Monday, February 27, 2012

Some Questions on the Carp-Roll

I am pretty sure that at least some people use the CarpRoll as their destination for finding carp content.  I have a sneaking suspicion that it is the most used feature on Fly-Carpin.  I love it because it helps me get straight to what I am interested in reading about which is carp carp and more carp.

For those that are new to the site and don't understand what I am talking about that box on the side-bar called the CarpRoll is a filtered blog-roll of many if not most of the fly fishing blogs on the internet that regularly have carp content.  The filter is simple.  If a post or title contains the word "carp" it gets through.  If it doesn't Fly-Carpin aint interested and it gets thrown out.  That other stuff just doesn't jive with the intentionally obsessively compulsively focused nature of Fly-Carpin.

So I have a few questions for those who may be fan's of the CarpRoll:
  1. I have been meaning to try and include"It Aint Pretty" from the Drake and "Fly-Talk" from Field&Stream because I know and like Will Rice and Tim Romano.  They both write extremely well and are total carpers.  Done and Done (we get all the posts from the Drake, not just Will's).  The question is do people like these additions?
  2. Any other big commercial websites that people would like to see on the CarpRoll?  It seems I can add pretty much anything with a feed.
  3. I was stunned to figure out that I had totally missed ThirdCoastFly a while back.  Are there any other blogs that I should take a look at for the CarpRoll?  Self promotion OK. 
  4. Am I all wet or do lots of people use the CarpRoll as their carp content destination?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

CARPTORIOUS: Quick And Dirty Carp

The wife kicked me out on my bum this afternoon for a couple hours of quick and dirty carpin.  Poor girl, it's like pulling teeth to get me to go fishing.

The water was even more off-color than the other day because of snow melt and I only ended up with an hour and a half window before the wind and fading sun drove me from the water.  Things worked out just fine though and I was able to find a couple feeding fish, hook three and land one.

The first hook-up was almost embarrassing.  I had found what I thought was probably a neutral fish holding in a slight current on the far side of a deep slough.  I made a couple of half-hearted drifts and as the fly passed him the last time I started to lift the fly out to move on to greener pastures.  As I was lifting I tangled the line in some brush at the water's edge.  While I was working the mess my fly dropped down into the deep slough and as I once again started to pull out I found that I was now snagged on the bottom.  In irritation I lifted hard on the rod and the snag started to come up.  Well, you probably realize where I am going with this.  As the snag started to surface instead of a tree branch I found myself staring right down the throat of a very large and very lethargic carp just as my fly pulled free from it's lips.  I am almost certain that was the biggest carp I have hooked since last July and it was not only short lived, but totally on accident!

Oh well, 15 minutes later this much much smaller (but still respectable) carp was kind enough to make me feel a little better.  Once again on an olive carp stew and this one was very much on purpose with a nice tight presentation and a good (if slow and deliberate) visual take.  Very satisfying.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Today was the day.  Well, if you could work through the overcast skies and off-color water to find the fish it was the day.  If you could muscle a fly through the high winds and into the zone it was the day.  If you could then time the sluggish take it was the day.

With an overnight low of 45 and a daytime high of 53 I was expecting to find some happy fish.  To my surprise I only found 10 fish all day, but each and every single one of those fish was tailing!   

Given that every single fish I found in the river was feeding (a first for me) and that every holding spot I checked was completely empty this is my theory;  Every fish in the river was out on knee deep flats feeding today.  EVERY SINGLE ONE.  Actually it is more than a theory.  I am positive.  Given some sunlight and clear water to work with I think it would have been slay-hem may-hem.

Getting back to the point, remember those 10 wonderfully happy fish?  Well sometimes fly fishing for carp is a matter of odds. Two scattered to blown shots. Three more inexplicably ignored the fly. Four cleary took or tried to take the fly but I mis-timed the cold induced slow-mo takes and set early. 

But that only adds to 9 right?  Well, I managed slow down enough to stick an olive carp-stew into number 10 and that saved the day. Man I feel Carptorious, 2012 is finally looking up.   

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sand Creek Petroleum Not Going Away Anytime Soon

While out fishing Sunday February 19th I visited the South Platte below the Sand Creek confluence for a look-see and it was not good.  The low flows had created a shallow still pool under the 270 bridge.  This is what I found in that pool:

Oil Slick In Denver South Platte Feb 2011
Still Signs of Petroleum In The South Platte!
I also saw several fist to football sized pieces of sheen floating in the main current a couple hundred feet downriver.  I have been back several times now and this is the most easily seen visual indicators of petroleum I have seen since Day 1 almost three months ago.  I have no idea if there has been difficulty with containment or if this is residual benzyne working it's way up from the stream-bed.

I know that it is going to take a long time for everything to be OK, but it was still disappointing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I am Taking Back My Carp Mojo Mojo JoJo

Ever since Sand Creek disgorged it's noxious brew I have been in a state of discord with my favorite river.  Nothing has felt right, nothing has felt well.

