Thursday, June 28, 2012

Catfish on the Fly (Another Perk of the Carp Revolution)

There was a time when ignorance pravailed. The Atlantic Ocean is spilling off the side of the world. The moon is most likely made of limberger and our destruction will come from the big-headed people on Mars. It has been true in some sectors of the fly fishing world, too. Alaskans used to claim reds (sockeye salmon) would not eat a fly. They don't eat. Ya gotta snag 'em. But now we know better. And people used to claim corn, dough balls and fiberglass arrows were the only ways to take carp. They're bottom feeders! And look at us now. Fly fishing for carp is the fastest growing and most accessible faction of the sport! (I take only a tiny, shared amount of credit for this, btw...) Now, a fair number of years into the wide-spread acceptance of carp fly fishing we are seeing great leaps forword in technique and in flies. Remember when the only good carp fly was a Clouser Swimming Nymph? Remember when Barry Reynolds book Carp on the Fly was just an oddity fly shops stocked as a joke or novalty to trigger weird conversation? Now the hardcore carp bloggers have picked up that loose ball and spiked it in the endzone. The amount of good, informative writing available online is now immense and the willingness of these fly anglers/writers to share not only their knowledge, but their favorite mud flats have finally opened this highly challanging and addictive form of fishing to the masses. And every new convert will inevitably create his or her new and better carp-specific fly pattern. It has been fun to watch and be a part of...
There have also been some unforseen perks of this carp/warm water revolution. Once the negative "trash fish" stigma fell to the wayside amongst the more advanced and enegetic fly fishers, other doors and frontiers have flung open and been explored. Gar, freshwater drum (sheephead), catfish, and bowfin are all fish to be hunted, coveted and the photos of their capture are circulated around the most devote tables. This is a fine example of a new generation taking what they have been handed, not complaining about the old or broken parts, and making it better.

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