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FishnDave

Foam Line Carp

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I fly-fished Saylorville Spillway (Saylorville Lake is a reservoir on the Des Moines River) during my lunch hour today. A couple of different friends had noticed the carp sort of "schooling" in the eddies and along the foam lines at the edge of the current for the past few days. They are somewhat frustrating because the fish appear to be sucking the foam off the surface, and seem very reluctant to take crayfish patterns near the bottom.

I've had an idea for awhile about using a nymph fly pattern set 12" or less beneath a strike indicator. I've tried it a few times in the past when there weren't carp feeding on the surface, and did not have any success on those days.

But they were still feeding on the surface today, so this is exactly the technique I tried. I was also breaking in a new rod & reel...a Lamson Konic reel and an Echo Ion 8wt rod. Both worked great!

Anyway....I'd drift the nymph/indicator rig through the eddy near the visible pods of surfacing carp. Occasionally I'd get hits and the indicator would jiggle or get pulled underwater, and I'd set the hook.

The first strike I was so excited to land the carp that I put too much pressure on the leader/tippet and broke it. Lost the fly and the indictor...bummer!

Re-rigged and repeated the drift. Strike 2 broke the line almost immediately after I set the hook. Lost the fly and indicator again! UGH!

Re-rigged and repeated. Strike 3, fish on...fought...and ...LANDED! Not an easy task amongst the rocks with no landing net. Released the fish.

Repeated the drift. Strike 4, and soon another carp was landed. Took pictures of this one and released this fish too.

DM_SS_Carp_5-25-2011c.jpg

I had to be patient...but this technique definitely worked! I was setting my nymph at 12" or less beneath the indicator. I don't know that there is anything magical about that, its just what I was doing because I wanted the fly close to where the visible carp were feeding on the surface. Maybe you'd get bigger carp at 18" or more?

My gear is in the background of this picture. I didn't notice the plastic bottle in the rocks there....lots of trash in this area!

DM_SS_Carp_5-25-2011a.jpg

Mouth shot with the fly pattern visible...this one was a #6 Hexagenia Nymph pattern. I tried 2 other patterns, that were different from this one, and both worked, so I think any nymph will work, but its a good idea to stick with #6 or #8 sizes with a reasonably stout hook.

DM_SS_Carp_5-25-2011b.jpg

If you see carp performing this behavior in your local streams, maybe give this technique a try.

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I fly-fished Saylorville Spillway (Saylorville Lake is a reservoir on the Des Moines River) during my lunch hour today. A couple of different friends had noticed the carp sort of "schooling" in the eddies and along the foam lines at the edge of the current for the past few days. They are somewhat frustrating because the fish appear to be sucking the foam off the surface, and seem very reluctant to take crayfish patterns near the bottom.

I've had an idea for awhile about using a nymph fly pattern set 12" or less beneath a strike indicator. I've tried it a few times in the past when there weren't carp feeding on the surface, and did not have any success on those days.

But they were still feeding on the surface today, so this is exactly the technique I tried. I was also breaking in a new rod & reel...a Lamson Konic reel and an Echo Ion 8wt rod. Both worked great!

Anyway....I'd drift the nymph/indicator rig through the eddy near the visible pods of surfacing carp. Occasionally I'd get hits and the indicator would jiggle or get pulled underwater, and I'd set the hook.

The first strike I was so excited to land the carp that I put too much pressure on the leader/tippet and broke it. Lost the fly and the indictor...bummer!

Re-rigged and repeated the drift. Strike 2 broke the line almost immediately after I set the hook. Lost the fly and indicator again! UGH!

Re-rigged and repeated. Strike 3, fish on...fought...and ...LANDED! Not an easy task amongst the rocks with no landing net. Released the fish.

Repeated the drift. Strike 4, and soon another carp was landed. Took pictures of this one and released this fish too.

DM_SS_Carp_5-25-2011c.jpg

I had to be patient...but this technique definitely worked! I was setting my nymph at 12" or less beneath the indicator. I don't know that there is anything magical about that, its just what I was doing because I wanted the fly close to where the visible carp were feeding on the surface. Maybe you'd get bigger carp at 18" or more?

My gear is in the background of this picture. I didn't notice the plastic bottle in the rocks there....lots of trash in this area!

DM_SS_Carp_5-25-2011a.jpg

Mouth shot with the fly pattern visible...this one was a #6 Hexagenia Nymph pattern. I tried 2 other patterns, that were different from this one, and both worked, so I think any nymph will work, but its a good idea to stick with #6 or #8 sizes with a reasonably stout hook.

DM_SS_Carp_5-25-2011b.jpg

If you see carp performing this behavior in your local streams, maybe give this technique a try.

I think this technique is called "float fishing". there is a you tube video for traditional carp fishers showing the technique. I recently caught a carp using something like what you did. It was raining and carp were feeding about a foot beneath the surface.

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awesome fish and everything i love it, but just a little tip try not to hold fish by the gill plate but vertically saves the fish a lot of pain

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Great info, great post. Not sure I remember running into that on my local rivers but it might come in handy in a couple other siturations I have run into. Like Fish sucking algae scum off the top during a bloom.

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awesome fish and everything i love it, but just a little tip try not to hold fish by the gill plate but vertically saves the fish a lot of pain

You're right, and that is a very good point. I'd prefer to cradle the fish horizontally, but fishing alone and without a net I had little choice but to keep the fish controlled and somewhat immobilized so it didn't hurt itself on the rocks.

I'll try to exercise some better options in the future.

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Great job Dave, glad to hear that you are still chasin' them.

I was recently thinking about "technique" and how it is very dependant on conditions and how you want to chase them. Glad that you have a new weapon in your arsenal.

Rick

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Guest phonebush

Dave,

Great answer. You flyrod carping guys never cease to amaze me. Your "multiple" skills are admirable.

Phone

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