July 29, 2013
Carp Camp 2013 Beaver Island, MI: The Delivery
Getting rigged up proper for Beaver Island can be a challenge to the average freshwater angler. Unless you fish the salt, much of the gear you have for Great Lakes carp is probably under powered for the task at hand. My last visit out to the island, I got spooled by an ornery young buck carp in the midst of the spawn. All 200 yards of my backing was out for the world to see and I didn't have anything to show for it. That was when I was fishing a Ross F1 #4, mated with a Ross RX 9 weight. This time around, I brought in the big guns, putting aside my Ross Momentum for the F1 #5. I spooled up that badboy with 300 yards of backing and a Scientific Anglers Grand Slam textured taper flyline, designed by Bruce Chard. There is no way I was gonna get spooled this time! While I sat at the house rigging up my rods and reels, I had discovered on Facebook that Chard's Gland Slam taper I just spooled up had just won the Best Saltwater Fly Line award at IFTD earlier that day. Yahtzee!
Fly selection for carp is different on Lake Michigan than anywhere else. Think big. I always bring my kit with me when traveling to fish. It is most unwise to show up at a joint unprepared. Even with research, fly selection can change like the wind and the hell if I'm gonna get caught with my pants down. Bringing my tying kit with allows me to match the current forage, see what kind of flies the guides are fishing and tying, and also provides for some entertainment during our downtime at the house. This go round, the guides were downsizing a bit, so the big beefy, burly stuff that I had tied and brought with were probably gonna be a bit super sized for this trip. See? I would have been screwed if I didn't bring my kit. I ended up tying up some large swimming nymphs as an insurance policy, in efforts to mimic the hex mayfly nymphs that were abundantly present. And it would eventually pay off.
Water temps were pushing seventy degrees near shore. That, coupled with boat time casting from the front deck, meant that it was time for wet wading. I left the waders at the house and geared up in my flats boots, neoprene booties/gaiters, and my Mountain Khaki Granite Creek pants. I've exclusively worn these MK pants when fishing for the last three years now. Not only are they comfortable and quick drying, but the SPF 50 rated material is key to keep my legs from getting burned. Some folks like to sport shorts, not I. I like pants not only for the UV protection, but from shore hazards like stinging nettles, thorns, and stinging insects. I donned my CarpPro MK Granite Creek Windshirt for an upper. This was a wise decision. I wasn't concerned with my core temp from the winds since air temps were ranging from the low 60s in the morning to mid 70s in the afternoon, so the wind proof aspect of the shirt was a crucial advantage to me on this outing. On the boat rides in and out, however, this shirt kept me dry from all the surf spray. Unlike the other campers who had to don jackets in order to stay dry, I was able maintain preparedness without having to change clothes and still maintain my level of comfort. Winning.
I was definitely equipped with the right gear; so how'd I do? Find out soon when Part 3 concludes the Carp Camp recap.