This weekend I had the pass for a full day chasing carp on the fly on Sunday with my friend Mike. As early as Thursday it was clear that a 15 to 20 degree cold front was moving in Saturday night. I should have bailed and I knew I should have bailed. But, well, you know. Obsession and all that.
When I do have the flexibility to pick and choose my time on the water there are really only three and a half things that I pay attention to when it comes to weather and catching carp on fies.
1) Yesterday: Unless the temperature is going to be relatively cold (<50deg) or really really hot (>100) I don't actually care much what the daily high is going to be but really care about how it compares to yesterday. Carp seem to prefer stability above all else and it seems like the best days happen when the weather is just like it was yesterday and preferably the day before.
2) Sun: Sun is a paradox in Colorado. For sight-fishing you want pure blue skies and mid-day sun but in Colorado the high altitude makes the sun very harsh and it turns out that carp are fairly light sensitive. In Colorado it seems like the best sun for sight-fishing is often the worst sun for sight-catching. While too much cloud cover can be a disaster the best days are just barely ever so slightly over-cast. Those seem to come around about 3 to 4 times a year in Colorado and weather reports don't tell you when they are coming so they are barely even worth hoping for.
3) Wind: Carp can demand extremely precise presentations and nothing hurts your presentation like the wind. For bass and Pike I used to set the limit where I knew I was going to have a tough day somewhere around 20mph. For carp my threshold seems to be somewhere around 15 or even 10mph. I may still manage to catch carp at 15 but I am going to be one frazzled SOB by the end of the day.
3.5) The night before Christmas: As you may know I fly fish for carp all Winter. People are always curious about what weather I look for in the Winter. This time of year I am very concerned about the trends but also pay particular attention to the overnight low. A stable or warming trend of above average temperatures gets my attention but combine that with an overnight low above 50deg and you are talking vacation day.
So how did we do Sunday? I would rather not talk about it but the month of the mirror seems to be going strong since the only fish we landed in 13 man-hours of fishing was this cool little mirror Mike suckered into taking an egg pattern. Weather. Sucks.
|Mike's Small Mirror|