Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Chicken's Motives

The absence of something often goes unnoticed.  I doubt you have realized that I have never once tried to justify my love for carp on Fly-Carpin.  No top ten reasons my favorite fish kicks your favorite's ass.  No discourses on all the very real advantages carp have as a gamefish.  No knicknames designed to borrow cool from other species.  Just a celebration of fly fishing for carp and the cultural revolution it represents.

Why do I feel so utterly uninspired to justify my (our?) love of carp?  I saw a random shirt on a random dude today that explains it perfectly:
"I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned"

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fly Fishing For Carp Survey

UPDATE:  The poll is closed as of August 24th.  Stand by for processed results, although auto generated results are available at the link below.

I want to know more about the fly fishing for carp Revolution.  No.  I NEED to know - so do me a solid and fill out this survey.  You can either go to this link or fill it out below.  It is probably a little easier if you go to the link.  If you fill it out here you just have to page up to the top everytime you submit a page.

The current results can be viewed here at any time.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Can McTage Even Cast?

Carp Caught On A Trouser Worm Carp Fly
A friend who knew Fly-Carpin before he knew McTage recently told me he used to wonder if I could even cast.  That blew me away at first, but upon reflection most of my posts and videos talk about getting close to carp.  Getting REALLY close.

No surprise there.  You see, I learned how to fly fish where the Rockies meet the sky.  We are talking dry flies upstream to rising trout on bamboo in 10,000 foot high creeks small enough to jump across.  It is a game of stealth, guile and finesse.  It is oddly similar to how I fly fish for carp on the fly, just on much smaller water for much much smaller fish.

I learned at a very early age that if I had more than three feet of fly-line out I was doing it wrong.  I learned to crouch, to crawl, to dink and dunk and dabble and bounce my fly off a grass bank and drag it into the seam.  I learned that sometimes they like it when your dry fly sinks or even makes a wake being dragged across the top.  I learned that pride has no place in fly fishing and that the ends justify the means and those lessons have never left me.

So the question hangs out there - can McTage even cast?  Beats me man.  Beats me.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Standamaran SUP Plans

I just wanted to point you towards a new page I just published that gives the full plans for the standamaran.  Shortest post.  Ever.

Monday, August 4, 2014


I look back when I was 15 and I remember - I was an absolute fish catching machine.  Adaptable, intuitive and infinitely creative at lightning speed.

Nowadays I still innovate but at a much more deliberate pace.  For example - I worked on a totally new and very unique leader system for 6 months this winter.  I caught over 30 fish on it without a single leader failure and didn't come close to needing a new leader in that time but still feel like it could use a little work. Sigh.  It is what it is.

This past Friday I got to re-live the flexibility of youth through observation when Zach Drazner, a 15 year old from Idaho, flew out to fish with me for a day.  He was the winner of the DTU fish with McTage auction, and just oozed energy and determination.  Within 24 hours of winning the auction he had tickets.  Within 48 hours he was on the ground in Denver eager and willing and so full of naive belief in my skills that he never appeared to have a single tiny shred of doubt that we were going to catch a ton of carp.

I sure am glad he was optimistic, because I was a little worried!  Rain, rain and more rain. Earlier in the week we received one of the longest deluges I can ever remember in July in Denver.  It rained for over 30 hours straight.  Un. Heard. Of. Everything was jacked.  The river was blown.  Most lakes were chocolate milk, over-flowing and had algae blooms because of the influx of lawn fertilizer thrown in for good measure.

Well, there is nothing more important than faith when it comes to fly fishing for carp and somewhere in his carry-on Zach brought enough faith for the both of us.  I'm not saying we caught the heck out of them but given the conditions we had a very very respectable day.

Zach's Second Ever Carp on The Fly!
Correctly using the butt-section.  Nice!
Your's truly getting in on the action
A picture perfect presentation
One fish stands out in particular because it high-lighted the full awe inspiring intuitive leap of a 15 year old's fishing mind in it's full glory. About mid-day we arrived at one of my favorite lakes to find an interesting situation. This particular lake had a massive scum-line created by the recent rains and there were several carp clooping methodically through the scum.

I call these carp scum-suckers and I have a really reliable method for catching them.  IF you can get within dapping distance and IF you can do a suspended dap of a black fly (any old black fly will do) about an inch under the scum within 6 inches of the carps eye it just works. The carp will almost always back up, drop from view, accelerate to full speed and crush your fly as hard or harder than a carp ever has. It is pretty fun, and I was pretty confident it was going to work for the simple fact that I had stopped at this lake and caught two carp with that exact method at dawn on the way to pick Zach up at the airport.

Break Of Dawn Scum-Sucking Carp on Suspended Dap
Now, when we got there later in the day, none of the cloopers was close enough to shore for the suspended dap to work.  It was like they knew my evil scheme to get Zach into some easy carp and were determined to taunt me.  Well, while my old curmudgeon brain was cursing our luck as we watched a carp happily slurping top 30 feet away, Zach's young mind was leaping ahead.  He looked and me and very very politely asked if he could try one of his "new dragons" - to which I naturally shrugged and said - "sure, whatever".  In my book the difference between a scum sucker at 10 feet and one at 30 is the difference between one of the easiest patterns I know of and the hardest.

It turned out that "new dragons" meant one of the absolutely beautiful Hopes Dragons he had just gotten in the mail from CarpPro the night before.   The first cast was a little wide but the second cast was nearly perfect - and wouldn't you know it, that Hope's Dragon floats like a cork.  For about three casts, and then it sinks slowly!  How did he know?  He just did.  With just a small 8 inch strip he was able to place the fly perfectly in the path of that carp - and wouldn't you know it, that carp made a bee-line for the fly and sucked it in like it's life depended on it.  Wouldn't you know it.  Well, to be perfectly honest - No, I wouldn't.  I would have bet 50 bucks that wasn't going to work. I LOVE being wrong because it was one of the coolest presentations and takes I have ever seen.

Hope's Dragon from the 2013 Fly Swap
Zach Hooked up On a Clooping Carp

Mouth full o Dragon
It was just fabulous - and in the end I think the student may have taught the master a new trick. Of course, this old dog showed him a trick or two of his own...

Thanks for coming out Zach!