August 11, 2011 in What's Happening
This has been an interesting summer to say the least. Here on Long Island we had a surprisingly weak flats season. We had lots of big fish but the numbers were way down. Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come. With that, my days were also limited so when I decided to take my son Ethan back to where I grew up to visit family, I knew I had to bring our rods and fish the flats of upstate NY. It was also a great excuse to try out some knew prototypes!
I grew up about 40 minutes east of Syracuse, NY and as I got more and more in to fly fishing, especially sight fishing, I discovered what is now, perhaps, my favorite freshwater fish. The common carp!
My folks live on the eastern shores of Oneida Lake. A lake that is over 5 miles wide and 21 miles long with an average depth of 12 feet. It is basically a giant flat. The first morning I woke up to a sight I haven’t seen in years. Carp were tailing all over the bay, pushing water, looking for food. The nice thing about Oneida Lake carp is that they are big. The lake record is 56 lbs and my biggest on fly is almost 40lbs. I swear I’ve hooked bigger but I have never been able to land them.
I walked out with my son and with in minutes spotted fish and after a few misses and bad casts I had my first take, but after a long run the hook pulled. Walking around a little more I spotted another fish tipped up, tail slightly breaking the surface. His face was covered by a puff of mud. I threw the fly just off the mud and as soon as her head popped out, she saw the fly, chased it down and I was on. It always amazes me at how strong of a fish the carp is. They make runs longer than most stripers we catch and dog you back fighting against every inch. I had Ethan fight the fish to feel its strength, we landed it for a quick shot and watched her swim away.
As my trip came to an end I landed a few carp and relived several days in my past. More importantly my son was able to reel in his first carp and I was able to show him the type of fishing I did while growing up. Even the new prototype 8wt met my expectations. Not a bad weekend.