Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Vacation Day Talks

To me the best time to take vacation is autumn.  When autumn comes around the air is cooler and crisper, and the leaves begin to put on a stage performance of beautiful gold, burnt orange, and yellow colors.  Also, trout season rolls around at Blue River and this serves as a perfect chance to see fellow fly fishers that have been absent since the spring. 

So, I try my best to save my vacation time for the fall season, but sometimes things build up on me at the workplace and I make myself burn a vacation day... just like this morning. 

The bill of fare I had in mind for the carp this morning was the black bodied, red tail Curiosity fly along with the chartreuse Creek Critter.  Beginning with the Curiosity, this fly would find the fattest and largest carp I've ever taken from the pasture we call Honey Hole.  This would be a lengthy conversation to say the least.  For some reason I decided to carry a net with me this morning and having this big carp on the line made me thankful the net was at hand.  However, I would learn after four attempts of scooping the fish that this poor quality net was simply too small. 

I would finally wear the fish down where I could get him close to the bank and grab his tail.  I wish I would have taken a better picture that would show the length and girth of this creature.  It was a sow carp and I feel lucky in landing this fish.

It wasn't long until the second fish was on the line and it would turn out to be about a 4lb. catfish. Between the first carp and this catfish the Curiosity had begin to come unraveled.

The red tail Curiosity was retired to the dry patch and this afternoon this great little pattern will be reincarnated in the fly tying room.  His cousin the tan tail Curiosity went on the tippet.

Traveling from Honey Hole pasture to the pasture known as lower Well Springs the second carp of the morning was targeted.  The tan tail cousin came through and the fish came to hand.

From lower Well Springs I travel to the pasture we call the Beach.  Here I see three carp feeding in close proximity of each other.  It seemed best to simply put the fly in the middle of them and see what would happen.  The chartreuse Creek Critter fell dead center of this trio and it was a race to see what carp would get to the fly first.  I honestly couldn't tell which carp was going to arrive first, but set the hook as soon as I saw the tippet twitch. 

There was a problem with where I hooked-up with this carp.  A small tree with lots of branches has fallen across the creek and this carp kept going dead-on for those branches.  Bypassing the drag I played the creature with my line hand.  Finally I hauled the carp to the edge of the sandy beach itself and was sure this carp had been whipped.  But, as I let pressure off the rod to approach the carp, the fish flipped, hook came out, and it was adios.  The carp won this battle.  Kudos to you fine sir. 

Charlie stopped by the mercantile store the other day and we begin to talk about how our fly selection, particularly to size, has evolved over the last several years.  When we first begin to seriously fly fish for carp we were tying patterns on size 6 scud and straight shank hooks.  We were churning out rather large Backstabber style flies, Carpolo Charlies, and San Juan wormballs.  Now, we are using size 12 scud hooks and this smaller patterns seem to catch more carp.  The one thing I've noticed is that the smaller patterns seem to spook less carp from the fly itself.  The only down side to smaller patterns so far has been there have been several occasions where the fly gets a little deeper  into to the mouth of the fish.  Not damaging deep, but if given preference I'd rather the hook go into the lip each time.  

Once large patterns were used, now smaller is better.

Both Charlie and me have been fly fishing for so long we could easily be considered seasoned anglers.  However, when it comes to carp-by-fly, we always recognize our phylogeny.  We will continue to learn and evolve as we go.  Next up is to improve our take ratio by blind-fishing, and then there is carp-by-fly at night. 

I don't know about the snakes though with this fly at night thing.  


Gregg said...

Good for two and willing carp. Am totally convinced mine see too many people, even when close and rooting they frighten easily. Be glad you are where you are. Nice fish that big boy! Lots of girth there Barry. As far as flies, I'm still best at a size 8 2xl and 6 std. length hook though gosh knows I am trying different flies others use with great success.


Barry said...

Gregg, we are so thankful for the water and carp that we do have. These creatures see few anglers, but tons of people in the federal park. The carp is am amazing creature.