I went to the pond because it has Grass Carp, but considering all the fruitless (for Grass Carp) trips I've made to this pond, I'm forever optimistic, but know my chances of catching one are pretty slim.
So, I went to the pond to target bluegills. I grabbed the 5wt rod out of the car, instead of the 6wt I've normally been using (because I often want to cast wind resistant bass poppers at these ponds). It had 3X tippet (~8 lb test). Many bluegills were in shallow close to shore. So, I went with at gray Boa Yarn Leech tied on a #8 dry fly hook (for less weight). This allowed the fly to be worked with a nice action, slowly, without it sinking much. I think this was key. And, I'd previously caught 2 (maybe 3?) Grass Carp on a Boa Yarn Leech. I knew they might go for it.
There were lots of people out fishing....I counted at least 13 other anglers on this pond during the 2 hours I was there. I worked my way down a shoreline that others weren't fishing. I saw a few signs that there might be Common Carp or Grass Carp around...but the swirls could also have been bass or catfish.
I caught some smallish bluegills, had a nice crappie on that shook free near shore. Further down the shore, I saw some more large swirls and activity. Before I could fish my way along to that area, 2 other anglers came down and stood on shore there and fished. They seemed oblivious to the occasional large swirls. I didn't see them catch anything, and after about 1/2 hour, they left.
It was getting dark. I moved to within casting range, but still kept a reasonable distance away.
I kept casting around the area. Finally, I got a strike. Subtle, could have been a small bluegill. I set the hook....
....and instantly, all HECK broke loose! It was like somebody threw 3 bombs into the water....thrashing, super-loud exploding tail slaps...complete mayhem! Threw giant waves across the pond! Then it took off like a torpedo and porpoised out of the water twice as it headed for the middle of the pond. After that, it was much more docile. Despite my completely undersized gear, I was able to lead the fish around much of the time. I walked it about 70 yards down the shoreline to a spot where I thought I might have a chance of landing the fish. It made some runs to deeper water, but it would then let me bring it back to the shallows, before taking off again. It was back-and-forth for quite a while, I was soaked from stepping in the water trying to get a grip on this fish several times. I finally was able to land the fish. I was SO EXCITED!!! I was bummed nobody was around to take a better picture of me with this fish.
I'm not sure what the total duration of the fight was...It didn't seem quite as long as the 20 minute battle I had with one a couple years ago...so maybe 12-15 minutes? As I mentioned, she became very docile after the first minute or two. I feel like I won this round with patience rather than the strength of my equipment! I'm STILL so excited about it!
This is my biggest Grass Carp so far...it measured 41.5" in length, with a calculated weight of 35.5 lbs!