Rockin' Milford with Captain Sodamann
June 11th, Bret and I went to Milford to fly fish with Captain Sodamann, "Sodie", for carp. It was a huge lake, over 16,000 acres and the water was up several feet which made Carp fishing difficult. Neither Bret, nor I had ever fished for Carp previously and conditions were difficult with many of the fish tucked away deep into brush. However, it was trial by fire and Bret landed a nice 4 lb Carp and I hooked into my first Shortnose Gar. We learned a ton about Carp fishing, received excellent casting advice from Captain Sodamann, and overall had a great time. Thank you Bret for the excellent Birthday gift.
Captain Sodamann is a retired school teacher who spends his time between Kansas chasing Carp and the Caribbean fishing for Bonefish and other flats saltwater fare. He has found Carp to be excellent practice and stylistically very similar to fishing saltwater flats. In both cases he uses a flats boat, which he pushes while standing on an observation deck looking for fish, while Bret and I took turns casting to the fish. Here is his website for more information: http://www.flatslander.com/
Carp are treated with much disrespect by anglers in this country. Often seen as a rough fish with little to no sporting value. However, I can attest that they are spookish, difficult fish to catch. They reach large proportions and the style of sight fishing for them is much different then the typical patterning, structure oriented blind fishing most commonly associated with angling. It seems more akin to stalking/hunting than fishing and I can now see how it could become addictive. Though I didn't catch a Carp, it was some of the most technical fishing I have ever attempted and I had a blast! I hope to take what I learned and catch a Carp later this year. It is definitely a style of fishing I could get used to. So don't ride off Carp as a useless biomass. Try fishing for them and you too may end up addicted.
I hope to return soon. As most anglers I saw were fishing for Walleye and I have yet to really hook into some nice "eyes" this year. I will have to get my father down soon. That said, here are the pictures of the trip:
Attempting to cast to a cruising Carp.
Milford was quite scenic.
At first we thought Bret may have spooked the Carp, but it after a brief dash away it turned back around and took his fly.
I think Bret is excited!
Bret's first Carp. 4lb on a Pine Squirrel Leech.
Casting lessons from Sodie.
Shortnose Gar I landed. Pine Squirrel Leech.
We had an unexpected visitor in the boat. Baby Copperhead, I carefully coaxed our venomous friend from the boat!
Bret trying his hand at pushing the flats boat, it was tougher than it looks.
After Milford we went back to Sodamann's house just outside Manhattan for some homemade brew and fishing in his private pond.
Sodie's Pond by his home.
Bluegill Bret pulled out of the pond.
Sodamann is quite the renaissance man. Grow's his own hops and other vegetables/fruits for his beer and enjoyment.
End of a great day, we would love to fish with him again.
Bret and Captain Sodamann.
View of the Flint Hills in between Lawrence and Milford. Spectacular.