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Carp Capers

A day out on Burton Springs in Somerset yielded not only Trout to the Fly Rod.

How we started ...

I have been on the fishing scene for a few years now having first hurled a bait at a not so clever Trout at the tender age of 4. Since then I have gone on to catch a few more fish, and most of them Trout, until recently ....

Over the last few years I have started to get the urge to catch new and varied species but not using conventional gear, oh no, I like to use the fly. Now this is purely a personal thing, some people even question why I should want to. I mean if you can catch Bass on Ragg worm or Carp on Boilies why bother making it harder for yourself ? Because it's fun, of course !!!

Alternative Fly Fishing ....

This is not that new actually, a good number of Carp and other species have fallen to the fly rod. But, you tend to find that it is the manic excitable fly anglers that just have to latch into everything that swims, who try it.

My first trip guiding for Carp was with a guy called Jeff Barrow - Now this chap is none of the above. A very keen angler, yes. Manic, no. Jeff is as laid back as they come and this was important during his holiday with us, as good old foot and mouth had buried any ideas he had about catching Wild River Trout.

Carp ....

So what were the alternatives ? Well a few Pike ( more on this species can be found here ) had spiced up Jeff's appetite for something a little different so I tried my luck and asked if a big old Carp might make up in some way for our lost river fishing. His answer was favourable and despite the lord providing Jeff with a Mercedes Benz which broke down ( pray harder next time ! ) we arrived at our Somerset venue.

A little less time in hand, we had to work fast. So it was down to the lake with a few free offerings of Pedigree Chum mixer. The Carp were quite evident in the margins and it was not long before a biscuit suddenly vanished with a "sluuurpp". We left them for a while to get confident with the surface feeding and tried our luck on the Trout lake. After a few fish caught and released on a Black Hopper it was time once again to make friends with the carp, except, this time we had a suprise in store. The six weight got into action and while I sorted out lunch Jeff watched for a take.

Action ....

A rather alarmed " It's Gone ! " diverted my attention from our freshly baked pasties and I turned in time to shout " Strike ! " and watch as the Sage bucked into an alarming curve. The reel began screaming and soon the fly line was a long way off. " I hope the connecting knot is good " I thought to myself. But there was no time to worry as I frantically began giving instructions, "keep the rod up", "give it line", "go,go,go, get after it!", poor Jeff could really do nothing other than hang on as this fish was playing him ! ( and I was showing my excitable side )

A quarter of an hour later and to " our " relief the fished suddenly tired and rolled over. A friendly "conventional" angler put his rather more suitable net under the fish and we set about weighing and recording. The result is above, a near perfect " Linear Mirror Carp " taking the scales to 13lb 12oz.

" Oh lord please forget the Mercedes Benz, just stick a Carp on the end of my fly rod instead, there's a good chap "

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“ What a trip! From the first afternoon, seeing a Salmon on your stretch of the Exe, and even catching my personal best trout so far.  I've always wanted to catch a Salmon, but I'm really pleased I caught it with you . You have taught me very well, and I know that I will always fly fish, I just love it.  ”

Stuart Cowley (Essex) - Guided Salmon

Stuart Cowley (Essex) - Guided Salmon
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