Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Goal Is Met

In my last post I noted that only six more carp were needed to reach my goal of fifty, and I hoped to be done by June 1st but didn't think I would make it. But, after watching the evening weather Friday night, I decided to turn up the heat and try to get done by this weekend. The temperatures were reported to be in the mid-nineties on Saturday and Sunday, and with me having a predisposed health issue where high temperatures causes physical problems, I knew the time was now or never.

Saturday morning I actually had all the hours needed at work so I left around 7:30 telling them I'd be back in about two hours. Arriving at the Bend near the low water crossing, I would find carp numbers forty-five through forty-seven. All three were taken by blind sets and all were taken on the same pattern the Carp Carrot.

I went back to work and finished the things I wanted done and decided to go back to the creek to try for a couple more. However, I made the mistake of stopping by the convenience store and grabbing a 24 ounce Coors Light.

Ended up sitting on the bank and drinking the beer, not fishing at all.

Sunday morning I was back at the Bend around seven, and within five minutes had carp number forty-eight. Continuing to look for more carp, I spent the better part of a half hour not seeing a single shadow, so I left to go to Mother Hole.

Mother Hole is still extremely off-colored, but I could make out a shadow of a carp and placed the Carp Carrot in front of his shadow. Another blind set and the second carp of the day would come to hand.

On the next cast, after releasing number forty-nine, I hooked up with what would have been number fifty... if I could of held him. Without a doubt, this was the biggest carp I had yet to battle, but stopping him was out of the question. He went straight across the creek toward a brush pile. If he got to that brush pile I knew I'd be in trouble. It wasn't long until I saw the dead limbs moving and resigned myself to the fact it was over. Soon the line went limp, and what a horrible helpless feeling that is.

Moving upstream, I spotted a young carp feeding in the shallows. Guess I could've passed on this kid, to wait for a larger one, but I wanted the monkey off my back... so I showed him the Carrot and he took it.

The youngster would become number fifty, fulfilling my goal.

Now, I'm not saying that I won't continue to fly-fish for carp, but I will have to choose carefully the time of day and time spent on the water from here on out.

The Okuma Sierra six weight reel is going into retirement. The reel has been a good one for the last nine years, catching thousands of fish, and bringing me countless moments of enjoyment. However, the last three months of the Carp Crusades has been hell on the reel, and the inner workings are now trashed. So, the reel will go into the mini-fly fishing museum in my spare bedroom. There it will rest, serving as a constant reminder of wonderful days gone by.

In closing out the Carp Crusades, it is hard for me to imagine any fly-fisher who would not want to fish for these creatures. In pursuing the carp, a fly-fisher's metal, skill, and ability to out think the fish, will all be tested. I have no doubt that the carp is the savviest, smartest, and battle ready fish of most warm water species which we seek. For me, the carp has become a fish that has earned my highest respect and admiration.

I think the most difficult thing about capturing the carp on a fly, is the approach. For sure, they are a spooky fish that are constantly on alert for movement. At times, I considered wearing a camouflage kerchief to pull up on my face once a carp was spotted. I think that illustrates just how wary the carp is. In flying for carp, we must learn to be more of a hunter exercising stealth and stalking skills.

The Carp Crusades of the last three months has been the most thrilling and exhilarating fishing experience of my life. It has also been the most rewarding, and the riches I found come in the friendship that Charlie and I have made in the crusades.

Charlie and I have had some wonderful, almost daily exchanges. These exchanges have been filled with shared information, summations, deductions, observations, and at times some rather hilarious shit. Yes, I have a copy of each exchange, and yes... I have plans for them someday.

If I am ever to pen a book, or maybe two, about the experiences of the last three months, one title would certainly be, "Conversations With Charlie".

I'm sure Charlie will continue with the Carp Crusades and my hope is that he too will carefully measure such things as time of day, temperatures, and the demand placed on the body. He will continue to do well in battle.

Now that I know that I'm done, for the most part, with the carp this season, I have to wonder if there will ever be another fly-fishing experience as thrilling as the Carp Crusades.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Carp Blind

Earlier this week I scheduled a day of vacation for today. As it is at my place of employment, once a day is scheduled it's pretty well set in stone. The only problem for me was that I planned to go a-carpin' on the fly today but late yesterday afternoon it came a small cloud burst for about an hour. Rock Creek was just beginning to clear and I was certain that this morning she would once again be dingy.

