Ice Off Carp at Blackfoot Reservoir

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write on my blog.  Over three years in fact.  A lot has changed in the last three years.  I now have two children, a son and a daughter.  I’ve been a home owner for almost a year.  I’ve been self employed for almost two years.  If you told me three years ago this is where I’d currently be, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

These factors, combined with a seemingly endless list of ongoing projects make it a little tougher to find quiet time to sit down and write.  But, some things don’t seem to change all that much with the passing of time.  My love for fishing still runs strong.  I have had the opportunity to further share that passion with my family and take my daughter with me whenever possible.

Shortly after the ice came off Blackfoot Reservoir, I decided to make the long drive around the lake and do a little bit of ice off exploration.  The road through Bone was still closed, so the drive is about and hour and fifteen minutes longer, both ways.  Hailey had recently given birth to our second child and it was a good opportunity for some one on one time with my daughter Rylee at one of my favorite places.  When it comes to early season carp, theres really no reason to rush to the water.  Things typically don’t get going until after 3:00 PM, and the window of prime fishing is relatively short.  We took off around 2:00 PM and were on the water and fishing by 4:00.


As I made my way to one of my favorite early season bays, it didn’t take long to see that the fish were taking advantage of the beautiful sunny afternoon.  Spring had been particularly cool and wet this year, and this was one of the first days that broke 50 degrees.  There were plenty of fish feeding in shallow and it didn’t take long to hook up after casting to a few different clouds of feeding fish.

Photo Apr 18, 4 07 22 PM

Carp don’t typically fight all that hard during the first couple weeks of open water.  They’re still getting warmed up and used to swimming in open water again.  The first fish took me into my backing just the same, but it was a slow and sluggish run, not the explosive runs found in the warmer months soon to come.  There’s something unique about catching carp over 6,000 feet in elevation when the mountains are still packed with snow.  It creates a backdrop I never tire of.  Ice off carp is one of my favorite times of the year and I do my best to never miss it at Blackfoot Reservoir.  A few minutes later, Rylee and I had landed our first fish of the day.


We continued working our way around the bay, picking off the occasional fish that was willing to eat our fly.  Targets were not hard to come by this day.  The fly of choice was a very basic pattern I fish often, a black and red simi-seal leech, lightly weighted with a black cone head.  They’re easy to tie and early season carp have a hard time not gobbling them right up.

Photo Apr 18, 5 21 01 PM

Our heaviest fish of the day was also our last, coming in just a little over 18 pounds.  Rylee likes to personally inspect each fish before sending it back to the depths, yelling “fishhhh” as they swim away.  As the air began to cool and the fish slowly worked their way back out, I reflected on the exciting couple hours of fishing I was able to spend with Rylee.  The fishing had been all that I’d expected it to be.  We wrapped up the outing with a snack break of cookies (and Milk for Rylee) and headed back for home.


3 thoughts on “Ice Off Carp at Blackfoot Reservoir

  1. Gregg Martin

    Glad you back squared! I have been off the Carp blogs 3 years as well, but it’s good to see the directions life has taken you, two children and a home, wow. Still have not fished Blackfoot Res., but I hope to, mixed with new passion of birding, a good camera changed my life. This was good, I eve have some leeches based on your design for this place. Thanks for sharing!

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