Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weather and Fishing and Carp

 The weather is honestly irrelevant for most fisherman.  We pretend to obsess and worry about it but most real people living real lives don't really get to pick and choose when they get to fish.  Really. 

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

18 comments:

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    1. Even after catching 30 last week? Have they lost any exotic luster? Just curious because it will take me YEARS to get to 30.

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  2. Amen, great post. Given that many of our local east ID carp live in high-desert reservoirs, the weather is even more crucial around here. This has been a pretty challenging year thus far - with lots of wind, cold temps and cloud cover. Right now, there is no point in fishing until lunch time...assuming the sun comes out at all.

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    1. I have had a tough year too, not because we haven't had nice weather (we have had superb weather) but because by freakish chance it has almost never lined up with days off. Last year it seemed like every single day off met with superb weather.

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  3. The time of day has been crucial for me. I got out on the S Platte Saturday around 10am - 3pm and hooked into two fish, one unhooked itself and the other broke the my leader. Sunday was a late afternoon outing and the clouds were killing me, couldn't see anything unless I was on a bridge or high up the bank.

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    1. Mike - Don't be afraid to fish up the bank. Its often a winning strategy. Not fond of fishing from bridges but that can work too. As far as time of day, this year I have had more luck in the afternoon. Last year I had the most luck all year from 9:00AM to 11:00AM. No idea why it would switch like that.

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  4. "But, well, you know. Obsession and all that." So true...so very true.

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    1. Man, I gotta get you back on the CarpRoll. I thought you had quit blogging and took you off at some point but it looks like you are back in action?

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  5. Good synopsis. I too target winter carp and try to find sunny days above 40F and H20 abour 41F, though I've one fish at 39F. And a mirror, another mirror, someday, somehow.

    Gregg

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    1. I don't think I have gotten one down at 39 yet. No, come to think of it I caught one while it was snowing (not sticking) last year. Had to be about that cold. I thought you were off the mirror snide though. You should mount that beast. (Sorry people, private joke)

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  6. I have caught carp every month except December out here...but the cold months are pond fish only. The river fish are gone by November.

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    1. Too much water in the Big C for them to choose from probably. I wouldn't doubt that they may be feeding all winter but deep. Nowhere for them to hide in my home river.

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  7. My man Rancid Crabtree put it best "The best time to go fishing is when it's rainin' and when it ain't." If I get an open window of fishing time I go even when I know I should stay home. Probably why I'm a frazzled SOB 90% of the time.

    And yeah man, this mirror thing is getting crazy. That one in the photo is beaut.

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    1. Funny, did you notice that if you move the couple of scales on the side forward it could practically be the little brother of the one that you posted?

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  8. Nice Mirror. Never given much thought about altitude but I can see how it could affect your fishing. Here in Central Cali we just dont have the huge weather swings or much of the year and winters are very mild. My biggest weather issue with carp fishing here is thick Marine layers that are usually follwed by a hard NW wind once the warmer dry inland valley mixes with the cooler moist coatal fog that creeps inland over night. It will creat a vacume affect with screaming wind for days or until a high pressure system moves in from off shore.

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  9. Now that you mention it, yeah, those two mirrors do look quite a bit alike. Cool.

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  10. Ah, looks like a LOT of fun :)You’ve inspired me to go out this weekend to see what I can catch in my area. :)

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  11. Great fish, a mirror is very uncommon in Frederick, MD.

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