On the Missouri River the most sought after fish is obviously trout. But when living in Craig and fishing nearly every single day a fly fisherman may like to get out of the normal swing of things and try his or her hand at something new. The big black shadows that are found smoothly gliding in and out of the areas of dead water found on the Mo were the strange new fish that had me intrigued. This fish is of course the Carp, not a target for many fishermen but it was something different for me to do after I clocked out from the shop.
I had heard stories about catching these illusive monsters of the shallows, most of which revolved around the excitement of hooking into a fish considerably larger than a trout. Along with these stories I had received much advice on which flies would work and how to go about hooking into a carp. So I went to the water, taking with me the advice and a puck full of new flies to try my hand at catching a colossal carp. I had spent two evenings and nearly 15 hours studying their behavior and throwing nearly every fly I own with only two momentary hook-ups. This was not even close to satisfactory for me, I needed to feel the power that a Carp holds behind those huge golden-yellow scales. Things were looking bleak I was having an incredibly hard time getting one of these fish to take a fly. Finally, yesterday, I found the success I so desperately had been seeking.
Size 14 Hares Ear. I placed the fly near a carp that was slurping aggressively from the bottom. The fly sank, my anticipation grew, and as I ever so slightly twitched my flies I saw the carp move over my fly. I felt that my line was taught and set the hook. The fight was on. This fish took off, my real screaming, and the water turbulent as the fish made a break for it. I was nearly into my backing when I realized I needed to move. So I tightened my drag and took off after this massive fish, fighting him for close to ten minutes, finding myself in the most wild fight I have ever been in. I have caught many large trout, but no fish stories I have can compare to the adrenaline pumping, heart thumping, mind racing feelings of fulfillment I had when I finally landed this 15-20 pound carp.
I now can officially say i’m hooked on fishing for carp and one should not be surprised to see me wading around in mucky, hot, dead water seeking out carp.