Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rough (fish) hewn

After a fairly productive April of smallmouth fishing, my success with carp in May has been less than impressive, for the most part.  The smallmouth fishing slowed dramatically as well.  We’re low on rain and my stream is now running at 17 CFS.  Up until this week (more on this shortly) my carp fishing produced more things that were not carp than that were.  But some of them were real pretty. 

Striped Shiner


I’ll admit I enhanced the colors a bit on the striped shiner.  With an ugly face like that, it only seemed fair that he gets to show off what he’s got.

I spent one morning on my local pond, hoping to hook into Big Mona, but I had no such luck.  I raised a lot of small bass, then put on a bigger fly hoping to select for larger bass, and instead got bluegills.

Several trips targeting carp and carp only only produced a fish or two, so I decided to change things up a bit.  The problem is, I changed too many things at once.  It worked, but of course my experiment now lacks proper controls, so I have no way of knowing  which variable is responsible for my success.  First, I tried a new spot.  It was full of carp.  In fact, it’s possible to see their tracks in the sand at the shallow edges of the bars.  As they move along feeding, they suck the fine silt off of the gravel, leaving long meandering trails like that pictured below.

Carp tracks

This stretch of stream was carpy as hell, but not easy to fish.

I also changed flies, switching from my (formerly) trusty rust-colored bug to a darker and heavier olive thing.  I started wearing light pants instead of waders, mainly for Gary.  Lastly, I got a new hat.   I’m fairly certain the hat was responsible for the change of fortune.  For on this outing, I hooked six carp and landed five of them, all in the course of just a couple hours’ fishing. 

It's the hat.


  1. Mme Brayshaw,
    I was crap at this when these kind of pictures were in fashion and I haven't improved since. Much as I stare and squint at the random arrangement of brown muds you have posted I can't make the 'carp trails' coalesce into anything recognisable. When I used to try this, and after I had glazed over for some minutes, all I would see were images of beautiful, naked women. People said I would go blind.
    So what's the knack? I mean, I would love to see these 'feeding lines' so as to have a template to match in my own local carp creek. Do I have to get one of those hats?

    1. I have no doubts whatsoever that if you had a hat like mine, you'd be able to see the carp tracks.

      Hallucinogenic drugs will help, too.

  2. The drugs can help you to "get one up", also.

    Nice hat, old chap.

  3. You changed you f@*>!ng hat? What kind of man casts aside hat mojo?

  4. I'm glad for your sake you've given up the waders. You'll feel so much better about yourslef. If nothing else, wading manly will counteract the effect of that hat.

  5. You have the right stealthy attiude and wonderful water, to die for for me, and I can't argue with success I just saw. My caveat is that I truly believe that camo works, if you wear a shirt, then a deep tan. I could never land a fish though without a large rubber net, but that is simply needed in my situation.