Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Failure To Communicate

Charlie Wright, that ZZ Top near-facsimile angler in the carp by fly world, never ceases to amaze me. 

Last Friday, after failing to bring to hand the fifth carp in a row by way of dry pattern the Stimulator, I contacted Charlie to tell him how the carp are buying-in that the silhouette of the Stimulator is a blossom floating down the creek.  I also suggested that he come get some of the Stimulator patterns I had on hand and give them a try, since I seemed doomed for failure in capturing a carp with this particular fly.

Saturday morning shortly after 7 a.m. at the mercantile store, Charlie walks in to get the Stimulators that were awaiting his presence.  After saying thanks, Charlie leaves the store.

About an hour and half that much later, while sitting at my desk doing paperwork, I hear Charlie call my name.  I look up and there stands Charlie with a half cocked grin on his face. 

"I got one."  Charlie said.

"You got one!  On the Stimulator?" I asked.

"Yep.  The carp was actually on bottom, but I put the fly on the surface and he came straight up for it."

"You get him to hand Charlie?"


"You get a picture!" 

"Yep.  Well... I think I got a picture."

"You think you got a picture - please tell me you got a picture Charlie!"

Charlie indeed got a picture, but given a variety of tech problems he has yet been able to transfer the picture from phone to computer and therefore the picture will have to wait. 

So there I sit flabbergasted for sure after having missed five carp in a row and Charlie gets one on the first try with the Stimulator.  What a royal kick in the pants I thought.

In the conversation that followed Charlie wanted to know if someone had given me a tip to try the Stimulator or if I had read about someone using this pattern to capture carp.  I told him no, but in my mind the silohuette that the Stimulator makes on the surface is about the same as a blossom floating down the creek and therefore made sense to try.

Leaving the mercantile store a couple of hours later, the creek was the next stop and in that place I spotted a blossom sipping carp about thirty feet downstream.  This fish was one of the most magnificent Mirror carp I've seen in the two years Charlie and I have been pursuing carp by fly.  The Stimulator went his way landing about two feet upstream.  As the fly floated directly in his feeding lane my heart begin to pound... louder and louder.  Now only inches away, I bent slightly at the waist waiting for that hopeful moment.  The Mirror then surfaced with an opened mouth, the fly disappeared like a carnival log-ride going into a tunnel, my body tensed.  I waited for just a second more and struck the rod tip skyward.  The connection was solid.  The Mirrow exploded in the water while carp brothers and sisters also self-destructed in a frenzy of disturbed water.  The rod tip flexed downward toward the surface and then... there was nothing.  No fish, no fly, no smile left on my face.

I do believe I felt a tear trickle down a valley on this etched face I own.  Carp number six had been lost... just like the others.  Even with widening the gap on the hook with this fly - probably the only reason the hook found the carp to begin with, I still failed to bring the carp to hand.  On the previous five carp I failed to bring in, the hook gap was left as manufactured.

Dissapointment would soon find me again.  After losing the Mirror, a yellow and brown Carpolo Charlie pattern was tied on and flipped out to a behemoth common.  This fish nose-dived for the fly and he sucked it up.  I set the hook so hard and fast it broke off and the fish swam away with my fly as a lip piercing. 

The rest of the morning wouldn't be the best outing ever on the creek.  I did hook up with what I thought was a carp, but it turned out to be a  young sucker, a Redhorse I think,  that I caught quite by accident.  This fish doesn't count because I wasn't trying to catch him.  As a matter of fact the fly was just sitting in the water as I fumbled for something in one of my pockets.  When I went to bring the line in the fish was simply there and so the fish doesn't count. 

The gazillion and half perch I caught don't count either.  Perch are some suicidal wild and crazy guys I tell you.  Time after time, these Hari Kari fish would impale themselves on the hook-point. 

At the end of the day I realized that a pinnacle had been reached - a not so lofty pinnacle that is.  Upon failing to get the Mirror carp to hand on the Stimulator, that carp became the thirteenth carp, in a row, that had not come to my hand. 

And... over the last six or seven outings I'm certain I have wore-out that famous slang word heard around this part of the country - a word us folk say... "Dammit!" 

It seems I currently have a failure to communicate with the grand and golden ones.


Kevin said...

Hey Barry,

I haven't done it much, but over that past year or so I've experimented with bending the hook so it is a little offset. The jury is still out, but it seems that I might have had a little bit more luck hooking fish like this...sure wished I had remembered this while using the Partridge and Orange! LOL Any thoughts on this? Maybe Gregg has knowledge of this and will weigh in too.


Gregg said...


Charlie did nothing special it seems,(other than catch that fish!)it all may be happenstance. I can not help but think you can get away with 1X tippet, about 50/50 with 2X, what I use. The sucker counts, you would have caught no fish without a line in the water. Perch, long ears, redears, bluegill, inquiring mnds must know!

Good luck next time. Gregg