Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Midway through day two I hadn't stuck a fish. I was happy as a clam (though I doubt clams in the Columbia are happy...major carp fodder) and had spent most of the morning running back and forth netting fish, taking pictures and giving out high fives to a pair of smiling fisherman. It wasn't red hot, but we were doing ok with a few nice fish, including this great double.

Note the blue sky...that always makes me smile. We had some rays, and the boys were taking advantage of the light. After moving through the mud flats we came to series of small, rocky bays. Normally this is one of my favorite spots on the river but given the water levels we were struggling. The fish were there, tailing in the boulders but the wading was brutal. Repeated slips and falls and one badly bashed shin marked our efforts, with just enough shots to keep us moving down the treacherous water. This is big fish water though, and it did bring us our biggest "to hand" fish. As we stumbled along I spotted a big tail waving amongst the boulders. WFF was on my right and quickly put a fly on the fish but an errant gust of wind contributed to a nasty tangle and ended his attempt at the feeding carp. I looked over at Wendy but he was too far away to risk the movement in the slippery conditions, so I flipped my two fly rig to the fish. As the flies sank I snuck a glance at WFF and said "he is going to eat that." A second later I set the hook and the fish screamed out into the river. This was one of the few fish we hooked that had room to run, and it felt good to see my backing. Approximately 45 minutes later (in dog years) Wendy deftly netted this nice carp.

The fish tipped the scales at over 15 lbs, and while we all hooked bigger fish, this was the biggest we managed to net. It came on a perfect actively tailing fish in amongst the boulders, a soft presentation and a short, sharp head turn to the fly...memorable.


Bigerrfish said...

John, I thought about ya yester day as I was stalking carp for the whole day, I am struggling to say the least.. these things are crusing around and eating, yet I just cant out smart one...
Got so pissy, I went off and hooked a frog..

John Montana said...

Stick with it man...carp are not easy to catch, that is all there is to it. they eat a fly very well, but you have to put it exactly in the right window. Try to get the fly (best bet is a mid size nymph) to HIT the bottom about 8 inches away from the fish. carp will chase, but not often, so don't try to make 'em. if you can hit bottom 8 inches out, they'll see it and usually eat. If the fly is in position, and the fish does ANYTHING differently than it was prior to the cast...set the hook.

it helps to put it slightly to the side too.

good luck man!