Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Conversations With Carp - A December To Remember

An Arctic front was scheduled to hit this part of the prairie ocean at nine o'clock this morning.  This frigid train was being pushed by thirty-five mile per hour winds and promised to make it's presence known. 

At 8:30 I decided to take my dog Drift for a walk along Rock Creek.  We could feel the edge of the front already announcing itself.  As Drift made notes of every tree along the creek, I looked down and to my amazement saw two carp actively feeding. 

I let Drift finish his walk and then we hurried home where I slapped on the waders and grabbed the rod and one Creek Critter - nothing else would be required because this was going to be a short trip.  I arrived at the pasture known as the upper shallows of Honey Hole about five minutes before nine.  The temperature had already dropped another five or ten degrees in just thirty minutes. 

The water was crystal clear at this carp pasture and as I let my eyes adjust I saw a really nice carp - one of the nicest I've seen this year.  I rolled the Creek Critter out to the fish, but my first cast was off mark going downstream and beyond the fish.  The second try was an on-the-money shot landing about four inches in front of this large carp.  The carp slowly inched to the fly and sucked.

I planted the hook hard, but there was no reaction from the carp - no panic, no run, no turn, nothing.  This carp acted like it didn't know it was hooked.  Then I put pressure on the fish and instead of blowing up the carp started a methodical, and extremely heavy tug headed downstream. 

The best way I can describe this fish is that it felt like someone had tied a 15 lb. bag of potatoes on the end of my leader.  It took me a long time to land the creature, but to my delight this fish turned out to be the largest carp I've caught this season.  It seems rather ironic that my largest carp of 2012 would come in the month of December as an Arctic front was arriving. The fish came to hand at 9:03 a.m.

After releasing this dandy fish, I headed back to the prairie schooner thinking I would go back to the bunkhouse.  However, I decided to check one more pasture - the one known as Lower Well Springs. 
At Lower Well Springs there was a solitude carp feeding in shallow water.  The Creek Critter found his upper lip also.  The second, and also last, carp of 2012 came to hand.
As I was spooling and lining up my rod, I notice a funny looking black mark on my fly line.  Guess the carp of 2012 have put some burn on the ol' fly line. 
Lovin' it.



RokFish said...

I will be missing your carp adventures but what a way to finish with such a nice fish!
I think I will try fly fishing and carp stalking next season. How do you tie a creek critter?

Gregg said...


My quess is that you could catch a carp almost every day in your oart of OK., except for days of prairie blizzards. Good job! I have not tied up any critters yet but will, my carp really are very, very diffilcult-it may be me, and that fly may help me out.


Barry said...


Here's how we tie the Creek Critter. You will use a curved shank hook such as a cuved caddis or shrimp hook. Size 10 seems to be the best size for our carp. Tie in a set of medium beadchain eyes on top of the shank near the eye of the hook. Take thread back to the bend of the hook. Dub a body of antron or other body material up to the beadchain eyes. Invert hook or rotate vise. Choose a fairly sparse bunch of deer hair and stack it. After stacking tie it in where the dubbing stopped. Then choose a set of rubber legs that are equal to a length to the bend of the hook and tie them in. That's it... fairly simple. The hook will ride and land with hook point up and that is important for the hookset. Good luck.

Barry said...


That's an interesting thought. A carp for every day of the year - 365. However, I would end up torturing myself and the carp for sure. Think in 2013 Charlie and me are going to try and solve the riddle of the Washita River carp. This river is much more swift and visibility is squat. Should be a good challenge.

Trevor Tanner said...

Way to close it out Barry!

Like the sounds of the critter.

Barry said...

Been following you Trevor and it sounds like you're right with the cold weather carp too. It's hard for me to believe we are still catching these creatures... but, I'm not complaining. Hope you keep up the good info with your videos and involvement in CarpPro.