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Carp Success

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
I went out to the lake on a Thursday lunch hour. The weather had turned hot and I knew that chances for success were not great, but it is more fun than being inside. I headed off to the flat that is between the road and the one jetty. I figured a few fish might be along the breakline.

When I got down to this spot, I could see several carp swimming just under the surface about 30 feet out. What a time to be tempted to cast for carp. I have caught some carp, but have never had one turn and take a fly that I had cast out. I figured this was a good day to try.

I tied on a llama hair fly that I had tied a lot like a Hares Ear. This fly was not weighted. I cast it out and was letting it drop when a carp swam toward the fly and took it in without stopping. I had tied it with wild llama hair and it looked a little like some of the fluff that was drifting across the lake.

In any case the carp did not like the feel of the hook when I sat it. The carp headed for the other side of the lake. I finally got the fish to turn and start swimming parallel to the shore I could not gain any line, but I was not losing any. This tug of war went on for several minutes. I finally could start to gain some line as the fish was beginning to tire. When I got the fly line back on the reel, I could see the fish swimming out in the lake. There were several other carp around it.

I continued to gain line on this fish and had it about 20 feet from shore when he decided to run again. This run was significantly shorter and I could gain the line back faster. I finally got the fish near the shore and picked a spot to bring the fish onto the shore. This fish measured 23 inches in length. Great fun to catch. I was getting ready to put him back in when a car stopped. Two Asian gentlemen got out of the car and asked if they could have the fish. With all the carp I know are in this lake I thought this was a good use of this fish.

I had time left so I decided to try again. I cast the fly out about 35 feet and let it touch down on the surface. It had landed about 3 feet behind a carp. This fish turned and inhaled the fly. I was not ready for this and the fish was in high gear before I really reacted. I did not need to set the hook, just hang on and try to turn the fish. I knew that this fish was bigger than the first one. This fish stayed deeper and made several short runs. Every time I got the fish to where I could see it, he could see me and thought I was too ugly to be near. He would then take off on another 30 to 40-yard run. It was a real the fight to get the line back in. The fish finally got tired and I was able to bring him near the shore. One of the Asian gentlemen was there with a net and scooped him up. This one measured 28 inches long. What a blast to catch.

I then came to the dilemma. Head back to the office early, or try for another fish. For me it was a no brainer and I sent the fly out again. There was a big school of fish swimming around some vegetation that is in the lake. I dropped the fly in an opening in that area. A cooperative carp took the fly just after it hit the water. He did not like the idea of there being a hook in that meal.

This fish really went into high gear and headed for parts unknown. I was not sure that I would get the fish turned before I ran out of line. I finally put more pressure on the fish and got it to turn.

The fish then began to flop around on the surface. I was not sure that the line would stand this, but there was not a lot I could do about it. It did attract the attention on two guys in a boat. They came over to see what it was and when they found that it was a carp, then told me that it was a trash fish. I told them that it was a fun fish to catch. I don't think that they bought that, and they left to fish for the real sport fish.

The fish finally started to tire and I got it in near the shore. This was the largest carp I have ever had on the line. We got it netted and we measured it. It came out to be 37 inches long. I had to hurry as I was late getting back to the office. Fortunately I did not have a patient scheduled, but I got a phone call shortly after I returned.

I will be targeting carp more during the summer as I know they swim across this flat. If any of you have good suggestion for flies to use on blind casting please let me know.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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