First Carp of the Year

Sunday, June 17, 2012 , , 4 Comments

I recently went to Clinton Lake to chase some carp for the first time this year and didn't come up disappointed at all. I saw a ton of fish and hooked into three and landed one. Most fish were between 5 feet to as little as 6 inches of water along the dam face. I will admit my largest problem was getting my fly stuck in the rip rap and I lost several flies and even more opportunities. To solve this I started using a hopper/dropper style which kept the fly elevated above the rocks. Once I switched to that I had much more interest from the carp and even had a few drum take interest. The only problem after was an almost immediate spit prior to gaining the hook set. Further, of the three I caught one broke my line, the other came free after a few minutes and the final I ended up catching a tad deeper water with a wooly bugger. It was great fun and I cannot wait to catch more in the coming weeks. I think I am going to try more hopper/dropper style rigs and may tie up some with circle hooks to reduce misses. Also for those wanting a fast/good time with carp and cats, feeders are on at Clinton. 


Bahamas: Green Turtle Cay

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 , , 5 Comments

Two weeks ago I headed down to the Bahamas with my family for a little R & R and hopes, at least for my Dad and I, of Bonefish. We would be spending quite a few days at Green Turtle Cay (pronounced key) where I would have amble opportunity to wade fish the flats surrounding the island and then we booked a guide for one day. 

I had only fly fished saltwater once before this trip, Key West a few months ago, and ended up skunked on the long stick, so for this trip I really wanted to hook into a few on my own, but more importantly I wanted and dreamed of Bonefish. 

On my own I caught 7 fish: three little Barracuda (unfortunately none even remotely close to the size of the 20 lb 'cuda I caught in the keys), 3 Mangrove Snapper (a new species for me), and a Horse-Eye Jack. With the guide I only caught a tiny Mutton Snapper (again a new species to add to the life list). 

Regarding the guide, I cannot say that I have ever had such a rotten experience. The guy was a jerk and an elitist. My father went into it wanting to fish conventional rather than fly, which the guide said wouldn't be a problem. We did see lots of Bonefish and I was able to cast to quite a few but only had one brief hook up and one spit. Now I am not upset with the guide for not catching any Bonefish. I have fished long enough to realize and understand that you will not always have a successful day each and every time you are on the water. Flats fishing on the fly is difficult and I understand that. What upset me were two things. First, he seemed a poor guide. Twice he yelled out the command "he is on it" to which I immediately did a strip strike. Though I didn't feel a fish I understand that Bonefish are often soft on the take and I trusted him in saying that "he is on it" meant the fish had taken the fly. No, he meant the fish was bearing down on the fly if you will. Greater communication would have been much appreciated. Further, his instruction for when to bump and strip seemed half hazard at best. 

Secondly, he gave my father very very little time at the bow, despite my urging otherwise. From the bow my father only got a chance at like 2 fish, over the course of perhaps 30 min. This was a full day trip. For bait he only provided Conch, though commented that crab would have been a better option, yet failed to bring any. Later we all got out of the boat to chase some bones that were tailing in a foot or less of water. The guide took me with him and in chasing some pods but had my dad, simply cast the conch, apparently hoping a Bone would cruise by and take it..... I didn't realize we were going Catfishing. This adventure of leaving my dad behind lasted 45 min, to which my Dad was obviously bored when we returned. He also made a comment to me that "real men catch bones on the fly" what are you serious? I love fly fishing I really do, but its just a tool. The elitism that sneaks into the culture really pisses me off sometimes. Fishing is about being outdoors, connecting with nature, learning the pattern and so forth. Whether you choose the fly or conventional as your tool should be a matter of choice not a hierarchy. For those of you who read my blog it is obvious I engage in both styles, and will never belittle anyone who chooses one tactic over the other. Its just fishing. 

I could go on about how disappointed I was with the entire experience situation but needless to say I would never recommend him. His name is Ricky Sawyer, and his website is: 

For anyone traveling to Green Turtle, I found and excellent resource online. Here is the link: Also if you want a guide I would recommend checking around a bit and choosing one on Abaco, a nearby island that is only a 15 minute boat ride away. If I am ever there again, that is surely what I will do. 

That said, I did catch my first saltwater fish on a fly rod there and did have fun. I was upset at the guide and disappointed I didn't catch a Bonefish but life moves on. Here are the pictures.

Horse-Eye Jack, Pink Clouser. 

Fish On!

Mangrove Snapper, Again with the Pink Clouser. All three Snappers were about this size. 

Coco Bay Flat, Green Turtle Cay. 

Worlds Smallest Barracuda, Glass Minnow. 

Another Green Turtle Flat, though the name of this one evades me. 

Another 'Cuda. 


Largest Barracuda of the trip and fish for that matter. Still not huge though. 

Have to double haul to fight the wind. 

Mighty Mutton Snapper.