The speaking to Fly Fishing Clubs down here in Southern California is going well. I’ve done three nights of talks and next week I’ll do four more. But this weekend I’m off and I got out fishing today.
I couldn’t tell you where we were. Take two turns and go through a traffic light and I’m lost here in Los Angeles. Therefore I can’t tell you where the heck my friend Nate Mcelmurry took me fly fishing for carp today here in Southern California. What I can tell you however is that there were plenty of carp and even a few bass.
Nathan and I originally planned to fly fish the surf. But over beers last night at his CoronaDel Mar apartment he mentioned of some impossible to catch carp nearby. I lit up, “Carp? Near here?”
That’s all I needed to hear. We changed gears and today we spent a good six hours fishing for the impossible carps.
No fish is impossible but they can certainly be hard. When we pulled into the ghetto looking carp spot I was quick to notice the shallow clear water and there wasn’t much of it. Then as we set up another fly fisher showed up and some bait guys with cans of corn. No doubt these carp would be smart.
There was an abundance of the big bronze fish. Nate and I began with a short walk. There were carp easing their way along the flats and in the deeper water there were puffs of mud from bottom feeders. I rigged up my favorite Blackfoot Reservoir fly, a chartreuse headstand.
The first three times I attempted to present my fly to the carp they spooked before I made a cast. When this is the case patience is the virtue. I hid behind a willow in a narrow channel and waited like a blue heron. I even cast my fly out and let it sit on a two foot deep sand bar. Sure enough after about ten minutes a pair of 8lbers came through. I gently stripped my headstand and one carp spooked while the other took a half hearted look before catching up with his pal. No luck but I knew my strategic tactic of hiding and laying my fly on bottom before the carp arrived might work.
I had several more similar shots at incoming carp. They simply didn’t want the headstand. I switched to a crayfish looking fly that’s never done anything for me despite how good it looks. First cast I caught a small bass followed by a much more serious look from the next three passing carp. Finally the fourth carp that came by sucked in my fly.
Landing a carp in this particular spot was doubtful. Even with strong 3X tippet I couldn’t stop this carp as he went through the reeds like a bonefish on a mangrove flat. I had him for a good two minutes before he got completely stuck then surged and busted me off. Bummer!
I had one other eat but he spit the fly. Nate too had some eats but could not land one either. It was a great day of carping in California nonetheless. I ended the night on the CoronaDel Mar beach dodging beach bums on my back cast but had no luck. Any day of carping or fly fishing the surf is a great day. When you do both on the same day it’s incredible!
Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing