Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nothing to Say Here, Nothing To See Here

About this time last year I ran into Jay Zimmerman doing a fly tying presentation at Charlie's Flybox.  I consider Jay one of my carpin heroes so I introduced myself and we talked a little about carpin and blogging.  I mentioned that Fly-Carpin was turning out to be allot more work than I had pictured when I naively pushed that innocent looking "start a blog" button.  His outright laughed with (at?) me and then said something along the lines of "Let me guess, you figured heck, it's just like having your fishing journal on-line right?"

Well it turns out that in many ways a blog is an absolutely terrible fishing journal.  First off your typical fishing journal is BORING.  Boring to write and even worse to read so you end up leaving out allot of important stuff that might help you in future years.  Second of all eventually you don't want to share everything.  Some days the fishing is so bad that you really have nothing to say.  Some days you fish poorly or make a rookie mistake and are a little embarrassed.  Occasionally something about the day is so absolutely perfect that it just turns personal.

Today was all of the above.  The fishing kinda sucked, I kinda sucked.  I spent 98.9% of the day looking for feeding fish or screwing up the few I found.  I spent 1% of the day catching what will undoubtedly be one of the coolest carp I will ever catch on the perfect fly on the perfect presentation on the perfect take and the perfect hook set with a great extended battle to boot.  I spent the final 0.2% of the day making a rookie mistake, screwing up the photo-op and coming away with nothing but fond memories.  That's fly-fishing for carp, if I wasn't so damn stubborn I would quit while I was way ahead.  Or way behind.  Hard to tell which, but I sure feel great.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Primordial Crust Carp Fly Now Available From MFC

As you may know last year I won the MFC / OBN fly designer contest.  Well, it looks official, my Primordial Crust Carp Fly (and yes that was the very first Fly-Carpin post) is now available from Montana Fly Company.  If you would like to try it out you can either order some from an online shop such as Dreamdrift Flies or ask your local shop to pretty please order some.  Check out the sweet rotating 360 degree picture from MFC.
Primordial Crust Carp Fly
Primordial Crust

I myself have some waiting for me at Colorado Skies fly shop.  This is actually my second order, the first one got put on the floor on accident and sold out, which is pretty cool! 

Its getting to be the time of year when a meaty fly like the Crust can really shine for big fish.  Two of my biggest fish last year came in the spring on a Crust.
20lb carp on a Primordial Crust carp fly
20lb Carp on The Primordial Crust

Fighting a large carp on a Primordial Crust carp fly
18lb Carp on the Primordial Crust (Photo by The CarpDawg formerly known as TroutDawg)

Not an expert, but the Crust seems to work for Trout too.  In an ironic twist the only two Trout I have caught on the DSP were both around 18", caught in the fall and fell to a Crust "carp fly" on a blind swing through shadowed runs.
18' Rainbow Trout on a Primordial Crust carp fly
Big Rainbow On the Primordial Crust
In case you haven't noticed I am pretty carp-centric these days so I have not actually tried it for Bass.  I have no doubt that the Crust is a worthy bucket-mouth fly as well though.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Clew Of Trouser Worm Flies

Living hand-to-mouth on my carp flies is getting to me.  Enough is enough, time to try and get ahead for once.  In that spirit I sat down and threw together a "clew" of Trouser Worms.  A "clew" you ask?  Evidently that is the term for a bunch of worms.  Like school, herd, flock etc.  When I was looking it up I was afraid it would be "bunch" and well, that is pretty boring so I was going to make up my own.  A "massacre" of worms sounds about right given how much carp dig these babies but clew will work.

Worms are tolerant sorts, I imagine that odd looking fella out front can be in their clew.  Unless it doesn't work, in which case I am hanging it in a tree under the first murder of Crows I find.  And unless you are curious Mr and Mrs Justices of the supreme court THAT is coercion.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kindness and Consideration

While roughly 2/3 of the country has been having a miraculously warm March John Montana has been getting hosed up in Oregon.  A cruel man would take the rare opportunity of John not having some of the best carpin in to country to have some fun at his expense.  Well, out of kindness and consideration I will forebear from mentioning that it will be in the mid to high 70's tomorrow in CO.  I will forget to mention that I have a pass.  I will absolutely not gloat that one of my carpin' buddies has a new spot lined up where the carp are large and in charge and totally into this March weather.  That would be cruel.

Well that was fun, I figure there is a pretty short window before things go back to reality.  Just remember fellow carpers and carp bloggers, eventually things will turn and John will be dropping the hammer and while his carp will be likely to look like this (frequently much bigger actually):

Some of us (me) are just as likely to catch stuff like this:

My record smallest carp.

