Friday, November 30, 2012

Video: Non-Slip Mono Loop Knot versus Clinch Knot

I am working on another tying video, this time of McTage's McLuvin.  While grabbing some underwater footage to add into the video I got curious about how different this fly would act with a non-slip mono loop versus a clinch.  The results were very interesting so I threw it together into a short video.  As you would expect you get a quicker drop with the loop but you also get a much sharper and pronounced action, particularly with this style of fly.  The head-stand is a little more robust and the tail action is much more dramatic.  These are not always good things of course.  There are times when too much action on a fly startles carp but it is very interesting.

I have been slowly transitioning to the non-slip mono loop knot this fall (probably 10 to 15 carp on it so far) because of it's superior strength and sink-rate versus fly weight.  My only complaint is that it uses allot of tippet, otherwise it is a great knot.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CATCH Fly Designer

I have some exciting news.  I will be joining the CATCH fly design team.  It is a very interesting opportunity. Eric Bebee at CATCH plans a serious push of carp flies, I am looking forward to some of those flies being mine!

For all of those who have contacted me in the past inquiring about purchasing some flies, it has bummed me out to tell you that I don't tie for sale.  I get a charge out of the creative process of fly tying and the only thing more satisfying than catching a fish on a fly or your own is somebody else catching a fish on that fly.

At a minimum I should eventually be able to point people in the right direction in the future.

Likely Victim?

Friday, November 23, 2012

"At Least You Will Have Something To Blog About"

My partner in crime Chris Galvin was referring to the fact that I was stuck with one leg knee deep in quick-gravel (no other way to describe it) like a fly to honey for about 15 minutes.  In the picture below we had both been digging with a stick and our hands up to our shoulders for at least 10 minutes and I was still stuck. 

Of course as amusing as my foolishness can be, that is not what I really want to blog about.  I really like to blog about catching fatty carp in the winter.  Good thing we had enough time left over from "hilarious in an hour or two" shenanigans to do a little of that too.  Although I am willing to bet Chris found it amusing immediately.  I would have.

At any rate we didn't get many shots today.  We had a 10 degree cold front come through and that is murder this time of year.  Between us I think Chris and I had 5 total shots that we could really sink our teeth into.   Fortunately one happy carp cut a 90 and hammered my fly on a slow swim.

I have been working on the details of this fly on and off for well over a year now.  Some folks may remember it as prototype 1.  Options 2, 3 and combinations of 1 and 3 just never panned out.  With an added pinch of McTage's McLuvin I think I am at a final design which I will get to posting this weekend.  Huh, McTage's McLuvin.  Pretty cool when the name of a fly just craps itself out of your subconscious like that.  Same way I named the Trouser Worm, it just barfed into print in the middle of a post.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Natural Habitat"

Neither my wife nor our goldfish is buying my lame excuses anymore.

Well, Bobert had his revenge in the end.  Torture.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Throw off Your Bonds

Fly Fishing For Carp - Long Live the Revolution.  As a motto it is ridiculous.  Perhaps even mildly tasteless given world events of the last several years. 

Nevertheless fly fishing is in the middle of a cultural revolution.  Over the course of the twentieth century our sport entered bondage at the mercy of none other than our fore-fathers stomachs.  Fish species earned the label sport or trash at the dinner table.  When I speak, or joke to a certain degree, of revolution I mainly speak of resisting these old and obsolete cultural biases.

There is another aspect to the revolution however.  Even as we begin to value fish species on their sport merits versus their caloric quality there is are still decades old misconceptions to overcome.  One of them for me was the idea that carp are strictly a warm-water species. 

It was February 2009 when carpin changed forever for me.  March perhaps.  My memory of the timing is a little vague.  A rumor?  A faint whisper on the wind?  Some clue on the Internet?  I had of course discarded notions of trash versus sport years ago but it was not until then that something inspired me to throw off the oppression of winter and start my carp season early.

I caught several small carp in small ponds that late winter and for me it was a seminal moment.  Suddenly I feared winter not and have now targeted carp on flies the last 30 months without a break.  Furthermore I have been successful 27 of those 30 months.

Look back in the archives of my blog and you will find that it was the next January that I started this blog.  I wanted to participate in the fly fishing for carp revolution on the front lines but I also wanted to share in the idea that revolution knows no winter. 

Ty at finewater has thrown off his bonds.  If memory serves correctly when I started this blog he would shelve his carpin gear in September.  His season now officially extends to mid November and counting.

Tim Creasy has likewise resisted the urge to throw in the winter towel.  By all appearances, his carpin has not only extended through November, it has actually gotten better!

Most surprising of all my friend Miles from the frigid north (SE Michigan) has also refused to give in this year and recently caught this football.  Not only was this latest carp by almost three months, it certainly does not appear to be starving.

Miles Latest Carp by Three Months!

As for me.  The revolution continues, and with 60 degree temperatures it was a good day for the resistance today.

So go on ahead.  Give it a shot.  Discard your misconceptions and take a serious look around because there just might be some winter carp to be had in your area.  Current?  Warm-spell?  A warm-water discharge?  Spring fed pond?  Even something as minor as a sewer drain can raise water temperatures to the point where carp will feed.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Trouser Worm Tying Video

A new video is up on YouTube about tying the Trouser Worm.  This is my first fly tying video, constructive criticism is welcome.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vinyl Lives On

Three new stickers in my expanding collection just this week.  Disco may be dead but vinyl lives on.  

Uprising -

Scorpion Tackle -

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Till Dusk Do Us Part

A little more than a month until the Winter solstice.  Combine that with daylight savings time and everything changes.  All of a sudden dusk seems to come before you have even started.  That last hour was good for me today though.  With a little judicious use of elevation I went 3 for 3 today which I think is my best day in November ever.  From here on out this winter if there are no clouds I am fishing till dusk do us part.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sigh Deeply and Throw Down Blind

It comes every off-season.  A point in the year where I have to sigh deeply and let it go.  I am not talking about giving up on carp of course.  You know I don't give up that easily.  I can have a stubborn streak that would make a donkey grin in admiration.

No, my issue is sight fishing.  For most of the year I sight fish to near exclusion of all else, but you can't expect it to work out that way in the winter.  For the next couple of months sight fishing is the exception, not the norm.   

Many of us carper lack confidence in blind casting.  Sight fishing is not only more fun it is often much more effective.  When we do try it, blind casting can quickly feel like a waste of time.  Simply not true.  Fight that feeling.  That feeling is nothing but a projection of your own lack of confidence on reality.  

Today I found myself on the water with one hour (no more, no less) to burn.  No sun, no shallow carp and no time to change spots looking for the improbable.  After 45 minutes fighting it I finally sighed deeply, tied on an Egan's Headstand and started ever so slowly working a deep back-eddy.  It is easy to forget what comes next and it is really cool.

Nothing exists except the fly-line in your fingers and, incomprehensible twirls of the surface currents.  Your soul slows.  Your consciousness fades.  And then out of the deep silence and mystery your line, rod and soul are suddenly brought suddenly and shockingly back into focus.  

Incidentally, if you are looking to try blind casting for carp in a river I would recommend "Active Nymphing" by Rich Osthoff.  I was excited when I found this book and bought it on the spot because it captures everything I do to work a fly blind for carp and more.