September 30, 2008


Looks like the governor has granted me a reprieve. Barring Mrs. Roughfisher going in to labor tonight, I'll get one more shot at some carp tomorrow. I better hit the vise tonight and tie up some plan B's, C's, D's, maybe even some plan Z's. My last supper tonight consisted of pot roast and homemade apple pie. Then it looks like 'the chair' for this roughfisher.

I regret nothing.


Fall officially arrived last week. Water temps have dropped considerably over the past several weeks, and fish are moving off the flats, seeking refuge in deeper water. This makes fishing to active fish more difficult, as sight fishing is no longer an option. Instead, blind nymphing to fish trout-style is the order of the day. This technique, while effective, is a low numbers game, and long days on the water can result in few fish. Nonetheless, any day fishing is a good day.

Winds were howling from the Northwest at 15-20 mph, gusting to over 25. This provided for some difficult casting. With the winds came clouds and cooler temperatures, with air temps in the low 40s, rising to the low to mid 50s later in the day. Definitely fall weather. Flows had dropped considerably the other day, now down to 292 cfs. Flows should remain stable, for the most part, throughout fall and winter, until spring melt. Consistency will be key to finding fish during the cold weather months.

The first order of business was searching for fish. The carp had fled the flats with reckless abandon. Every time there is a major temperature or flow drop, these fish seem to leave the sand flats and move to deeper water. It is likely to avoid predation from the countless number of Great Blue Herons and Double Crested Cormorants that call this stretch of river home. I imagine that once the flows/temps stabilize, these fish become move brazen and venture back on to the flats after some time. Time will tell if these fish will return to the flats once more this fall.

I worked a stretch of deep, rocky water adjacent to a sand flat that has been holding some bigger fish. Previously, I was able to hook up with a fish fairly quick with my darth clam pattern; that was not the case now. I had to work several drifts before foul-hooking a carp. As the fish cam closer to shore I noticed that the fish had a chestnut lamprey attached to its back. I would have loved to get a close look at this specimen, unfortunately the fish came loose just out of reach of my net. I methodically continued to work this stretch and ended up with a couple of fish.

Who says you can't catch dogfish with a clam? Bowfin are present in this area and are quite reclusive. I've found some hiding in the past, in vegetation on the other side of the river. I've only caught them before on meat. I had wanted to catch one on a fly but figured I'd need to use some sort of streamer or baitfish imitation like a woolly bugger or a Clouser minnow. Apparently bowfin eat clams too. I guess you don't survive millions of years of evolution by being a picky eater.

Fish were not eager to take a clam pattern, or anything else for that matter. The bite was slow. I worked a couple of different stretches of river and found a pocket of skinny water where the fish were congregating. I threw a San Juan worm, Clouser swimming nymph, Darth Clam, antron nymph, nothing. I spotted a nice sized buffalo holding in this stretch and tried to entice it with my offerings. No such luck. I finally ended up catching a smaller sized carp on an orange krystal chenille scud. I moved on.

I went back and worked the first area, having rested in for some time now. After trying the clam for a while, I switched back to a San Juan worm. I find it ironic that I end up catching a clam.

Is the season about wrapped up? Possibly. Weather wise, fish are starting to move in to their fall/winter patterns, and locating and reaching them is becoming more difficult. Getting them to bite is a whole 'nother story. I may have one more chance to hit the river before baby roughfisher arrives. My future will unfold this afternoon.

Here's one more fish photo to remember the 2008 season by.

- the roughfisher

September 26, 2008

How to fish a clam

So now that we know that roughfish love 'clams', and have finally found a pattern that effectively resembles a freshwater mussel that can catch fish, the question now lies, how do we fish it?

Obviously, freshwater mussels are not extremely motile. Their only means of locomotion consists of a 'foot', which is able to pull the animal along through the substrate on the river bottom. This foot also serves as an anchor, when the mussel is sessile. They are typically found in sandy and rocky areas (not muddy) and require a constant source of clean, cool water.

