Carping Chaos

No seat, just a cooler for some sight fishing.
     Launching my kayak into the shallows of Babcock Park on Lake Waubesa I was fired up and ready to fling some flies.  I was after my new favorite fish and the conditions seemed more than favorable.  The weather pattern had been stable the last few days and I had been seeing a lot of carp in the shallows while testing a new lure prototype for bass.  Everything was adding up to be a great morning in pursuit of the ever present golden bonefish (carp).
Each ring is a group of carp.
     I paddled across the shallow water and was blown away when I rounded the corner into the clearing.  Looking down the channel the water was exploding!  Normally when I am scouting for carp I look for subtle mud clouds, shadowy outlines, or broad tails breaking the surface of the water.  Today I was staring at multiple carp jumping, crashing, and waking all over the place.  It was surreal, "Heaven?" I said to myself, "Nope, their spawning".  I've seen this before and I knew getting a carp to eat my fly today was gonna be tough.
     I tried my best to ease my way back into the channel.  Carp are normally very easy to spook and you have to be extremely stealthy in order to sneak up on them.  I stood up and switched over to my SUP paddle.  The thought was that I would create less of a disturbance if I was only paddling on one side of the Slayer at a time.  This has worked well in the past from my canoe, and slowly but surely I made my way into the thick of those horny carp.  Slowly raising my 8 weight fly rod I made a delicate cast towards a large fish on the edge of the action.
Carp were breaking the surface everywhere.
     Waiting for my Jan's Carp Tickler to settle in front of his face I was almost knocked from kayak.  Carp were crashing into the bottom of my boat as they chased each other from spot to spot.  Tons of carp in shoals of 5 to 15 were splashing and breaking the surface all around me.  It was insane to see so many carp, so oblivious to my presence.  As they moved around the channel they soon pushed the carp I was targeting out of the strike zone.  I made a few more casts in an attempt to find a player, but it was proving to be a fruitless endeavor.  
     Long story short, I will be targeting a different species for the next week or so.  Probably bass (tournament next weekend), maybe musky, pretty much anything that will bite.  If your interested in trying to land a carp during the spawn I found a nice write up by FlyCarpin that will lay out a few techniques you can try.  Truth be told though, the bite is gonna be tough for a bit.
Look carefully and you can see some real beauties.
     Tight Lines.




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