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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

Dorsal view of a Skwala (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This Skwala nymph still has a couple months left to go before hatching, but it's still a good representative of its species, which was extremely abundant in my sample for a stonefly of this size. It's obvious why the Yakima is known for its Skwala hatch.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Al514 has attached this picture. The message is below.
31'' and 10-15 pounds??
Al514
Al514's profile picture
Central New York

Posts: 142
Al514 on Oct 14, 2007October 14th, 2007, 1:50 pm EDT
Due to the lower water levels here in CNY a lot of rivers are low and some are even closed. So me and my buddies have been targeting warm-water species of late and today was a bass day. That is, until this carp grabbed my wooley booger! First fish to take me into my backing and did it faster then I realized. I have herd alot of people bashing carp and being embarrassed to say that they fish for them, but I don't know where anyone could get an experience like this. I know that I will definitely fish for carp more often in the future.
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Oct 14, 2007October 14th, 2007, 2:39 pm EDT
I never got into fly fishing for carp, but everyone who has tells me it's a great experience. They're certainly underrated as a game fish on this side of the Atlantic.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Smallstream
State College, PA

Posts: 103
Smallstream on Oct 14, 2007October 14th, 2007, 4:24 pm EDT
Wow thats a monster! I am now a new fan of the carp, this past summer in july I was fishing on spring creek using a sinking ant and hooked a big one (not quite as big as the one your holding but close) and it took me for the ride of my life, it fought harder than a steelhead. It totally surprised me because I didnt think carp ate ants?
CaseyP
CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Oct 15, 2007October 15th, 2007, 7:00 am EDT
carp eat ants? and wooly buggers? cool...any other neat suugestions? some time ago we found some humongous carp that seemed to be eating plant life. Best Fishing Buddy suggested a Parsely Fly. i've devised a pattern but not yet tried it out.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Mcjames
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
Mcjames on Oct 15, 2007October 15th, 2007, 9:36 am EDT
grabbed your wooley booger?! next time remember to keep your nose out of the water... just kiddin' for real that looks like a blast. it looks like you were on a golf course... what do you do keep an 8 wt next to your driver?
I am haunted by waters
Lam
Lancaster, PA

Posts: 81
Lam on Oct 15, 2007October 15th, 2007, 9:45 am EDT
I have seen carp eating mulberries that were falling in the water, they were rising as if to a hatch.
A friend tide a pufball on a hook and colored it purple like a mulberry and has been successful.

The trouble is that you just can't find a good hatch chart to tell you when the mulberry hatches are on.
IEatimago
Spring Mills, PA

Posts: 97
IEatimago on Oct 15, 2007October 15th, 2007, 9:49 am EDT
muddler minnow work aswell.
Al514
Al514's profile picture
Central New York

Posts: 142
Al514 on Oct 15, 2007October 15th, 2007, 10:34 am EDT
As for this carp and his (or her?) grabbing....I could see it just sunning itself near the surface. So I say to myslef, what the hell? Why not? On the first cast, my WB landed near its tail. So I stripped in, made another cast and put it right in front of its face. I see it take a sip at something - "No,....that cant be my fly!?" I decided to set the hook on hopes that he did indeed take my fly and I'm happy I did!

Yes, we were on a golf course. The pond is loaded with carp like this, along with big bass and sunfish. I initially thought I was going to loose this fish becuase of the group of 4 teeing off on the 18th tee, hitting right towards us! Luckily, the fish knew to make a run out of harms way to the other side of the pond.

Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Oct 16, 2007October 16th, 2007, 12:58 am EDT
Several fly fishing mags had articles describing flies and tactics for carp a while back. If you know someone who has back issues, or a library that carries the right rags there's plenty of info.

Fly Fisherman 9/03, Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide 6/04, Fly Rod and Reel 7/03, Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide 7/04
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Dano
Vanderbilt, Michigan

Posts: 101
Dano on Oct 16, 2007October 16th, 2007, 2:37 am EDT
Great catch, Al!!!

I recall an article back in the mid 80's that Fly Fisherman did on Carp fishing. Apparently, Carp are considered an outstanding game fish in England and Europe, so you shouldn't feel embarrassed.

At that time I lived on the Grand River in Lansing, Michigan and was intriqed enough by that article to give it a whirl using various Leech patterns. I derived great pleasure in showing off pics of those carp to some of the "snobs" in my local FFF chapter...Definetly want to use Salmon tackle. FWIW.

Dano


Eventually, all things merge into one...and a river runs through it.
Al514
Al514's profile picture
Central New York

Posts: 142
Al514 on Oct 16, 2007October 16th, 2007, 3:52 am EDT
http://www.flyfisherman.com/midwest/dwcarp/

-Here is a great site I found later that day that goes over pretty much everything about fly fishing for carp. Some of the flies look very interesting and its loaded with good information.