The 'Darth Clam'

It's been no secret to John Montana and I, that big carp love clams. As I've found out over the past few weeks, this does not just apply to carp, but other mollusk eating fish as well, like freshwater drum, redhorse, quillback, and other sucker species. For these bigger fish, I am fishing these flies in rocky areas adjacent to sand flats that hold vegetation. Plenty of fish hold on those flats, and I've caught quite a few of them on this pattern there, but those fish are typically smaller, with the occasional beefy fish thrown in to the mix. In hindsight, this doesn't apply strictly to the Darth Clam pattern, but to all patterns. Big fish hold in rocky water. The deeper, rocky water holds bigger prey items like crawfish and mussels that these fish can gorge themselves on, while providing a deep water refuge from predators and other threats. They don't get that big without a reason.

As far as fishing the Darth Clam, I don't think it matters as much as to what type of bottom you fish, as long as there are freshwater mussels present there. I am fishing this pattern in an area with known mussel beds. I know this because I've caught a few of them with a fly before. The rocky areas in the main channel have current there. I typically dead drift the fly along the clam beds, bouncing it along the bottom. I have to believe that some of these smaller mussels occasionally get dislodged from the bottom (especially with other fish foraging along the bottom) and with the current, they tumble off downstream. The fish key in to those free moving mussels and pick them off for an easy meal. They must really like them, because almost every strike I've had with this pattern has been aggressive. One carp even had a fly buried deep in the back of his throat, while I was tight line nymphing! It just inhaled it.

When fishing this fly in the flats, find a pod of fish and cast your fly to the edge of them and let it sit there. It typically won't marinate there for very long before a fish takes it. I've tried sight fishing this pattern to a couple of bigger fish in the shallows, but the splash tends to spook wary fish. Tying the pattern with a smaller 4mm bead will reduce the splash, but I like the sink rate of the 6mm bead better. To be honest, I've even stripped the fly in slowly, just to see what would happen, and managed to catch fish with it. I'm not sure if presentation even really matters, as long as this fly is near the bottom.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when fishing this pattern. I wouldn't advise fishing it with anything less than a 7 wt. While the 9 I was fishing with last week may have seemed like overkill, it was put through its paces. On a couple of fish I was glad I had it along when I was watching my fly line peel down to the backing, the fish still running headstrong in to the current. It was all I could to turn these fish and keep them from running downstream all the way to Fargo. A fighting butt is not a luxury item here, but a necessity. The other thing is to make sure you have a fresh leader, and high quality tippet. I use Rio Powerflex, typically 1X-3X, depending on the rod weight, water clarity and fly pattern used, and have had zero issues with fish breaking off. Use a good knot system. I hand tie my tapered leaders and use double surgeon's knots (I may start upgrading them to triple surgeon's) to connect the sections of leader. For my leader to tippet connection, I use a leader loop connection system using perfection knots to form loops on the end of the leader and start of the tippet. This is the same connection system used on the newer welded loop fly lines and leaders. It is much easier to change out tippet sections with this system, and maintain the length of your leader. Tying on new tippet with the old system resulted in the shortening of the leader over time. For the tippet to fly connection, I use a non-slip loop knot. It allows my fly to freely move, which is at times crucial when fishing nymphs to wary fish like quillbacks. If fly movement is not crucial to you, a palomar knot is one of the strongest knot you can use. You'll typically break off at the tippet/leader knots before breaking this knot off at the fly.

The final thing is to bring a strong, well rested arm. This is one pattern that will give you a work out. You may even break a sweat. This fly catches big fish, resulting in big strong fights. Be prepared. Consider this your warning.

Good Luck! See you on the water.

- the roughfisher

September 24, 2008

Darth Clam trial wrap up - 'We The Roughfishers....'

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all flies are not created equal. The 'Darth Clam' flies yield no exception, and shall reign as the mother of all meaty creations. These flies are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Big Fish.

All I have to say is wow! I think I've stumbled onto something great here; something fantastic. I conducted phase IV of the clam fly clinical trial today and confirmed my earlier findings: big fish love clams. Here are the results:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United Roughfishers of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of this Republic, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Roughfishers are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent Anglers, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Blueliner Crown, and that all political connection between them and the House of Hardy, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent Anglers, they have full Power to engage truth within the fly fishing industry, angle for all species of fish, establish fly swaps, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent Anglers may of right do. -- And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Flies, our Rods and our sacred Honor.

