Thursday, June 25, 2015

Virginia Grass Carp

One of my friends had me get out with him on Sunday to chase some grass carp, and hopefully show him how to catch them. We went out to a reservoir in the middle of no where in the western part of Virginia to hunt our quarry. I started off with the same nymph I used during my last outing in South Carolina. I managed a couple nice sized sunfish, crappie, and largemouths, but I couldn't get the grass carp to eat. After a few fish ignored the fly, I threw on my favorite beetle pattern in size 12. It didn't take long before I got a refusal. Next shot, the fish tips up, and sucks it in. I set the hook and break the tippet.

I tie back up and go at it, this time with a size 14 or 16. I see a few more fish coming along, drop the beetle right in front of it and I get another sip from a 15-20 lb grass carp. This time, the tippet holds. The fish fought exactly like a typical grass carp - an initial brief run before letting me bring it in, then taking a hard 20-30 foot run whenever you try to net it. Unfortunately, after 5 minutes, I misplayed the fish and raised my rod tip to try to help my friend get a shot at landing him. I didn't know the hook had bent ever so slightly under the weight of the fish, and the angle I gave the line was just enough to pop the hook out of the fish's mouth.

I was a little unprepared for the trip - I tried running to Orvis to get more beetles the day before, but they closed just before I got there. That was my last beetle pattern, so I bent the hook back into shape and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, that fly was gone. I got another fish to suck down the fly, but this time, the hook almost straightened completely.

We called it a day not too much longer after that and headed off to the Shenandoah to try to find some common carp. Our venture was unsuccessful though - the water was a little too high, fast, and dirty to get many places safely.

Don't forget to check out our article for more tips on fly fishing for grass carp.

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