Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fair-hooked carp in January - ain't no lie...

I was so-so on fishing today, in part because I didn't have much time, and also because it's so damn cold out there right now. I don't fear the pain of the cold, but frozen guides are maddening at times like this... I decided to give it a go. I knew flow would be down from last week (yes - we had a January rain event here in MN)... and around 1:45 PM today I confirmed that it was down enough at my carp hole to make for decent fishing opps. I still wasn't sure if I'd be able to get the fish to take a fly though - some people have suggested that at certain temps carp will not eat. In November/December I got one fair-hooked carp I think - I watched him take the fly... it was cold then, but it was very cold today. In fact, air temp never got above +18 F. When I was out there, it was rising from ~15.5 to 17 F, and then at 3 PM just as I was leaving it began to plummet and snow started to fall. Even with flow being agreeable, I still had ice to deal with - this spot has steep slopes down to the River, and in winter they are usually covered with ice... making it impossible to get to the bank to land a fish. It's hard to explain, but let's just say I've already been stranded on the bank once as night fell, because ice had caged me in... it was a scary deal, so I was extra careful today. I was about to give up - even thinking I could try to hook a carp, play him to the high bank and then break him off (bad idea)... when I saw a single, solitary, ice-free path down to the river!! It was a sign for sure... I scrambled down and within five minutes landed my first carp of 2007 on a girdle bug - hooked perfectly inside the mouth. I think the firsh was around 6-7 pounds... no big runs or dramatic battle - took a while, but came in pretty easily due to cold. I proceeded to foul hook three more before heading out (only had an hour to fish). I don't know how cold the water was (the discharge from the dam is mid-column from the reservoir), but my estimate is DAMN COLD - near freezing. For sure single digit Celsius. It was a pretty great little outing... I do have to admit that by the end of the hour, my feet were getting pretty numb. I did see carp swimming around, and rolling like they do on occasion. I also tried out some flies that I tied in response to the mini-swap I did with J. Montana and Zonker from CAG (see pic). I will say this - that fly looks so damn good in the water... it is modeled after a fly that Zonker tied. It sinks with all its rubber legs waving up in the air... "eat me, eat me."


Blogger John Montana said...

great fish man! i'm jealous...explored for one hour sunday, but one lake was frozen, the other, mostly frozen. i have to wait until spring.

i miss carping!

10:40 AM  
Blogger spilseth said...

Nice work! Sounds chilly.

5:43 PM  
Blogger spilseth said...

Nice work! Sounds chilly.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great Job Wendy !

Beautiful Fish, Beautiful Report, And Beautiful Pictures ! I'm a Multi-Species Angler Looking to start targeting carp on the fly rod already target them (match/float and bottom fishing) I have a 100 % Free Midwest fishing forums And Would Be Very happy If you were to join. It's a Place for all Anglers !!

And Keep up the Great reports !


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