Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Most folks are right about me, I figure

In that I am a grouchy, negative, sometimes whiny punk I mean. It’s true that my sense of humor fluctuates like a Brownian motion on a local scale and my attitude waxes and wanes like the totemic celestial body, the moon. I can’t help it. You might be the same way. Not sure though.

What I mean is that that last post was a downer: ripping on poor ol’ LMB and whining about this and that. It was an undeserved negative for any reader (any of the three out there) who may have happened upon it.

Well, things feel better. It doesn’t take much to get a guy back on track. Here is a hookup by hookup account of a very recent outing that provided big medicine:

Conditions were not, to this day, what I considered to be optimal: windy and partly cloudy. The wind was from the E/NE, so I went for a lee. More on that later though, as my attitude regarding wind has changed over time and especially after today.

(1) Dangle a carrot. The Carp Carrot that is – from a one Mr. P. This fly had not been wet –ever. I walked up to a couple carp feeding in some vegetation – they were not feeding on the bottom, but rather handing in the middle of the column. First success was that they did not spook. Put a cast out past them and drug it back, ripping it kind of quick to keep it hopping over the veg tops… dropped it ~8 inches up from one of the pair… beautiful head dip, perfect hook set and then a nice explosive burst by the carp. Half-rolled out of the water as it tried to surge through the veg and get the bleep out of there. Then he broke my 3x tippet. I said something like “that ain’t right, man.” The first Carp Carrot was laid to rest then, with a batting average of 1.000, for I cannot mar it’s reputation by giving consideration to my tippet selection.

(2) One more Carp Carrot in orange – slapped it on. Saw a fish or two that spooked on me… Not five minutes later though, found another pair of feeders in veg – same situation. Casting directly into the wind, did the same cast behind and drag forward bit… let it sink in a nice little opening. One of the fish completely disappeared in a downward direction. HA! I thought and set the hook. Outstanding. Blasted through the veg and I was very convinced that the tippet wouldn’t hold… but it did. Got her clear of the thick stuff for a few solid but not spectacular runs, and then landed her: a beautiful, gold, deep fish. Not huge, but moderately sized. One of the better length:depth ratios I’ve encountered. Translation: nice fatty.

(3) Walking along and what do I see? Golden scales peeking through the densest veg you could imagine. Just blaring at me. This fish is ever so slowly moving along under a veg mat… maybe feeding. Maybe. I gathered up all the line and left ~4 feet of leader hanging off… dapped the fly through a 3” opening in the mat. I was focused on this fish, waiting for some sign… when another, heretofore unseen fish, ate the damn fly! Surprised me, but I set the hook and had her on for ~1 second before she removed the fly and placed it neatly in a ragged pile of green.

A couple notes:
(1) That first fish, despite the breakoff, felt better than the fish I landed on Friday. This is because things worked right, in my mind. I didn’t play a numbers game like I did on Friday… but rather I made the proper presentation once, and it worked. That is fulfillment in the world of fishing.

(2) The wind is (or at least can be) a friend, not an enemy of the sight fisher. Some degree of wind anyway. To date I’ve always scowled at the wind that fouls up the fish-bowl views of lakes and rivers. I like to be able to see detail. After comparing Friday to today though, and thinking back on how I’ve fished this water, my attitude on the breeze is changing. I figure it like this: any good visibility conditions can be used by both carp and fisherman. If it’s stone calm and clear, that is likely as much as an advantage to them as it is to you. In these conditions, they are likely to see you even though they are not actively looking for you. When it is windy, you are both at a disadvantage: you can’t see the carp as well, and vice versa. However, the fact that you are looking for the carp comes into play here… The fish are not searching for you. They are on guard, but not searching for you… and their guard can be fouled by conditions. If you are careful and you study the water and look for dark shapes and certain geometry, you can gain an advantage.

Check the depth on this footballer:


Blogger Unknown said...

first, maybe you need to investigate your tippet situation and change brands ;)

second, I know what you mean about the wind. A slight chop is great for breaking up your profile, but just enough to spot fish silhouettes.

third, One of you "three" readers here is probably just as grouchy, negative and whiny as you are. You read my last post right? plus, it doesn't matter if you've caught fish or not. I slammed the carp last weekend and was still just as bitter. Why else would we broadcast our blogs to our legion of three. This whole curmudgeon thing is what makes us the roughfishers that we are. It doesn't faze us on the days that the carp kick our asses since we are already salty. Some of the best anglers and writers were manics.

Lastly, way to get back up on the saddle. Go give them hell with those carrots.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Royce Gracie said...

Sliced carrots, eh? Nice work.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Right on guys.

I'm using Frog Hair 3x. I think it's the diameter more than the brand. The 3x is leftover from BWCA... I was too lazy to repair to 1x.

How do you rate Frog Hair vs Rio?

2:19 PM  
Blogger John Montana said...

I like the frog hair, but honestly, I don't think it matters that much. Lately i've just been using straight 1x Targus leaders, no tippet added. Out here, if the fish run to the weeds or rocks they are going to get off, it is that simple. I should start using frog hair leaders and see if that has an impact on hooking/landing ratio.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

One thing I noticed in BWCA, while sitting and playing with leaders/tippet during down time: the Frog Hair stretches... I think that is common knowledge to some. I haven't noticed any negative that can be linked to that though. I could see how someone could claim that stretchy tippet would not drive a hook into a mouth as well.

I just figure I was using tippet that was too small. In fact, I'm going to cut it off and replace with 1x right now.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

W--looking for an e-mail for you to discuss blogs and Minnesota fishing...

I'm at



10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings from an Australian grouch and regular reader (looks like you have more than 3).


7:32 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

I tried 1x with the Carp Carrot and I hated it. Feels too big for that fly. Maybe it makes no difference, but I didn't like it.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I liked the Climax tippet, but then started using the Rio tippet this year. I'll never go back to anything else. This stuff is strong, stretches just the right amount, and is pretty abrasion proof. I have yet to lose a fish due to my tippet breaking.

Incredibly, I bent the hook on a size 6 34007 stainless salt hook trying to get a fly lose on my 3X tippet. As you probably know, those hooks are stout and don't bend real easily. crazy.

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