Tag: smallmouth bass

Common carp should take legal action against RIO Products

RIO Products recently announced they’ve got a new specialty fly line coming out, the Smallmouth Bass. It’s a fair guess that RIO put a lot of thought and effort into producing the animal, because the company is good like that. There will probably be quite a few bass fanatics who pick one up if for no other reason than writing a blog post about it testing it out on their favorite smallie water.

I like smallmouth bass, to a degree. I’m grateful that they are showing up in ever increasing numbers in my preferred local water, the urban South Platte River – it’s a sign the river is getting healthier. But I find them a bit irritating because they have a tendency to ambush those clouser swimming nymphs I’m throwing at…carp.

Scratch the previous politically correct commentary.

Smallmouth bass are perpetually hungry, and damn easy to catch. The city smallie is a good fun fight if you’re holding a four-weight, and I don’t think I’m alone when I say four-weights are for sissies. In summary, they’re a pain in the ass – I consider them the punks of the DSP, and ditto on the “not alone” bit. Hooking one isn’t just bittersweet, it’s downright bitter. The resulting battle spooks every carp for a thousand yards, meaning it’s now time to pack up. You could say they’re environmentally unfriendly, seeing as every time you catch one you have to get back in your car and drive, through stop and go traffic too. But that would be reaching.

On the cusp of the news about this fabulous new line, I’ve heard rumors that the RIO Carp is being discontinued. Me thinks this is a conspiracy – @#$%ing smallmouth bass stealing capr thunder!

I smell a class action for discrimination.

MG signing off (did I mention more smallies are a sign the DSP is cleaner?)

The improbability breeds the obsession

fly-fishingEvery year around the middle of the third week of September, I make my way down to South Park. No particular reason per se, and I usually go it alone. There I sit by the bank, fiddle with my gear, make a few select casts, and catch a few trout.

This past weekend marked the pilgrimage, but I didn’t travel any further than Englewood. I forsook a cool, clear mountain stream, winding across a tall grass expanse and over round, moss covered rocks for the faint scent of industrial decay, rusty barrels and re-bar the only potential cover for my prey. There is no comfortable place to rest, at least not without an updated tetanus shot.

On the way home I pick up some tying materials. The hook choice is not Tiemco 200Rs in size 16 but Gamakatsu 3X heavies in #8. They have a warning label on them…

HANDLE WITH CARE. EXTREMELY SHARP HOOKS. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF SMALL CHILDREN.

I ponder that, and smile. But the true reason for my glee doesn’t sink in until well past bedtime.

carpFishing the urban warmwater, you need every edge you can get, even if you have to pay triple for it. The quarry can feel your feet hit the ground after you hop a fence fifty yards from the water’s edge, and smell you upstream at twice that distance. They can see 4X flourocarbon bouncing on the bottom, and hear your reel clicking over a train full of coal passing by.

Your adversary leaves numerous traces of their presence, but either feigns ignorance of yours or rockets away as though you haven’t brushed your teeth in a month. But if it’s Friday the 13th, Mars is in retrograde, an El NiƱo is forming around the Bering Strait, and you’re holding the winning ticket on a forty week Powerball run, you find yourself on the set of an old Clint Eastwood movie.

First, there’s a faint whisper in your ear…

You feeling lucky, punk?

Then a tail pops up, and over the whirring of the reel’s drag there’s a distant shout…

Make my day!

You lose or destroy an inordinate number of flies, not by the usual snagging on branches but via wanton theft and stone cold violence. And now you have to ship your shattered fly rod back to the manufacturer too. It’s a good thing they don’t ask whether you broke it over your knee.

The consolation prize? Outside of the box office stars, there’s still a fine cast of characters.

Will Rice  Barry Reynolds channel catfish

MG signing off (to join the Paparazzi)

Something Rough this way comes

roughfisher fliesKid Rough is representing from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and there’s no better time to throw out some poseur grading fun facts…than now:

– The Roughfisher is a veritable encyclopedia of fish biology, water rights laws, and Mesopotamian culture. Score: 10 + 50 + 9,225 points, respectively.

– The Roughfisher carried only Scott Fly Rods with him to Colorado, and a couple of classic ARCs to boot. Score: 2,540 points.

– The Roughfisher comes prepared, with lots of flies, Shoe Goo to repair his nearly new but crumbling Cloudveil boots, and a hankerin’ for barbeque. Score: 200 + 5 + 850 points, respectively.

– The Roughfisher refuses to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, but must have a Diet Dr. Pepper by 9am or he turns into quite the a-hole. Score: -540 + 540, respectively.

– The Roughfisher can catch smallies too. Score: a cool 10K.

We are not lacking for carp action, but we are short quite a few flies. Call it lazy knot tying, old leaders, or just plain ole’ giving the caprs a sporting chance. Meanwhile, the weather and the flows have been highly cooperative, and faces look distinctly raccoon-ish.

smallmouth bass

It’s all smiles around here as we head into the Fly Fishing Expo. We’ll say ‘hi’ to a few folks and then immediately seek out the free beer.

There is going to be free beer, right?

MG signing off (to hang with the rough crowd)

An ibuprofen-worthy aftermath

It is eerily quiet now. There is nary a sign of forced entry – a single unopened bottle of Kentucky bourbon is all that remains. The expedition took ten wily anglers to the suburban nether regions and back. We encountered caprs, walleye, smallies, as well as pea soup and the dearly departed. It cost us roughly five cases of beer and a half bottle of tequila. Neither homo sapiens nor pescado was harmed, unless you consider the lingering want for ibuprofen.

It was the 2010 South Platte Invitational, a damn fine affair if there ever was one.

And it went kind of like this…

MG signing off (to refuel, and rehydrate)