Monday, June 26, 2006

Thee Trouthole and 10lbs of Rod Breaking Fury

Carp On The Fly

Thee Originoo Trouthole from AHW had a banner day on the carp flats until he broke his beloved Birkenheimer 6/7/8.
"I prolly landed at least 7 carp today. If only I'd been using a Rodd Karp Carp Rod, they're new this year and already the serious carpers are casting them"

Speaking of Rodd Karp here he is beta testing one of his new designs, the Capr Taper.

Carp Flats

Our close personal friend Mario Batali alway says, " Don't fish like an asshole." I must have fished like an asshole all day long because I didn't land a single carp. Thanks for the advice Mario.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Blue Skies and Yellow Flies

Yellow Carp Fly

A few weeks later than usual summer has finally arrived in the Columbia Basin.
I left Seattle early in the morning with flats boat in tow. I drove out of the clouds, over the pass and into the sun soaked desert. Aye, the windless sun soaked desert.

"All systems are green the mission is a go."

On the boat ramp before noon. I like to rod up before I put the boat in the water. Gives the trailer lights a chance to cool before they're submerged. If I only have to replace the bulbs six times this summer I'll be a happy boater. My head is in the game so I put the stern plugs in before I put the boat in the water cutting the actual launch time in half.

Out on the water I head west to Varsity Flats and The Reef. Both are high and dry. Execute plans B and C. Plans B and C are high and dry too.

Plan D is usually reserved for cloudy days but I was out of contingencies and would have to settle on bassin. I motor east, to the rock piles on the far side of the impounment.

Driftng in the wind along the rip rap is the best I can do without an oarsman or an electric motor. It works out well, a faint breeze is enough to push the boat along. I cast a Clouser to rock piles, points and dropoffs. The full sink line taking the fly down to what woould have been feeding level if the bass were actually feeding. I land one nice fish, a 2 lb female that's full of eggs.

It's getting late in the day but the sun still sits high above the horizon. The water begins to rise so I steer the boat toward some carp flats.

Working in reverse order I start at "Plan D" flats. The carp work the leading edge of the rising water as it fills the bay. It had been months since I cast to tailing fish. I worked out the kinks and got into fish soon enough.
The first couple of fish broke off.

Lesson: 6 lb. Maxima is not strong enough to hold angry carp.

After cutting the leader back to 8lb test I was back in the game. The fish were feeding actively and taking the fly well. I quit counting how many carp I landed at lucky # 7 who managed to mangle the fly beyond fishability.

I tie on a fly that I had created over the winter. Its patterned after a bonefish fly that I had seen in a magazine. All I did was change the colors to yellow, all yellow.

I toss the new fly to the fish, putting it on their noses with almost every cast. My casting style morphed from the delicate open loop style required for surface sipping trout to a lazer direct tight loops. I put the fly exactly where I want it to be almost as soon as I think to put it there.

I'm in the groove.

So much in the groove that I do the unthinkable. I leave fish to find fish. Enroute to the next flat I notice that the wind had picked up. Whitecaps were forming, my little flats boat skips across them at full throttle, Mach 3 with my hair on fire.

The small cove is sheltered from the wind. I found a few more fish tailng over the muddy bottom. The sun dropps lower as I make my lasts casts, catching one more carp on the newly adopted fly.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

They're Fired!

This morning I closed down the Weather Office here at Flytimes. They're last prediction was dead wrong so I fired the entire staff. "This spring time pattern we've been in is on its way out. That translates to hot and sunny days out in the desert." That was over a week ago and the same damn clouds are casting the same damn shadows over every carp flat in Eastern Washington, grrrr.
Other than a new group of links under the "reports" header on the side column there is really nothing new to see here.
Fortunately there are some folks out there that do have something worthwhile to say...

Trout Underground is currently my fav blog. Every post is golden but I really dug this nugget from last Thursday, .

Moldy Chum always has the latest and greatest in fly fishing related news, sports and entertainment.

Whether you're planning a trip to Yellowstone or just dreaming about it take a look at the Fly Fish Yellowstone blog, it's chock full of Yellowstoney goodness.

Last but not quite least on my list of must read blogs is Ass Hooked Whitey, the best gossip column in all of fly fishing. Classic AHW.

Between the cloudy weather and Mrs. Flytimes long list of chores it looks like Monday and Tuesday are the earliest I'll be able to get out to the flats. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Carp Roundup '06

Carp On The Fly

Fly fishing for carp on the shallow water flats in Central Washington should be heating up real soon. The weather experts here at Flytimes have informed me that this spring time pattern we've been in is on its way out. That translates to hot and sunny days out in the desert. The importance of direct sunlight while carpin'cannot be understated so check out the latest from our satellite before you head out.

If you are new to the "carp on the fly" game or just need to review, read this short primer written by yours truly . The word on the flats is that Kieth Meyers, a.k.a "Wrench", has forgotten more about catching carp on the fly than you and I will ever know so you should probably read his treatise on carp angling too.

Another carp guru, Jon Luke from Northwest Fly Fishing, has finally shown his secret carp fly to the world. The carp candy is now being tied commercially and is available along with a few other carp specific patterns at some of the more enlightened fly shops around the country.

If you don't like the wide open spaces of the desert or just don't have the time to get out of town that's all right too. John Montana of Carp on the Fly has been hitting the urban carp holes in and around the Portland area for months already this year. These may not be the wild crawdad eatin' variety of carp but they're on the look out for bread crumbs and fish pellets year round. John's a staunch fisher of trouts and has taken to carpin' like the proverbial fish to water. Check out his adventure with Highway Cone, the giant orange koi.

Speaking of leviathins take a look at General Sherman. Our close friend and carpin' consultant Jeff took The General on a crawdad pattern back in '04. "I was looking out into the waves and saw what I thought were two big fish nose down in the rocks. I made a long cast and put the fly right in there. When I saw that the two fish was actually one big fish move to the fly I knew that I was in for a fight." Strong work Jeff, nobody at Flytimes has seen a carp that big since then.

Our fly boxes are stocked and the boat is on the trailer, Flytimes is ready for the '06 carpin season to begin. If your stalking the flats at Banks Lake, poling your skiff through the dunes at Potholes, or otherwise hunting those bonefish of the basalt , we'll see you out there. Good luck!