September 23, 2008

'Darth Clam', aka, the Roughfisher Foam Clam (RFC)

I've been told my naming of the roughfisher foam clam is generic and lackluster, not deserving of the pattern's awesome power. Anything with the word or connotation of "death" will sell this fly, I'm told. So why not rename the fly with a slightly less generic name like the 'Darth Clam'. Yes, Star Wars analogies have been played and overplayed till they no longer hold much stock. However, this pattern has thus far proved it is worthy of holding the rank of 'Darth', and it quite the adversary to unsuspecting fish. I realize I don't have to share my secrets of this pattern and the uncovering of the missing link in big fish diets. But like I mentioned in a post from a few months back,

"[my] journey is to shed light, and not to master."

First we start by assembling the required materials: size 6 salt hooks, 6/0 UNI thread, 6mm gunmetal beads, furry foam, chenille, and a lighter.

Start by debarbing the hooks and threading the 4mm beads on to the shank. Some of the gapes may need to be opened slightly to accommodate the bead along the hook bend.

Next, cut out a small foam rectangle, approximately the size of your thumbnail. Fold foam in half on the short axis and trim the corners back. This will make tying in the foam a lot easier.

An easy way to thread the chenille through the foam is to stick an inch long piece of chenille through a hook eye. In this case I used a size 2 Mustad 34007 hook.

Insert the hook point through the middle of the foam and pull through.

Pull the hook along the bend and shank and up to the eye. Pull the eye of the hook through the hole in the foam, making sure to hold on to one piece of the chenille.

The chenille should now be threaded through the hole in the middle of the foam. Remove the hook from the chenille.

Take a beaded hook and thread the foam rectangle on to the hook shank through the hole in the middle. Place the hook in the vise and thread the tag end of the chenille through the gunmetal bead on the hook shank.

Tie in the thread on to the hook shank approximately a third of the way back. Tie in the chenille and do a couple of half hitches to secure the chenille.

Grab one end of the foam and tie in to the hook shank where the chenille was tied in. Carefully twist the foam that was tied in, so that it is on the bottom of the hook shank.

Grab the other end of the foam and pull taut over the gunmetal bead. Tie in securely to the hook shank, forming the clam body. Tie in a couple of half hitches to secure the body.

Build up a tapered "head" on the clam.

Whip finish, cut off, and coat the thread wraps with head cement. Burn the end of the chenille with the lighter. Be careful not to get too gung ho with the lighter, or you'll end up with a ball of burnt and melted hydrocarbons.

A newly tied Darth Clam fly pattern

I tied up a few different variations to experiment with. The Clam Before The Storm pattern was tied with lighter colored furry foam and colored in with marker. I tied a couple flies in tan and colored some with brown sharpie marker. I'll compare the success of these variations with my original foam clam pattern.

I also wanted to experiment with trying to recreate a mussel's foot protruding from the edge of the valves. A material like marabou would be nice and breathable underwater and would probably more likely resemble a natural foot than most synthetic materials. The durability of marabou is not as superior as many synthetic textiles, however, and I faced another problem; how to tie it in to the pattern and making appear lifelike. One of my attempts involved antron yarn, the other involved dubbing.

Both variations may work; it's even possible that the marker colored clam may more effectively resemble a real clam foot. However, is the foot even relevant to the pattern? Obviously fish were taking the original version, without the foot, quite willingly. Would they even notice? Tying the pattern without any of the foot variations is quite simple and a fairly quick tie. The extra time and effort may not even be necessary. Luckily all of you blokes out there won't have to spend your precious time out on the water trying to find out. The roughfisher will do it for you.

Will the antron foot on the Darth Clam pattern be the Achilles heel for mollusk-eating fish? Likely not, but this is the roughfisher's version of an emerger pattern. A brownliner's version of the BWO fly pattern evolution, if you will. Anyone for tennis?


September 19, 2008

Roughfisher Foam Clam (RFC) fly Clinical Trial

Phases II and III of the clinical trial for the Roughfisher Foam Clam (RFC) fly pattern were conducted this afternoon. Phase II was extremely successful which brought about phase III, a randomized trial which held mixed results. For all intensive purposes, I should have stuck to Phase II, but for the fly to be approved by the RFDA (RoughFisher Deptartment of Angling) and released for marketing, Phase III is a necessary evil.

