Saturday, February 14, 2015

If It Didn't Eat, It Didn't Count

So far I have made a conscious effort to not dictate any rules about what is, or is not, fly fishing for carp on Fly-Carpin.  Don't get me wrong, I have some strong opinions about scent, chum, weighing versus guessing, boga grips and other issues, but who the hell am I to tell anybody else what to do?

I heard some intel from a local carper today that I just have to make a stand on though.  Evidently some new recruits to the Denver cell of the Revolution have been overheard spouting the following nonsense:  "If you can't make them eat it, make 'em wear it".

Perhaps it is a joke, but it was described to me as real intent.  I don't know about you but I just threw up in my mouth.

So, lets just go on ahead and lay down Fly-Carpin's first ground-rule for non-poser membership in the Fly Fishing for Carp Revolution:

"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"

I guarantee you that I have 100% concurrence from every single hard core carper who has spent significant time perfecting the art of getting them to eat.  If you are snagging carp on purpose, and you think that you are accomplishing something...well you aren't doing what I do.



So, to be clear, if you want to do what I do.  If you want to do what anybody who truly has a passion for fly fishing for carp does.  If you really want to take on the challenge, then repeat after me:

"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"
"If it didn't eat, it didn't count"

Period.  End of story.  Non-negotiable.  That is not to say that you will not snag the occasional carp on accident.  It happens to everybody, but it is nothing to be proud of.

30 comments:

  1. Preach it brother! I am with you.

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  2. My last big one was the best I've ever hooked up with, and the buddy I was with was ecstatic to see such a fish come from her waters. After a long slugfest and getting wetter than planned in landing, she was lining up to take a phone pic when I nearly declined: I was disappointed to see that little hook just outside its lips. "Nope, doesn't count - hook isn't inside the mouth."

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    1. Tough call mAn. Tough. The hardest is when you are sure you saw them take but the fly is in the ridge right above their mouth. That is a soul searching moment.

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    2. Tough call mAn. Tough. The hardest is when you are sure you saw them take but the fly is in the ridge right above their mouth. That is a soul searching moment.

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  3. Totally agree. Applies to all species.

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    Replies
    1. Of course JM! With you all the way. Salmon snagging is pretty gross gor examplel

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    2. Of course JM! With you all the way. Salmon snagging is pretty gross gor examplel

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  4. Hard to believe people would thank anything different, we're fisherman not snaggers

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  5. Hard to believe people would thank anything different, we're fisherman not snaggers

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  6. Snagging isn't fishing period. Someone needs to be riding herd down there. Make these jagweeds too embarrassed to show their faces again. What makes them think they are any different from the gear heads out there?

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    1. Jagweeds? That one is new to me. I am probably old.

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    2. Jagweeds? That one is new to me. I am probably old.

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  7. Kind of a shame that this even needs to be said, but I know snaggers are out there. Same as poachers in my book. There's a guy in Tennessee that has been snagging huge browns off of their redds and then posting photos as if he caught them fairly. Google "South Holsten snagger" and you'll really want to puke.

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    1. Actually that's South Holston, not South Holsten.

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  8. The South Holsten Snagger story is disgusting... Can't get much lower than that as a fisherman.

    And not to take anything away from the challenge of fly fishing for carp (it certainly can be tough!), but if you "can't make them eat it", you are probably doing something wrong. Carp can be tough, but with the right flies and presentations you shouldn't have trouble hooking into a few (that eat it, of course!) With a few trips to gain experience, and a little research on flies and presentation, these guys should be able to actually catch carp, and not have to go to the lows of snagging them.

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  9. Agree with this completely, but I will go one step further. I usually fish carp in muddy water deeper than 4 feets, I usually can not see carp that are feeding in this conditions so I casting fly near "muddy clouds" or targeting bubble trails. This approach result a lot of accidental snags, because it's hard to determinate position off targeted fish and positions of all other fish in school. And accidental snaggs is something that I like to avoid, because every accidental snag can result scaring off all school of carps, so you blow chance to "make them eat it". Small circle hooks are really good prevention for accidentally snags. With circle hooks you will catch just fish that swallow your fly.

