Saturday, September 25, 2010

September in OR? That blue sky is killing me. Salmon in the rivers but all I want to do is catch a few more carp.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September Carp

I saw an awful lot of this today.

I headed out today thinking that this would be my last outing of the season. The weather is about to turn cool and the rains are coming, but today I had full on sun and just enough wind for a tiny chop on the water. Just perfect conditions. The water temp is definitely down a bit and while the carp are there, I didn't see the insane numbers that I had been seeing this spring and summer. Instead of groups of 10-30 carp I saw a lot of single and double fish. As the day wore on I saw larger groups coming together to sun, but most of the day was about spotting individual tailers.

The fish were all good size with a ton of 12-16 lbers. I landed two that were right at 20 lbs and several in the upper teen range. I did spot some bigger fish and had a few chances to put it together but man! Those real pigs are tough! Even when I put the fly in the perfect spot the bigger fish seemed to sense the tippet sinking and simply bolt. Next spring I might go down to 2x tippet and see if that helps, though landing a 25-35 lb carp on 2x tippet could create it's own challenges.

I didn't keep track of fish landed but it had to be somewhere between 20 or 30. It seemed like the fish were aggressive and with the light chop on the water I got great shot after great shot. Just a fantastic day of fishing.

Two words on the buff. Love it. If you fish in the sun a lot, throw out the sunscreen and go long sleeves, sun gloves and a buff. I find it very comfortable, not too hot and I never feel sun or wind burnt. Plus, it makes you feel like a ninja when you are sneaking up on a big tailer.

I caught this nice mirror on a little gravel bar. The fish had it's back completely out of the water.

I was struck with how thick the fish looked today. No fat spawning bellies but every carp was big and broad with heavy shoulders. With the large number of teens fish I was shot by the end of the day. 12-14 lb carp are like the 6 ft 6 inch two guard on an NBA team. Fast and powerful but still plenty agile. The 15-17 lbers are the real studs though. Think the 6 ft 8 inch small forwards like Lebron James. Those fish absolutely light you up and rip line from your reel like you hooked a semi truck on the freeway. I caught a few lebrons and carmelo's today, as well as some Dwayne Wade's and Brandon Roy's. Still looking to land a Shaq though.

A few athletes there.

All in all, one of my better trips this year. Nice to end the season (maybe) on a bang. Something about carping just gets me. The hunt, the stalk, the cast, the just feels right. Even after a satisfying trip like today, I am ready for more. But maybe I should wash my hat first.