Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Wakarusa River - 2/15/11 "Flyfishing on the Dark Side"
With the wife out of town at an equestrian event over the last weekend I got pet duty and therefore couldn't head South for my usual weekend off ritual. Of course the weather was nice so I pouted around the house cursing Kansas and all this frozen ass water we've got right now. I watched too much WFN (World Fishing Network) and got some things done around the house but by Monday I was getting the itch pretty bad. Wouldn't you know that a wonderful holiday like Valentines Day just happened to fall on a nice sunny day when I'd give about anything to be floating one of the Ozarks finest. I did the right thing (also the smart one) and stayed home , picking up the last minute card and chocalates as well as making her a huge seafood dinner when she got home from work. This kind of thing goes far a month from now when I just gotta be gone for 5 or 6 days on that trip to Iowa or Arkansas or wherever it might be.
Tuesday was open , but of course the weather was gonna get shitty compared to the last couple days. Oh well , I had to hit the water for an hour or so and this last warm stretch pretty much assured that the spillway below Clinton Lake would be free of ice.
I didn't really have much hope of doing any good...maybe catch a white bass or walleye if I got real lucky , but more likely that I might catch a roughfish or two, which I had no problem with. I love my trout and the beautiful places they like to live but a 10# drum or buffalo will make your hands shake and probably show you that backing you havn't seen since you tied on that last new flyline last year.
For you guys that havn't tried the whole trash fish scene ,by that I mean carp...drum...buffalo...gar...etc you owe it to yourself to head down to the nearest cesspool and swing a bugger through that shit. Once you've felt that pull you're hooked and a permanent denizen of the "Dark Side" of fly fishing. I'm still a newbie but I'm definitely hooked and plan on trying more frequently this year.
I had tied up a few shad colored clousers over the weekend in preparation for the trip so that's what I intended to fish with. I had the 5 weight rigged with a 9' sinking leader and a 24" piece of 8# flouro.
It didn't take 20 minutes to hook the first fish of the day , an asian carp (I think anyway..too many sub-species in this river for me to keep track) probably about 5 or 6 pounds.
Gave me a hell of a battle and a smile on my face that wouldn't leave the rest of the morning. After that first fish I continued to catch several others of various species and size. In the mix were 2 white bass..1 drum..1 buffalo and 4 asian carp that were fair hooked.
I foul hooked a small channel cat...a crappie and a couple small drum as well. There were obviously a few fish holed up in that area and some of them were getting hungry.
The real kicker though was the fish of the day , a jumbo asian carp. Now I've been told before that I didn't have enough rod for the task at hand (in more ways than one) but that was an understatement in this situation.
I fought this fish for what I would guess to be about 30 minutes , following him up and down the bank putting as much pressure on him as I dared. Honestly I figured it was a foul hooked fish, although I was hoping it wasn't , but either way I wanted to see this thing. My first glimpse I about wet myself...this thing looked huge and he was fair hooked as well. When I finally was able to land him it took both hands just to lift him up on the bank.
I took a few pics and then taped him against my flyrod for measurement later. My hands were shaking so bad I couldn't even re-tie my fly for a few minutes so I just sat there and smiled. Back home I put a tape up to my rod...46 inches of rod bending carp.
My biggest fish on a flyrod to date and one hell of a lot of fun. The pics don't do it justice but trust me it was a big fish , I've got a weight in my head but I'm not even gonna go there cause it's just a guess ,I'm happy with 46 inches!
Posted by HighPlainsFlyFisher