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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Even a Blind Squirrel Can Find a Nut

Using all of their sensing apparatus I think that Carp are extremely perceptive.  I hate it when I snag any fish.  I particularly hate it if I snag a Carp when I thought he took the fly.  Sometimes I think they get near the fly and either because of me moving the fly, the fish's own movement, or both, the dang Carp gets snagged.  Sometimes, not often, I think they go for the fly and miss it.  In the process they may take a second stab and eat the fly, they make take that second shot and get snagged, or they may just swim away.  

I came up on this fish tailing seriously in shallow water.  He was at a 90 degree angle to me which I really like.  His mouth was to the left.  I cast the fly out past and in front of him.  Stripping it towards his dinner plate he reacted on the first cast.  He missed the darn fly.  Normally I would think he made the fly as a fake so he didn't take it but since he went right back to eating his late afternoon lunch I cast to him again.  I made virtually an identical cast and stripped the fly the same way.  It all played out the same way.  It looked like he went for the fly but he didn't take it.  He didn't flee; he just got back down to business.   He allowed me a third shot at him and he finally took the Chocolate Cherry.  

That is the Carp's barbule hanging over the fly.  

As I reeled the fish in I could see that he had no eye on the left side of his face.  It didn't look like it had been damaged by an accident or a bird; it just looked like he never had it in the first place.  No wonder he lost track of the fly the first two times.


How on earth did this fish avoid predation when it was small?  It took three tries but this half blind Carp still found the Chocolate Cherry.  It is a cool testament to survival.  What an amazing animal!  


  1. Nice work, Jim. That's the second blind carp I've seen this week - Adam Hope from TRIW caught one too.

    Nice plug for you and the carp carrot in the new issue of the Drake, BTW.

    1. I will have to check out The Drake. Thanks Brent.

  2. Mr.P,

    Interesting what you had happen. I would bet a blind carp will show up one time similarly sightless. Trout have a preferred side of which to feed, I wonder if carp may also? Sight being one of their senses to locate food, and a minor one at times, probably not. But may be so, and that could account for puzzling fish and takes.


  3. Yup, an amazing animal for sure. But honestly, that pic of the missing eye is kinda creeping me out.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. It kind of creeped me out at first too, Ty.

  4. Carp compared to trout live a long time, a very long time up to 80 years. During their lives I expect they experience many dangers and injury.

    However you fish looks like it had no eye from birth (the picure) and it has damage below the eye too. I wonder if it's genetic. What do you think?

    1. Hi Richard. Thanks for checking out my blog. Yes, he definitely looked like he had no eye from birth. The spot was smooth and did not look scarred. Since making the post I have received two messages about blind Carp. It would seem that these Carp were just born with only one eye. How on earth did they avoid getting eaten when they were small?! It makes me wonder if it happens a lot more than I realize and most of the one eyed Carp do get eaten.

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  6. I caught a big Buffalo with a missing eye recently. Yes, that skin over the eye socket is an eerie sight.