Saturday, April 12, 2014

Its ON!

April can be boom or bust when chasing carp on flies on the front range.  The wild fluctuations in temperature, pressure and water clarity make it very very confusing.  The carp are here today gone tommorow.  Additionally, I rarely catch many big ones in April.  The big girls don't show up shallow on most of the stillwater's that I fish until late April early May. 

Get it right, however, and you can put up some pretty good numbers of feisty and fun juvies.  The end of this latest four day warming trend was perfectly aligned with my day off and I practically caught nearly as many carp as I did all winter in less than 24 hours.

After a long hard winter of duking it out for a couple of carp an outing it is a blast to just catch a bunch of carp with relative ease! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Video: A Better Way to Tighten Down the Improved Clinch Knot

Long-time readers of the blog probably know that I have been on a several year crusade against the improved clinch knot for connecting carp flies to tippet.  After significant effort and time I finally decided that the no-slip mono loop knot is the best alternate.

That being said, even I still use the improved clinch in a couple of scenarios.  Occasionally I am in such a hurry to get a different fly to a tailer that it is worth the risk of losing a pound or two of breaking strength to gain a second or two.  I am also using it on the top-side of a new super strong leader system I have been working on with a tippet ring, a bimini twist and a hand-shake knot.

Since knot even I  (pun intended) can completely abandon the improved clinch, I decided to put together a video showing improved clinch stalwarts how they might be able to squeeze a smidge more strength by tightening this knot differently.

Especially if you use flourocarbon, adjusting how you tighten down the knot can increase the strength of this knot dramatically.  Give it a shot.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Whip Finish Fly Line Loop Video

If you want or need to add a new loop to the end of your fly line to attach your leader to this is the best way. The resulting loop doesn't really float so this is not your best choice if you are drifting indicators to trout - but for most fly fishing for carp situations it is ideal.  The resulting loop has a low profile, gets through your guides easily and smoothly and is virtually indestructible. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

CarpPro Issue 7 Issue 7 came out tonight, and this issue features many of the flies from our recently completed swap as well as an editorial from yours truly.

The more astute of you may happen to notice that my fly-swap submission was one of the bigger and creepy crawlier carp flies in the swap which is in odd contrast to my editorial.  What can I say, except that I am just as confused as you are and - "Do as I say not as I do" 

While we are at it lets throw in "Shut yer mouth when yer talkin to me!".  Which is an inside joke.  Sorry about that.

My favorite part of this issue, though, was the article from Treavor Hackenberg about fly fishing and Asperger's Syndrome.  Despite our best efforts to aggrandize it, fly fishing is really a pretty trivial excersize - except for somebody like Treavor. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Hackenberg's Dirty Harry

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier:  Treavor Hackenberg
Location:  PA
Instagram: @thackenberg

About: "This fly is just a mix between Roughfisher's Carp Crack and Egan's Headstand.  I fish the fly with slow long strips and random hard short strips to make it look like it's digging down in the mud."

Notes:  At 15 years old, Treavor is a member of the significant youth movement in carp on the fly.  His energy and passion are awe inspiring and you will be able to read his full story in the next issue of CarpPro.  As far as I can tell, many (most?) fishermen under 20 really have no concept of carp as a "trash fish" and that is very very satisfying.  

I ran into a young man at a local lake a couple of weeks ago.  He saw me getting out my fly rod, nodded sagely at me and asked how the carp were biting.  I did a double-take and asked him how he knew I was chasing carp.  His looked at me like I was insane, and said "Well, you are fly fishing so I just figured".  No shit - honest truth.  I am a little more used to people looking at me insanely BECAUSE I am chasing carp.  The new reality is going to be confusing at times.

Oh yeah - this is the last fly in the swap.  Kaput.  Done.  - McTage 

  • Hook: Straight shank, size 6
  • Tail:  Red Fox
  • Body: Crystal flash dub, rusty orange
  • Leggs: TCO Round Rubber - medium
  • Hackle:  Orangish / Reddish hackle 
  • Head : Greay crystal Flash dub
  • Eyes:  Medium bead chain

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Scott Wells' Carp Fly

Copyright 2014,  Scott Wells,
Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Scott Wells

Location: Denver, CO

About: "This is a guide fly with only two basic materials.  I have used this fly or close variants to it for many years and have caught a ton of carp on it."

Notes:  Scott Wells has been harassing the Denver South Platte carp on the fly as long as just about anybody I know.  He has a passion for anything having to do with water and the outdoors and he has extended that passion into his art.  We are going to get a little side-tracked from his fly on this post, because You HAVE GOT TO check out his fish prints

Scott specializes in making carefully enhanced prints of real fish and his mirror carp prints have got to be the coolest carp art I know of.  They are also for sale - so don't be shy if you like his stuff.

Copyright 2014, Scott Wells,
  • Hook: Size 6 Gamakatsu SL-45.
  • Eyes:  Medium Brass, silver coating
  • Thread: 6/0,  fluorescent orange
  • Body: Leech Mohair 
  • Tail / Leggs: Hareline Buggy Nymph Leggs, Brown

Copyright 2014, Scott Wells,

Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Frasier's Package of Crap Flies. I mean Carp Flies.

For this year's swap we decided to do something a little different.  In order to thank Dan Frasier for saving the swap, getting us all SA GPX lines and for everything else he does for fly fishing for carp we made him a special package.  A very very very special package.  And then we talked him into video-taping the experience!  Check it out.