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Thursday, April 23, 2015

My River Was Calling Out to Me

Katy and I walked yesterday near ponds and channels in central Washington.  We were enjoying the nice day and looking for birds. In the process of looking for birds we heard splashing in shallow water; it is such a familiar sound to me.  A carp was clearly feeding, others were looking for love.  It's April for criminy sake; what are carp doing spawning already!?  

Unseasonably warm weather has gotten me out carp fishing sooner than I ever have in 12 seasons. On Sunday of this week a mirror became my first stillwater carp of the year.  Any mirror makes my face smile.  This one was fully scaled with unusually bright yellow on his belly.   I got to see him turn to the Chocolate Cherry; what a nice way to start the year.  Other carp were kind enough to take the fly that day also.  

Consecutive warm days in the spring are to carp fishing what a freshet is to coastal salmon or steelhead fishing.  A freshet brings staging, migratory fish into their natal streams; warm, spring days bring carp into the shallow water.  

Two warm days after the stillwater trip the call from my river was gaining volume.  During the winter it whispers to me; it reminds me of fish from seasons past and tempts me with visions of captures to come.  It calls me when I'm sleeping, it calls me when I'm driving, it calls me when I'm working.  To the point of distraction it had been calling me for weeks; a little more loudly and a little more insistently each day.  Tuesday was the day I answered my river's call.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Lessons From the Carp Lodge: Episode #6--Adapting to Different Conditions--Dropping the Fly

Most of the carp I catch are 25-40 feet away.  There are times when murky water, cloudy skies, and hard wind conspire to keep from seeing carp until I am very close to them.  There are also times when carp feed on emerging damsels just under weed patches.  All of these conditions require that I adapt my techniques and get very close to carp to present the fly to them.  Watch this video in HD and on the full screen so you can see the fish.  Enjoy.