Confessions of a Closet Carp-o-holic

| May 26, 2008

catching carp with a fly rod #carponfly

Slowly, I am being sucked in – into this whole Carp thing. It is hard to imagine anything more “Skid” than taking a conceptual event like fly fishing and introducing it to a giant minnow that vacuums the vast flats of fresh water lakes for a variety of equally low morsels and vegetation.

Perhaps once you’ve had your fill of average bass, average bluegill, average just about everything else available, perhaps the pursuit of fish with above average senses, strength and numbers is … inevitable … maybe down low, but inevitable. I hope that doesn’t sound as bad as it looks – I give thanks for all fish brought to hand.

Take away all your thoughts of cool trout streams, tropical paradises, exotic drinks, guides poling you to sandy flats of clear salt that are paralleled by the blue skies that meet them, Rocky Mountain streams, clear running lakes – take all that and just put it away just like your winter fleece you finally put away last week, waders, warmers and all forms of insulation. This is Texas, North Texas – the place where we have a constant “H” over us on the maps, which roughly translates “Hole” in the atmosphere where direct rays of the sun heat us like popcorn in a microwave oven. Eventually, we must pop, and I am thinking the result of that pop must be a crazy call to Carping. They don’t exactly sing a siren song, but they do have some vocal range.

It would have taken much longer for me to come around to Carp if not for Cult of Carp leader Joel Hays. If you are somewhat a regular reader, you no doubt have heard, and maybe grown tired of all the TFC references to Hays, but if anyone has a better grip on what all the possibilities are for a fly rod in North Texas, feel free to chime in – here and now. This new religion has even propagated a new site for Hays at, a site I have been building for the past few months. It is not a site to go into the annals of history for its glitzy gizmos, but take a look and you will quickly get the point.

So, now on this Memorial Day, I am fighting the feeling that I need to get back to the flats this afternoon, and give them another go. It is one of the most interesting pursuits you could want on a local water, the wind conditions have a direct effect on potential locations, the water depth, clarity and temperature. Then, there’s the actual chase; much like (what I can only financially imagine) the stalking of Bonefish on the flats, where sighting, stealth, presentation, offerings and stars must all align with a presentation hitting the area about the size of a dinner plate (here at unusually short range).

Again, please feel free to comment, suggest and critique. This is where the sharing of information for the fun of the sport – BEGINS.

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Category: Culture on the Skids, Fish Podcasting, Fishing Reports, North Texas, Paid Reading Content

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Comments (7)

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  1. jhays says:

    I don’t know how well you could dress Shannon up as a “cart-girl”, but I do know of a place were you can drive to within 50 yards of the water. Wind has to be out of the west or north, however.
    I actually have a trip called the “DeathMarch” by a friend. We cover about 7 miles in July-August when the wind is out of the SW and DRY. About 100 degrees. YOU’LL LOVE IT!

  2. lane says:

    Ha Ha Ha. I think the previous post is in reference to my ability to attract the agkistrodon piscivorus. Just remember Hays, I know where you live. After completeing the “death march” and arriving at the water, you guys were excited about catching fish, I was worried about the chances of Careflite not finding us. Do you know of any place that we can fish for carp that has sidewalks and a cartgirl selling beer.

  3. jhays says:

    Awesome video, Shannon! Too bad the “stick snake” didn’t make the cut!

  4. shannon says:

    I think that’s the National Weather Service. It was pretty wild here in Denton today – green skies and rolling wall clouds – guess it was too early in the day for the heat to trigger the hardcore stuff. shannon

  5. Dusty says:

    What is the NWS site?

  6. jhays says:

    It depends greatly on how much water fell in the Gainesville/Cooke County area. The west arm of the lake takes longer to clear than the east. I’m working on an estimate right now off the NWS site – it will probably go up about 6 inches and be off color for at least 5 days (depending on the area).

  7. Dusty says:

    With all of the rain Ray Rob is getting pounded with right now, how long will it take the water to clear up and be fishable? I am sure the answer is dictated by the amount that falls, but generally speaking, how soon after a rain like this one can we chase the carp again?

    thanks guys.

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