Sunday, April 29, 2012

Breaking In Matt Pike's Carper's Crab

The weather took a left-turn for the worse on Friday but there comes a point every spring where minor cold-fronts no longer turn the flats into lifeless deserts.  This time may have arrived.  I had a very brief window (20 minutes) on Saturday morning to check out a local lake and as I approached I could see carp in singles and small groups cycling from the depths onto a super-shallow sand flat.   There was no mistaking the posture of these fish.  Have you ever seen videos of small reef-sharks on the prowl?  Their pace is fast but determined and deliberate.  Their course is random and their posture has a certain menace that is unmistakable.  Believe it or not Carp sometimes act the same way!  I call this feeding mode "seek and destroy" (que the Metallica).  I live for these moments, and although seek and destroy is rare in Colorado I too am on the prowl and occasionally find what I hunger for.

I immediately dropped to my knees and reached for the fly-swap box.  Instead of forcing the issue I have been letting the fly-swap flies come to me.  I figure that each and every one will have it's moment and that moment will come to me.  For some reason this moment spoke to me loud and clear and what it said was "Carper's Crab".

Matt Pike's Carper's Crab carp fly
Matt Pike's Carper's Crab
Despite the relatively light weight of Matt Pike's Carper's Crab the first couple of fish to enter the flat spooked on the fly entry.  I set early on the third who startled me with the ferocious nature of it's attack.  Then from the corner of my eye I saw it.  Ten fish in a loose V formation cruising the edge of the flat and they were all in obvious seek and destroy mode.  Like an armada of world war II planes these guys were invading in force.  No mercy, take no prisoners.  I know this happens but perhaps I don't know when and where to look because I rarely see it. 

I dropped the fly 1 foot inside and 4 feet ahead of the formation and started a slow strip immediately.  Just about when the lead fish should have seen the fly she veered away and left the flat with the formation in tow.  Something about the situation had me suspicious though and I continued to slowly strip.  Its a good thing because she led her squadron on a big loop that ended right on the tail of my fly!  I guess you don't lead the pack if it is your first rodeo because the maneuver had thrown the other smaller fish off and while it was close she was the first to the fly.  It is not often you get to see 3 or 4 wide open carp mouths from straight on competing for you fly.  Actually I am pretty sure I have never seen that. 


Seek and Destroy Carp on Matt Pike's Carper's Crab fly
Que The Metallica
That would do it.  The flat was dead for the additional 5 minutes I had in this window of opportunity.  Given more time perhaps it would have recovered but I came away with my favorite take of the year to date and broke in one of the swap flies.

19 comments:

  1. Outstanding. Love the story and photos...except now I have that Metallica song stuck in my head.

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    1. No sympathy here. It's been running through my head all weekend.

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    1. It kind of reminded me of some of the pictures I get in my head when you desribe your carpin David.

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  3. I absolutely get the seek and destroy thing! I swear that the first carp on yesterdays outing had that same thing going on and I ever thought to myself...hmmm that carp reminds me of a shark

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    1. You are in the NE part of the country right? This kind of behavior was much more common in MI when I lived there. If you have already seen it once you should keep a very close eye on the situation.

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    2. Well, that is kinda what I meant. Never understood MI and Chigago being midwest. Seems like mid-north-east when it is 18 hours by car east of here! Chigago is the land of big pizza and big carp Nick!

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  4. That must have been something to watch. Good looking fly too! You got it going on up there!

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  5. Yes good stuff! One of my boys caught our first fish on a version of your Trouser Worm I tied, classic take in muddy water, but we saw it. Rarely do we have clear water as you describe, must be nice. Carp Fly Swap, great thing McTage!

    Gregg

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    1. Whoops, almost missed this one. That is awesome the the Trouser worm came though. Yeah, we don't have just clear water but when I can that is what I go for.

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  6. Good job McTage. Carp have so many different behaviors; it is just fascinating.

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    1. Yup, that is one of my favorite things about carp. They not only have an incredible range but they adapt to so many situations.

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    1. Pretty pumped John, Big fish month starts about....NOW!

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  8. Pretty cool. I would have loved to see that lead carp manuever her partners away from the fly only to circle back to it. Darn clever.

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    1. It was either that or it wanted to circle around for a sneakier angle. Flying out of the sun so to speak. It was totally awesome though. Just a head appearing out of nowhere coming straight for me and then an open mouth and then out of nowhere a couple smaller fish coming around the flank with open mouths.

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  9. "Flying out of the sun so to speak". Ha !! Good one.

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