Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fly Fishing For Carp Theorem: The West Bank of the Front Range

Lets stop and pretend for a second that you have just sauntered up to a new lake.  Where do you start?  What is the best section for catching carp on the fly?  If you really want to learn that lake you are going to walk the whole bank many times over many season, but what is the most likely shore-line to start?

I have noticed a trend in the Denver metro area of the front range that might help.  I started noticing a couple of years ago that most of my favorite lakes and ponds seemed to generally favor the west bank.   It wasn't a 100% thing, but in general it seemed like the western half of a lake or pond was almost always the better half for catching carp on the fly.

This was just a theory really.  A feeling if you will, but it seemed to be pretty reliable.  In order to test out the theory I sat down today and put together a spreadsheet where I rated the eight sections of shoreline (N, NE, E, etc. etc.) of my favorite 18 ponds and lakes in the area.  I tried to do the ratings as fast as I could in order to get my first impression.  Like taking a test if you will - your instant response is your most honest feeling.  The rating was from 1 (sucks) to 5 (rocks).

Once I took the average of the ratings a clear trend appeared.

It would appear that at least subjectively the theory holds true.  The western half of my favorite ponds and lakes clearly got a better average rating.  WHY????!?!?!?!?!

My first thought is that the mountains are to the West here and that in general the ground is sloping from the West to East.  That means that the shallows and inlet are more likely to be on the West half of the lake or pond.  It would seem to make sense.

Another thought is that it might also be related to the sun going from East to West but I don't see how that would be directly related.

So, on the front range (area to the east of the Rocky Mountains) it would seem that you should start on the west half of the lake.  How about in your area.  Have you noticed any trends?


  1. That is a complicated theory. In my case the best water is 1.) Where I have access, 2.) Where the fish tend to move during the day, and 3.) Where the water is warmed first or remains warm during the night. I like your thinking-food for thought.


    1. The way water warms and cools locally seems to be important all around.

  2. Replies
    1. Harder to fudge objective data man. Aint happening.

  3. Nothing less is expected from a rocket scientist / engineer.

  4. It's a very interesting thing. Knowing where to start your fishing day in a new scenario could save much time and could be the difference between coming back to the place or not.
    I checked your theory in the lakes where I fish and it failed. I realised that there isn´t any rule for me. Just one related with the relative position of the sun. It's easier for me to see the fish if sun is on my back, so if it's a morning session i walk from east to west and I do the contrary when fishing in the afternoon.

    1. That is pretty smart Jorge. The phenomenon is probably related to the local geography.


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