Summer made a brief return today and reared it's ugly head. Some serious cloud to ground lightning electrified the morning. By the time I arrived at the river, the fireworks had moved east, ready to taunt and harass other anglers seeking refuge on the water. Warmth brought in from the Southwestern US as a result of Hurricane Ike, began to permeate through the arid atmosphere. For some reason, I rigged up my 9 weight this morning. The morning would unfold as to why I had the premonition to flaunt the unwieldy beast.

I started off the day with a rubber legged beadhead PT flashback nymph tied on my 6. Fish were still holding silently with the morning dew. I scanned the pool for the alpha females and blew a couple casts at them. As they began to sink down to the depths of obliviousness, I casted my fly into a pod of fish and hooked up with an average sized fish. Pretty sloppy, but at least it was a start.

After unhooking the fish, I casted the fly back out, to boost my confidence and warm up for the trial. After a little working, I got another fish to take the fly. It got the juices flowing. I was now ready to start the trial.

I grabbed my 9 and tied the RFC onto some 2X tippet, and threw the fly out to the edge of a veggie patch, adjacent to a back bay and the main channel. Plenty of mussels congregate in this area, and as a result, so do many fish. I did not have to wait long before my line moved. The fish readily took this fly. I pumped the fish up to the surface to see what it was; a common carp, Cyprinus carpio. This was the first carp to officially take the RFC.

I got my fly back out there to do some dredging. I put the fly into a little deeper and faster water, right across the current seam adjacent to the main channel. The going was good because soon after, another fish took my fly, hard. Darn near had me close to my backing. After a nice fight, I was able to land the fish and discovered the RFC planted firmly, again, in the corner of a mouth.

Kentucky Fried Clam

No sooner than I put my fly back into the swift water, that my fly line moved aggressively through the water. I pulled back to set the hook and watched as a huge wake formed ahead of my fly line. The fish starting peeling line, heading up and across the main channel. Once I saw my orange backing appearing I turned the drag up, afraid that I wouldn't be able to regain the line, and the fish, like has happened several times earlier this season. After I turned the fish downstream, I made up some ground with my fly line, however, the fish was trying to head through the box culverts under the flood control bridge. I turned the drag even harder and pulled it back up. After some strong arming, I finally got the fish close enough to the surface to realize I had on a nice fish. I knew right then and there, that these last few fish were the reason I rigged up my 9. Perhaps overkill on any situation other than the spring melt, it was definitely fitting the bill here. Even with the 9, I was beginning to tire. Luckily, so was the fish. I was able to land this brute and admire its glory. This thing was a tank.

mamba jamba

At this point, things are going fabulous. Carp love this fly. Big carp. Not John Montana size mind you, but big for NW MN size for sure. It is obvious that the bigger carp love clams and can hardly resist this pattern. John definitely hit the nail on the head when he said that he avoids the sand flats and fishes the rocks, as this is where the bigger fish lie, hunting for some serious meat. Clams are that meat. I thought about renaming this fly KFC (Kentucky Fried Clam), since this fly is FIN licking good.

Over confident at this point, I started phase III of the trial, a randomized test. I tied on the roughfisher death clam and went to work. This is where the day started to turn. I started getting snagged. I broke of flies. I got my fly line and tippet twisted in every little weed and plant around me. I moved around and tried different spots and different flies, tripping here and there, almost going for a swim a few times. The sun was bearing down on me and it was hot, in the low 80s. Recent rains were so kind as to bear an evil hatch of vampirous little bitches, intent on sucking me dry. I was miserable. Nothing I could do could catch another fish. Three hours elapsed before I was finally able to take another fish on that rubber legged PT nymph.

