Sunday, June 07, 2009

Despite a few mishaps and some weather issues, I managed to put 20lbers #5 and #6 in the books today. I did quite a bit of exploring this morning, checking some likely spots without rigging up before getting to the place I planned on fishing. I rigged up my brand new Gary Borger Targus 7wt (impulse buy, sweet little rod though!) and headed down the flat. The goal was to break in the new rod...Well, I did that. Fish #2 for the day turned my new toy into a warranty experiment. I was reaching for the fish with the net and the rod snapped about 6 inches below the middle ferrule. Crap.

I did enjoy the rod up until that point! The worst part about breaking the rod was I had to hoof back to the car to get my sage, and in the time it took me to get back to the area I was fishing the clouds had rolled in and visibility had gone from bad, to impossible. I stood there for a while, trying to decide what to do. I literally couldn't see anything, and the wind was picking up, making matters worse. It was still early in the day, I had two fish to hand so I could have called it good and headed home. Instead, I decided to just move really slowly and see if I could somehow spot a tailer or two before spooking them. Turned out to be a good decision. I spotted this mirror, mainly because it was in just inches of water. He ate the worm with no hesitation.

There is something about mirror carp...just cool looking fish. I kept moving, but conditions got even worse. The cloud cover turned dark, the wind got heavier and I was basically fishing in whitecaps, getting hammered into the shoreline. At one point I lifted my outside foot just as a big wave came in and it actually tripped me up and I went down in knee deep water. The river is still cold! I got into a wamer, mud bottome area and started moving even slower. Spotted a dark shape about 6 ft away and dropped the worm/stonefly nearby. I wasn't sure if the shape moved or a wave made it look that way, but I set the hook...lucky guess. The fish ended up weighing 21 lbs even.

I kept fishing for a while, but didn't cover much ground. In order to see the fish, I had to nearly stand still. I hooked probably 5-7 more fish, but they all popped off so I'm assuming I snagged them. Bottom line, when you hook a carp in the mouth you usually land them, or break them off. I didn't get any scales back, but all the pop off's likely meant I was snagging fish. I just couldn't see...I was casting at shapes and setting the hook when they moved...pretty tough.

The last fish made the entire day. I had finally given up and was hoofing up the shoreline, calling it a day with only 4 fish to hand when I saw a dark shape surfing the waves up ahead of me about 30 ft. The fish looked like a viking ship marauding the would zoom in to the shallows on a wave and dart around briefly, then zip back out before the next wave would break. I've never seen a carp act like that, but it was pretty exciting to watch. I timed the cast...waited until the viking ship was on the way into the coastline and then made my firs, last, and only cast of more than 10 ft today. The moment the flies hit the water that fish lit up like a christmas tree and hammered the stonefly. I absolutely charged the fly from a good 3-4 ft away, still riding an incoming wave. Just a phenomenal take. I couldn't see well enough to watch the fish eat the fly, but there was no doubt what was happening. I fought the fish, and it scaled out at 21 lbs on the nose. To be honest...I think it might have been the same fish! At least 2 hours had passed, and I was a minimum of 1/2 mile from the place that I had caught the last fish, but check out these pictures. The first pic is of fish #4 for the day, the second of fish #5. They both weighed 21 lbs, and had that strange mouth...

Hard to tell, but they sure look like the same fish to me.

All in all a good day...I just hope the river drops and clears and we get good sun when Wendy Berrel and his brother get here!


Wendy Berrell said...

Hope you have a good warranty. Sorry to hear about that rod. Only certain gear can take the intensity of carping it seems.

That is definitely the same carp - as you note - mouth is identifying feature. Even further though - see white marking right behind eye.

Way to battle through tough conditions to land some sweet fish.

John Montana said...

You are doubt about it. Hard to believe that 2 hours after releasing that fish it was looking aggressively for food 1/2 mile away. weird.

so does that count as 2 fish over 20lbs...hah!

David McKenzie said...

Vaery impressive! I agree, same fish.

John Montana said...

I had left Don at River City a vmail sunday while driving home...promised him a report on the Borger. I called today to talk to him about warranty and Don had already ordered a replacement for me. It will be here in a few days and he'll swap me out.

Best fly shop in the world.

Noah Fleming said...

Nice Mirror John...Check out this video I took at my local Carp spot the other day. First time I've seen this.

Do you ever fish blindly for carp? Much of the water here is very discolored.

Fishing Shirts said...

Very nice fish. Congratulations!

Ward W said...

Very jealous of all your mirrors!!

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