Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Two Down, Ten To Go…


Last year we set a goal to catch at least one carp per month, January through December. This came about spur of the moment after Mark landed his first of the year in January. Neither of us got it done. I failed in January and had to wait eleven long months to try again…

JANUARY:


Eagle Claw Featherlight 5/6…FTW!

Since I did well throughout December I was lulled into a false sense of security regarding January. Midway through January I all but threw in the towel and was prepping myself for yet another failure. I fished for three weeks without seeing a single glimpse of gold. With one week remaining I decided to put in some overtime and continue my pursuit into the night. I abandoned my favorite haunts and returned home to the birthplace of my addiction. I arrived to discover that 9/10ths of the tiny retention pond was covered in ice. Taking a few casts, I slowly worked the edge of the ice treating it like an undercut bank. I connected on the third cast and brought my first of 2012 to hand.



The next morning I headed to my favorite spot to see if I had any shit luck left over from the night before. The morning started out fast and furious, landing two fish in a matter of minutes. What a relief it was after three weeks without seeing a single fish. I spent the next five hours not seeing a thing until a familiar sight caught my eye. It was the orange koi. This fish has provided us with excellent casting practice over the past three years, rejecting each and every fly thrown his way. It’s become routine for me to make a cast to him and feel completely confident that he’ll refuse the fly, without question.

So as usual I make my cast and watch him follow my fly all the way to the bottom before veering away as usual. Now normally I would continue my search elsewhere, but after not seeing much of anything else I figured I would amuse him one more time. I switched flies and looked up to see if he was still there, but instead of forty feet away he was fifteen. I made my cast and waited for the usual to commence, but it didn’t…



FEBRUARY:


It was a chilly start to February but temperatures steadily rose into the mid 30’s by the second week. I was seeing carp in good numbers but getting my fly to them was a different story. They were concentrated far out in the middle of the lake in its deepest section. They were slowly moving around but showing no signs of feeding. I needed to be persuasive…



Eagle Claw Featherlight DOUBLE HANDER!?!

Same Fish…

I sealed the deal for the month of February by overcoming some serious adversity. Conditions that day were so horrendous I ended up driving back home to get some heavy artillery. Winds were sustained at 30 mph which made long distance casting a joke. At home I grabbed a new arsenal of rods and lines and headed back to employ some unorthodox methodology.

That afternoon, the technique “Skagit Carpin” was born. I rigged up my Eagle Claw Featherlight (which is really a 7/8) that I since modified into a double handed boomstick. I chose to build a custom tip by looping my Beulah 425 grain Tonic Switch Head to a 10’ (tapered) floating tip from RIO’s Scandi Short VersiTip opposed to a floating MOW tip to soften the landing. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. I was able to get my fly to the fish with ease. I opted for a fly I call quick-sight jumbo spawn. It’s a #4-6 (SL45 Bonefish hook) basic egg yarn sucker spawn with a bright yellow bead in the center giving it excellent visibility. If it doesn’t scare the fish shitless I like using it at distances of 50+ feet because it stands out like a sore thumb. It makes the question of when to set the hook a lot easier. I only caught one fish that day, but a one fish day is a good day. I caught another fish the next day under completely opposite conditions reverting back to normal tactics.


New Toy

"Quick-Sight Jumbo Spawn"


7 comments:

Dub The Thorax said...

I dont know how the hell you guys do it with the carp. amazing. I've had 3 carp on in the last 3 years and never brought one to hand on a fly.

McTage said...

That Koi is amazing. Do you do the night thing very often, I havent ever tried that.

Gregg said...

When I first read this a while ago, the December trip, I thought you may be from Boise, that pond looks like, almost exactly, one I fish with commons, koi, and grass carp. I agree with everything you wrote and was heartened to see the egg, my now go-to fly. The koi in my pond do the same, buggers that they are. Night fishing in the winter, or whenever, please tell us more as McTage suggests. I'm insanely jealous!

Gregg

Clif said...

excellent. I keep trying to get the carp in this one lake...I've hooked up with it twice and he just 'drives' away with my line and deep into the backing, and then spits the fly...I'll get that s.o.b. one of these days... :)
Nice catches.

Anonymous said...

bring back the beard

Adam said...

Thanks Guys!

I started night fishing for carp back when I was in high school...but first a little background info on that retention pond. It’s very small in size and has a LARGE population of carp, resulting in super aggressive feeding habits. This combined with the ability to fish the entire body of water makes night fishing a lot easier.

Even though I knew carp fed at night I didn’t do much night fishing until I read the abstract to the article “Cognitive aspects of food searching behavior in free-ranging wild Common Carp”.

http://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10641-010-9643-8

Last year I spent many nights on my favorite piece of water with no luck. The retention pond aside…under normal situations I sight fish 100% of the time and never animate my fly. I find it weird to strip an offering intended for a carp, to me it just feels awkward and I still remain very unconfident in doing so. I would love to try in on the flats of Lake Michigan for those goby eating monsters...Bucket List…

Jean-Paul Lipton said...

I'm glad you guys also discovered the beauty of the two hander. I've been utilizing my two handers and switch rods for carp for a few years now. deadly technique for those far out fish. Also great for swinging to carp hanging in the deep stuff out in the middle of a river. Keep it rough guys!