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  10. Good, no, excellent entry Mctage! EsoX, I fish in terribly off colored H20 out of necessity more often that not it seems. I foul hook as many fish as I may reacting to the hit sighted, few in other word.

    Gregg

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  11. Gregg, in my case foul hookups goes up to 30% of all hookups for some days spend on water. I think that all of us will admit that this is too much. And in most cases foul hookups, happen in moment when I slowly move fly from bottom to re-cast it.

    Till now I didn't record any of foul hookup with circle hooks.

    I follow this and similar fly carpers blogs in last few years, so I know that you usually fish in very off colored water, probably something like many of those club carp waters here in Europe where I fish. We also fish with similar (egg) patterns, but obliviously something makes huge difference when we speak about foul hookups.

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    1. I have experienced both, and it usually just boils down to concentration. The more concentrated thd carp the mod likely a foul hookup blind casting.....to the pount I had at one point considered circle hooks myself back when I lived in MI and used to blind cast more. I had one bad experience with them were I missed a TON of takes one morning and abandoned the idea out of fear. It is very very likely I didn't give it a fair shake though. I very rarely blind cast to heavy concentrations now though. It just doesn't come up as much were I live now.

      A minor change in stripping technique were you never strip hard and fast and never lift fast at the end helps at least a little as I am sure you have figured out.

      Are you by chance fishing to chum piles? That would certainly be one way to concentrate them - which is much more rare in the USA For fly fishing at least.

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    2. I have experienced both, and it usually just boils down to concentration. The more concentrated thd carp the mod likely a foul hookup blind casting.....to the pount I had at one point considered circle hooks myself back when I lived in MI and used to blind cast more. I had one bad experience with them were I missed a TON of takes one morning and abandoned the idea out of fear. It is very very likely I didn't give it a fair shake though. I very rarely blind cast to heavy concentrations now though. It just doesn't come up as much were I live now.

      A minor change in stripping technique were you never strip hard and fast and never lift fast at the end helps at least a little as I am sure you have figured out.

      Are you by chance fishing to chum piles? That would certainly be one way to concentrate them - which is much more rare in the USA For fly fishing at least.

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    3. Yes when fish are more concentrated there is bigger probability to foul hookup some fish when you blind casting. From my point of view carp behavior different on different types of waters. On those carp club waters big part of their diet is chum, because all "bait" fishermans throw a lot of chum to concentrate fish on place where they fish... so fish learn to feed close to each other, because food (chum) is also concentrated on small area. On waters where carp don't have opportunity to feed with chum they behave differently, and usually don't feed so close one to each other.

      First two times when I start using circle hooks I also missed all takes... because it was hard to change technique of hook setting so fast. I know where I make mistakes with setting hook but it was hard to control my self not to strip so hard and fast when I have take. But now when I adjust way of hook setting they works great for me. I must say that foul hookups are not reason why I start using circle hooks at first time. Casting to bubblers that are feeding on bottom covered with a lot of snaggs like branches and reed roots, was true reason why I swap to circles. Circle hooks really makes possible fishing on places like that without snagging to bottom that cause spooking a lot of fish and losing too many flies. With circle hooks it's hard to snagg everything that is larger than gap of hook is, so logic was branches and root of reeds are lager, but edge of carp mouth are smaller than gap of circle hook.

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    4. This is interesting. Yes I often use eggs, under an indicator when sighting is poor to not possible. That circle hook has me thinking about eggs, the carp seem to hold onto them, if the # of fish that hook themselves compared to other fly types means anything. Worth a try!

      Gregg

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    5. Furthermore, I believe I foul hook few fish in mudding/bubble situations for the fact that have few fish under me most time, a half dozen would be a once a year event. I have in one small reservoir cast to 3 to 6 mud plumes of a single fish in a 12 hour day. I should say that I honestly do eventually catch that fish if I don't lose track of what I am doing.

      Gregg

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  12. why would anyone do that? It is universally known as "foul hooking". Now if that is how you get carp to hand, ok but you didn't catch it.

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  13. These are probably the same fellows who trek to the Dream Stream every spring and fall to "catch" the big lake run fish, I've caught quite a few trout up there who have flies hanging off various fins that look like no bugs that exist in the river...bastards!

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