I decided to go anyhow and was on the creek by 7 a.m. Indeed, the creek had clouded somewhat and to make matters worse, I left the camera at home, a camera I was going to need within the next few minutes.

I saw a lone shadow of a carp and cast a crawdad pattern his direction. Getting lucky, I made a good cast, but once the fly hit the water it was all blind fishing. Focusing on the line leader connection, I saw a sudden downstream movement. Being downstream in the movement, I employed a hard side sweep hook-set and the fish was on.

This carp was the only carp, the only fish in my life actually, that has ever taken me to the backing. At one point, there was at least 125 feet of fly line upstream. To compound things, the reel started free spooling again so I had to hand strip all that line in while trying to fight the fish, and spool up what line I could. Finally landed the beast and it was another one of those footballs... really thick. So, I would not get a picture of the only fish that has taken me to the backing.

I left the water and went home and fetched the camera. Sure enough, I would end up needing it again.

Charlie's Pasture was the next stop and it was even dingier than the first stop I made. But, as the sun continued to climb, things started getting somewhat better. Seeing another shadow, I cast a new fly that I tied last night - the Carp Carrot. Again, it was blind-fishing, but there was movement in the line and with a straight up hook-set the battle begin. Ended up walking this beast about fifty feet upstream to the island where he could be landed.

I left the Carp Carrot on and walked back down to where the first pasture carp was hooked. It was then I realized by getting in the water to walk the fish, the rest of the fish would be down for awhile. Thirty minutes later I was still standing on the bank and looking. Sometimes I think that you can stare at dirty water so long that you actually become carp blind. Everything in the water begins to look like a carp.

Deciding to go upstream I arrived at some shallows with a lot of rock structure. Here the water was nice and clear and here... there was one big carp. I put the Carrot about eight inches in front of him and the current swept it to his right. He turned and was on it. I saw the suck and set straight up.

Just six more and I'll have my goal of fifty. I wanted to be done by June 1st but I'm not going to make it. Somehow, I think the last six may be hard to come by. The carp seem fewer and they are resting more with the full sun being on them most of the day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Carp Crusades - The Football

Landed this football of a carp today using a pheasant tail clawed crawdad I tie. Talk about a carp with shoulders! This was the thickest carp I've landed to date and he was travelling with five more carpes' that were equal size.

The battle was a lot of fun and had to avoid a lot of obstacles like a downed cedar tree. He tried several time for the cedar tree but fortunately the tippet and my tie held up.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Driven

For the last three days I've known quite well that conditions on Rock Creek for capturing carp have been most unfavorable. Yes indeed, I've known since Wednesday that the cards are stacked against almost any possibility of battling a carp. However, somehow I felt this overpowering compulsion to go to the creek and try. Today, after failing for the third straight day in my battle with carp, I realized that these beasts have led me to be driven.

The mere existence of the carp in Rock Creek, along with the possibility of engaging one in battle, has me not only captivated... but fixated, not being able to think or dedicate time to much else. For example, tonight I was to fix Dutch oven leg of lamb and I found myself in such a hurry to get to the creek, I started second guessing the temperature on the Dutch. Fortunately, I was able to get it right, and I say fortunately because leg of lamb is a very expensive cut of meat, and comes our way only once in a Blue Moon.

This past Wednesday, every weather forecaster across the prairie ocean was predicting, almost guaranteeing, dire and severe weather. However, in spite of the warnings, I found myself standing on the bank near the water's edge, trying desperately to see a feeding carp... any carp for that matter. I stood there an hour as the sky grew darker and more threatening. Fly rod was in hand, tilted up toward heaven, as if I was expecting a St. Elmo's fire. Stupid thing really - to be on the water under severe skies.

After an hour or so, and no carp before my eyes, I gave up and went home. Two hours later, the tornado sirens would blare, and heaven would release a flurry of furious weather across the prairie ocean. Tornadoes were dancing - cutting deadly swaths. Hailstorms of biblical telling were raining ice and fire from the sky, and the rains poured as if dumped from a vial of the heavenly bodies.

All these things added to the misery of Rock Creek.

Yesterday, I somehow thought that a day since the storms passing would make a difference, and again I was called by the carp. Again on this day, I would stand on the creek, searching, seeking, asking, and praying perhaps, for the slightest hint of a carp. Once again, I would go home with no carp battled.

