Going Along With the Heat
Sometimes in regards to the heat, you have to fish with the attitude “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. Yesterday was that kind of day for me. I didn’t feel like getting up super early or driving very much, so I decided to go Carpin. Unlike Trout, Carp get real happy when the water turns 70 degres and warmer. We floated a stretch of the Missouri better known for the Carp fishing than the Trout fishing.
The first thing we noticed was all the insects out and about. There were PMD’s, Trico’s and another light pink mayfly #14 or so. Maybe a Pink Lady? Anyway, about 10 minutes into the float, we found a bunch of fish feeding in a foam back eddy. We proceeded to spook all of those with an anchor drop a little too close to them. Too close means anything less then about 60 feet. If nobody told you, Carp are super spooky. We tried to fish Streamers and Crawdads and stuff but didn’t have much luck right away. It really helps to see a Carp before you fish to it. We found another big group of risers and took a little more care getting within casting distance of them. They were actually pretty tolerant of us, as far as bad casts and hasty pick up’s go. It took us a little while to find a fly with a combination of something we could see a little through the foam and stayed floating a long time. It seems like when these fish get rising like they were, they just sit in the foam and filter feed. All you see are giant sets of lips sucking up foam. It sounds simple but all you need to do is drop the fly a couple of feet in front of the fish and feed it into those giant sets of lips. The fish don’t even appear to see your fly at all. This does sound easier then it is actually. Even though it looks like the fish are just standing on their tails in one spot, they are moving around a little and usually they’re in a weird back eddy with little to no current, plus they like it in the middle of the foam where you can’t even begin to see your fly most of the time.
We did catch a couple on a Crawdad when we could see the fish first. Like the Dry Fly of choice, it doesn’t always seem to matter (whithin reason) what Streamer you choose. Like the Dries, if you can see your Streamer, and you see the fish, account for the current and sink rate and pretty much feed the fly right to the fish. Again it definately sounds easier then it is. The only rule that seems to apply to me, is that they don’t seem to like a ton of flash or super bright colors. Brown and yellow or black and olive Sculpin patterns usually work well for me if I can present it right. At least I have enough confidence in that sort thing that if it doesn’t work it’s probably my fault. The Dead Drift Crawdad fished without an indicator works well for me too. Other people you talk to will swear by the exact oposite of works for me.
These two fish were caught on light rods and Dry Flies. Mine was caught on a 5wt and a #12 Hare’s Ear Trude and Greg’s was caught with a 6wt and a Hopper. The best Carp rods are a medium/fast 7 or 8 weight like an X or a Radian. The 7wt’s work well for some dries as well as streamers but you might want the little more backbone of an 8wt when fighting the fish.