Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scouting

We haven't gotten a chance to go back and fish it yet, but Kelly and I recently found some carp flats near us. Unfortunately, they appear to be Grass Carp only flats.

Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)

I know this won't make my first serious attempt at catching a carp on the fly any easier. I have questioned a carp master for how he would approach it, and he has offered some sage advice (no fly fishing pun intended... but if you like to think of it that way, that's cool).

Two carp on the flats- one in photo center, one at top partly in shadow

I have high hopes of hooking up with one soon, but I expect my first attempt will merely be a lesson in humility.

The Grass Carp weren't the only things we saw swimming. There were lots of small Largemouths and Bluegill.

Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)

I was also pleasantly surprised to see a single small Alabama "Spotted" Bass.

Alabama Bass (Micropterus henshalli)

We were beginning to lose hope for there being any quality bass in the lake (because it appears to receive a good deal of fishing pressure)... but before we wrapped up our scouting mission, we spotted a school of four bruisers prowling the shoreline. They were a bit difficult to photograph from our vantage point on the trail, but two of the four are visible in the photo below- the two smaller ones were around three pounds and the two larger ones I would estimate to be closer to five.

Largemouth Bass (M. salmoides)

Of course it wouldn't be a complete hike in the woods for us without finding at least one snake.

Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus)

As nice as it was hiking around the lake armed with a camera, I'm really looking forward to getting back out there with kayaks and fly rods.

15 comments:

  1. Good luck! Carp are tough to catch and grass carp nearly impossible. I am looking forward to see how you do.

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    1. I'm relying heavily on Ty's advice. If that doesn't work, I may take up bow fishing.

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  2. Those grass carp can be a true lesson in humility. I have a pond nearby that has a few monsters and I've yet to get one to eat a fly. But you just never know , every fish is different , and that's what it's all about anyway...the challenge. Good luck!

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    1. I've been following your Grass Carp quest too. Hopefully mine aren't as difficult as yours.

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  3. Good luck with the carp! I come across a lot of snakes but I've never felt the urge to pick one up. lol

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    1. I often have the urge to bring them home, not just pick them up. I've been picking up snakes since I was a kid, and I guess I never really grew up.

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  4. Ha ha, I don't know about the carp master part, Jay, but I do think you can catch those grassies. Drop a soft hackle a few inches off of his nose and let him see it fall. You'll lose this game a lot more than you win, but you will eventually win and get the take. Good luck man! Looking forward to reading your future reports on this.

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  5. And thanks for the link and shout out!

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    1. You'll get another big shout out when dropping a "small dark fly" or a "soft hackle a few inches off of his nose" actually works.

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  6. Good Luck Jay!
    I'm in the process of trying to hook up one myself. Actually I've hooked 2 but didn't get close to landing either. I'm also looking for a Gar on the fly rod but have only succeeded in pissing one off so far, a small one at that!

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    1. Gar I have done, but I've never actually used the ol' "rope" flies that are supposed to work so well. I've caught all of mine on poppers or deceivers. Gar on the fly is all about finding the fish, sight casting, putting the fly in their line of sight, making it look like a minnow, and being patient with the hook set. I'm sure you'll get one soon enough.

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  7. Catch some!Glad you're lining up some new water. I look forward to the posts.

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  8. Hey Jay - This is Jack at TheNatureOfHiking.com. You had finally identified my Broad-Billed Hummingbird "Mystery Bird" on my BirdNut.wordpress.com blog. Thanks again.

    I checked out your great site and really like it. Would you like to swap links? I'll put you on my "Great Hiking Resources" blogroll (at TheNatureOfHiking.com) if you'll put me on your "The Naturalist Reads" list. That'll improve traffic for us both.

    I'm new at this blogging stuff. My sites are only about 2 months old, so I'd also appreciate a "Like" and a "Google +" on TheNatureOfHiking.com site - if you're so inclined.

    Please let me know.
    Thanks,
    Jack

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    1. Jack, thanks for stopping by. Welcome to the outdoor blogosphere. I'll be happy to add your site to my list.

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  9. Where are you guys . . . no recent posts.

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