I also have posted a little video of the fight/catch on YouTube if anyone wants to check it out - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pqc4yVwL6AY


Flybinder
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60
Flybinder on Oct 16, 2007October 16th, 2007, 6:26 am EDT
"Alabama Bone Fish"..... "Still Water Salmon"...... "Pond Tuna"....."Golden River Tarpon"... regardless, of the name given, carp fly rodding is becoming more and more popular as we long rodders seek the fun of "Landing a weighty fish on fly gear" and shops, commercial tiers and line makers are following suit.
I've fished carp for quite a while now and find them to be a worthy opponent. Not always very easy to catch, put up a hell of a fight in cooler water and not a fish to go after with a 4wt.!!
Surprisingly, the flies for them are extremely easy ties and they work. "The Cotton Ball",(imitates the cotton ball from a Cotton Wood tree), "The Corn Cluster",(imitates an actual cluster of corn kernels), are but two that I've used with very good success.
The English flyrodders, as mentioned, DO fish a lot for Carp. But, this only started out of sheer desperation from nearly 95% of their trout waters were being bought up and made private or available, for hefty rod fees.
Flybinder:
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Oct 16, 2007October 16th, 2007, 6:40 am EDT
Neat thread. With so many waters low and Browns starting to spawn, I've been thinking about turning to carp after these posts. Also, from what he has told me, one of my neighbors targets them with worms in the spring in a small stream where he says they spawn. He's noted that, as with Steelies, a bit of rain encourages a run up out of the larger river where they typically reside.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Al514
Al514's profile picture
Central New York

Posts: 142
Al514 on Oct 16, 2007October 16th, 2007, 10:45 am EDT
Martinlf,
Here is a short article about springtime carp that definitely makes me want to target them this spring.
http://www.fingerlakesanglingzone.com/articlestips.asp
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Oct 17, 2007October 17th, 2007, 9:26 am EDT
Thanks, this is very interesting. I do wonder about the spawning question. Does anyone know when these beasts spawn?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Oct 18, 2007October 18th, 2007, 6:29 am EDT
Louis, carp typically spawn in the spring when water levels are high, and they like to spawn in flooded marshy areas, small backwater channels, and floodplain pools. And they're not hard to find when they are spawning - they jump and thrash around quite a bit, so it's pretty obvious when they're doing it.

OK guys, I just have to make a comment about the fight of flyrod-hooked carp. About a month ago I tied into what turned out to be a 28" 10 lb. carp - and was able to land it with a 7-foot 3-weight. That's how much of a fight it put up - almost NONE. I was fishing the Huron River behind my apartment, in the mouth of Traver Creek where there is a small pool that typically holds a few nice smallmouth (I saw a couple of 10-12" fish in there just after work yesterday - I almost got the gear out...). Well, on this particular day, a school of carp had moved into this pool and chased out the smallmouth. I decided to throw my fly (KBF, chartruese variant) at them just for the heck of it, as I had only caught one other carp on a fly rod. They paid no attention to it if I gave the fly any motion, but once I just let it settle to the bottom a big one came up and sucked it in. I set the hook hard and the fish hardly reacted at all! And then all it wanted to do was stay in the pool with its buddies - no runs, jumps, thrashing, or anything. I pulled it around for about 15 minutes until I could get my little trout-sized net over its head, then I picked up the rear two-thirds of the body and hauled it to shore. I could neither believe how big it was nor that it didn't put up much of a fight. It was a healthy-looking fish too.

So, I am not impressed. Maybe the next one I hook will give me the fight that everyone is talking about - but at this point I would much rather hook almost anything else so long as it puts up a fight! BTW, over Labor Day weekend I caught a 16", 2.5 lb. smallmouth that fought TEN TIMES as hard, even though it only weighed 1/4 of what the carp weighed. "Freshwater bonefish" MY ASS!

Also, I went salmon fishing at the Cheboygan Dam last weekend and the run was almost over - lots of dead fish and the ones still alive were dark, not hitting anything, and not putting up much of a fight. I believe I did see one steelhead hooked and lost, but most of the news I have heard is that the warm temps are holding back the steelies in many rivers. Some people may be enjoying the prolonged warm weather, but it seems to be messing with the cold-water fisheries. Guess I'll keep hitting the smallies on the Huron until we finally get some COLD weather up here in MI.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Davez
Pennsylvania

Posts: 59
Davez on Oct 18, 2007October 18th, 2007, 6:33 am EDT
you guys are all late!
should have been fishing them all summer! just kidding... better late than never.

