Monday, September 17, 2012

CARPTORIOUS: SoftHackles On The Rise

Friday started well.  Wait, backup.  Friday started awfully.  Any moment on your fishin day off spent in the Department Of Motor Vehicle is one less moment on the water and therefore shear tortue.  After that is started well in that I landed a carp rather quickly on another iteration of my headstand fly that I have been working on for over a year now and just can't get right.  

After that things slowed down considerably.  I hooked and lost a couple more but mainly I got fixated  on a couple of very large carp I found and wasted allot of time on a hope and a dream.  It is pretty rare to find very very large (I am positive they were 30lb class) on my river in a fish-able situation.  They were onto me almost immediately but I couldn't drag myself away and three hours later I emerged from a tunnel-vision state to discover that much of the day was gone.  Worthy cause?  

Things got extremely interesting when after a couple more stops I found a big pod (at least 15) tailing furiously in a 2 foot deep side-water with some slow cruisers and shallow snoozers on the side.  I may stumble on a situation like this 2 or three times a year on my river and my hands were shaking as I tied on my first fly.  And my second fly.  And my third fly.  Every presentation resulted in my target fleeing in absolute terror the second they saw the fly.  I was ready to cry when eventually I stumbled upon the solution.  

The first half of the solution was a very small very discrete un-weighted olive soft-hackle on a size 8 scorpion gaper.  This gives you the body length of a size 12 or 14 nymph with a carp worthy gape and wire-gauge.  Un-weighted soft-hackles have saved my butt so many times this year, I am not sure why it took me so long.


The second part of the solution was a presentation I call "On The Rise".  


I learned this presentation last year in Oregon with John Montana and when it works it is by far and away my favorite take.  To trigger a rising take you try and drop and draw a lightly weighted fly on a slow arc parallel and down past the side of a tailing or slow cruising carp's head.  When the fly gets close to the mouth you slowly raise the rod and increase the draw so that it reverses course and arcs upward.  Perhaps this mimics the action of a rising nymph.  Perhaps it is just a trigger.  Who cares.  The sight of one (or two in this case) carp surging upward with mouth and gills pulsating furiously it is truly a sight to behold. 





13 comments:

  1. the dreaded olive soft hackle... The Carpfather John Montana has taught you well my son.

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    1. The Carpfather and the Carp(grand)Father both. I will pass on detailing who that is because he might not find it as hilarious as I do.

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  2. I got two that way on Sunday as well. Often, they are so excited to eat the nymph that they miss it a few times and you have to keep from pulling the fly away from them...that cracks me up.

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    1. Sure enough, on the first one I twitched it out of range on the first vacuum attempt (these takes are always kindof surprising) and had to pause and let him catch up on the second attempt. Both had that panicked "must suck must suck must suck" kind of feeling to them too.

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  3. I'm excited by that report and also reminded that unobtrusive, and small, flies are the norm for Ty as well. I intend to play with this more. Still water of course, but that should not make a difference.

    Gregg

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    1. Yeah Gregg, Ty's MFER is a soft hackle with some fancy applied. So was Galvin's submission to the fly swap this year. Both much much prettier than this one. Anybody who is curious can find pictures on the fly swap tab.

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    1. One could go so far as to say that the first rise might induce another but this is a family friendly site.

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  5. The take is always a "...sight to behold". Good job Trevor.

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    1. Thanks P. It was through John describing some of your sweet moves that I first started to experiment with getting them to rise actually.

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  6. Interesting that our fish 1000 miles away are acting the same the last week or two. Moody bastards!! I need to put the SH into my arsenal.

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    1. That is funny considering that they sometimes act like different species in adjacent ponds!

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  7. The soft-hackle selection in my fly box keeps expanding, that's for sure. Gotta order some of those Scorpion gaper hooks.

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