Monday, May 21, 2007

My Clock Was Getting Dirty

So I decided to get it cleaned. It went like this:

Sight fishing for these local carp with the 4 wt is fun. However, the past few brief outings I’ve had have regularly produced fish. Thus, the question must be asked: how can one make the process more difficult? Enter the Micro Fly Rod, by J. Austin Forbes.

Today was supposed to be my flex day off, but I ended up working better than half of it. On my way home though, I figured I could justify stopping for 1.5 hours of fishing. Everyone was napping at home anyway. I’d stopped at this location a couple times recently, and I told John Montana that I’d return there with the Micro today – try to catch a carp on it…. I’ve not heard of anyone catching a carp with a Micro. In fact, I don’t know anyone else who owns one.

I ended up tallying six hookups – here is a fish-by-fish account:

Fish #1: estimated 6-8 lbs
I dropped a swimming clouser on a tailer, and “guessed” that he had it – meaning no visual cues. I guessed right, and was rewarded with my first connection. I have to say I was a little surprised to find that I could actually put a hook in a carp with that little rig - I knew it was possible, but I thought I'd have to wait a little longer than 10-15 minutes of fishing. I slid down the bank and fought the fish for about five minutes – went okay until he got close and caught sight of me… he then took off like a mad dog and ran all the way through my backing and when I put the brakes on he broke me off. Nice! He kicked my tail and I loved every second of it.

Fish #2: estimated 8-10 lbs
In a similar fashion, I dropped a DB Legion of Doom fly on a tailer and guessed right again – couldn’t believe it! This one didn’t last as long though – immediately ran right through my line and backing and I remember saying “I’m gonna run of f*ckin’ line again” and I did just that.

Fish #3: estimate 8-10 lbs
In this instance I was fishing to a couple of tailers that kept fading in and out of my view. All of a sudden a bigger fish came into sight on the edge of the silt plain – not feeding but looking interested anyway. I quickly cast out there and I got to watch this fish spot the fly as it began to sink, then charge ahead aggressively and suck it in – NICE! I set the hook, and immediately threw the one non-waterproof device I was carrying on the bank. I was set to jump in after this fish – I did just that as it began to lay waste to my line and backing…. I should have known that it was futile though – I just ran downstream in the main current and the fish just ran faster. I got to the end of the spool and broke that one off too. You’d think I was frustrated at this point, but on the contrary I was loving getting my clock cleaned.

[by now I was soaked, shoes full of silt and body beaten up – I took a 15 minute break – walked back to car – discarded all leader/tippet and replaced with slightly bigger diameter and better knots/loops, then returned]

Fish #4: 2 lbs 10 ounces [world record at the time of landing??]
This was another drop on tailer and guess – I can’t believe that I actually seem to have this technique down. I basically think to myself “okay, it sank right by his head, and he must have it by now” – set the hook and find the fish on – wow – almost as cool as seeing the take but not quite. I'm amazed every time it works. With the bigger tippet and fresh knots I knew I had this fish when I saw how small it was… fought for maybe five minutes and landed it. I punched the record button on the camera and wedged it in the bank in an effort to get some action shots.

Fish #5: almost identical to fish #4 in size, but didn’t weigh it
I found a bunch of smaller carp feeding by the head of a log dam. I put a fly to them, and one of those youngsters dashed about 3 feet to suck it up – very cool visual on this one. Fought and played – second fish landed – very nice. I thought my day was done. I figured – landed two on the micro – that is more than a day’s work. I stuck around for just a few more minutes though…

Thanks Zonker for another great pattern - it landed all three fish today:

Fish #6: 14 lbs 10 ounces [current world record for carp on Micro]
I was stalking around when out of nowhere came this big-looking carp, feeding along the bank up ahead of me... Big enough to give me pause - did I really want to try to tangle via Micro with a fish that immense? Yes. I tried to cast to it, but right away got tangled in a bush. I slowly and carefully removed the fly and found that not only did I not spook the fish, she had moved directly under me! I got ready to dap a fly on her, but before I could I witnessed her back up, then ram the bank with her head like a battering ram… then pick through the silt and shrapnel for any morsels she could find – wow – very cool. I dropped a little fly right in front of her, and I kid you not – she spotted that thing and surged forward for it. I have to admit that given the rod I was holding in my hand, I was a little scared of actually hooking this fish… but of course I did. She lurched back from the bank, I threw my electronics on the ground and slid down the bank, ready to SWIM after this fish I wanted so badly to land it… The fight was on, and it was a good one. I’d learned from the previous fish that I’d better not let this one see me – seeing the fisherman induces intense and deadly runs by carp that leave fishermen with limp lines. I stood statue still whenever she got close, and that worked – didn’t try to net prematurely. She did make some great runs, and I was really focused on “letting” her get away with 75% of each run, but then leaning on my heavy tippet to keep that other 25% in my court. I was dug in like a patient monk – ready to play the fish into submission. I did just that, and after 10-12 mintues of battle I landed one of my top carp - not biggest ever, but a landmark fish for that little rig. I took a number of photos and let her go. She was all beat up when I landed her – I am certain that was not from the fight – not sure what happened to her. The bugle mouth on that fish was amazing. Also, it is the furthest back in the mouth I’ve ever had a fly lodge. It did fall out like butter though when I bumped it with my forceps.

So – six fish hooked, half of them landed; half were guesses and half were visual hookups…. Nice balance for the day. Man, what an outing. Next time I bring out a 4 wt it’s going to seem like I’m strong-arming the fish!

I’ll self-proclaim the title of world record holder for carp on Micro until someone either beats it or shows me record of a bigger fish. In fact, I’m wondering how this fish ranks in the overall list of ANY fish caught on a Micro.


Blogger John Montana said...

wow! not much i can really say after reading that. except that I am actively perusing the j. austin forbes website as i type this. i've got my eye on a nice little micro and thoughts of 20 lb world record carp...heh heh...

seriously great report j...

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Justin,

That's a great set of accomplishments. Can't say as I've ever seen anyone land *any* fish on one of those toy rods, much less good sized carp. Good job!

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Cripies! That was amazing Justin! I imagine John will be buying a Micro so you don't get an easy record with yours!

Cool pic and video.

Scott T

1:06 PM  
Blogger Marcus & Aanna said...

Heh, heh...yep, good luck Bartlett on defeating Justin with your micro.

Great story!

4:07 PM  
Blogger Murdock said...

My gosh man! I think you should start a new club for people who have caught fish larger than the rod they used to catch them!

Great story!

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is an AWESOME story! I am completely impressed. What a fun day on the water. Rad.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Eich said...

Reminds me of catching carp on the Scooby Doo rod. Great accomplishment and looks like great fun. Good job!

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice, and ya made itonMoldy Chum too!

4:46 PM  
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2:27 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Okay, THAT is just cool. When John posted about your Micro rod, I was thinking spinning rod - my very first carp ever was caught on a Quantum MicroLight 4' spinning outfit that held about 100' of 4lb mono. I got spooled twice by the fish, but somehow managed to keep three or four wraps of line - just enough to keep from having the knot slip - and I wound up landing that fish. It was a rush.

I've got to go browse that J. Austin site and see what those Micro rods run - they look like they'd be a hoot for panfish and small stream trout.

1:29 AM  
Blogger testflycarpin said...

OK, I am a few years late to comment but this was such a cool and fun post. That thing is so TINY! Hilarious. And quite an odd accomplishement.

7:07 PM  
Blogger e.m.b. said...

And I thought carping with a soft 4wt Sage Circa was a bit extreme.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Dwight said...

Is there any place that sells them? The Forbes website is still up, but the email address is not good.

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