Saturday, August 26, 2006

I got out this morning for a couple of hours with Elia in the backpack. She is getting awfully big to haul around in that thing, but she sure loves to go fishing!

We hit another local spot I had fished a while back, and revisted briefly with KB last weekend. KB nailed a great 11lb fish. I got blanked last time, but saw some nice fish.

Today the conditions were actually worse. The water was even murkier, but if you kept your eyes peeled you could see mud clouds, bubbles, and occasionally the body of a fish. This place has some big fish in it, and today I got a crack at what might be the biggest in the pond.

I was walking down the bank and noticed that the massive matt of lilly pads was being moved aside as a fish swam right through the middle of them. I follwed the movement down the bank and got a great look at the fish when the lilly pads thinned out. It was a BIG carp. I mean really big. I sped up and got ahead of him and continued to watch his progress by keeping an eye on the moving lily pads. He eventually got to the end of the pads and i saw his huge head kind of peek out into open water. He paused there for a minute, looked both ways like he was about to cross traffic, then slowly eased out into the open. there was maybe 10 feet before he would hit the next batch of lily pads, so I let him get about 2-3 feet out before I made the cast. I thought that if I actually hooked him he would run forward, and I would have a chance of stopping him.

My first cast with the mohair leech was a good one. about 3 feet beyond him and 2 feet ahead. I made one quick strip and then two slow strips and clearly saw his huge mouth open and close, so I made what was probably the best strip-set I've ever made (former trout guys tend to struggle with the strip set.) The big carp exploded immediately and water went everywhere! The lake here is pretty deep, at least 6 feet but he was high in the column. I bent the 7 wt over double and tried to turn him toward the shore, but he had none of it and turned with a fury toward the lily pads from which he had just appeared. I was only fishing 3x (DUMB!) and put as much pressure as I dared, but it wasn't enough and he got into the sparse pads on the outside. He kept digging in, looking for the really thick ones, so I increased the pressure and POP! He was gone.

I called KB to tell him that I just lost the biggest carp I have ever hooked, then changed to a 2x leader (biggest I had) and kept fishing. I did get another good shot at a fish and manged to hook him. He made a great run in some open water and then turned for more lilly pads. This fish was in the 10-12 lb class (he was 8 ft away when I hooked him, I got a great look at him) and I though the 2x would hold up but I put too much pressure on him and broke that guy off as well!

So this afternoon Elia and I hit the fly shop, picked up the biggest leader I've ever fish...a 15 lb cord that I'm hoping will hold up to the big strong fish in this spot. I want my flies back, and tomorrow morning Elia and I are going looking for them.


Wendy Berrell said...

Hella good story there man - thanks. I'd love to hear more about that one... maybe even news that you caught her today.

Anonymous said...

It's a cool low pressure and rainy day here so I started surfing because the carp are sulking today. I found your blog. Very Nice. I always love finding other Carp on the Fly addicts out there. Loved your story. If your ever this way, you should try fishing some of our waters for carp. I think you'll faint. We get the BIG ones here. It's not uncommon to get 20 to 30 lb carp here. I've seen bigger but I usually pull my line out of the water. LOL.

I fish for them just down the street from my house. I usually use a 5 wt rod though that isn't always very smart. The largest on the 5 wt was around 22 lbs ....using level 4X and a #16 (3399M) PT flash back midge. That took a while to get in.

Anyway I thought you might get a kick out of this site:
Be sure to check out his Carp page but the rest can be an entertaining read as well. He's the guy who taught me how to fly fish...and fish for carp.

Now I'm getting figgety to get out there...damn weather. (the tail of Ernesto)

I'll be lurking! Deb AKA MatoKuwapi @

John Montana said...

hope you caught some fish! ian colin james has a good site. lots of information! i would like to do some carping outside of OR. we have some big carp, but not a ton of really big ones.