It’s a specialty of mine getting folks to fish for more than salmonids. Here in trout filled Idaho we have excellent fly fishing for carp but the challenge is getting people to do it. Even one of my business partners in Fish and Game Art Gifts, Harvey Cohen, who sees my carp mugs sell like crazy, has been extremely stubborn when I’ve invited him carping.
But Harvey’s sudden interest erupted when he saw the segment in the F3T about carp in February at the Fly Fishing Film Tour. I had a small part in Carpland and put a huge mirror on the big screen. It was that eye-catching fish that perked Harvey enough to get him to agree to go with me this summer.
Our day was perfect. Along with us was my Victor pal Tim Brune. Tim and I picked up Harvey in Alpine and ventured over Tin Cup Pass and soon we were at my favorite carp lake. The sky was full of sun, the wind was light and the carp were wallowing everywhere.
We couldn’t get fishing fast enough. I organized Harvey then walked out on the dike along the highway with him. Tim got after it quick and was casting to carp in seconds. But then the worst thing that can happen on a carp lake happened. Some dude in a boat rudely motored in with his electric right over the top of our area and started shooting carp with his crossbow. The discourteous intruder was a true sharp shooter and killed four carp before they all retreated to the deep.
Years ago friend Brooks Montgomery met me at Blackfoot Reservoir. When we arrived there were hundreds of tailing carp. It was a sight to behold. As I rigged my 5-weight, Brooks thought he’d be cute and surprise me by shooting one with his bow first before fishing. He took one shot and missed. Those carp were so smart they disappeared never to return to that bay again in our three days there!
Needless to say, our 6 AM departure from Victor and the two hour ten minute drive to my precious spot was a waste of time. After an hour of patiently waiting we finally saw a few weary individuals. A normal cast to them was useless. If the carp got the slightest glimpse of the traveling fly line they vanished. We had to side arm cast and lead them by twenty feet and hope then stayed in line to find our nymph. Although nearly impossible, Tim and I lucked into three.
Under the circumstance presented to us, first time carper Harvey, was unable to connect. Yet, luckily Harvey got a peek at what carping can be like and he witnessed the incredible fight they give from the ones we caught.
There were some additional hardships we brought along upon ourselves. The sort of funny one (funny to me and Tim) was that Harvey accidentally brought his wife’s waders. He didn’t figure this out until he had them completely on. He actually gave them a shot before his entire body was constricted.
Tim’s screw up wasn’t funny at all. Tim left his fishing license at home and we got checked. Luckily, Raleigh, the Idaho Fish and Game officer took the time to look up Tim’s license record on his phone. Even with the proof Tim had a license, Raleigh had every right to issue a “lack of license in possession” ticket. Instead he generously netted my biggest fish of the day!
I have a surprise fishing adventure next week – stay tuned!