Friday, April 14, 2017

Mid-April 2017 Update

I fished one evening earlier this week.  I was DETERMINED to catch a bass on a blockhead popper!  The water was finally warming up, the wind was finally managable.  Well...the bass had other ideas.  My buddy Jay caught plenty of bass on another pattern.  I walked 3/4 of the way around the pond before I finally got a strike and  hooked up!  But....I did it, and you can't take that away from me!  ;o)
Also caught a Pumpkinseed Sunfish:

During lunches, I got out a few times.  I flyfished, and caught bass, bluegills, and crappies.  I rarely ever see snakes when fishing, but one day I saw 6 Garter Snakes!  I even bent down and touched one of them.  Unfortunately, I didn't have my phone/camera with me.  But a couple days later I did, and got a picture of one.

Today (Friday, April 14), I went to my typical "lunchtime pond".  Somebody was already fishing there.  I let them have the pond, and drove 5 minutes to a nearby alternate pond.  Its one I seldom fish, because fishing generally sucks there.  On the list of ponds in Ankeny, I'd probably rank this one 2nd from the bottom.  Its that bad.

But, it is what it is, and despite my opinion, every pond deserves a chance now and then.  I know there are carp in this pond....I don't recall ever being successful at hooking one here.  The water is muddy enough that I usually can't see the fish before they spot me.

So, I thought I saw movement in a large muddy area that it was obvious carp had been feeding in.  I cast a #8 black mohair leech, and swam it slowly through the area.  I made contact with a carp.  I don't know if it hit my fly, or if I hit the fish, but the result was that it took off after the hookset, without the hook getting stuck.  I moved further down the shore.

Several years ago I found a few crappies in certain spots, and cast  through those areas.  No crappies today, but I did catch one small Hybrid Sunfish.  A dozen casts later, my line tightened a bit, so I set the hook.  Nice fish!  It swam straight for the opposite side of the pond, taking almost all of the 123' of fly line....there were just a few wraps left on the reel over the backing.  I was in no danger of getting spooled, but this portion of the line rarely gets exposed.  I slowly worked the fish back to me, and lifted on the rod to get the fish near the surface.  I could see it was a carp, and a minute or so later I could even see the front 1/2 of the fly sticking out of its mouth.  Not foul-hooked!  Excellent!  :thumbsup:

It really didn't want to come into the shallows, so that attitude lengthened the battle by another several minutes.  I finally felt it was tired enough to try and horse it to shore so I could land it.  And I did.

Beautiful yellow-gold carp.  I measured it at 24".  Not huge, but substantial, and certainly VERY fun!


  1. I may have to review the archives on your blog to find out more on how to tie the Blockhead..............

    1. I'm sure I've written about it in comments...not sure if I've written an article? Anyway, its based on and nearly identical to Tim Holschlag's Blockhead Popper.
      Here's a link (you may have to copy and paste the text into your web browser):
      The only real changes I make to Tim's pattern are that I don't use doll eyes....I just draw them on the foam with a Sharpie marker. And I add rubber legs running through the foam body from side-to-side.
      So, the list of materials is: #8 or #6 Allen B200 Bass Bug hook, 6/0 UNI thread, foam head (that I've cut from a "flip flop sandal....but you can buy pre-cut heads online (search for "blockhead popper bodies")), strung marabou for the tail, larger hackle for the collar, rubber legs. Loctite Super Glue Gel on the hookshank for the adhesive. Your choice of colors for everything.
      One tying tip...I didn't have good lucking getting the glue to hold well when running a hook through the foam head. Instead, I cover the hookshank with thread wraps....when the rest of the fly is finished, I cover the the thread wraps with the super glue gel, cut a slit in the bottom of the foam head and place it onto the shank that way. The glue bonds with the foam and this works very well to keep the foam head from ever spinning on the shank.