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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Small Fly, Big Fish

Okay, so I didn't frame this picture very well; I was in a hurry to get the fish back in the water. The fish actually has a complete head and a mouth. She used her mouth to pick up a small Carp Carrot. It was a beautiful day; some clouds, very low wind and some Carp that cooperated.

Sunbathing Carp are darn difficult to catch. Some of them seem like they are asleep. I have dangled a fly in front of them and even had the fly slip down the front of their noses and then have them act like they are completely unaware. Carp that have made my fly as a fake and or have made me for an intruder are impossible targets. The moment they accelerate even a bit to get away from the fly or from me they turned into "not a chance" fish. Fast cruisers are also almost impossible targets. Tailing fish are feeding and they are prime targets.

A slow cruiser will take the fly and it is a ton of fun to lead one and have them turn on the pattern. Some slow cruisers are just milling around in groups just passing Carp time with each other. Some slow cruisers are solitary but still not particularly interested in a fly or even real bugs for that matter. Some of them seem to be shopping. It reminds me of when my kids were teenagers and they would open the refrigerator or the pantry to "see if there was anything good to eat." We could ask them, "What would you like?" and they would say, "I don't know, I'm just looking for something good." Sometimes when the kids were looking they would end up not eating anything and sometimes I swear they would eat the equilivalent of two meals. I guess they found something good. A shopping Carp is like my teenagers. I think those Carp might keep shopping and not eat but they just might stop and eat a whole bunch. Those slow cruisers who are shopping can also be prime targets. Again, it is tons of fun to lead one and get it to pick up the fly.

The big girl in this picture was a shopper; whe was looking for "something good to eat." I cast the Carrot in her path and she picked it as if it was exactly what she was looking for. She came in at 19 1/2 pounds. Seeing the fish moving slowly in the shallows with brief pauses, casting, and clearly seeing the take, reinforced why I love fly fishing for Carp this time of year.


  1. Nice fish Jim. Definitely some big fish in the shallows now....if you can find the shallows!

    Heading to MN this week...might try the great lakes.

  2. Thanks John. I would love to fish the Great Lakes someday. Have a great time in MN!

  3. Jump on a flight to green bay. Looking like I will be there Thursday bright and early.

    Just finished a blog on sleeping carp...will post it later this week.been that kind of year, not a ton of aggressive tailors.

  4. Nobody really talks much about how to land the big fish. Are you using a net and are you packing a scale to weigh them? This carp hunt has made me rethink some of the gear I bring along. I am not used to the big chunks that is the carp. Good fishing.