catching some bass but we keep on walking, we keep on scanning, and we keep on casting to mostly negative carp. We are getting a few.

Gone are the aggressive fish we found last year, replaced with more lethargic and lazy carp. I landed two today, and both takes were signified by the carp simply stopping above my fly. No charging, chasing carp this year!

I caught one on a big leechy pattern (weird that the carp just sucked that big fly off the bottom) and one on a small carp stew by McTage. Wendy's fish fell to a brown leech on a similarly minimal take. Joe didn't connect with a carp today but caught a sweet bass.


We will fish for a good chunk of tomorrow, hoping to close the books with at least a few carp to hand!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day two

Carp are tough. Bottom line, if they don't want to eat, they are not going to eat. We saw hundreds of carp today but they simply wouldn't eat. We caught two.

Fortunately, Smallmouth bass are not tough. We hammered the bass. It was routine for bass to charge our flies from ten feet away. Frequently the bass would bust right through the middle of a group of carp to eat the fly. They were everywhere, and they ate with abandon. I am not going to complain about catching 70-80 bass (best estimate between the three of us) but the carp were just killing us. We could not get those fish to eat.

We will give them another shot tomorrow...and likely catch a bunch more bass and a few more drum.

By the one point I decided to see how many bass I could catch on consecutive casts...the answer is six. There is literally no telling how many bass we could have caught had we spent the day only fishing to bass. The bass around here are just crazy.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day one

A little of this:

A little of that:

And a lot of this:

Solid day, but not huge numbers. We found LOTS of carp, but only brought 6 to hand. The bass are everywhere though and we had multiple instances of bass charging through groups of carp to eat our flies. Fun stuff, more to come.

Oh, and jousting got that gar to eat a bunny leech.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Here we go again

The journey to Lake MI starts tomorrow.

Somehow, Wendy and I have managed to keep spending time together every spring despite distance and difficulties. The engine behind our adventures? Our loving wives. Thanks in advance to Emily for letting me borrow Wendy for a few days, and as always, thanks to my wife Kelly. She is quite simply the best person I know, and I would be lost without her.

The next several days bring the best of many worlds, friends and fish. Lake MI, here we come!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Just want to say, happy Father's day to my dad, who taught me everything he knows. Thankfully, I learned a little more.

I love you Dad!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

More ID

Prett place. Images keep coming kind of sticks with you.



Thursday, June 14, 2012

One Week

Despite some iffy weather conditions, one can only describe the string of outings I have had lately as epic. Well, one week from now Wendy Berrell and I will be stalking the flats of lake MI with his brother Joe.

See you guys soon.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Spread the carp love!

The Moldy Chum Slab of the Month contest has not one, but two carp in it for May! I might be partial to one of those fish, but either way, show the carp some love folks!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

For the record

Snow flurries and carp on the fly don't mix.

Well, we gave it a shot anyway. As we rigged up at the lake, snow and hail briefly pelted us, but eventually things settle down to merely cold and windy with full cloud cover. We spent time blind casting I. The cold, but with no mudding fish, no leaping fish, no signs of fish whatsoever, we gave up the ghost pretty early and headed out.

Luckily, we made one last stop, and we found a load of small 5-7 lb carp. The sun poked out here and there, but even in the clouds we could see the fish thanks to a high vantage point. I managed to catch six and Jim landed two. I did find some visual candy, stalking down the bank during a brief period of sun and sticking three fish that were actively feeding...all three took the venerable soft hackle, though they ate with a lot more aggression than I am used to seeing.

Right now we are sitting in the airport. I am tired, I smell horrible and my hands are raw from the wind and cold. It was a great trip with Mr. P, and I was glad to meet Shane, Chris and Brent. This is a fishery that I hope to hit again when the weather cooperates...but right now?

I just want to get home and see my family.


Saturday, June 09, 2012


Today we simply grinded it out.

We met up with Brent from Uprising under beautiful blue skies, but by the time we had rigged up the clouds started to roll in, along with a heavy dose of reality. The carp were shut down.

The wind howled and the cold numbed our fingers. Poor Brent slipped while wading and took a full on dunking in the cold water and howling wind...that was a wrap for him. He headed home to stave off hypothermia but Jim and I kept pounding away...and Mr. P saved the day with three Carp to hand. I snagged a few, but ended the day skunked.

One more shot tomorrow, pray for a break in the weather. The forecast calls for snow showers!


Friday, June 08, 2012

Old dogs and new tricks

Blind casting for carp...for a guy like me (and Mr. P) the idea of catching carp blind stripping flies is just crazy. Out here, it is the primary method. The sediment is very fine, and just a few feeding or active carp can stir it up quickly, and instead of clear water, you are looking at chocolate milk. I caught a few fish sight casting today, but the bulk of my fish were caught stripping big leeches. There were some crushing takes.

Chris from Many a Fish and Shane from Fish Hunter Chronicles hosted, and those guys put us on fish! We basically looked for big mud clouds, then stripped flies through the mud. Chris landed a mid twenties fish (I was too far away to get a picture) and I lost a similar fish right at the net...heartbreaking.

It was a fun day on the water, and pretty unique for Jim and I. Stripping flies blind for carp? Crazy! Mr. P hooked several fish, but didn't get any to the net. We did see some pigs though...and again, so interesting to have nothing but mirrors around! Another full day tomorrow, hopefully we can put some big mirrors in the net!


Thursday, June 07, 2012

That noise you might have heard around 2 pm?

Yeah, that was me.

24 lbs on the digital scale...not the longest fish but man what a gut on this big girl. Mctage, thank you for the trouser worms...she ate it on the drop. Just dipped her head and hoovered that fly right off the bottom. Man did that feel good.

I only fished for a couple of hours, and am currently waiting for Mr. P at the airport...but what a day. Twelve carp to hand, nothing over 12 lbs except the big girl, but I can't really explain how strange it is for EVERY carp you see to be a mirror! Crazy stuff! Plus, I caught half of my fish blind casting into a big ball of mud. These fish are aggressive. Not a bad little appetizer, the real deal starts tomorrow.

Stay tuned for more mirrors.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Say it ain't so!

Singlebarbed has made his last post. Sorry to see it end Keith! Always enjoyed your content...


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Land of Mirrors

It is no secret that I dig mirror carp. Those that have fished with me have seen me pass up reasonable shots at 20 lb fish to take a less than desirable shot at a mirror. Can't help it, they are cool looking.

With that in mind, I have caught more than my share of Columbia River mirror carp. While far from rare, mirrors are clearly the minority out here, much less available than my catch rates would indicate simply because I drop everything to cast at mirrors when given the chance. I have been lucky enough to catch some great mirrors.

But for years, a really big one has eluded me. I have caught them well into the teens, but the only 20 plus lb mirror I have ever touched belonged to Wendy Berrell. Look at this brute.

To the best of my knowledge, I have hooked two mirrors over 20, and lost them both. Without putting too much pressure on myself...the twenty lb mirror is my holy grail of carping. All these pictures, and all these words to say a very simple thing.

Tomorrow, I am off to ID, to the land of mirrors.

My sincere hope is that sometime on Friday, Saturday or Sunday I am forced to actually pass up a reasonable shot at a mirror carp in order to try for a really big mirror carp. I hope it happens, and I hope I don't screw it up! Thanks in advance to my family for letting me go chase this silly goal...I can't wait to wander water where only mirrors swim.