Monday, August 15, 2011

Words of wisdom

From legendary WA carp angler WT: "You cannot underestimate the importance of direct sunlight when fly fishing for carp."

So yeah...I showed up with sharp hooks, fresh tippet, eagle eyes and willing arms but when the sky is covered in high, white clouds you are basically going for a walk. Don't get me wrong, a guy can make that work for you but the general "no visibility" method is to move like molasses and peer into the mirror like surface with laser focus. This method usually results in dapping at happily tailing fish from a few feet away, but when the area you are fishing is covered in baseball sized cobble the old sneaky approach ain't happening. With stealth unavailable to us, we had to rely completely on vision, and spotting the fish at a distance was a problem. As such, we had to work at it, but we put a few fish in the net.

As the sun started to peek out from the cloud cover, we found a few mor fish and were able to decipher the takes. There were no gimmes today. Takes were subtle and the cast had to be right on the fish. They just didn't want to move to the fact, despite the rock covered bottom I had some mild success with the venerable SJW.

I was fishing my standard two fly rig and changing up the back fly, but the front worm seemed to be the ticket. The fish were tailing, or slowly cruising along the cobble and when I could get the worm I. Front of them without spooking them, they ate it pretty well. We moved along from spot to spot, fishing gorgeous water and hooking enough fish to be happy. All told we likely landed ten fish, maybe a couple more. I broke a couple off being careless and trying to horse the fish in (I tried to "hot beach" one by sprinting up the gravel bar and dragging the fish like an anchor...the hook straightened and he popped loose in the shallows but I sprinted back down the bar and scooped the little bugger up with one hand!) I freely admit that I am addicted to the take. I love watching the fish turn, or flair their gills or see the fly float into their mouth...landing them is a bonus. I just like to hook them.

We had a nearly perfect hour in the early afternoon. The sun broke through, the wind died and we fished in a glorious setting. Rather than rush it, we went slower. We caught a few fish, took some pictures, and in general enjoyed the river.

What started out with the frustration of no visibility and spooked fish turned into some spotty action for the bulk of the day, and an hour or so of near perfect conditions. We experienced the gamut of carping on the Columbia, even ending the day literally blown off the river by the wind. All told, a great outing with Travis. I texted back and forth with Mr. P that evening, telling him about the day, and the last exchange summed it up best.

JM: Solid day. Some really memorable takes.
Mr. P: Excellent


David McKenzie said...

great report!

Ty said...

I'm with you, John. The take is what yanks my chain. After a hook-up, I want to land that carp asap and move on to the next one. Top notch report.

testflycarpin said...

Looks like your favorite net is doomed! I know what you mean with the cobble. Tough to be quit on cobble. There are a couple of places around here where you just cant get even remotely close because of it. I would attach pillows to my feet to spread out the weight if I didnt think I would kill myself.

John Montana said...

I need to get some new (and better) mesh for that net.

Wendy Berrell said...

Nice outing. I like the look of that water.