Friday, May 27, 2011

CARPTORIOUS: Working Hard For the Carp

As May rolls towards an end I am surprised to look back and find I caught about the same numbers of carp on the fly in March and nearly as many in February.  Fortunately what May has lacked in numbers has been more than offset by size.  Today was a prime example.  I worked hard for most of the day with nothing to show for it, but after several changes in venue I finally found happy feeding fish late in the outing.  The action opened with a spunky 23" specimen which took the Leather Headstand Carp Worm fly on a blind strip.  The action closed with this 20lb-3ounce (29") piggy which grabbed a Primordial Crust fly on a dead drop with an awesome visual take.  By piggy I mean full on pre-spawn river-carp obese.  Pretty sure no 29" lake carp would ever top 20lb!

I have been my own worst enemy this spring due to a stubborn insistence that the front range still-waters are going to get totally awesome any day now.  Unfortunately it seems that every lake I focus on for a week or two shows promise of getting going and then disappoints. 

The first lake I visited this morning certainly dissapointed.  Yesterday afternoon I had an opportunity to scout it for two hours.  In that time 5 very large carp charged the fly but I missed them all because I was fishing from the top of a cliff with tons of slack in my line.  This morning I returned full of hope and energy to find that the carp were not.

The second lake I visited looked like it was going to kick into high gear several weeks ago when I made this post.  Since then the water has gone from off-color to chocolate felch.  I gave it a serious go, and there were fish tailing, but I just couldn't get them to eat my carp flies and had to move on. 

With less than 2 hours left in the outing I arrived at the river.  To my surprise I found perfectly clear water, optimal flows and feeding fish.  Within 10 minutes I had already missed 3 sweet takes.  Within 20 minutes I had the first fish to the bank.  Within 45 minutes I had landed what may very well be my heaviest carp to date on a fly.  Why had I wasted the rest of the day pounding my head against the still-water?  I don't know.  What is sad is that I am pretty sure I will do it again next time! 

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