February 19, 2009

Innovator or idiot?

no spey carp?

No one is calling the roughfisher a pundit in the realm of two handed style fly fishing, nor am I self-proclaiming myself as an expert in this area. But I beg to ask the question and see, just who exactly out there tosses flies to carp with a two handed rod. Are the majority of brownliners sight fishing to carp with the short stick? Is the population of flyrod carpers so limited as to not allow for such a dissemination in method and technique?

My carp fishing is done primarily on rivers. Sight fishing is not usually an option, and I'm relegated to nymphing current seams like the bastard redheaded step-child of Lord Salmo. Perhaps viewed as a fool for fishing blind to carp and roughfish, it seems to work without insult or indignation to many a steelheader. So why the double standard for roughfish?

Through my observations, I've found that a lot of the BIG fish in the river tend to hold in deep lies within the main channel. These areas provide plenty of safety and cover from predators, especially behind large in-stream structure like boulders. These locales also offer plentiful supplies of meaty forage like freshwater mussels, large arthropods like crawfish, and of course baitfish. Typically out of the reach of most wading anglers fishing a single-handed rod, these runs are totally within range of the two-handed wielding hero.

Fishing these stretches can be extremely tricky and oft cumbersome for the inexperienced nympher. Thick and heavy braided currents frequent these runs, not only requiring some serious Pb to get your fly down deep to the bottom, but also require some acts of sorcery to help keep your fly line in control. It almost seems obvious to me, in these situations, to reach for the two handed rod.

From my experience, the long bellies common of a spey line taper, offer excellent line control and mending, useful when fishing long stretches of river. Conversely, the heavier shorter heads of the Skagit lines seem to not be quite as influenced by those pesky micro currents, notorious for causing drift drag problems on lighter trout line tapers. The use of sinking tip/leader systems common with these lines lends itself to this style of deep dredging. So why are not more carp anglers utilizing the long rod? Are carp chiefly being targeted in the effluents and cesspools of urbanization? Or does no one care about these trash fish, and only pursue them as a last resort?

If anyone out there uses a two handed rod to catch roughfish, please share your experiences with us. We'd love to hear from you.

- the roughfisher

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  1. Sounds like good logic to me. I concentrate on finding suitable sight fishing water. In a bigger river though, fishing seams would probably be made easier as you describe using a two handed rod. Then again, I don't own one and I've never even cast one, so what the hell do I know?

  2. In the words of David St. Hubbins:

    "It's such a fine line between clever and stupid."

  3. It is by no means a last resort, and most of the folks I know only need to tread the radioactive zones once to get 'hooked', myself included.

    But I have begun to think you are nothing but a die-hard steelheader trapped in a Minnesotan's body.

  4. if you're not with the one you love, than love the one your with

  5. Top marks for best post headline. Maybe next week you could comment on brownliners in general, not just the carp fishers. The title might be something like: "Psychics or Psychotics".