So when the time comes and he is burning up the net with stunning stories of huge fish we all owe John several (2 or 3 apiece at least) heart-felt statements along the lines of "I am so freaking jealous right now".

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

RIP Lake Mead Trip

Well stuff happens.  I was supposed to go to Las Vegas with my wife in a couple of weeks.  She is in a WPT amateur poker league tournament she won her way into.  While she was in the tournament during the day I was going to be looking for carp on Lake Mead.  At night we were going to do whatever it is you do in Vegas that stays in Vegas up to and including "investing" Zack's college fund.  Well, a couple hundred bucks at any rate. 

Unfortunate and un-avoidable family circumstances have resulted in a change of plans and she will have to tough it out without me.  I was really looking forward to the rare, exotic and nearly extinct experience of a sans-kid husband and wife vacation.  I was also looking forward to breaking in another possible carp destination.  By all accounts the average size of the carp in Mead is nothing to write home about but the scenery, ecology and nearby debauchery of the fishery seems very intriguing.

Rest easy Mead carp you are free from my evil scourge.  For now. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

CAPRPRORIOUS: March BowChikiBowBow

The unseasonably warm weather has had a dramatic effect on the local fly fishing for carp scene  For one thing the river has turned into quite the sausage fest.  You know, there is a whole lotta swinging er lines on the water.  Over this off-season I have probably bumped into a grand total of 3 other anglers.  On Friday I ran into 6!

I also saw quite a few scenes from "Carp Behaving Badly".  We get random mini (false?) spawns virtually all year on my home river due to the massive water temperature fluctuations and this is not the first time I have seen a female carp or two shake her booty in March.  I witnessed quite a bit of risque behavior today though.  For shame ladies, it is March after all!

The carp ladies aren't the only ones feeling frisky with the heat.  The biking path was lined up as far as the eyes could see with joggers in bikinis.  OK, in order to not increase the previously lamented sausage fest I will admit it was one pair of joggers in sports bras way off in the distance.  Either way it was a sure-fire sign of the begging of the end for this prison we carpers call winter.  I even got pictures.

Mirror Mirror On the Wall - Who's The Fairest Of Them All?

You expected bikinis?  This is Fly-Carpin and that would be creepy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

CARPTORIOUS: Comically Pathetic Takes

66F, check.
Good sun, check.
Leaker waders in trunk, check.
15 to 20mph winds, gulp.

It was a bit of a stretch with the wind and all but I traded a couple of hours of vacation for a couple of hours on the river today.  I was hoping to find all the carp in a winter warm-snap induced feeding frenzy like last weekend.  Whoops.  I refuse to recognize the truth because the fantasy is so much more fun, but on really nice days in the winter things can go one way or the other.  Sometimes the carp go on the feed and life is good.  Sometimes they just go on the chill.  Like New-York vacationers in Florida in January.  Picture a pool some sun, a cheap vinyl folding chair and a drink with a funny little umbrella.

On and Odd Day, Perhaps the Oddest Piece of Random River Junk Yet
Fortunately I too was relaxed.  I took my time, kept working it and eventually slipped tripped and dropped my fly into something interesting.  I had found a large pod of carp in a section of slow current behind some post-apocalyptic looking man-dumped shoals.  These carp looked like serious trouble.  Dead still at the top of the water column.  A hundred times out of a hundred they are dead-money.  Any and all time casting to carp in that mood is wasted time.  Well, to heck with it, I worked my way slowly in tight and dabbled a heavily weighted trouser worm in front of the biggest of the bunch.  I will be damned if that carp didn't go ape-crazy in a comically pathetic kind of way.  That carp wouldn't move an inch but for the entire drop she was frantically pulsing her lips and gills over and over in a desperate attempt to suck in some long distance protein.  With a 3.25mm tungsten bead and bead-chain eyes that Trouser worm was absolutely bombing for the bottom so it was hopeless of course.  Well, I may be an old dog but I know road kill when I see it and seconds later I had a lightly weighted Trouser worm on and was into some serious action.  These were one and all some of the oddest takes I have ever had and they were almost impossible to time but for a good half  hour every single fish I put that fly in front of TRIED to take it.  

It is hard to say how much of it was their ineptitude and how much was my own but I only ended up hooking three and landing two of those 15 or so takes before blowing up the pod and losing my only lightly weighted Trouser Worm.  That single fly had caught at least 5 or 6 carp in various odd circumstances since August.  I was sad to see it go.