Monday, November 13, 2006

Personal best fish comes from the Riviere aux Canots

I had 1.5 hours to fish on Saturday, and I wavered because I like to be efficient with my time. I decided to go to a location only 20 minutes or so down the road… that way I could minimize drive time and max out fishing time. Heck, just to look down the rock wall at all the carp hanging out in the river is worth the trip… To catch a few is even better though, so I tried a couple flies. I could see the fish, but not well enough to see takes… so all I could do was put the fly in a group of fish and keep in contact with it. Any time I felt resistance I set the hook. I know it sounds like a formula for snagging, and I did foul-hook a few… but I also landed three fish that were all caught on/by the mouth. I was actually a little surprised myself. After hooking the fish, I had to walk them along a high stone wall for about 80 yards, then scramble down a somewhat treacherous rubble to get to the river to land the fish. The third and final fish of the outing took 16 minutes of battling before it would come in (7 wt fly rod, 3x tippet). It was funny because I kept wavering on how big it was: I’d see one flash or splash and I’d think “wow, it’s huge,” but then I’d see another angle and I’d think “aw, it’s nice but not that big.” Turns out it was pretty big. I don’t carry a net or a scale, but my initial estimate was mid to high teens. I forwarded a pic onto a carp on the fly guru and he suggested around 18 lbs, maybe approaching 20 but hard to say. Either way, it’s my biggest fish on a fly no doubt, and it was quite an experience. Given the cold weather, it didn’t run far, but it did bull and pull for quite a while. I was very thankful to have a fighting butt on the rod. I love the Cannon River. And to anyone who would say “it’s big but it’s just a carp” – go catch a few and then report back.

8 Comments:

Blogger john montana said...

great fish J. definately in the high teens. if you can swing a trip to OR this spring (perhaps pre watkins #2) i think we can up that to 20 plus with a little work. maybe you, em and james should make a spring trip to OR instead of the bartlett clan heading east. be good to see James, Elia and JJ spend some time together.

congrats on a PB!

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Randy said...

Nice fish! I keep meaning to head after carp here in Rochester but I haven't taken the opportunity yet...and I need something bigger than my 5wt.

Are you still working in Rochester?

12:05 PM  
Blogger MN Justin said...

Thanks John - I like the travel ideas. I'm not sure what will happen this year... but we have to figure out something. I really the value the times we get out.

Randy - good to hear from you. I am still working in Roch, and actually I'll be moving there in 1-2 months if all goes well. We will definitely need to get out for some carp - explore the Big Z together.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

I ran across your blog while googling Ted Kooser's rhubarb wine poem.

Here's an interesting carp story. I live in NW Ohio and one day a guy I know was fishing the Maumee River. He met a guy from Great Britain who is an avid carp fisherman.

My friend told me this British guy had the most interesting fishing pole. It comprised many pieces that he carried around in what looked like a golf bag. When all the sections were put together, the pole was about 15 feet or longer. My friend said it was longer than a cane pole. He used an extremely small hook with one piece of corn on it and used a very delicate, European-style pencil bobber.

There are many species of game fish in the Maumme River and also tons of carp. The English guy caught so many carp he said he thought he had died and gone to heaven.

I would loved to have talked to that guy and am sorry I wasn't present at the time. The idea of carrying around your fishing pole in something like a golf bag cracked me up.

I've enjoyed skipping around your blog. I love fishing, beer, and have been writing poems for 50 years. However, I don't usually drink while fishing and save that for afterwards.

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