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!

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