I admit it...after Lake MI last year I briefly considered changing the name of the blog to smallmouth on the fly, moving to the Midwest and spending my days tying bunny leeches and poppers. Smallmouth are addictive. In the end though, I am a carp guy, and let's be honest and brutally upfront here.
Smallies cannot touch carp as a fly rod quarry.
Don't get me wrong, they are great fun, and as Wendy put it, a perfect complement to a day of carping, but they simply can't touch carp. I was reminded of that fact on this trip. Every evening, as the light went bad I changed up to a big bunny leech and peppered casts off into the distance, picking up smallies with regularity while Wendy snuck down the bank searching for the ever elusive low light carp. He got a few, and each time he hooked up his carp would rip line off his reel and scream by me headed for the main river while I stripped in another bulldog smallie. Yes, the bass tug hard, and jump...but nothing in fresh water runs like a hot carp.
Still, I now consider myself a bass guy, and will never again walk the flats of the big C without a handful of heavy headed bunny leeches. There is something hypnotic about booming casts out into the river. It isn't sight fishing, but when I targeted rock piles and structure, I was usually rewarded with a bass and for a hard core sight and visual memory hound like me, the strange sensation of a bass picking up your sinking fly was new...and newly savored.
No worries for the three (maybe four now) people who read this blog...I am and will remain first and foremost a carp angler. Only now instead of cursing the onset of low light and the end of a day of fly fishing for carp I will simply tie on a big nasty fly, stare up at the fading sun and cast without thought.