Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lake Hudson Carp Fishing!

Fun written all over it.

So, my friend Jay, who owns Jay's Flies on Facebook, and I went out to Lake Hudson this morning for a few hours to go carp fishing. I tied up quite a few prototype flies for today, got my gear all setup last night and got on the road around 7:30 this morning which was a lot later than I wanted.

So, Jay calls me and was wondering where I am as  he got there 20 minutes earlier than I did as he expected me to be there before him as I told him I would be leaving around 7 or so. After a phone call to clear things up, we finally meet, shoot the breeze while we set our gear up, and head on our way down to the beach. It's a gorgeous day out and there's no one out but one guy trolling for muskie with his boat. I'll spare you with the details as the first half of our time at the park was boring. We continued to chat and see a few carp but nothing came to the net much less get on our lines which is fine. I think the most exciting and heart stopping event was when Jay lost his fly box. He got it back, though, by the grace of God. It just fell out of his pocket. : )

So, we are walking back to where I caught my first carp ever on the fly to scout out the spot to see if there are carp over there again. The entire water level of the lake has been raised significantly from the last time I was there so there is but inches of shoreline around the lake instead of several feet which was very disappointing. So, going to my memorial spot was weird but I caught the carp in the exact spot I caught the last one believe it or not.

So, I start walking along the shore line seeing some carp possibly 5 or 6 lbs not that big. I am waiting for Jay as he was dropping unnecessary gear off at the truck. When he came back, we start pressing on. I stop as I see a massive carp literally a foot away from me. I drop my fly down and let it sink and now the carp is literally right by my foot. At this point, my heart is coming out of my chest, my palms are even more sweaty and I am shaking in excitement as the biggest carp I have ever seen is now about to be hooked on my line. What I didn't realize was that the leader was wrapped around the end of the tip section of the rod and when I set the hook, the carp ran into deeper water and took the tip section with him! I was scared that the rod broke but thankfully it did not. : )

The video above shows the fight. Personal best. Came in at 11 lbs and 26" despite the video saying 25".

We kept walking and I let Jay take point. We saw other carp and cast to them but sadly no other carp came to the net. I did have a 10" bass take my bloody leech but that was it for the fish. Overall, a great day despite us both being tired and Jay being extra tired as he has carpal tunnel. In the end, we all learned something and I gave Jay some of my flies. It was a much needed trip despite just 2 fish coming to the net.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day Carp!

Took this screen from the GoPro vid I took....Absolutely love this shot.
Today, I had one thing on my mind....carp. My fiancee is in the UP until late Friday and I needed to get out! I've been very frustrated the past few times I've gone carping as every time I've been skunked. I've SEEN the carp but no takers or they get spooked too easily. I went back to my favorite spot for carp, Metzger's Marsh. I really took a gamble today because I had some REALLY wacky looking flies in my box.

I headed out with little food in my stomach and very little sleep but I guess I'm used to both, which is a bad thing....Really have to change that bad habit even though I know better. For the first hour and a half almost two hours, I saw carp but hooked nothing but weeds. Now, I'll say this that Metzger's Marsh is a very unique fishery as there is, at least right now, a lot of aquatic plant growth everywhere which makes it a perfect habitat for carp to feed and sleep. I was literally stepping on, creeping up to, and dropping the fly upon the carp. It breaks every law of the 10 Commandments of Carping but that's what makes it amazing and unique. Your heart literally goes a million miles an hour because you're literally 3 feet away from a 10lb carp and you drop the fly on its nose, watch it go for the fly and set the hook. Fight is on!

After a lot of problems with the wind, I finally spot a target that I think is worthy of my goofy looking fly. It looked like a Halloween fly as it had a black tail, an orange dubbed body and 4 centipede legs coming out of the side with silver bead chain eyes on the front of the hook. So, like a wooly bugger a brand new fly tier would do. I was so embarrassed but guess what? It worked! In fact, the biggest carp I ever saw and actually crept up to took it. The problem? I didn't check my knot and set the drag a tad too tight so it took off and about 40 feet later, the fly broke off. I tied on an orange pan candy next which did the trick.
The  video above shows what kind of crazy conditions I was in. With the rain coming in, it, obviously, made the water even higher than normal. It was a blessing and a curse in that the water level was higher so the carp would congregate together as well as not notice me as quickly when I walked through the aquatic plants but since there was more water, the spots that used to be just up to my knees were now up to my mid thigh. Still made for a pleasant time. 

So, after some exploring and me spotting more carp, I finally found a group of active feeders. I was pumped! I walked through a bunch of top water algae, scared a few carp, which I thought was going to spook the feeders but thankfully didn't, and finally started to cast to some feeders. I saw a cruiser and cast to it but I thought I was casting to the head but in reality, it was the tail. It got spooked. Saw yet another cruiser and waited which felt like an eternity! I cast the fly right in front of it and watched it cruise right by it. I strip set the hook and the carp took off. Fish on! Video below is of the fight.

I was happy. Very happy. I hooked a carp, yet again, on one of my pan candy and I discovered the secret to carping in Metzger's Marsh: orange flies win the day! I walked back to the car exhausted, hungry, and very tired. Overall, a rough start but that's what learning is all about. To me, studying the water, the fish, hooking 2 carp, and landing 1 was great. It's always a learning experience anywhere I fish and Metzger's Marsh is a very odd fishery as it is difficult and yet easy as you can creep up to carp but they could be scared in an instant and that 15 minute slow stalk, keeping your eyes glued on that one spot that you last saw the carp can turn into a wasted time so to speak. Overall, I love it. I always go back because I know I get a challenge and reward out of every single trip to the marsh. 

What a great shot of the #10 orange pan candy in its mouth. Pan candy has proven to be a great fly for the pan fish and carp! How exciting!