May 8, 2012

My First Carp On A Fly

As I said in my last post, I was waiting for a day on Utah Lake that wasn't windy so I could try my hand at hooking into a carp with my fly rod. Well, I didn't have to wait long. Today was perfect with no wind so I headed back to the marina. I took my eight weight fly rod and spinning rod in case the wind picked up. I headed out from the marina and it didn't take long before I saw a few carp gulping on the top. I figured since they were on the top I would try a dry fly to see if I could get lucky. I tied on a swishers PMX peacock #8 (thank you fly guys at Cabelas), and started casting towards them. My goal was to cast past them and slowly strip into them. It took several casts before I had it down and even then, my accuracy was sketchy at best. I did this approach several times throughout the first hour I was there without a single hit.
 I would cruise from school to school continually messing the cast up or getting to close and spooking them. I soon came upon a decent school and I finally got the cast I wanted. I slowly stripped my fly into them and all at once my line was tight and my reel started singing as the carp made a hard run to the shore. I fought him back and had him on for another few minutes before he swam close to shore and broke me off around a piece of cement. What a rush! I've never had a fresh water fish give me a fight like that.  
An hour or so past from the excitement of hooking into my first carp, when I got my second chance to land one. This time when I set the hook, The fish didn't run at first. I figured I would take this chance to slowly kick my way out into deeper water and away from the shore where all the cement boulders were. I was not going to lose another fish! I kept the line tight as I kicked, and luckily the fish didn't make a run until I put the pressure on. Once he realized he was caught, He tore into my drag as he made one hard run after another. This carp pulled me along in my pontoon for about 10 minutes until I finally wore him out and got him to the net. YES!
Not only did I land my first carp on a fly, I got him on a dry fly! That's a double bonus in my book, and on top of that, the carp was also the biggest one I've ever landed on any rod, measuring out to 34". I kept him in the net and cruised back to the marina where a gentleman was nice enough to take some pictures for me. Of all the fish I have ever caught, This lowly carp ranks near the top of my list of fishing memories. I'm starting to see why my oldest brother only takes his fly rod on our adventures. I'm definitely going to be taking mine a lot more often.

My first ever carp on a fly and a new personal best for this species!

Right in the kisser!

Ya... This will be making more trips!

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