Monday, August 17, 2015

A Common, a Koi Lost, and a Ghosty

I went carp hunting on the kayak again this morning. Walking along the shore I spotted a couple of fish, but not many. As soon as I got to the cove I started spotting fish. But the first catch of the day was not a carp. When I'm cruising around spotting fish I usually leave the fly in the water. Often it just skips along the surface. Sometimes a smallmouth will come up and smash it. Usually these are small, but today a pretty good one found the fly.

The further back I got in the bay the more carp I saw. There were lots here:

I had a lot of upturned noses on my first circuit. Desperate times call for desperate measures: I changed flies. A Black Ops was swapped out for a dragonfly nymph. On the next pass I spotted a pair of carp tailing aggressively in a patch of mud. I cast to the one I felt was most likely to eat. I made a cast a foot in front of it and let the fly sink. I didn't actually see it take, but I just had a feeling. When in doubt, set the hook. The fish was on and it was hooked well. While it made it's first run I got myself to shore. A good battle and I was holding a perfectly stunning common carp.

As I continued down the shore, I spotted a familiar face. Hello there Mr. Orange! There were also a few normally colored commons hanging around it to make things difficult. With shaking hands I managed to get the fly in front of the koi. It took. I set the hook and the fish went through the dock. I went into fast action. I jumped out of the kayak and swam through the dock to get the line free. I got the fish in check then went to get the kayak. The fish actually turned and ran straight at me. I got it around to the place I wanted to land it and was working it when suddenly I watched the koi and my line part ways without any change in tension. The fish had snagged the fly on a branch. I was absolutely crushed. I finally had my shot and I watched it slip through my fingers.

I had a hard time not giving up after that, but when I spotted some tailing fish it was impossible to resist. They were already on there way back to deeper water, but I got a very good shot at the little one in the back. The take was very aggressive and I so wish I could have taken video of it, but the fight was short. The fish was actually a nice young ghost carp ( a very pale colored common) with a crook back. It seems like quite a few carp have this problem. I suspect their shallow water feeding habit leaves them vulnerable to heron wounds. BIG fins on this one though. I bet it'll fight like crazy when it's a bit bigger.

I struck around until after 11:00, and actually spotted quite a few more fish. The sun was the problem. With it lighting up the shallows the carp were a lot more cautious.


  1. Replies
    1. Don't be. That first one you got was one of the most beautiful ghostiies I have ever seen.

  2. Nice catches. That orange ghost will be there another day. Wish I could have shot video of that action! It was great seeing you!
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. Thank you,
      I wish our visit could have been longer, but yes it was good to see you too.

  3. Despite the loss of the koi, sometimes it just not meant to be, lots of great looking fish.