I think I forgot to mention in yesterday's blog about "before the storm", that the spot we were fishing was loaded with large shad....like 3"-6" shad. When I tried using a spinner on spinning gear, the lure was hitting shad almost continuously so that the blade had a hard time spinning.
Today I fished another area on the same lake that had clearer water. Finally got to fish some "clearer" water! Still not very clear, but at least the fish have an opportunity to see a fly in this water! I actually went hoping to target white bass again, but as soon as I arrived I spotted carp. I can't rationally explain why I would then choose to fly-fish for carp instead of white bass, but that is what I did.
I caught 5 carp today in about 3.5 hours of flyfishing, and also caught 2 small bass on flies. I tried chucking lures briefly, but it just didn't seem the white bass were in the area at all, and I didn't really see any shad where I expected to find LOTS of them. Very strange.
Most of the carp were caught by just casting near groups of fish and slowly working it through them. The fly disappeared almost as soon as it hit the water, so it wasn't a good opportunity to "watch the take". And the wind was blowing my line around pretty badly, which also made strike detection difficult. I didn't measure all the carp, but did measure one that went 27". Not really sure if it was the biggest one or not. All of them were at least 24".
I caught a couple on a Hexagenia Nymph, one on a modified Whitlock Near'Nuff Crayfish, one on a beadhead nymph with a hackle collar. Here's some pics:
The nost exciting take was when I moved to a different spot and tried targeting some carp that were schooled in open water. I couldn't get any of them, but did see a pair swim by in front of me along the shoreline. They didn't spook. I took a couple casts at them without any takes. The circled around and came by again. I had tied on an uweighted black woolly bugger, and put a good cast ahead of the lead fish as they were swimming away from me, but it passed by without striking. The trailing fish was headed right for it....the line tightened and BOOM!
The carp today were all excellent fighters. None took me to my backing, but a few put a good effort into trying to get there, even though I was putting a lot of pressure on them with the 8wt rod. And they definitely were bull-doggers...kept trying to dive and stay deep when I wanted to bring them to the surface.