Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chafield Carp Rescue 2014 Recap

For those that missed it, the carp rescue last week was a great event.  Easily the best thing to come as a result of Fly-Carpin.  Well, I guess helping find that Sand Creek oil spill was more big picture important, but that whole thing was depressing.  This was uplifting because a bunch of us got together and DID SOMETHING about it.

We ended up getting about 24 people helping - almost half of which were kids - and ended up saving about 120 carp from an ignoble and useless death.

It was a good cause if you love carp like many of us do, and that is no surprise.  The surprise was how much fun it turned out to be, especially once the kids got us going.  As Dave Maynard pointed out here - it took some kids getting wet and dirty to show us adults how to loosen up and have some fun with it.  And have fun we did!

Here are a couple of videos on the event -

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Day of Carpin with McTage for Charity

Don't worry, I will get an update out about Carp Rescue 2014 soon.  I need some time to go through footage and gather pics from participants since I was too into it to remember to stop and take pictures.  I might just be the worst blogger ever.  Who doesn't remember to take pictures?  For now I will say that it was a spectacular success.  We saved around 120 carp and had just about the most fun we all could remember in the process.

In the meantime I need to get the news out that Trout Unlimited is auctioning off a day of fly fishing for carp with me to benefit improvements to the Denver South Platte.  As the listing indicates this will NOT be a guided trip but a shared fishing experience.

Quick Update - We raised 250 bucks to benefit the DSP!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Call To Arms: Chatty Carp Rescue

This spring a good number of carp managed to get themselves trapped in a small backwater slough at Chatfield Reservoir in CO.  They moved in for the spawn when the water was high and got trapped when the water dropped.  The slough is about the size of a family home and has somewhere between 20 and 60 carp in it. 

I have been keeping a close eye on those carp and so far they have been doing well.  I even caught one a while back.  

Unfortunately their luck has started to run out.  The high summer temperatures and dropping water table at Chatfield have resulted in a massive drop in depth.  Last weekend it was waste deep in most of the slough.  Now it is knee deep.  At that pace these carp probably only have a week to live. 

I have talked with the Park Manager and he has given us permission to move the carp across the 15 foot wide sandbar from the slough to the main lake.  He indicated that this is the same body of water so we will not be violating the rules against transporting between bodies of water.

So here is the deal.  We are going to save these fish at 6:30PM tomorrow July 22nd.  We are going to meet in the swim beach parking just inside the Wadsworth entrance starting at 6:00PM. The plan is to make a wall of people across the slough and herd the carp into shallow water where we can net them and move them to the main lake.  It could an idiotic plan - sure to result in lots of muddy fun but few saved carp.  I suspect that depends on how many people show up. 

I will supply beer, pop and pizza.  Please email me using my contact page if you would like to come help so that I can plan appropriately!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Carp Fly Colors: Black is the New Black

I have been using black flies here and there for many years, but over the past 6 months it has become a more and more important tool in my arsenal.  I recently realized that a really surprising percentage of the carp I have caught in 2014 have been on predominately black flies.  Like over half - and that got me thinking.  Has black been one of my most effective fly colors all along and I just never realized it?  In order to answer that question I went back through my records and estimated the percentage of total carp caught with a couple of basic color schemes.

The hybrid category is a combination of a red tail with an olive or black body.  The first thing that may surprise you - and certainly surprised me - is how few basic fly color schemes I really fish.  The second thing that may surprise you  - and definitely surprised me - is how may carp I have caught on black in my lifetime. I would have certainly guessed much less than 15 percent,  and when I look at this year the percentage seems to be increasing rapidly, mostly at the cost of rust.  

Almost the moment I finished putting that data together I got an email that was almost creepy in the level of coincidence.  Tim Cammisa wanted to let me know about a new fly tying video he had put up on YouTube - about a black variant of the Trouser Worm!  And THEN within 10 minutes of first publishing this post I ran into this fascinating article about a new material blacker than black.  The carp spirits have spoken and I would be foolish to ignore the message.  Black is the new black.    

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Presenting The Fly to Carp - The Calm Before The Storm

In Football I think they call it happy feet - when a quarterback in never comfortable enough to just settle down in the pocket, set his feet and let the ball fly.   Well, there is an equivalent in Fly Fishing for Carp and I used to have it.  I used to have it bad.  Lets call it the fly fidgets.

Well, over the past year I have finally beat the fly fidgets.  It started in October when I finally got glasses. My improved vision gave me a level of confidence in my presentation and take detecting I had never had before. Those new glasses took a little getting used to, but by December I was knocking it dead.  I couldn't necessarily tell you exactly why - just that the glasses had made some kind of difference.

Then in December John Montana put out a post on not moving your fly.  It was nothing new to me conceptually, but it had always been difficult for me in reality.  Well, at about the same time I got a Go-Pro and I started to get some footage of me hooking carp (video1, video2, video3).  Because of John's post, not moving the fly was central to my mind and upon reviewing that footage I often noticed where there was a moment when I would go completely motionless between presenting the fly and setting the hook. The cool thing was that the video would take me back to those moments and I could re-feel a moment of complete and total calm and confidence.  A moment where time would almost stand still and my fly would not move at all.   A moment that I could clearly recognize as new since I had gotten the glasses and the increased confidence in the presentation the take detection they brought.

Once I re-lived those moments and those feelings, suddenly I found I could capture them. Contain them. Accentuate them.  Now, six months later, not only do I almost never move the fly after presenting it, I have found that there is a whole new and different class of take that I never even knew existed.

A Carp Caught On a Delayed Reaction Take Of The Fly
Previously if a carp did not react to my fly in the first split second after it hit bottom I believed that the carp had not noticed it.  At that point I would try and twitch it or strip it in order to draw attention.  Now I have learned differently.  In the last six months I have learned that some carp - MANY carp - will ONLY take my fly after a delayed reaction of a second or even two without the fly moving!  As a matter of fact, I now think that many carp that I had previously thought unwilling to eat were just more patient than I was. 

Another Carp On A Delayed Reaction Take Of The Fly
It turns out that now we - and by we I mean the carp and I - both have a calm before the storm.  A moment between action and inaction.  A moment when the predator waits but then pounces.  Find that feeling, and your carpin will take a big step forward.