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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Grass Carp Flies: Part III

I had been out on Wednesday, August 4, and had virtually killed my battery. Instead of fishing on Thursday I had to learn about bringing back deep cycle batteries. I was reminded of Miracle Max in Princess Bride when he said, "It just so happens that your friend is MOSTLY dead. There is a big difference between MOSTLY dead and ALL dead..." Miracle Rick at the battery store told me that I had discharged my battery to such a point that my charger would not recognize it. However, it was likely not all dead, it was mostly dead. I had to put it on a different charger and it took all day but indeed it had been only most dead, not all dead. I didn't get to fish on Thursday but Friday was sure looking good.

Because I had some hookups on Wednesday, I moved faster on Friday morning and skipped the cinnamon rolls. Still not the break of dawn, I was on the water by 10:00 on Friday. I was also equipped with fresh flies from some time at the vise. Dang those things looked tasty.

Again, I had three hookups but this time I got two of them to the net. They were 11.5 pounds and 12 pounds. They measured in at 28 inches and 28 1/4 inches. They don't run anything like the Commons and Mirrors do. They run back and forth around the boat and down towards the bottom but not into the backing. I did slowly move out a ways from the reeds after hooking up so they fish couldn't break me off.

The goal of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is to reduce the number of Grass Carp in the lake. Since they have eaten too much of the vegetation there is now toxic algae in the lake. That means we are required to remove the fish we bring to the net. This next picture is not your typical handle the fish with care and respect kind of picture. The fish are dead.

Oh, the fly, well I would love to say that careful trial and error went into this fly. Actually I just did it without giving it much thought. I felt a little funny doing this but I just had to try it. It is such an incredible work of creativity and tying prowess.

Here it is, Mr. P.'s Grass Carp Grass Fly:

Here are some from the morning's tying session. The one at the bottom is beat up from being in a fish's mouth.

These flies are sort of fragile. I carry them in a saltwater fly box. They also don't exactly last long so you would have to tie them "fresh" each day.

Tying recipe:

Hook: Tiemco 5262 size 8
Thread: Olive
Body: About 12 strands of grass trimmed from next to my fence.

I'm sort of self-conscious about tying grass to a hook but the Grass Carp ate it. Having them eat it helps me to steel myself against my own embarassment. I will be trying this again next week. My neighbor has a more nicely manicured lawn than I do. (He doesn't fish) I wonder if I cut a few blades of grass from his yard if I would catch more fish. We'll see.


  1. Hate to break it to you Jim, but that is bait fishing! Hah!

  2. Hmmm... Let's see here John, you feel that my Grass Fly is "bait". You and I have both fished the SJW quite a bit. Do you feel that is bait also?

  3. Only if I tied my sjws with worms I dug out of the garden. The sjw is an imitation, not a food source which is a not so subtle distinction. I was mostly teasing and think it is pretty clever to whip up some grass flies from actual grass, especially in pursuit of a noble program...but, it strikes me that there is a difference between "feeding" a fish and "fooling" a fish. For this exact reason I personally consider a scented fly "bait."

    Says the "purist" who fishes for carp! Hah!

  4. Larry Tullis did a piece on daphnia imitations in FlyFisherman some years ago, very similar to your scum fly, except his is of mohair painted with fabric paint dots. I have grass carp in two close local lakes and two some distance. Tough fish indeed! I have caught them fair, but rarely, and never consistently. Like 2. One pond has a concession with paddle boats which destroy the common carp fishing here but those boats can pass over the pods of GC and the fish simply slide under a few feet with people ohhing and ahhing at the 40" fish under them. But cast a fly in their direction and they tell you your SSN and then frighten or ignore you. Well, me anyway. I have some new ties untested just for them, can't wait. Yes, I've seen them with vegetation, but willow branches, not tules. Also seen them snack one day on willow and Russion Olive leaves blown into the water by wind. Yes,I have seen videos of guys, I can't remember who's blog, somewhat easily catching them with a stripped in fly. My son has caught several with a white bunny leech, even after takes he misssed. The ones I've hooked also were not as hot as I expected, though one grey hounded repeatedly and pulled free. You have them pegged better than I do for sure.