Today I knew that two days since the passing of the storms would certainly make all the difference. But, once on the creek I could easily see that eight-five percent of the creek was still dirty, dingy, or murky at best.

I was prepared to stay an hour, maybe two, just standing on the bank waiting for a carp to come my way... but that plan was thwarted quite early with the coming of this lovely couple.

My first thought upon seeing these kids was why would they float down a dirty, muddy, creek when in just a couple of days it will be much clearer. After thinking about it though, perhaps they were there for the same reasons I was - they simply couldn't keep from it.

I asked them where they were headed and they mentioned "Forty-foot" which told me they had at least two miles of hard navigation in front of them. Further discussion revealed they didn't even know where they currently were on the creek, which is a scary thought in itself.

At that point I decided to just go home but on second thought I decided to explore a new route to Charlie's Pasture.

By taking one of the walking trails, I discovered a new way to the pasture but I really don't know how much of a help it will be in saving time. Actually, I think it's a little longer. But, the beauty of this new approach is that we won't have to wade the creek, telegraphing the carp about the soon coming ass kicking they're about to receive. This new trail leads to the island at Charlie's Pasture which is a favored place for Charlie and I both. The last thirty feet of the approach is a little rough with lots of thorns, but that's nothing that can't be overcome.

After exploring the new trail I headed back for the Prairie Schooner and I was getting quite tired and hot. I stopped at the pavilion to refresh myself with some Sulphur water. Having grown up with this water I'm quite use to it, but to newcomers it takes a bit of getting-use-to. It's good water... no bleach, no fluoride, just water.

Tomorrow is Saturday. I really don't know if I will try and fish at this point, given the condition of the creek. But that's what I said today, and yesterday, and the day before.

If you think I'm bad, Charlie is the same. Yesterday, he went to the creek. Today he was back on the creek and even picked a fight with a gar. Charlie is just like me - driven.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Great Weekend Upcoming At Bass Pro

For a little bit of nothing, I would seriously think about ditching work this Saturday, hitching the wagon and traveling to Bass Pro in Oklahoma City.

Beginning May 21st, the folks at Bass Pro will be really putting on the dog with a great sale on some of our favorite outdoor gear, plus live demonstrations and chances to win some rather serious prizes.

To find out more click the link provided below the image. Have fun everyone!

Click Here To Enter

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Paddling And Learning

Regardless if the catching, battling, or skirmishing with fish is good or bad, I never try to sugar-coat the catching part of the adventure.

Today, Charlie and I went on our maiden voyage in his canoe, (which I think of as the USS Carpio), and it turned out to be much more of a learning than catching event - much more!

We didn't catch a carp.

Sure, there were carp to catch, but as it was today, we were right on top of them before we knew it. Yes... we spooked a lot of carp today with the canoe, or perhaps the oars, or perhaps with me wildly wielding my saber.

We learned some things however. The main thing we took away from today's experience is the time of day we chose to fish. The sun was absolutely impossible, casting a constant glare on the water. When it wasn't affecting us that way, it was directly in our eyes.

We also learned where the carp are holding... their homes if you will, and as it is with the both of us, especially Charlie, we make good mental notes. We also noted that the sink rate of our flies is going to have to be significant. If these carp are not surprised or attracted by the sudden offering... they will refuse the offering altogether.

The trip itself was awesome! I thoroughly enjoy fishing with Charlie and fell in love with his canoe. Now... he may very well have a name for his canoe already - such as Gracie or Sophie or something... I didn't ask. Traveling the creek in a canoe with Charlie is a blast, and with me not being much of an oarsman the entire navigation system was left to Charlie. In having to do that chore I feel like Charlie probably was cheated on the fishing opportunities today.

We paddled upstream, then downstream, then back upstream, over to a slack water inlet, and then back downstream. We were all over the place... simply enjoying the time. However, with each passing minute we knew we were burning daylight, but we were waiting for that damn sun to sink below the tree line.

In the last hour on the water we found a significant sandbar we could actually wade. There's a lot of wade-able water on Guy Sandy, as far as being shallow, but unless you like to wade quicksand like mud, it's best to stay in the canoe.

On the sandbar we had our best opportunities to battle carp, but again we were losing light and it didn't take long to loose all possibility of seeing the carp.

