January 30, 2012

Tatonka

A bruiser caught a few weeks back during our "January thaw", when daily high temps topped 50 degrees for a couple of days.

bigmouth buffalo
bigmouth buffalo
bigmouth buffalo
To be honest, it's not really a thaw when there was no snow on the ground, daily temps were ranging in the mid to upper 30s and overnight lows were in the upper 20s. This non winter has been a joke, but at least I was able to take advantage of it and fly fish in the dead of January. Never thought I'd be able to pull that off in the Great Brown North.

bigmouth buffalo
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a good release shot since this fish still held some vigor and wouldn't sit still for me. For scale, that is a Ross F1 #4 reel, 4" diameter spool. This fish is in the 30" plus class. It always fascinates me that without a good reference, it is difficult on film to capture scale on a large specimen. The typical fish porn grip and grin photo is so overdone it's lost most of its cachet, however, aside from the super-extendo arm thrust pose, it does serve as a decent reference for scale and proportion.

Either way you cut it, it's still a nice fish!

January 26, 2012

January 24, 2012

A Fall From Grace

It has been a long time since I've held the reins and dug in the spurs. Life has been a distraction over the past year and it took me until recently to realize that I had lost my edge. Not for lack of skill or ability mind you, as even under the limited time I spent on the water last season I was still able to perform with my tool and succeed at fooling fish in difficult conditions when others had failed. Instead, as I withdrew from angling in order to deal with the demons on the domestic front, I've felt my grip slipping, my pulse within the fly fishing community become weaker.

mustache ride
Neglect a blog for a year and it is only natural that readers and viewership will drop off. With nary a reason for cause the abandonment began, perhaps many chalking it up to another typical fly fishing blog that faded away like a dying sun. Even while the screen lay dark with no new blog posts in weeks, I still stayed busy behind the tungsten curtain filling custom fly orders, perhaps the only thing that kept me from a descent into madness. The die-hard legions and crew have always held steadfast, even if unknowingly why. And an even smaller select few were actually privy to the depths of the chaos and turmoil. Yet, the need for a voice, an outlet for the roughfishermen, still exists. While I may have fallen from common conversation among the bloggers, the industry, or whomever else is responsible for creating buzz within the fly fishing community, it doesn't mean that I am down and out, or face down in the gutter.

mustache ride
I feel that I am just as valid as the day I started blogging about roughfish on the fly, perhaps even more so. In just the span of the last few years, I've watched the interest in carp on the fly grow, as well as become more acceptable to the mainstream. Not that myself, or anyone else who carp fishes for that matter, is looking for any validity from anyone. Maybe we're just the annoying kid in the back of the classroom that babbles on about everything about everything, including carp on the fly, in hopes that someone is listening. Regardless, it has become apparent that some are listening. Even during my unscheduled sabbatical, I was still getting inquiries from folks, and even a few compliments. I just want to say thank you to everyone out there who was listening.

I'm working on getting back my mojo, getting back to the top of my game. I'm not seeking fame. I'm not seeking fortune. I could care less if I'm any better known than I was a year ago. I could care less if I get published again. I could care less to see my face on the cover of a magazine or on the television screen. I just want to get back into my groove behind the vise and start producing those twisted patterns that helped earn me my success. If last year was the year of the Carp Crack, then this year will be the year of the Mustache Ride. I'm just looking to get back to where I was before I fell from grace. I'm not doing this for anyone except myself. After all, I'm just a guy who loves to fish.

January 23, 2012

Working Girls

Carpiodes cyprinus.

quillback
I love chasing quillback. They can be some of the most frustrating of the suckers to escort due to their extreme skittishness and finicky ways. To add to the proposition, a john typically finds harems of quillback working the street corners in skinny gin clear water. To say one must creep up on these spooks like an undercover vice agent is an understatement. I've always had to play it low-key, leaving the bling and drama at home and fishing small nymphs like brassies or copper johns. Don't be a playah! Quillback have a small inferior mouth so you can't just force it in with a large fly; you gotta be smooth if you want to party. These ladies finally gave in to the Fresh Pimp Nymph. Then again, a fresh pimp slap will subdue just about any ho.

quillback
quillback
I love getting fin....

January 11, 2012

New Year Carp

It might not be pretty or a monster, but I'm on the board for 2012. Plus this carp has an interesting color pattern around it's eye. It looks like it kicked back a few longnecks, got into a bar fight and got shived by some punk ass bottom feeding walleyes and needed stitches, leaving a pretty bad ass scar. This may be the local Tony Montana of the carp population.

January Car
The first carp of the new year came surprisingly early, merely days into the year. Of course, while winter carping is entirely possible, it is an anomaly around these parts due to sub freezing temperatures, snowpack, and subsequent inundation of shore and anchor ice. Not to mention that water temps below 39 degrees put the fish into an incredible funk, measurably reducing feeding activity. Nonetheless, this non-winter we've been experiencing up here in the Great Brown North provided a few obscenely warm 50 degree plus days in the dead of January. I'll take what I can get. Any day you can bring a carp on the fly to hand is a good day.