July 25, 2009
Desperate acts of a carp fisherman
Forage was certainly available, giant midges, mayfly nymphs, caddis flies, and damsel flies were present, as well as huge bait balls of shiners congregating in the back eddies. Maybe it was too available.
Flows have finally started to back off, dropping below 1000 cfs for the first time since March. In spite of this, flows are still well above the 80th percentile and nearly three times the median for this time of year. Frustrating to say the least. Cool windy weather doesn't help anything at all, except for keeping me from breaking a sweat. Surface water temps on a local lake last week were in the mid 60s. Ridiculous. They are typically in the 80s by this time of year. Mat Wagner has expressed similar frustrations over at the Lake Michigan carp fishery this year.
Blind nymphing to invisible fish in high turbid water has got me tearing out my hair this summer. Never a numbers game, this method of fishing is not a recipe for success. I've tried every pattern I could think of, new and old, to no avail. It's pretty tough to hook up with a roughfish when you can't see them. I did hook up with a monster buffalo, easily 15 pounds, possibly in the low 20s, before it decided to set sail downstream into the heavy current as I watched my hook pull free. Bastage! The fish did provide some amazing acrobatics as it leapt out of the water twice in dolphin like fashion. Crazy cool. Some poor old dumb bass must have felt pity for the old roughfisher and decided it wanted to taste my mini swimming nymph, in olive. At least I got that reeky skunk smell off my back.
A dissapointing summer thus far. I can only hope for low precip, lower flows, and the cold short days of fall to bring upon the reckless abandon of the fall feedbag. Until then, I'll just live off the adventures of my brownwater brethren. Nooch.