We learned much today and have another trip planned - much earlier in the day, and somehow I figure we are going to battle carp that day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Subtle Changes

In preparation for tomorrow, I decided to visit Rock Creek even though she is still quite a blur. You see, tomorrow, I get to go a-fishin' with Charlie and we will be launching his canoe on a brand new current of the Prairie Ocean called Guy Sandy. My excitement about this trip led me to carp today and at the same time make a few subtle changes.

My carp gear is basically my carp gear, however today... I made a small but significant change. I ripped off the heavy threaded leader I'd been using and tied on a lighter one. Although I love the leader I'd been using, it seemed to be causing me some control and approach problems here of late. Today, in using the new leader it was easy to realize how much I'd been cheating myself. There is a lot more control and accuracy with the lighter, slightly shorter leader.

Also today, I went back to crawdad patterns of which my arsenal has been void since losing my fly box several weeks back.

Today's changes resulted in a carp to hand.

Although it was difficult to see anything in the creek, I stood on the bank patiently looking and scouting the brew. Then I spotted a shadow upstream about thirty feet, and sure enough, that shadow was moving. Stepping into the creek ever so gently I waded out about ten foot then held. The beeve was grazing on the near side and coming downstream my direction, but then suddenly turned upstream. Then here he came again downstream, then suddenly turned toward the far side. I knew the time was now or never so I prepared the lariat and threw the loop. The loop fell slightly short and to one side but the beeve came to it. Honestly, I thought he swam over it but upon lifting the rod tip I felt the pressure of his mouth wrapped around the crawdad and I hook-set the beast.

The beeve wasn't a large one - probably about eighteen inches but this magnificent bastard gave me perhaps one of the best fights yet.


Well, I should of known all the egg'n, prodding, almost badgering I laid on Charlie about taking pic's of his carp would backfire. After all my nagging, Charlie went out and acquired a camera to take the said pictures I deemed so damn important. The camera's life would be short-lived due to sudden impact with the pavement. I feel terrible about the whole ordeal.

However, Charlie was able to save the last picture of a carp he lassoed and brought in for branding. It was a magnificent beeve and I feel obliged to share it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Fishing The Muddy Currents

For most of us who fly-fish, fishing muddy water hasn't brought great success. As a matter of fact, most times, it's simply unproductive.

For the last six or seven days, the Rock Creek current of the Prairie Ocean has received significant amounts of rain and yes... Rock Creek is a muddy blur.

Today, I found myself bored to tears sitting around the bunkhouse so to the vise I go. Decided to tie up a couple of bunny leech patterns - one black, one brown. Then it was back in front of the boob-tube being totally bored but it didn't take long for me to decide to try the carp no matter what the results.

As Well Springs, I did see a couple of tails but that was about the best of it. Seeing the tails, but not being able to see their mouth resulted in pretty much blind fishing. I did have one suck but missed that wonderful opportunity.

I leave and go to the beach area above the east side crossing. The sun had come out momentarily and as I walked upstream I would spook five carp in the shallows. Absolutely did not see them when the fact was I was indeed really trying to see them. In the stained water the color of the common carp blends in and makes for an extremely effective camouflage.

Upstream in the deeper water I concentrated on the overhanging grasses looking for any pronounced, unusual, rhythmic movement of the grasses. This strategy brought two carp side by side into my sights. Leader casting, the black bunny landed about six inches from the smaller of the two, and he was on it.

He was a young carp and quite healthy. After taking his picture and releasing him I went back downstream and sit on a log for thirty minutes hoping the carp would come into the shallows once again. But... it wasn't to be this day.

If I learned anything it would be that fish are catch-able in stained, even muddy, waters. The trick is to take the disadvantages of the conditions, and turn them into advantages for the fly-fisher. The advantage I found today, was the overhanging grasses that proved to be much like a beacon.

Just twelve more warriors to get to fifty.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Carp Crusades - In Becoming A Canvas For Carp


Fly fishing for carp has been an "iffy" thing so far this week particularly with the rain we received last Sunday. I figured the rain was enough to murk the creek and sure enough, Mother Hole and the Well Springs were affected immediately.

However, Charlie has dedicated a lot of time to the rain and it's effect on the creek and he knows that some rain can actually have a clearing effect on Rock Creek, particularly at his pasture. So on Monday... Charlie went a-fishin'.

For Charlie, Monday was what we call a day-maker. He hooked up, battled with, and defeated one superb twenty-six inch carp using a white zonker pattern. After that twenty minute battle Charlie knew he was done. He left the creek a completely satisfied and contented man. That's a day-maker.