Of course, this was just an anomaly, as a few minuted later I foul-hooked a melanistic carp in the dorsal fin. This fish had a very dark coloration on it, interesting indeed. I always thought these fish were buffalo interspersed amongst the carp. I guess I now know that there are melanastics mixed in with the carp and buffalo too.

melanistic carp

The day continued to drag on, fruitless for my efforts. It was like night and day once noon hit. At one point I tied my last RFC on, after resting it for a few hours, and instantaneously got a hit. After a brief tug upstream, the fly let loose. Must have been a foul hook. It got my hopes up, as the fly would not get another look by another fish for the rest of the day. Finally, two hours later and hard up, I tied on an olive chenille carp wooly. After several drifts I was beginning to feel hopeless when my line went taut. I pulled back on the line and instantly knew that this was no carp. I had a quillback on. Funny how an afternoon of desperate fishing can quickly be erased by a single catch. Quillback are that kind of fish. They are so elusive and difficult to catch on a fly that it is a feat to land one. This turned a sour mood in to an elated one.


I ended the day on an up note and left satisfied, knowing the fish did not best me today. Unknowing if this may be my last fly fishing outing in a great while, I felt it fitting that I began and possibly ended the season with a quillback on the fly. A lot was accomplished and learned this year. A feather in the cap. A perfect bookend to a perfect season. Cheers!

- the roughfisher

September 17, 2008


The good word from the OB Doc is that it looks like we'll have to revisit in a week and go from there. What that means is that I may get another couple of chances to go fishing yet, before #2 comes. Projected due date is Oct 2. Hopefully this will buy me just enough time to get another fly trial under way for the clam flies. Looks like I better shut up, finish the work week, and hit the river. No time for waiting.


September 12, 2008

operation clam dig

Today's mission was to field test my assortment of newly crafted clam fly prototypes. Although I was fishing under Fall conditions, phase one of the testing was considered a success. Here's the report:

When I arrived at the river this morning, first thing I realized was that I forgot my phone at home on the charger, and subsequently left my camera behind as well. Any documentation of today's trial were going to have be kept in my head. Air temps were hovering right around 50, and a dense fog hung over the sky. It held tight well past 1000 or so, until the bright Fall sun finally burned it off. Temps quickly shot up into the upper 60s. The breeze was calm to light, coming from the west and south west. Even with the recent heavy rains, water levels fell slightly from the day before, running at 324 cfs. Water was slightly less turbid and beginning to clear.

I tied a roughfisher death clam on my 6 and quickly went to work. Unlike last weekend, fish had moved back into the shallows to sun. I rolled a cast into a group of fish, and had to fight off of a couple of foul hooks to start, since the fish were packed in so tight. I finally got a fish in a pod to take my fly. It was a medium sized carp and fought fairly well. I landed it near shore and swiftly got my fly back out there in to the mix. I managed to catch another carp near the same size a few minutes later. Happy with my success, I moved downstream to see if I could find some redhorse to tempt with my clam. I worked the water for a while and couldn't dredge anything up. Not to fail, I moved back upstream and decide to evaluate the RFC (roughfisher foam clam).

The one thing I noticed today was that even though the fish numbers were back in the area, the bite was slow. I didn't have a stream thermometer with, but the water was considerably colder than it was a few weeks ago, even in the shallows. I overheard another conversation earlier this week that stated that water temps in some local lakes were losing about a degree a day, with temps already falling past the mid 60s. I knew I needed to slow my presentation down.

I tried to cover some water with known mussel beds with my RFC pattern. While I wasn't able to hook a carp, I was moving a bunch of quillbacks. Fine by me. There are plenty of good carp flies out there, but lesser known are effective quillback patterns. I'll have to revisit this in the future. I ended up catching a decent sized sheepshead (freshwater drum) on this pattern. It was a solid take. The hook was firmly planted in the side of its mouth, the furry foam shell dangling in its mouth. This was THE defining moment for this pattern, as a drum's diet mainly consists of crustaceans and mollusks. They have a set of large phyrangeal teeth designed for crushing shells. This absolutely confirms the fact that the fish think that this pattern is a clam. Success!

stock photo from 2008

I couldn't get a whole lot more fish to move with the RFC for the time being so I tucked it back in my fly box and put on my swimming nymph tied in orange. I started moving more quillbacks. I got a nice specimen up to the surface before it came loose. The one thing I notice with these fish is that they have a tendency to come off the hook real easily. It likely has something to do with the orientation and structure of their mouth. The main thing with quillbacks is to keep your line taut at all times once hooked. Slack line often results in a lost fish. I drifted my fly back through that same stretch several more times and finally got a solid hookset into another quillback. I was able to bring this fish to hand. The magnificence of these fish are sorely understated and underrepresented by any photograph. It's true beauty is visceral, and can only be appreciated live and in person. Every time I bring one of these fish to hand it is a real treat.

