Monday, March 14, 2016

First Carp of the Season

With the streak of warm weather, I figured my chances would be good at finding some stirring carp in the C&O canal on Saturday. Of course, the weather turned out to be cooler than originally forecast, which doesn't help keep the fish active.

I parked up at Lock 8 and began my walk down towards 7. Nearly all of the stretch had no water, and there were only a couple pockets that had enough water to hold a couple fish. The final 100 yards above Lock 7 held a few more fish, and I managed to pluck my first carp of the season out of there. He took my usual fly, although I needed to change up colors to get any reaction from the fish. I didn't know it yet, but it was a signal of what was to come.

I continued on down past lock 7. The water level in between 6 and 7 was roughly normal, or maybe down a few inches. I worked the stretch all the way down to Little Falls Pump Station. There were plenty of fish, and some of them were hogs too. Unfortunately, these early season fish were as picky as I have ever seen them. I tried throwing everything in my fly box at them, but the vast majority of my attempts were met with nothing more than an occasional follow. I only got one fish to eat the rest of the day, but could not connect on the hook set. Even the "bank digging" fish wouldn't look at my fly.

The interesting thing is the fish were clearly actively feeding. They were rooting around and pushing plenty of silt. I even saw a couple fish actively opening their mouth and eating something. But I couldn't tell what it was. My best guess is since things appeared to be beginning to bloom, the fish were each plant matter versus the bugs I was throwing. As the weather warms, hopefully the fish will become less picky. Either way, I'm starting to count down the days to when it's time for the carp to feed on mulberries.

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