Have you ever got a wild hair and thought to yourself, “I know there is supposed to be a blizzard today, but how about we go chase some carp!” Brent did and I was all over it. Carp might not like the cold as much as they like the warmer waters of Spring, but they still have to eat don’t they? With this in mind, we headed to a local carp hole to see if we could put a hurtin’ on a few of our bugle mouthed friends. Upon arrival the air temp was 36 degrees, barely above freezing. We looked out on the flat and immediately saw what appeared to be a carp breaching the waters surface. I was giddy with excitement, as the prospect of catching a carp during a February snowstorm was no longer as farfetched as I’d previously thought.
As we made our way to the water, we found that there were many fish actively feeding in relatively shallow water. I found a mud line and launched a cast out parallel to the line. I slowly stripped the fly in, anxiously waiting for resistance and ready to strip set at any moment. Soon enough, the familiar take came and I had set in to my first carp of the year. A carp will put your gear to the test in a different way than any trout will. The initial run is always the most exciting. The sound of line ripping off the reel is enough to get any fly fishermen excited. As all fish do, the fish eventually tired out and with the help of Brent I was able to get him in the net. Some people hate carp and think they are a disgusting and worthless fish, but I think they are beautiful in their own right. This common was clean as could be and had an almost perfectly uniformed scaling pattern. He also fought like a freight train. What more could you ask for?
What are You Lookin’ at?
Brent worked his way down the shoreline from where I was fishing and shortly hooked into another carp. Brent’s carp was an awesome deep golden hue. One of the coolest thing’s about Brent’s carp was that he hooked into it when the snow was coming down the hardest. The cotton ball sized flakes were falling so quickly that a few managed to land and stick on top of the carp’s head. After Brent released his carp, it became evident that carp can indeed be caught in the middle of winter in Eastern Idaho. Who would have thunk it?
Pure Gold – and yes That is Snow Falling
Snowy Ride Home
As it got later in the day, the fishing gradually slowed down. The fish that were feeding were making their way further from the shoreline, beyond casting range. On the ride home, I contemplated the early season carp fishing that Brent and I had just enjoyed. Winter is a time that most guys put away their fly rods. Anglers that enjoy winter fly fishing usually spend their time throwing tiny flies on light tippets in search of trout. Until a couple days ago, I thought carp fishing was out of the question. I’m already counting down the days until I can make it out again in search of winter gold.