Long-time Lurker Stuck in Fly Fishing Wasteland - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-27-2018, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Long-time Lurker Stuck in Fly Fishing Wasteland

I've been a member here for a year or so, and have been reading threads on this site for far longer. As an amateur spey caster I don't think I generally have much to contribute in terms of advice or technical discussion. Nothing that I haven't found in searches, at least. But I'm at the point in my spey casting career that I can at least (sometimes) sound coherent when I talk about it.

Anywhoo, I got into spey casting while living in eastern WA during college (go Zags). Since then I have spent time in Idaho, Alaska, Chile, and Vermont. Unfortunately I now find myself in Kansas where I grew up. It is my goal to someday make it back to the northwest but I am on a school/career track that probably won't allow it for the next 5 and maybe the next 10 years.

So steelhead and salmon fishing is unfortunately going to be a rare treat for a while and my focus is on figuring out how to make spey casting applicable to other fishing situations and working on my cast. Lately I've been having fun with an OPST Commando head for my 10'4" 5/6 Wt. switch rod.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 10:54 AM
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Where in Kansas are you? There is always something to fish for with a two hander. If you can do it with a single hand rod then you can do it with style on a two hand rod. Largemouth, smallmouth, perch, whatever. you gotta get after it.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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I live in Wichita. There is fishing to be done around here, just not much of what I like. It's not so much the lack of species (though I'd kill to have some good smallmouth or trout fishing within a couple hours) it's the lack of clear water and rivers. Most ponds and lakes around here are pretty muddy or at least murky. There are some rivers around here but access is difficult and most of them are catfish territory--muddy, stagnant, etc. The Arkansas River goes right through the city, and it is actually pretty river-like in some spots but it isn't exactly clean. It is recommended that you do not get in the water if it has rained recently because of the pollution from runoff. So I still get out and cast when I can but if I have the time, driving to the Ozarks or northern midwest or Colorado is a no-brainer.

The one saving grace I am looking forward to around here is wipers. Most of the reservoirs around here have them, and they sound like a lot of fun. This time of year, with water temps at least in the 80's, they're down deep from what I understand but in the spring/fall I know people get them from shore and even on topwater sometimes. It's a lot like striper fishing apparently. So there's that to look forward to.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 11:41 AM
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You could piss and moan, sit at home at your tying desk and dream of far-flung trips for steelhead and Atlantics...

or you could get out and chase some carp. Swing a small soft hackle in front of a pod and you might temporarily forget about things with adipose fins.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 03:54 PM
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+1 on the carp patrol... I would go for the golden bonefish!

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I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 04:59 PM
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+2 on carp.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 11:28 PM
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that all sounds terrible. I would just quit.

fishing holidays, mate.
perhaps the best you can hope for.

cheers,
same boat shawn
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Shawn,

First off Iím not your mate.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 01:04 PM
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When I lived in the greater Los Angeles area, the rivers had all been gunited and were nothing more than a trickle most of the year. I had to drive 65 miles to get into the foothills to fish a small river (a creek by anyone else's standards) for stocked trout. A 9ft 6 wt was so overkill for this little creek it wasn't even funny. By the time it was all said & done, I was fishing a 7ft 3wt & sometimes a 6.5 ft 2 wt.

One of the guys in the fly fishing club discovered carp in a drainage ditch they called Deer Creek that emptied into upper Newport Bay (salt water) We were trying to learn to cast two hand rods & wanted desperately to catch these carp on a two hander. This creek, being so close to tide water had very little current. In fact a decent offshore breeze would reverse it's flow. Not only was swinging out of the question, we found these carp to be extremely wary. (this was way before micro speys) We ended up using conventional 9ft 5 & 6wt single hand rods.

Fly fishing for these carp turned out to be very much like fishing for sight fishing redfish. The book Carp on the Fly by Reynolds, Befus & Berryman proved quite helpful.
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I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 09:13 PM
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When I lived in the greater Los Angeles area, the rivers had all been gunited and were nothing more than a trickle most of the year. I had to drive 65 miles to get into the foothills to fish a small river (a creek by anyone else's standards) for stocked trout. A 9ft 6 wt was so overkill for this little creek it wasn't even funny. By the time it was all said & done, I was fishing a 7ft 3wt & sometimes a 6.5 ft 2 wt.

One of the guys in the fly fishing club discovered carp in a drainage ditch they called Deer Creek that emptied into upper Newport Bay (salt water) We were trying to learn to cast two hand rods & wanted desperately to catch these carp on a two hander. This creek, being so close to tide water had very little current. In fact a decent offshore breeze would reverse it's flow. Not only was swinging out of the question, we found these carp to be extremely wary. (this was way before micro speys) We ended up using conventional 9ft 5 & 6wt single hand rods.

Fly fishing for these carp turned out to be very much like fishing for sight fishing redfish. The book Carp on the Fly by Reynolds, Befus & Berryman proved quite helpful.
Ive spent more time trying to catch carp and yet my redfish numbers are always higher......
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 10:24 PM
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When lfe serves you lemons, make lemonade

My own carp experience was much like that old saying about lemonade. The Long Beach Casting (fly fishing) Club I belonged to was in, surprise, surprise, Long Beach Ca. The nearest prime trout fishing was the Owens Valley some 200+ miles to the north, which means you first have to drive thru 100 miles of LA traffic & over the mountains to get there. Three day weekends minimum, and the fish are measured in inches.

