fun on the dupage today
Decided to take the fly rod out to the dupage today. Was originally thinking smallies but after about 10 minutes I changed the game plan. I had a really fun day stalking carp instead. I've read a LOT about fishing carp on the flats on Lake Michigan and have given that some serious thought for a future trip and now that is a definite must do. While wading I started noted the occasional mud puff floating down stream. After 10-15 minutes I finally figured out the cause. It was carp mudding around. It took me a long time to figure out what had to be done to fool these fish. First thing, lengthen the leader to at least 10ft. Next thing, move REALLY, REALLY slowly upstream. I'm talking painstakingly slow. When you spotted the mud coming down it was a step every 10-15 seconds and a lot of scanning the water looking for slow moving wakes or fins. If the fish were within 25-30' it was too late. They would spook or slowly veer off in another direction. Had to pay very close attention to the direction of the wakes and lead the fish by a good amount--at least 10 ft. If lucky they would continue the path and get to your fly. Had to leave the fly right on bottom and give it a really slow, short strip (just a few inches) to get their attention. If the strip was too long the fish would scatter. I probably had a good 25-30 shots at pods of anywhere from 2 to 6 fish. I managed to hook 3 and land 2 but man it took a LOT of patience and effort to get those fish to eat. I didn't hook a fish for probably the first 90 minutes. One fish landed was probably in the 6lb range and one pushing 10-11. The fish I lost was heavy but I never got a real good look. I may have had another bite or two but it was tricky picking up the strikes. It was a really good time and the fish fought really well. This was bonefishesque fishing...only harder in my opinion. These fish were SPOOKY. Make sure you have a good pair of sunglasses to pick up the fish and to pick up the subtle movements of them turning down and eating. In another few weeks this probably won't be an option as the weeds will be too thick but I'll keep this in mind for the next couple weeks and years to come. If you were walking quickly and scanning or fishing, you'd most likely miss most of the mud puffs moving downstream. If you wanna try this, I highly recommend but keep in mind it's a lotta work for a few fish. It's probably not for everyone but the reward is pretty awesome. Fish were in as little as 1' of water sometimes in water 3-4'. I was using a smallish brown wooly bugger. I tried many flies and that was the ticket.