another stock photo from 2008

I didn't stay for my entire allotment of time today. Even though the numbers weren't there, the day was still a success. I could have pushed it for another hour or so, but I didn't want to cheapen the fruits of my labor. I wanted to leave with a sweet taste in my mouth. I wanted to leave on my terms. It's possible that this may have been my last outing before my son arrives, but I didn't want to dwell on that fact and let it overshadow my outing. The window of opportunity is rapidly shrinking and like Bobby Weir once sang,

"I may be going to hell in a bucket, But at least I'm enjoying the ride".

Phase two may have to wait.

- the roughfisher

September 11, 2008

clam bake

I tied up some more freshwater mussel patterns this evening to field test tomorrow. I wanted to investigate the success the roughfisher death clam held last week. I don't believe the tough outing last Sunday was a fair representation of what this fly can do, even though it accounted for half of my four fish from the day. I tied up several different versions with varying color siphons, if that even makes a difference to the fish.

I tied up an obligatory roughfisher swimming nymph, as any rubber legged nymph will suffice. You just can't complain about having too many of these patterns stashed in your fly box.

In a take off my previous discussion regarding the effectiveness of the Clam Before The Storm pattern, and the rare occurrence of a live mussel found with its valves open, I did some experimenting. I had a bunch of furry foam left over from the failed pattern and still wanted to put it to use. The CBTS pattern had some good aspects to it that I wasn't ready to let go. I switched the dumb bell eyes out for a large 4mm or 6mm bead, with chenille threaded through the hole. I slipped the bead on to the hook shank. Instead of tying the foam on to the hook shank in the middle of the foam, leaving the ends to form the valves, I tied it in the opposite manner. I pierced a hole through the middle of the foam and threaded it on to the hook, pulling the chenille through the hole. I tied the tag ends of the foam on to the hook shank, around the bead. This effectively formed a pocket around the bead, and maintained the appearance of the clam having its valves shut with its siphon exposed.

We'll see how this pattern works in the field. It may be a complete bust like its predecessor, but at least I thoroughly exhausted all of the options and gave it a fair chance.

Wish me luck.

September 9, 2008

142 yards of bernat boa, what now?

So I graciously accepted my care package from fellow roughfisher KB over at, but what to do with 2 skeins of bernat boa? Luckily KB had a few experimental patterns tucked under his belt that looked promising. Where to begin?

The initial reason behind acquiring the bernat boa in mallard, was to recreate a pattern tied by Sister Carol, the grass carp fly. This fly is surprisingly lifelike, and likely resembles a piece of the invasive aquatic plant, hydrilla, often found in more temperate waters. Hydrilla bears a striking resemblence to the native elodea found in MN waters, and this fly pattern should hopefully work on some common carp here. Here's my version of Sister Carol's grass carp fly:

KB experimented a bit and married two fly patterns into one, thus creating his own patented carp death clam fly. You can see the resemblance to the San Juan Worm and Clam Before The Storm patterns. Here's my rendition of his pattern:

A good point was brought up by John Montana on the probable reason for the Clam Before The Storm's lack of success: A live mussel would unlikely be found by a fish with its valves open. Another reason may be that the fly pattern's shell was bigger than what fish typically feed own. It is believed that fish will key in on the smaller mussels, typically around the size of your fingernail. John noticed the shorelines of his home waters littered with broken shells, and coincidentally, the river is loaded with fat carp. Coincidence? I think not. After some tinkering, I came up with my own clam fly pattern based on KB's prototype, roughfisher's death clam.

This pattern is extremely castable with a lighter rod (6 wt), sinks fairly fast, and holds it shape well in the water. While this experimental fly pattern has only seen limited use under difficult conditions, it has proven successful thus far. I managed to catch a common carp and a silver redhorse on it last weekend. Both species are known clam eaters. I am excited about the potential for this pattern, and hope to give it a fair field trial this fall. Should be fun.