A few carp on the fly

john montana
Well, it has been an interesting year to say the least for carp on the fly. I got a late start due to cold water temps, then dealt with the craziest, highest water ever (caught a 31 lber next to a picnic table and multiple fish in road ruts!) and the summer season has been an exercise in strange swings in the water level...still, we have caught some fish. I got out on Sunday with my friend Travis and we found a few.
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Despite the sun and blue sky in that picture we spent most of the day dealing with high, white cloud cover. The worst. Visibility goes to zero with those high clouds. You usually deal with poor vis by being ultra sneaky so you can get right on top of the fish (with high clouds you can't see anything at a distance, and with a fly, if you can't see the fish you won't catch the fish) but the water we fished was mostly gravel and cobble...impossible to be sneaky. We had to take longer 50 ft shots at vague shapes for most of the day. Tough going, but pretty scenery.
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When we did get some sun the vague shapes became more fish like and we started casting with confidence. It helps when you know which end has the mouth. Best fly for me was the San Juan worm. The trick with the worm is to get the fly to sink and hit bottom within about 6 inches of a feeding (tailing) carp. Also, put the fly a couple of inches to the side of the fish...when positioned right the carp will see the fly when it hits the bottom and be forced to turn it's head in order to eat. Set the hook when the fish turns. It is amazing how fast a carp will take and spit an artificial fly...if you don't force a head turn it is really tough to time the hook set.
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We didn't catch any monsters but got 10-12 fish between the two of us. Most fish were 10 lbs or so with two in the 16 lb range. Not bad for the conditions. Overall, a great day n the water.
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skunk
Very nice, always enjoy your reports.
 
Airs98
Do they fight as hard as bass? Pound for pound?
 
john montana
Lb lb for lb I would take a bluegill...but when you factor in the actual size of the fish there is no fish in freshwater that will outfight a carp. Well, maybe an oversize sturgeon! Smallmouth are tough but no contest with carp. Smallies bulldog and jump but I have had a 10 lb carp take me to my backing 3 times. They don't leap but they run as far from you as they can get, as fast as they can go. They actually fight a lot like bonefish with more bulk and less sheer speed. Think charging rhino vs a leopard.
 
Drew9870
:lol:, a 10lb Carp would take a 10lb Bass for a long ride if they were tied tail-to-tail.

John, your posts seem to inspire the entire forum.
 
TTFishon
Another great report! Nice pics, especially the last one!
 
Raincatcher
I love the fight in the fish and carp are the Mohamed Ali of the fish world. Thanks for sharing the tale and the pics.
 
john montana
Thanks...it was a nice day on the water. Too bad you can only find carp in such ugly places! Hah!

My wife was recently on the phone with someone talking about me taking the kids fishing etc. And she said "my husband is definitely in his element on the river." I love how true that statement is.
 
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