I walked out on the flat and inadvertently spooked a couple of fish, the swirl of mud and wake heading away from me were pretty classic bonefishing. Even more classic bonefishing were the tails… dozens and dozens of them waving away all over the flat.
The weather was perfect… mid-70’s, clear, slight chop on the water. The water was less than ideal… murky and full of bits of weed and grass pushed to the far end of the reservoir by the wind.
Wait… did he just say “reservoir?” What is he talking about?
Switch “Gray” to “Gold” and you are on the right track. Carp. On the fly.
Today it happened.
I’ve tried a few times over the years, but it has never come together for me… until today.
I was amazed to see carp tailing, but tailing they were. The carp were sucker-mouthed tight up against clumps of grass and other plants about 12″-24″ deep. I don’t know what they were eating, but it was right on those plants. I couldn’t get a fly in-between the plants and the fish so I just had to stand there, tails wagging all around me, wondering what the hell I was supposed to do.
I saw one fish crusing toward me. I had about a foot of fly line out and simply extended my rod and drop the fly (orange half-back) right in front of the fish. I saw it look up and inhale the fly. I set the hook and was tight to the carp.
Now… here is where I have to make a comparison… folks have told me for some time that carp are like bonefish, that they make sizzling runs. Maybe this carp had a full belly or stayed up late the night before, but it didn’t really run. If I loosened the drag it would take line off, but anything resembling a moderate drag and the fish wouldn’t take an inch of line.
It was a big, big fish… a beast by most standards. I didn’t have a scale, but I think the fish was about 15 pounds.
I caught a second fish, smaller… maybe 10. The second act was similar to the first.
So, Carp are now officially in the book. They are 5-15 minutes from the house and will surely be targeted again and soon-ish.
There are some things that are similar to bones… shallow water, sight fishing, tailing behavior. However, the strength of the fish is really more weight than the explosive power of the Gray Ghost.
I’ll take the Golden Ghost. It is exciting and interesting fishing, but I still wish I was on Andros.
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Tags: bonefishing, carp, flyfishing, San Jose, tailing
Congratulations on your first carp
Thanks. Still have a lot to learn when it comes to carp… that’s clear. I’d think you’ve seen the behavior I was talking about, where the fish were rooting around against plants. Any idea what they might be going after?
Comparing carp to bonefish. Ridiculous! Thats like comparing suckers to salmon.
Ha… Ted, I wouldn’t have made the comparison if folks hadn’t been telling me for years that there was one.
Being a primarily fresh-water/trout guy, the tailing would have made me think of bones, since I haven’t fished for permit or reds. Still a nice experience and I still wish I was in Andros.
Don’t we all, my friend.