Monday, May 31, 2010

Uh...yeah. It was a good trip:

For comparison:
VanDam wins 2010 Bassmaster Classic at Lay Lake
VanDam, who caught two of the three largest bags in the three-day tournament Feb. 21, captured the title after reeling in five bass weighing a total of 19 pounds and 7 ounces on the final day of fishing.

Our five fish bag came in at 104 lbs. Tired arms baby!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Approximately 405 lbs of carp caught.

3 fish over 20.

Several memorable takes.

Wendy berrell with a 20 lb mirror.

Pics to come.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Not an easy day on the water today. Looking at the weather last night I knew it could be tough, but didn't expect it to be a complete weather fiasco. Instead of partly cloudy, I got a complete blackout. Nothing but dark cloud cover the entire time on the even rained on me off an on throughout the day. I didn't have one single ray of sunlight touch me all day. Not exactly what a guy looks for when sight fishing for carp. Still, with Wendy Berrell closing in on OR soon, I needed to check out some water and see if looked promising, so I went, and I hoofed all over the damn river with no visibility. At first, I stuck to the shallows and looked for tails, but unfortunately none of the fish were in close enough to shore for me to see any activity. I found a section with a high bank, and got into my first fish by spotting it from above and then zoning in on it at water level like a radar guided missile. Turned out to be a decent mirror carp, the first of several I would catch today. Eventually, I started to find a few fish, but for the most part I was spooking them. Nice fish too...the water I checked out today held some good fish, and a larger population of mirrors than I'm used too. I landed 3 mirrors (out of 11 total fish) and saw several more fish that sure looked like mirror carp, but it was tough to tell in the darkness. This nice 14 lb mirror took the new green fly that has been so deadly that past couple of weeks:
I got into a rhythm, slowed WAY down. I took tiny, steps, and paused between each footfall. That seemed to work and I started getting close enough to fish to at least see a shadow. I lost 4-5 fish that I'm sure were snagged, no scales back but when casting at dark shapes that are basically blobs, you are bound to snag a few.
Late in the day I finally spotted a tailer on the bank. Turned out to be about 4-5 fish milling around. I snuck in there close and pulled a 12 lber out of the scrum on the green fly. Literally hauled his ass backwards to get him out of the feeding frenzy. Landed him, snuck back in there and stuck another 12-13 lber in the face with the green fly. Hauled his ass out of there even faster than his buddy. Landed, released, and 10 stealthy steps back to the honey hole found a big dark blob poking around. I dropped the green fly right on her nose and set up pretty quickly. I didn't even try to haul this fish out of the spot. There were still a few fish there but this one was the one I was after all day. I fought the fish for while then brought her to the net. Just a shade over 21 lbs:
A great fish considering the conditions. I had seen bigger dark blobs throughout the day, but it was really tough out there. Nearly impossible to get a good sight picture put together.

Lastly, this was obviously the maiden voyage of the new buff. Dig the carp scale pattern. I figure this will replace all that nasty sunscreen, and it worked pretty well. Didn't need it for the sun today, but it felt great to have my face protected from the 15 MPH winds. I don't feel all ripped up like I normally do after a day in the wind...kept my neck warm too. I think I'll like it but am anxious to see how the buff does in the sun.

Friday, May 14, 2010

On Sunday, I turn 35. For some reason I find that really hard to believe. It just seems like yesterday when I was catching shiners with Clint Wiedholtz at Bay Point. We tied fishing line to long sticks and just dropped flies on the 3-5 inch long minnows. Later that day we would come back with real fishing gear and soak live bait for Northern Pike. Completely illegal by the way. I was talking to a client the other day and they asked me about my fondest childhood fishing memory. The answer came easily enough and despite many great days with Clint (we all called him Dick) my favorite fishing as a child came courtesy of my dad. He drove trains for the Burlington Northern, and one time while working a track cleaning train outside Libby, MT he took me along. I got to ride the train out every morning and they would drop me off along the Kootanai River. I'd cast big bushy dry flies to trout all day long only to rush back up to the tracks to hitch a ride back to the rail yard and the waiting super 8. Pretty sweet deal all in all.

I made a few memories today as well. Carp fishing for me at this point is getting to be less and less about the fight, or even the size of the fish (well, sort of). What I'm after nowadays is that perfect moment when the stalk, cast, fish and fly all come together. I live for the take. Today, I walked into a gazillion spawning fish. Literally. When carp spawn, they just don't give a damn. You can walk right over the top of them and they just kind of shrug you off. I was a rod length away from a fish that was somewhere between 30-40 lbs, but no way was that fish going to eat. My dad would have snagged it right in the ass! I watched it dart by, harrassed by 3-4 smaller males. Fishing amidst the spawners can be frustrating, but I've learned to fish the edges of the groups. I look for singles and pay close attention to the body posture. If the tail is higher than the head, they might eat (duh). I managed about 10-12 carp...all fish were heavy, solid fish. The smallest was around 10-12 lbs, with the biggest being my personal best mirror carp that weighed in at 17 lbs. I'm a mirror fanatic. I'll cast at mirror carp over big fish any day, and today I landed 3. I actually had a good look at a mirror that might have been mid 20s, but alas...that fish had other things on its mind. The best part though, was this perfect little take. The carp was easing along a gravel bar, tailing right where the gravel turned to sand and I had a perfect 45 degree, 25 ft cast to an extremely visible fish. One cast, the fly sunk about 8 inches ahead of the tailer and the fish stopped tailing, eased forward, and stood right on its head. Perfect.

Lastly before some photos...I have a new favorite carp bug. A little green nymph that they ate the shit out of today. I busted it off horsing in an athletic fish that didn't want to give up. Very basic pattern though, so I'll hit the vice and make use of Singlebarbed's awesome scissors (check them out...nice little tool!)

Friday, May 07, 2010

I have had zero time to post but check out the roughfisher's blog for some more pics.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Couple of quick pics and an Hemingway report.

Weather sucked. Company was great. We found fish. We caught fish. More later.

And Mr. me pics of your 15 lber. I took them all on your camera so you are missing from this brief picture report!

The Roughfisher, 1st Columbia River Carp (15 lbs).

Roughfisher, 14 lb mirror.

John Montana with the big fish of the trip, 21 lbs.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Today was rough. As in rough water. We go pounded by huge waves all day. Oh, and it was cloudy all day two. 25-30 mph winds and full cloud cover. Sweet. We stuck a few fish but only through sheer perseverance. Hoping for a better day tomorrow.