Monday, June 4, 2012

FINALLY! Carp on Fly Rod for 2012

With all the carp I've been seeing and casting to lately, I really thought it would have happened before now...but at least I've finally got those first fly rod carp of 2012 in the books!

I had some time to fish this evening, so I called my buddy Jay.  He prefers to fish the BIG water of nearby Saylorville Lake, rather than fish the local public ponds I frequent.  My friend Dale had stopped by and was going to flyfish one of the ponds nearby that actually has some carp in it, too, so either choice would have been fine by me.  But we chose Saylorville.  I took a fly rod AND a spinning rod.

We walked the long walk to the water from the parking area.  We reached the water and started walking up the shoreline to a point.  Almost there, we spooked some carp from along the shoreline.  It was extremely murky water.  The fish were nearly right at the waters edge in the shallows, but you could only see them on occasion when waves from the oddly "super-high for a Monday night" boat traffic would recede and expose the fish.  As soon as the water would start to settle down to where sight fishing might be possible, another boat would go by.  This went on nearly the entire time we were there!

Anyway, I put on a Mr. P's Carp Carrot and tried to drop it near spots I suspected the carp to be.  I missed a fish or two before finally hooking up with one.  Landed...YES!  First fly rod carp of the year for me!  I was trying to get the camera ready for a photo when the fish thrashed, unhooked itself and made its way back to the water before I could grab it.  Dang.

I then put an indicator about 5" above the fly and worked the very shallow water near shore where the carp seemed to be.  It was some time later that I finally hooked a second carp and landed it.
These were not large carp by any stretch of the imagination, but still very fun.  I worked the area longer, but failed to hook up again.  I felt there were larger carp in the slightly deeper water, but couldn't get any takes there.
Jay hailed me to come down to where he was fishing.  He had located some white bass and had seen more carp in the shallows there.

I fished with the spinning rod with a Pop-R topwater lure.  I caught 8 nice white bass up to 13", and 4 largemouth bass also to 13".

Jay caught the biggest white bass with a 15-incher.

I tied a Murdich Minnow on my flyfishing gear and tossed that out.  I had several good strikes, but the fish had been hitting the tail of the lure, and were probably hitting the tail of the Murdich Minnow...and unfortunately in this instance, the fly had its hook near the head.  But the attention it got gave me more confidence that this is going to be a good pattern to use for white bass & wipers later in the summer when the shad grow up a bit.

As it got dark, I moved to another spot where there were visible carp, but I couldn't get any hook-ups on the Carp Carrot/indicator rig.  It was so dark and the water so riled up, I don't think they could find the fly in the water well enough.  Thought about switching out the Carp Carrot for a yellow or chartreuse egg pattern that might be more visible to the fish, but I was too lazy to make the change.

It was a fun evening with some nice fish caught and... some fly rod carp IN THE BOOKS for this year!  :)


  1. Way to go! I'm still looking to land my first but I'm working on it. Then I want a Gar on the fly rod but I'll take them in any order.

  2. Gar are on my list too, Kevin! I have seen some...just haven't gotten them to strike yet this year.

  3. By the way, that is a strikingly marked fish. Love the red/orange fins!