It have gone months without truly reaching the correct frame of mind.  The state of mind where predatory instinct supplants mind.  Where silence dominates the mental, spiritual and physical worlds.  Until it doesn't.  Until reality suddenly warps into the moment and the fog-horn sounds in your head and you set the hook and magically feel life at the other end.

As an extremely rational man I find it difficult to admit, but my love for fly fishing for carp seems nearly spiritual in nature.  My passion originates in the moment and that that comes before.

Tomorrow I plan a preposterous lie.  I will stop on the bank, make a sacrifice to the carp spirits and tell myself that the weather outlook is just fine.  That the flows are perfect.  That there is nothing unreasonable about catching carp in February.  Maybe myself will believe it and maybe it will even be true.  Either way I envision that the conversation stops there.  Nothing follows.  Until there is something.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Legion of Dooooooooooooommmm!

Hide the women, children and adorable pets, the Legion of Doom is in the house!  No thanks to the USPS Wendy Berrell's submission to the fly swap has finally arrived.  I love the flattened wide profile of this fly and in case you haven't noticed I am a big fan of soft fur on carp flies.

Packages are on the way, the first nine went out today first class parcel with tracking thanks to my beautiful wife.  I made the executive decision to hold the rest off in order to give the LOD a fair shake and if you aren't in the first wave it probably means you get one or provided them.  Those packages will trickle out over the next week or so.

Just remember I didn't promise fancy packaging.  As a matter of Zack made the foam circles I am using to keep the flies from tangling for a quarter a piece.  Don't tell his Union Rep I told you, but the little money grubber got the best of Daddy and pumped those things out at a 20 buck an hour velocity.  That's me boy!  And yes, I am cheap enough and was amused enough to sit down and calculate it.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fly Swap Progress

Alright, alright, alright.  Things are getting ready to get messy with the carp fly swap.  The Roughfisher's flies arrived today and I think we are ready to start sorting return packages.  If I thought I could (or would have a clue how to) snort carp crack I might because I am going to need some serious go-juice.

Roughfisher's Carp Crack Carp Fly
Roll the music, Carp Crack is in the house and we are ready to rock!
All the fly pictures are done and the summary page is too barring minor details. I have to tell you, the summary page was a load.  I think there are over 80 pictures?  It was a ton of work but I am really pleased with the end results and I think it does a good job of showing off and documenting all the great hard work the participants put into making these flies.  Anybody who wants me to tweak the text or links drop me a line but the pictures are what they are!

2012 Carp Fly Swap Line-Up
Just an awesome selection of carp flies.
In the end the most painful part of making that page may have been deciding on the order.  All these flies are worth taking a look at but can you picture putting Barry Reynolds or John Montana at the bottom of the page?  Me neither and they got top billing and I tried to mix it up a little from there.

Anybody curious about the black market value of 300 plus carp flies?  Yeah, me too.  We better not even play that game though, Zack's got a college fund and Daddy needs a new pair of wading boots.

Bidding will open at.....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Carp Fly Swap - Deadline!

All you slackers without flies in my grubby little mitts are now OUT!  Just kidding of course.  Being a bit of a slacker myself I asked the magic 8 ball if all the flies would get here on time.  It said hell no, so I put in a little wiggle room on the schedule for slackers. 

We are actually in really good shape and have 17 out of 22 packages in and the rest are en-route.  Today we got in Austin Anderson, Chris Galvin and Barry Reynolds. 

All us Reynolds fans will be happy to know that he sent two sets of 10 and everybody will get one of his flies!  Really, if you think about it, he should have written books about rock and roll.  I mean, stinky smelly fly fishing for carp groupies from the 35 to 45 male demographic can't be what he pictured!
Tail Chaser and Barry Reynold's Carp Bitter Carp Flies
Tailchaser and Barry's Carp Bitter.  And yes, that is foam.  Very interesting. 
I haven't really been able to keep up with everything lately except making summaries, but in some other vaguely carp fly-swap related news:
  • Sean Hudson learned that the more people like your fly the more they seem to want to change it.  Just a funny thing.
  • Hide the women and children, the Legion of Doom is on it's way. I am almost glad they are a smidge late, because I am truly terrified.  Actually I really like the looks of this one and can't wait to get my hands on it...and change it. Just a funny thing.  
  • The swap has triggered a flood of creativity and artistry for Lonny Garris.
  • I can't be late with John Montana's package.  If he doesn't get something carp related in his hands soon he might not make it.
  • Speaking of not making it, I am pretty borderline myself.  Ty Goodwin had to go show off how good his submission is by breaking in January.  Show-off.
  • ThirdCoastFly made a fun post about the swap.  Massive (for me) traffic ensued.  Guess I am blind deaf and stupid because somehow three weeks ago I didn't even know about what is apparently one of the big-boy blogs with lots of fly fishing for carp content.
  • The Roughfisher's will likely be the last package in.  That's cool because, well, he is sending in a full set and basicly offering to get us all hooked on carp-crack.  Come to think of it, is that a good thing or a bad thing?