Friday, October 27, 2006

Mgamby posted this great video on Westfly.

Aside from the sketchy narration...pretty good stuff!

I'm hoping to trade Mike for a trip to some of his precious (and beautiful) trout water in exchange for the chance to hook a carp or two. Should be fun!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A good picture of Justin prospecting for steelhead on his first trip to OR. I was looking through some old pictures with Elia today, and just really liked this shot.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My kids amaze me everyday. Whether it is little JJ smiling and lifting his arms in the air, or Elia wanting to be put to bed not with one of her many stuffed animals, but instead with a book, they never cease to put a smile on my face at the end of a long day. JJ is on the verge of rolling over, and for some reason he loves to have his face and cheeks wiped. He instantly lights up and smiles if you just stroke his cheek with a finger.

Elia did two incredible things yesterday for such a young little girl. We had taken the kids to go look at pumpkins and animals at a local farm, and there was a big sign set up on the grass with arrows and words pointing "Animals" this way and "Exit" that way. Elia walked up to the sign, pointed at the A in Animals and said "Letter A." It was really surprising as we have not talked to Elia at all about the alphabet, she just seems to pick things up when we aren't even looking. Another example occurred when I pulled into the driveway from the park. I reached in to unbuckle Elia and she was holding a stuffed cow covered in black spots. She carefully pointed at one spot at at time and said "thirty seven, thirty eight, thirty nine...forty!"

I wish I could still learn that quickly.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

What do you do in Oregon when the carp aren't biting? You fish for Salmon! Well, I'm pretty sure I could have caught carp today, but I finally gave in and fished for something other than carp. I had a great day chasing Coho with my friend Patrick. He only fished a few hours and hooked up with one, but it was a beautiful day to be on the river. There were fish all over the river. Patrick left before they got really active, but he still hooked up once. I fished from 12 to about 5pm, not exactly prime time hours for Salmon, but someone forgot to tell the fish. I ended up hooking somewhere between 15-18 fish, and landed 10 total. One of the 10 was a jack though, and another was a huge chinook in the 20 lb range. Frankly, it wasn't much fun to catch. That fish was just too big and slow, and it was a long tug of war with little excitement to it. Really neat to see a fish like that up close though.
My goal for the day was actually to catch a big old hook jawed male. I've just always wanted a picture of one all colored up like they get. I finally did hook one today, and fought him up and down the river. I was fishing above some rapids, and every fish seemed to run in and out of the boulders, making me run around like an idiot trying to hang onto them. I lost a bunch of fish in those boulders, but held onto enough to make it fun! It really was a great day, and it was fun to fish water that moves that fast! I'll be back to the carp in no time though. Despite landing 10 really nice fish, I didn't get to see my backing today!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Really good stuff from The Trout Underground. I for one believe that stealth is even more important when fishing for carp than trout!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I took Elia out in the backpack on Saturday. Conditions were poor, but what the heck. Water was way higher than the last time I hit this pond, and the visibility was about 3 inches. The water was so high that all the spots I normally see feeding fish revealed nothing...nothing that I could see anyway. The good news was that the high water had turned a normally dry mud bank into a 2 foot deep perfect flat, but again, the visibility killed me. I snuck around the edges, and hooked two fish by spotting their bubble trails. Both fish were hooked on a mega-prince nymph with rubber legs. The first fish was this little 4-5 lber.

The second fish felt better, but popped off quickly...I was fishing primarily by feel (casting at the bubbles) and I think I was late with the hook set. I did see one nice fish that was so tight to the bank that I had a good view of him. He turned on my fly from a rod length away and i set the hook, but he wasnt' there. So it goes!

Getting tougher with the cooler water...I may have to put up the Carp rod and actually chase some steelhead, trout or salmon!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A good rule of thumb is that you can't catch fish if you stay at home. While that is true, when your target is carp there are times when it might be best to stay at home. Today, I ventured out despite my instincts. Elia woke up from her nap, I got her dressed and asked "do you want to go fishing with dad?" If I needed proof that she is already smarter than me I now have it. She looked at the window as it was pelted with sideways rain and said "No, stay home with momma." Smart little girl.

Undaunted, I headed out hoping that the visibility would allow me to sneak right up on any fish foolish enough to be feeding on the bank in this nasty weather. As I headed up the freeway I snapped a shot of the conditions. Not exactly ideal carping weather.

The lake was covered in rain when I arrived, and visibility was indeed, terrible. I moved up the bank slowly, and my pace eventually paid off as I found a pod of fish working the bank. All I could see was mud and the occasional tail, but it was more than enough to get my blood going, which helped warm me up considerably. I crept along and dropped fly after fly into the fray. Finally, as I jigged one fly near a tail I saw a mouth swoop up after the fly and make one, two, three quick attempts at sucking it in as it rose in the water column. I clearly saw the fish trying to eat, but simply could not stop my arm from continuing to lift the fly! After three attempts the fish remembered that it was a carp, and with a non chalant attitude it dropped back to the bottom as if saying: "I'm not working that hard for my food."

Fortunately I did end up hooking two fish. Both fish were in the low to mid teens and made great runs. In the murky water the takes were merely a feeling of the line stopping, and I didn't end up landing either fish. The first fish ran about 80 ft into my backing and buried me in a massive matt of weeds on the other side of the lake. I reeled in about 25 lbs of weeds, and broke my fly off trying to haul the weeds onto shore so I could dig through them for my fly. The second fish made a great run as well, and I was able to capture some of it on video. It was fun to video tape the screaming reel, but I think it cost me the fish as it got off shortly after I got serious.

All in all a nice afternoon. WT once said you cannot underestimate the importance of direct sunlight when carp fishing. He is right on, but sometimes you just have to get out and make things come together.