The carp were in Costa Mesa, within sight of John Wayne Airport! I could get there after work on a week night & have the place all to myself. Although we never actually weighed them, we spoke of the carp in pounds. And some were huge! Pulled like a Mack truck, often into your backing. Fishing for those carp was a learning experience. I could only fish for Redfish once a year when we visited Florida. But I was able to hunt those carp at least twice week, all year long.
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I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:27 AM
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Welcome to the site. Haven't been here long myself, and still learning the basics. If it were me, and I were "stuck" in Kansas for a few years, I would set aside the fly rod and chase big bucks (with a bow) and pheasants on WIHA land. But since I'm on within an hour or two of some of the best tributary fishing in the Great Lakes, come November I will continue to be torn between the rut and the steelhead runs.

Finger Lakes!
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 12:32 PM
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Ive spent more time trying to catch carp and yet my redfish numbers are always higher......
A lot of people berate Carp as a trash fish unworthy of their time. A poor man's fish & some ungodly concoction of dough balls for bait. But if Carp are local and Redfish are not, it stands to reason that the Carp can provide sport more often, at much less cost than a Redfish trip. It is a well known fact that Carp will eat damn near anything. And a lot of what's on their diet is already in the trout fishers nymph box. They aren't picky. Presentation is the name of the game. One of Lefty Kreh's rules, "prey does not move towards the predator" is especially applicable to Carp. Put a fly in front of them & do not strip it towards the fish! Carp are very wary. Line one of them and the whole school will be gone in the wink of an eye. They will hide in reeds & cat tails at night, (watch for unusual movement of the reeds) & they will remain under cover if herons are in the area. But put a fly back in the reeds without getting hung up and if they see it, they will eat. Although the Carp's lips are very sensitive, they are also very tough. Make sure your hooks are sharp, and strip set when they bite. Unless they are focused on mulberries or eating algae, you won't often see any surface rises with Carp. Only the slightest movement of the leader or line when they suck in your fly. Like said, fly fishing for Carp is a learning experience. Observe everything! Carp are a large fish, they push water when they move. Highly recommend the book Carp on the Fly by Reynolds, Befus & Berryman. Paired with one's knowledge of Redfish techniques, that book and a small box of Carp flies will serve you well.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 02:08 PM
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I grew up in a small town about 40 miles NE of Wichita. All I knew about fishing when I left Kansas was bottom fishing for catfish. However, one of my friend's Dad had a fly rod he would bring with him when he took us fishing. After he got us started, i.e., watching our bobbers, he would string up his fly rod and amuse himself catching all the sunfish he could. I honestly think he had the most fun, even when we caught the bigger fish.

I never forgot him using a fly rod and the memory was what got me into fly fishing in Missouri and now Michigan and Wisconsin and anywhere rivers run cold and clear. But I still amuse myself almost daily catching bluegill and bass on an old Orvis Superfine 2 wt rod. The joy never ends.

Gene
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 07:29 PM
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A lot of people berate Carp as a trash fish unworthy of their time. A poor man's fish & some ungodly concoction of dough balls for bait. But if Carp are local and Redfish are not, it stands to reason that the Carp can provide sport more often, at much less cost than a Redfish trip. It is a well known fact that Carp will eat damn near anything. And a lot of what's on their diet is already in the trout fishers nymph box. They aren't picky. Presentation is the name of the game. One of Lefty Kreh's rules, "prey does not move towards the predator" is especially applicable to Carp. Put a fly in front of them & do not strip it towards the fish! Carp are very wary. Line one of them and the whole school will be gone in the wink of an eye. They will hide in reeds & cat tails at night, (watch for unusual movement of the reeds) & they will remain under cover if herons are in the area. But put a fly back in the reeds without getting hung up and if they see it, they will eat. Although the Carp's lips are very sensitive, they are also very tough. Make sure your hooks are sharp, and strip set when they bite. Unless they are focused on mulberries or eating algae, you won't often see any surface rises with Carp. Only the slightest movement of the leader or line when they suck in your fly. Like said, fly fishing for Carp is a learning experience. Observe everything! Carp are a large fish, they push water when they move. Highly recommend the book Carp on the Fly by Reynolds, Befus & Berryman. Paired with one's knowledge of Redfish techniques, that book and a small box of Carp flies will serve you well.
I have a harder time catching carp. Redfish are more forgiving and I spend less time fishing for them. What does that tell you about carp?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 09:36 PM
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I have a harder time catching carp. Redfish are more forgiving and I spend less time fishing for them. What does that tell you about carp?
Nothing I don't already know. For me though, the hardest part about fly fishing for Reds was
  1. I had to get on a plane & fly to Jacksonville Fl (MIL visit during the holidays, Not exactly prime time, but still)
  2. I had to not only hitch a ride to Ponte Vedra, but hire a guide with a flats skiff to get to them
When I was working, recreation time was at a premium. Florida during the holidays was a given. What little extra I had to spend for a day on the water was no big deal. What you might call a two fer. But a trip to Bayou country to fish for Reds & take in the Cajun scene as well, ain't exactly cheap. It remains on my bucket list to this day.

Due to the way things are in GB, Salmon fishing can get to be very pricey. The average Joe is left to fish for what they refer to as "rough" fish. Most often not with fly rods. But when I picked up on the accent from a couple of visiting Britts who showed up at our casting pond with their own fly rods, I figured maybe they knew a thing or two about chasing Carp with flies. Asking if they had any extra time to chase Carp while they were here, they not only proved to be quite helpful, but a blast to fish with.

When we discovered those Carp in Costa Mesa, they were close to home. Applying what I knew about Reds, along with some Leftyisms, that book on Carp, & fishing with those Britts, some of us got real good at taking Carp on the fly.

Carp right at your doorstep is opportunity knocking. Learn to make lemonade.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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