The Cottonwood Seeds of Summer

The Cottonwood Seeds of Summer

As a primarily trout-focuses fly angler, I had always heard about people catching carp on the fly, but never really bothered to pursue it myself until recently. It was early summer last year, and I was out walking my dog around a familiar reservoir, observing the movement of water and wildlife. I stopped beneath some trees and noticed several common carp sipping cottonwood seeds off the water surface, completely unconcerned with my presence and absolutely gorging themselves; I was mesmerized. I went back to my car and collected the fly gear I had with me, rigged up a light colored hopper pattern, and went back down to shoreline thinking this was my opportunity to see what all the fuss was about with carp.

The Desired Ones...

The Desired Ones...

I don't want to name the water due to preservation reasons but for a few CPR anglers in the area who know, it has both a reputation as being a very difficult water and for holding some absolutely gorgeous fish.
At about 800 acres long, I have to admit that I didn't know where to begin. My first session there had me driving around for about an hour before finally making up my mind on where to setup. With having had no time to pre-bait, I was prepared for a blank but still hopeful, so I got the rods out.  At the very least, I'd learn more information about the water from the session for the future…

The Edge Effect

The Edge Effect

There is a particular attraction about the transition zone between the waters edge and the banks that hem it in. These zones are sometimes profitable, often interesting and frequently dangerous. In the natural word boundaries between habitats, areas where one ecosystem shades into another (‘ecotones’ as they are called) are often places that have a bit of the character of both. They may have more sun for these living out in the open, a little less for those living in the shade. They may be shallower for those coming from the deep, or deeper for those coming from the shore. They also collect food.

HEADING SOUTH....

HEADING SOUTH....

At the time of writing, March 2018 at home in Chicago, we're still in the grips of a long Winter but in the Southern States, it's already warming up very nicely. So at this time of year we focus our carp trips on these Southern States, especially Texas.

Out In the Cold

Out In the Cold

As the winter months and the cold weather approaches, a lot of anglers take the time to hang up their gear, do a little maintenance, tie rigs, make bait or catch up on their carp porn. Then there are other anglers, the brave souls that just can't bring themselves to submit to the Winter conditions, even when it means sitting in sub zero temps with the howling winter winds freezing the extremities just for the chance of one more bite...

The Apache Trail

The Apache Trail

The whole Apache Lake/Apache Trail area is nothing short of breath taking with abundant wildlife and excellent fishing opportunities around every corner. None of the fish so far have been massive but they were all extremely, hard fighting, fit as a butcher's dog, river fish!!

Although we've caught fairly steadily throughout most of the session days fished, we could almost 100% guarantee that the Carp would come by every morning in huge shoals, just as the sun was rising! It'd be nothing to have runs on both rods 3 or 4 times in a row during what I called the mad hour. As you can see in the video, the Channel Cats also got in on the action too....

A Small Pond...A New Dawn...

A Small Pond...A New Dawn...

A small pond and a new dawn…. a summer morning was enough inspiration to get out the float rod and try for some pretty mirror carp that had eluded me all those years ago.

Sitting beside the same body of water 40 years on I would not make the same mistake again of using tackle that was not up to the job….back then I was fishing specifically for Rudd, a beautiful fish with golden scales and blood red fins…and at the specimen level of 2 lbs were extremely hard to find. The younger fish were not that elusive but the older ones whose pictures I would see published in the ‘Mr Crabtree’ books or ‘Angling Times’ were never caught by youngsters …you see they were smart fish. Too smart for the likes of me with no experience…

The Storm

The Storm

A crack of thunder that sounded like it came from mordor followed that made the ground shake!!! It sent a shiver of doom down my spine and for the first time in the last few minutes brought me to my senses!
I remember muttering to myself something like, “What in the heck am I doing here right now!? This is not smart Wayne!!”