Think about it though... if you don't mind slummin' here's what you get when carp fishing....

1. the entire place to yourself... no crowds.
2. big fish that are harder to fool than most trout
3. fish that fight harder and run longer than most freshwater species
4. you get some real stank on your hands when you land a few
5. there are plenty of them around in marginal waters everywhere.

Its a whole lot of fun. when you sight fish for these golden ghosts, it can be a nervewracking experience. presenting a weighted fly softly in their feeding lane at long distances in moving water can be a real mess to try and do. it gets worse than buck fever.

as for flies and tactics...you don't need a book or magazine article. they eat anything. river carp LOVE crayfish- stick with patterns in the under 3" size. match the local ones- green or orange. big heares ears and all that high tech stuff in your trout boxes work too. as far as tactics- get your casting accuracy down, read currents and drop a fly softly, stay undetected. just like you do for trout, but times ten.

btw, thats a helluva first carp!

good luck!

Flybinder
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60
Flybinder on Oct 18, 2007October 18th, 2007, 12:18 pm EDT
I don't know, if it's "species specific" or what, quite honestly but I've had BOTH "types of Carp" on fly rods..............ones that took me into the backing, on their first run and, others, that were like landing a bag of wet socks. BOTH FISH, were roughly the same size....(about 6 pounds) and in the SAME school with each other!?!
But, I've also had fish'in buddies go almost teary eyed, with excitement, over fishing for Lahontan trout.
"Run ya', into the backing, every time!"............ "Bring a STEEL fly rod, they snap graphite, Boran and glass!"........"They fight like mad alligators, only WORSE!!" and so on.
Well, after 5 trips for these "monsters of the deep", on the same lake, same time of year, etc. etc. as the exciters had fished for them, all I can say is......... "KEEP the Lahontans!'
I've hooked into more responsive and harder fighting sofa pillows, people have thrown into the lake! Yes, they make "long runs", at times when first hooked........... right along the bottom of the lake, like a Sturgeon will.Only slower and with less energy.
One trip, we hooked, landed and released, 31 of these "slugs", ranging in length 22" to 32". Not, ONE, fought more than a few heads shakes.
So, I'm sure it's also true then, with the Alabama Bone Fish, the lowly 'ol Carp!!?! There are those, like some trout, that will make you wish you'd spun on more backing or had a heavier rod along. I've caught a lot of those. Like, others, I've also caught a lot of the sofa pillow and slug Carp. I, suppose, it's what makes fishing for ANY species, the fun that it is!?!
Flybinder:
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Oct 20, 2007October 20th, 2007, 4:35 pm EDT
Flybinder, glad to hear that you have also encountered sluggish carp (well, not really - I don't wish limp fish on ANYONE!) And as far as all this selectivity and spookiness, well, I just walked up to the pool with a chartruese variant of my KBF fly, plopped it into the pool, and one of them just came right over and SSSSUUCKED it up. Expecting some wild response, I set the hook HARD to make sure it was in good, and the fish didn't even react. And all it really tried to do was avoid me. Some fellow fly fishermen recently told me that it may have had to do with water temperature. The Huron River (southeastern Michigan, tributary to Lake Erie - yes, there are steelhead!) has been shallow and warm lately, but that doesn't keep the smallmouth from putting up a really good scrap on the same 3-weight!

By the way, where in Oregon are you? I lived in Coos Bay for a year, doing field biology at a research reserve, 1992-1993. I caught some fish but wasn't there long enough to learn how to do well.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Flybinder
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60
Flybinder on Oct 21, 2007October 21st, 2007, 9:39 pm EDT
The chap you ran into,Jonathon, with the "WATER TEMPS REASONING" for the sluggish Carp, I think is dead on.
I surely don't "study the Carp", other than liking to watch them feed, or "rise to a dry" as I've seen many of them do. So, I don't really know the "good and bad temp ranges for Carp fishing", and/or, for finding them sluggish or acting like Bone fish with PMS!!
But, I HAVE taken note with them, enough, that they seem to react a lot differently, when in "temperate water", like a trout will react, as well, (55 to 68 degrees, being close to ideal for both fish!), as opposed to very warm and brackish waters.
And, like I think I've already mentioned; "fish, even the old Carp, can "have days with different attitudes", so one can never, really, predict a Carp's "behavior" until its been hooked!!
Ooops!! Sorry, I almost forgot Jonathon.............. I live right off, Hwy.#101, between Seaside and Astoria,in the "WestLake area".Which, the lake itself is across the street from my house! "Cullaby Lake", if you know where that is, is behind my house, about 1/8th of a mile.
Flybinder:
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"

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