It came even more rain on Monday and it was a hard rain so the creek was even more messed up. But, the amazing thing today was Rock Creek was actually trying to clear somewhat.

I didn't take a lunch hour, but did take my fifteen minute break to run down to the creek. No waders, no lanyard, no fly vest, just rod with fly and camera. Once on the creek, I spotted two nice carp tailing together and flipped the white cactus chenille bugger their direction. One carp was on it like a cruise missile on pre-set coordinates.

I beached the creature and took a picture, but when it came time to remove the hook from his upper mouth he started flip-flopping, throwing mud all over my white work-shirt like it was a canvas for some abstract splatter artist.

I'd spent less than ten minutes of my break on the creek, but suddenly realized I couldn't go back to the workplace with this shirt. So, the last five minutes of my break was a mad rush home to change shirts so nobody at the store would know I'd snuck out to go a-fishin'.

I do live a precarious life.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Carp Crusades - A Little Closer

Upon leaving the bunkhouse this morning it actually felt more like trout season than the month of May. A cold front blew through late yesterday afternoon and the temperature this morning was around fifty degrees. I threw an over-shirt on and headed for the Well Springs at Rock Creek.

It didn't take long at Well Springs to find a couple of carp willing to do battle. Using the white cactus chenille bugger I spotted carp number one fairly close to the bank and planted the fly in front of his nose. He wasted little time in picking up the offering.

Carp number two was about twenty-five feet away feeding in the shallows. My first cast landed behind him and my second cast kind of sucked also. But the third cast was indeed a charm, landing about six inches above and slightly to his side. From twenty-five feet I couldn't see the fly so I watched the carp's pectoral fins and tail. Usually when they suck the fly in the pectoral fins will wing and the tail will wave. It was a good hook-set and ended up bringing the carp to a sandbar in the middle of the creek.

From the Well Springs I went to Charlie's Pasture. To get an idea of what this pasture looks like, just think of fishing some saltwater flats somewhere for bonefish. The first two hundred yards or so is just like flats. I noticed a tremendous number of pot-marks on the wade up, and Charlie also has made note of these marks, which tells us the carp are feeding in this area at some time. Charlie has suggested some night fishing using black colored flies, so I figure we're going to get around to it sooner or later.

Of the two of us, Charlie is the studious one. He is constantly making observations and notes, and he passes all this information on to me. I've kept a record of our exchanges, and they now total seventy-six.

I didn't fare well at the pasture today. Foul-hooked one and fair hooked another, but didn't get him to hand. The sun had the south side completely shady at the island, and most of the carp were hugging the north bank where the deeper water is.

I've certainly learned one thing about fly-fishing for carp - patience is certainly a virtue. It is so tempting to cast at a cruising carp, but if we do... we simply alert the other carp of our presence.

I left Charlie's Pasture when the wind really picked up and stopped at the beach to see if sight-fishing was possible. It wasn't, and besides that, there was a lot of competition from the panfish community, plus a couple of bass come my way.

The two carp taken today took me to needing just thirteen more to reach my goal of fifty. Hopefully, a little rain will come and clear the creek up again - it's quite thick currently.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Just Some Notes

Just fifteen more and I can start manuscript.

Notes to remember:

May 4th,2010

Conditions: Bright sunshine but creek primarily shaded by overhanging trees. Few square foot patches of sunlit water at Wells Spring.
Time: Lunch hour
Flies: Crystal Cactus Chenille
Other: Steady wind causing constant ripple. Hard to see at all today. Dressed for work with white shirt on.

The Kraken would not show today. Hiding in his lie, peering out through tassels of roots, branches, and long dead limbs, I knock at his door a couple of times when a young carp is dispatched. The youngster comes to the sunlight and I show him the bugger. He likes and he sucks, then comes to hand.

Shortly another young sentinel comes and he too sucks the bugger. Almost identical in size these are quite young carp... maybe two pounds.

End of the lunch hour grows nigh and I must leave.

Just fifteen more but I also want to shake hands with Ol' Scarhead.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Release The Kraken

Releasing the Kraken certainly wasn't a problem for me today.

Arriving at the Well Springs directly after work I was sneaking through the tall grasses when I spotted two carp in the middle of the creek, and holy Toledo,! This fish would've went thirty inches if an inch.

