Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fly-Carpin's Believe it Or Not

Yesterday my friend Mike Medina fair hooked and landed this 34lb Asian Bighead Carp on an olive Marabou Leach in a local pond.

Mike Medina with a 34lb Asian Bighead carp caught on a fly

You didn't know we had them in Colorado?  Well neither did DOW until Mike alerted them to this population.  Not that they are particularly interested since after all Bighead Carp "can't breed in ponds".  What, haven't they ever seen Jurassic Park?


From Wikipedia:
Bighead carp are considered a highly destructive invasive species in the United States. Bighead carp and the closely related silver carp (H. molitrix) were imported to the United States to remove excess or undesirable plankton and thus improve water quality in sewage treatment plants and aquaculture facilities. However, some fish escaped into the Mississippi River basin, where they are now firmly established. 

Never mind that these fish are threatening to cause a national disaster in the mid-west.  Never mind that this fish had pounds and pounds of eggs in her belly.  Never mind that Mike has captured babies there.  Never mind that there are literally dozens of them which would seem to defy bucket biology.  Never mind that Mike has seen them in the next pond down which is one step closer to the Denver South Platte!  Anybody for a nice quality session of head in the sand?  It's quite pleasant, everybody is doing it.

Hypocrisy!  Foul!  Well yeah, I do happen to be quite fond of another "invasive" species the Common Carp, but well, you see, they are prime targets on the fly while Bighead Carp are primarily filter feeders..  One man's masterpiece is another man's trash-fish I guess.  Or so I think the saying goes.  

At any rate off the soap box and back on the story because it is interesting.  Mike has been targeting these for a couple of years now with a wide variety of flies and has been progressively been getting smaller and smaller.  Evidently they have amazing eye-sight because they always drop below or around flies as small as size 18 with their mouths happily wide open the whole way.  Yesterday he was blind casting an un-weighted olive marabou leach and for some reason that did the trick.  Of course, Bighead carp swim around filter feeding with their ridiculously huge mouths wide open so Mike figures there is a distinct possibility that this time the fly just happened to flush down the toilet so to speak.  Lets just ignore that possibility though OK?  After all 20 years ago anybody would have told you that Common Carp won't eat flies.  Besides, it is a much better story that after hundreds of hours of effort one very stubborn angler just won.  Of course I could have saved him some time.  It turns out that the best fly for filter feeders is called the "scuba diver"


9 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Scary. Big heads in CO? Not good.

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    2. Edin - I actually agree with your comment that was deleted. Not from a big-picture what are the ramifications point of view but from a friend caught something big and ugly point of view.
      John - Well in two ponds at any rate. Not sure if it is really not good or not. Depends on if they can spread or not. If so very bad. If not just interesting.

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  2. Big Heads anywhere USA not good. I have heard of them elsewhere caught fairly, but I caught an anchovy on a night crawler I am sure he didn't intend to target. Like you say, doesn't matter, the accomplishment does. Commons have been around since the 1870's at least our target has some credibility about it. Interesting, like the grassies swept into our Snake River often, those "sterile" fish will show up one day I know it, wild. Could be a good thing?

    Gregg

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    1. Yeah I have read a couple of stray reports (trying to research for Mike as it turns out) of them eating below dams in the south and such. I wonder what the statute of limitations is on the invasive species deal? After all pretty much all of us trace back to invasive species a couple of hundred years ago.

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  3. I know that pond, I never noticed them in there before though! That is a great catch, good for your buddy.

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    1. Well its not exactly clear water there is it....

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  4. Haven't they seen Jurassic Park indeed.

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    1. Pretty crazy looking fish. Certainly belongs in some kinda movie.

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