Sunday, October 27, 2013


I haven't fished in quite a while...just haven't been ready to dive I to salmon and steelhead, and the carp are around in such small numbers that it has been hard to get excited. I finally went out today, shamed into hitting a local pond by a constant barrage of texts and images from Dan Frasier and Wendy Berrell...I just needed to see a carp!

So...I went to a local pond that I usually avoid. Once upon a time, this was my go to local spot. My kids both touched carp there when they were babies (JJ was just six weeks old and in a front pack) and I still head there with the kids to let em catch a few fish on bait.

But when it comes to a fly, these might be the most well educated carp in America. This is a small pond...urban, with a decent, but limited population of carp. Over the years I figure I have caught literally every fish in the pond multiple times and they know what is up now. If they see an outline of a person...gone. A waving fly rod...poof. A splashing to the depths. It is a punishment to fish there.

I saw three fish. Two were crawling in some serious shallows, and when I flipped a heavily hackled black fly (the hackle to make it land soft) to the lead fish, both fish spooked and blew mud all over the place in their haste to vacate the area. The third fish was a big one for this pond...maybe 9 lbs. all I could see was the tail, it's head was buried deep in the murk. I snuck into position, and ever so carefully dapped a weighted soft hackle on the fish's head. When the fly broke the surface tension, the fish blew.

Tough go...I already long for the "easy" Columbia river carp!




Gregg said...

I can empathize, I thought I had the worlds most educated pond carp, I stand corrected.


Wendy Berrell said...

Nice study fish education. said...

I have never fly fished for carp before, but I just stumbled upon your blog and you make it seem even more challenging than catching them from spinning gear. I may just have to give it a whirl.

Christopher Pepe said...

I'm having a hell of a time hooking my first carp. Is it safe to say that if they don't swim off they aren't spooked? I've been so close to the few I've targeted that I can't believe they couldn't see me. Their body language didn't seem to change, I just couldn't get them to eat my fly. I assumed they saw lots of fishermen and were just ignoring me. Maybe they were and it was too subtle for me to notice... Hard to get the first one I suppose.

John Montana said...

When they are on to you, their body language changes...they might not swim away, but they stop feeding.w ere they actively feeding Christopher? Very hard to convince them to eat unless they do that on their own. If they are, I would refer to rule #1: know your forage. Figure out what they were eating and imitate that in fly and presentation. Good luck! They are not easy!

Christopher Pepe said...

Its hard for me to say John but I don't think their body language changed. One time one bugged out - that was obvious. The ones I usually would target were cruising as far as I could tell. I got their attention a few times and once I swear a carp sucked my fly in. Mostly they just kept swimming at a slow pace in a large circle around the flat. A combo of inexperience with fly fishing and never having caught a carp mean I get all my knowledge from reading. I'll figure it out in the spring.