Wednesday, May 30, 2012

(Almost) Carp De-Virginized

I've been pretty absent from the blog world for the last few months. We had awesome son # 2 in December and things have been pretty lively around here with 2 little guys under 2. I finally got some breathing room and snuck off for a short trout trip to the McCloud a month ago. It was my first time there and beautiful. It was a ton of fun and super relaxing to be immersed in such a beautiful place while fishing all day. However, after driving 7 hours each way I thought that I really needed to get serious about learning to carp. Driving less than an hour to fish for readily available carp that were multiple times larger than trout seemed like a good deal to me.

I've been wanting to get into carp for a long time but never put in the effort till now. So, the last few weeks I've been scoping my local lakes for carp, sometimes not even bringing a rod. Well, after 7 trips not even seeing a carp I finally struck pay dirt. Today, I ran into a shallow bay that was littered with tailing carp. They were tailing so hard that after a while I couldn't even see them through all the mud, and had to move down the bank.

I made a bunch of decent as well as crappy casts and pushed the limits to see how spooky these guys were. Surprisingly, they were so engrossed in mudding that they didn't see me unless I got way too close on the edge of the bank or I moved way too fast. But for the most part, if I moved slow, I was able to cast at will. The only thing that spooked them was dropping line or fly on them, which I did plenty of.

I started out with a #10 birds nest but that seemed to be completely ignored, even when I made a good cast. I then switched to a #8 olive and black wooly bugger and that got more attention. I finally got one big 'ol boy to suck it up, at least as far as I could tell from his body language. But I wasn't sure, so I made a half-hearted strip strike so I wouldn't pull the fly too far if I was early. But lo and behold, fish on! But it only lasted a second or so. He took off with my fly in his mouth, put a bend in my rod, and then he was off. My hook set was weak and didn't stick. I would have struck harder but I could barely see the fish. Even though he was only in a foot of water, it was muddy enough that I could only see his tail, so I had to guess when he took it.

I'm definitely chalking up today in the win column though. I hadn't even expected to see carp, much less hook one. I'll be back for sure. No photos though. I was too engrossed to even think about photos. Next time. Very excited. It was really cool to be able to sight fish for decent size fish in my backyard.