Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Carp Redux 2011 - Panfish Pandemic

Just as I sit down to record this journal entry, the tornado sirens begin screaming here on the prairie ocean.  This is Oklahoma, and during the spring tornado activity is common... so I've never concerned myself with the warnings.  However, the sirens are relentless and Miss Carol is growing nutso, quite concerned I should say, so I abandon this scrawling for a short while.  Besides, there are two elderly ladies across the street and I learn the man of the house is away and attention is needed there.  Miss Carol grabs her companion dog Sadie, and along with my son Kemper we get the heavy cellar door open and get the three ladies in the hole.  Lanterns are lit, flashlights are tested, and Kemper decides to stand guard over the door.  I come back to the laptop.

Right now, the wind-wrapped rain is falling heavily and there is hail within the sheets.  The only reason I am mentioning this spring storm is to illustrate the strong winds my friend and fellow fly fisher for carp, Charlie, and I have had to endure. 

This afternoon on the creek, the wind was gusting twenty to thirty miles per hour creating blurring riffles.  The wind, however, wasn't the only obstacle today.  The tremendous algae buildup is still present, and then there is the panfish pandemic of this season.  They're everywhere, everywhere!

This spring there is a tremendous presence of new birth in the panfish community on the local creek.  For the last four, five, or maybe six years, the panfish community has struggled, but, now they are back in good numbers.  That's a good thing though - everyone loves the panfish with their gusto in giving as good as they get, along with their attached attitude as they spit at you while you're trying to remove the hook from their lip.

Panfish are the pirates of the prairie ocean when it comes to fly fishing for carp.  As soon as the fly penetrates the drink, an angler can almost hear the collective swoosh of the panfish rushing to the fly, which I might add scares the carp... particularly targeted carp.

I caught two carp today by going blind.  Both carp were taken on the Mysis Shrimp pattern in white while blind fishing.  The battles of today prove to me that when conditions such as off-colored, blurred, heavy riffled water prevent an angler from sight fishing... you simply toss the fly.

As bad as conditions were today, I could still make out the images of carp in the water.  So the strategy was to cast the fly above and near the carp and then do nothing but watch the tippet.  When fishing blind the attention has to be on the tippet.  The movement of the tippet is usually rather significant, and in both cases today... it was.

The storm just passed and we received a good rain.  I doubt it was enough, however, to give the local creek a good flushing, which would tremendously improve carp via fly.    

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