On the end of my lariat was the same white cactus chenille streamer that took carp yesterday and I palm rolled it to the fish. He liked what he saw and the battle was on!

The problem was where I chose to throw down at this fish... right in the middle of the creek about ten feet away from a log jam. That log jam was where the Kraken lives and he wanted to go home. Three times I pulled him away from his doorstep, but shortly after the third... the 3X gave way.

The carp won today. I went home with no carp to hand and shy one more fly.

Now, where's that damn 2X?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Number Thirty-Three

Getting finished with the crawdad patterns last night instead of today, I decided to visit Charlie's Pasture again. Things for the most part were much the same as yesterday - overcast sky, calm wind, mill pond smooth. However, as I noted the carp were like cross-town traffic yesterday, today it was difficult finding a handful.

Upon reaching the island the one thing I did take note of was a four foot wide mud stream which told me the beeves were foraging. And... it didn't take long for them to sense my presence and they emerged from the smoke-like filled water like spectres in dim light. They went straight to the far side bank and were to be seen no more.

In the two hours I was on the creek, I didn't fish more than a handful of carp and few of them were feeding. Yesterday the color black and the pattern bugger worked but today they absolutely refused it. I tried several other patterns and they refused them as well. The crawdads I tied turned out really nice but the colors are so natural it's going to make sight fishing extremely difficult.

Finally, I tied on white cactus chenille bugger and with the first cast hooked-up with a 24 inch beef. Unlike yesterday, I didn't grab the leader trying to bring him to hand but rather walked him up the creek about twenty feet and beached him. The Okuma free-spooled again today and also like yesterday this carp had close to eighty foot or more of line out before I got him turned.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Gonna Need A Bigger Net

Actually... any net at all would've been a big help this morning. In Charlie's Pasture I hooked up with a Boeing 747 of a carp. The beast took me within a foot of the backing and once I got him turned the poor old tired and worn out Okuma was free spooling, so getting this fish on the reel wasn't going to happen. It's amazing to me he didn't break off while I was fighting him by line hand, but after about ten minutes he was within leaders length of me. It was totally stupid what I did next. I thought he had tired enough that I could grab the leader and bring him to hand since I couldn't beach the creature because of the high bank. As soon as I grabbed the leader he took off again with the red San Juan worm ball still in the upper corner of his mouth.

Conditions today included a mill pond still creek with hardly any wind, underneath a completely overcast and threatening sky. The temperature was sixty-eight degrees when I started at 10 o'clock. The carp were crazy at the pasture. There were carp coming downstream, carp going upstream, carp crossing to the far bank, and carp from the far bank coming to the near side. Talk about cross town traffic...geezzzz.

I went upstream to the island and here there is a small riffle and within that riffle was seven or eight large carp, so I targeted them and that's when I hooked up with old big boy.

Saw my first sneaky snake on Rock Creek this spring. He kept swimming around exactly where I was fishing. If only I had a BB gun... ping... right in the arse!

After the worm ball went with the fish, I tied another one on that was created last night. This new version is gobbier (such a word?)... in other words it has more worms in the ball but the carp didn't seem to like it. Refusal after refusal. Then came the chartreuse and white Clouser and refusal after refusal. Next, the Backstabber and refusal after refusal. Something was wrong but just couldn't figure it out.

I left Charlie's Pasture to go to the Vendome Well Springs, and here it was the same thing, refusal after refusal and few carp to pick from. So... what do you do when all else fails? Wooly Bugger!!!!! Size 10 solid black with gold beadhead.

The bugger took carp number one in no time flat and he was an excellent fighter. On this fish I was unable to see his mouth and the suck, so the old Zen kicked in today and I got a blind hook-set.

Shortly thereafter, carp number two would come along, but I could plainly see the suck on this one so the hook-set was rather easy.

I decided to go look at Mother Hole, and on my way out met a young man who was fly-fishing for carp also. He was from Lone Grove and told me he'd been following this blog. He'd tied up some worm balls, but, as he said, he didn't have the right hooks to use so I gave him one of mine before leaving, and warned him also it wasn't too popular of a pattern on this day.

Mother Hole was a total mess - zero visibility almost and I don't know why unless it's all those clown carp keeping it stirred up. I simply turned around and went home.

Tomorrow - some much needed vise time and much needed crawdad patterns... since I have none left.