Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Mirrors of Autumn

 The fly carp season is winding down. Sure, there'll be some late fall and winter bite windows, but on the whole things are coming to a close. It was a very good year for me. I got a lot of fish, my first mirror and then dozens upon dozens more, the most carp I've ever caught in a single day, my first periodical cicada carp, my first mulberry carp, and two top ten biggest carp. I'm going to go ahead and call it my best carp year since I started fishing for these things seven years ago.

Will watching my best season wind, I spent some time walking and casting to small mirrors and commons. Though the mulberries were months gone I still managed to get a handful of fish to come up for the dry. That was one of the coolest discoveries of my fishing career; getting carp, even tailing carp in as much as three feet of water, to come up for a berry pattern. I still haven't applied this method on a waterway that doesn't have mulberry trees, but I will be doing that next season. 

One evening I was battling waning light and mosquitoes and struggling to get looks from the fish. I was also dealing with walkers throwing rocks in the canal... oh, the joys of fishing high foot traffic areas. I was running out of real estate when I found a shallow tailer on the far bank. I made a kick ass cast and the fish turned to find the fly. It didn't seem to see it, so I stripped it. This sounds absurd, I know, berries don't dart across the surface. But for some reason it works. The fish charged hard and ate. Rarely is a hook set as satisfying when a cast with a dry fly to a carp is so well executed and the fish eats just as perfectly and beautifully as you could want. So, so satisfying. And of course the fish responded fabulously with some thrashing on the surface and a good hard run. It was excellent.

 When I didn't get fish to react to dry flies, I was still able to get them on the good old Ausable Ugly. Honestly those hook sets might be just as satisfying. A carp on the fly is a carp on the fly. They don't come easy most of the time. Each one is a result of hard work and hours of observations. 

Most of my clients this season wanted to carp fish. I only ran a very small handful of trips for other species. From the get-go, I knew it was going to be the trickiest fish for me to get clients onto consistently and that proved very true. Some of the worst conditions of the year also happened to set up right on the days I was booked, which didn't help, leading me to take a couple clients out for discounted redemption trips when they didn't even get a single good shot on their first trips. I have to say thanks to those of you that booked me this carp season. If anyone is interested in learning the ropes of late fall or winter carp fishing, feel free to contact me, but such a trip needs to be planned in accordance with a weather window, so if you don't have flexibility I don't want to waste your time. Hopefully I'll see some of you next season, it' going to be a good one. 

Until next time, 

Fish for the love of fish.
Fish for the love of places fish live.
Fish for you.
And stay safe and healthy.

Thank you to my Patrons; Erin, David, John, Elizabeth, Brandon, Christopher, Shawn, Mike, Sara, Leo, C, Franky, Geof, Luke, Streamer Swinger, and Noah for making Connecticut Fly Angler possible. If you want to support this blog, look for the Patreon link at the top of the right side-bar in web version.

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