Sunday, March 31, 2013

Almost time

Quick weekend were caught.

The hybrid was king.

The river was cold.

But the fish are starting to come in. Mostly little guys (that first fish was 17...nothing else came close). I whined a little bit as we broke down our rods and David looked at me funny and pointed that a) it is march, and b) it was 75 degrees out, and c) we caught about 13-14 fish between us. Always good to have a fishing partner that can fish, is a bad ass with a camera, and keeps shit in perspective. Thanks for a good day David.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Carp Flies

I am a mediocre tier at best. This isn't a case of false modesty, more a matter of knowing my skills, and having the pleasure of knowing and fishing with some serious vice artists. I state this just to avoid my own embarrassment at the pictures to follow...McTage from Fly-carpin I am not! I do like to tie, and love to tie while watching a little college basketball.

This first fly is one that I haven't fished much the past year or two. It is basically my version of Mr. P's well known "Carp Carrot". For a long time, this was my go to fly, but a couple of seasons ago I made a concerted attempt to simplify my fly selection (and winter tying process). I went almost exclusively to basic soft hackles in a variety of colors. My personal belief is that presentation trumps pattern, so the simplified arsenal was no less effective. I am bringing this one back this season...why? Because variety is fun, and too much simplicity is a bit boring.

Hybrid flies have been the rage since the tail end of last season. My buddy Travis (aka Trashfisher) came up with the idea of adding the worm tail onto my basic soft hackles, and it flat out works. If for any reason I am on the water and decide I am better off with a straight softie, I just clip off the tail.

Another Hybrid...this one I first saw on the Carp Pro forum tied by Nolan Macher. Nolan tied up a similar fly for the 2013 fly swap this year, I don't do it much justice but I like both the concept, and the fly. Inspired by our friend Gregg, McTage and I stuck a few big C fish this year on egg patterns. Once I saw Nolan's hybrid, I immediately put some in my box and late this year I had some fantastic visuals fishing this egg/worm combo. It is really easy to see, so detecting the take is easy.

The San Juan Worm. Put simply, if you don't have a bunch of these in your carp box then get to a vice. Even with the recent success of the hybrids, I still believe this is the go to fly when fishing a soft bottom area.

This would spook every fish on the Columbia, but it has been our go to fly on our annual Lake MI pilgrimage. I like this gold/brown color, and LOVE the small size sculpin helmet Flymen just released. This fly is on a size 4 scorpion gaper, so much smaller hook than I usually have to use. I can't wait to get this smaller version on the flats of lake MI.

Good day of tying. Mostly blowouts today for the tourny, so I got a nice batch of flies done, with solid variety. Get those boxes full people! The season is nearly upon us!

Sunday, March 17, 2013



I have been looking for a good panfish location for the kids for years. It is just tough to find really good panfish in my neck of the woods. A few years ago I found a great pond, but it was private and despite my best charm, I got denied permission to fish it. Today, on a whim I stopped back by and this time got the green light to let my kids flail away and try to catch a few panfish.

Despite the cold, it worked out pretty well! We managed 3 crappie and 3 bluegill in just about an hour of fishing. Big thanks to the owners for putting some smiles on my kids faces, we will be back for certain. When the ware warms a bit. This was the first outing with their new flyrods, and the kids did great.

They struggled a bit with their casting, which is to be expected, but both got enough line out there to catch a few fish...and they loved the experience! Note the purple rod? Yeah, Elia digs that.

All in all a nice outing, and a great find. Now we need a little sun!



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Contest time!


The awesome crew at Cheeky are giving away some swag to us carp lovers! Head on over to my Facebook page to win a hat and t shirt. 2013 is the year of the carp!


Saturday, March 09, 2013

Suck it Winter!

Granted, you have whipped my ass, causing borderline depression and forcing me to watch hours of Vimeo fishing videos, but today the sun broke through and the carp lit up the shallows. Lots and lots of carp.

Armed with the new Cheeky Mojo 425 I waylaid the fish. They ate the worm, they ate the hybrid, they ate the carp crust...they ate a lot.

The sun was high, so the fish were easy to spot and I got to make long casts and see nice head turns and white mouth takes. One fish in particular I stuck on a 70 foot cast from an elevated position. I love that Helios 2, and made a perfect cast at that distance and could clearly see the white mouth flare to set the hook. Just a great take on a fish I didn't think I had a chance of catching.

But it wasn't like I lacked for targets. There were fish all over the place, almost all tailing and feeding. All told, I landed 29 carp...crazy day for march around here. Thank you Mr. sun!

Today was a good day.


Sunday, March 03, 2013

Orvis Helios 2 Review

The snarky part of me wants to write a seven word review and be done with it. I am not a pro angler, just a weekend hack so I can't speak to swing weight with any degree of accuracy, and I didn't mark off distances to test the rod at different line lengths. I did, however, take this rod fishing. I cast to and caught some winter carp on a shallow flat, including one 18 lber. With that in mind, I can sum up the H2 nicely in 7 words.

The best flyrod I have ever cast.

Full disclosure here, Orvis sent me this rod for free. I didn't solicit it for a review, nor did they ask me to write one. My guess...Orvis knows they have a winner here and figured I would end up singing the praises of the Helios 2. They were correct. Over the years and miles I have logged on various rivers I have accumulated a lot of gear, in particular fly rods. My primary carp rod has been a G Loomis Native Run GLX, backed up by a recently purchased Sage One. Those are both fantastic rods in their own rights, so I don't say this lightly:

They will gather some dust this season.

Why? In a word...accuracy. My type of fishing puts a premium on accuracy, and I am not talking about getting the fly in a general area. Most carp guys talk about the dinner plate; on the Big C we talk about hitting a coffee cup. Our fish just don't move far, so you need to feed them. I don't know why, or what Orvis did to make it happen, but that Helios 2 is a laser pointer. You adjust the length of line, point at your target and the fly lands there. was a little freaky.

So I have had one day on the carp flats and many afternoons on the lawn with this rod. As a non professional angler, I feel obliged to ignore the buzz words and lay it out there as simply as I here goes. This rod is fun to cast. You can easily throw a long line (I tried, and it was fun, but I rarely fish more than 30-40 ft of fly line), and you can easily throw short 15 foot casts to the tailers I was spotting through the cloud cover. Most importantly...the Helios 2 is the most accurate rod I have ever cast.

I am going to lay the smack down on carp with this rod this spring.