Fly Fishing Adventures

Raccoon River Carp on the Fly

Raccoon River Carp on the Fly

Today was a special day because I got out on the river with our daughter, which doesn’t happen very often.  She recently graduated from high school, and is attending The University of Montana in the fall.  We hit the middle raccoon river in central Iowa armed with El Jefe in six weight, in search of some smallmouth bass.  Even though she hasn’t been interested in fly fishing in the past, we feel that a basic knowledge of fly fishing should be a prerequisite prior to your freshman year when attending The University of Montana in Missoula.  

We went through rod and reel set up, and then I demonstrated setting up a streamer set up, a perfect way to begin learning fly casting.  When we got to the river, we talked briefly about positioning yourself on the river to effectively work a run with a streamer.  The water was VERY low, and the sun was intense and hot.  This is not a good mix for smallmouth fishing, but we would give it a go anyways.  



We got into some super tiny smallmouth, and Juliet was able to swing the streamer in the current.  We both had fun watching the little beasts try to take the fly, and she learned to set the hook after a few misses.  I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to teach a few dozen people a year to fly fish.  I love helping people learn this amazing sport, which is perfect for social distancing.  There is a pond right near our house that I’ve been known to take new customers and their kids over for a quick lesson.  I normally have them start out exactly like how I showed Juliet.  Strip out around 6-10 feet of fly line after the leader and begin slowly to learn the rhythm, 10 to 2 on a clock.   One common mistake that new fly casters make is bringing the fly rod back past 2.  You can learn pretty quickly this way, and then slowly take out a foot or two of additional fly line, and build your rhythm.  You learn fly casting by doing and feeling.  





After landing a handful of these little giants.  I couldn’t help myself.  There were some large carp just cruising in the river.  Since we only brought one rod, I had to ask Juliet if she minded if I gave them a go.  She was a trooper, an happily handed the rod over for a quick swap of the fly.  We swapped out the clouser minnow for a rust colored befus carp fly.  It was game on, and we began stalking these bruisers in the river.  Sight fishing for carp on a river is super fun.  We got positioned thirty feet away from a small school of feeding fish, made the first cast, and BOOM, it was on.  The first carp took me into the backing on a terror down river, which is so much fun.  We began the chase, and felt a little silly to have forgotten the net.  After beaching our fist carp, getting a little video for YouTube and a couple of photos, it was time to move.



Having someone with me to take video and a few photos was so fun for me.  This way everyone doesn’t have to suffer through my mediocre fish selfies.  

We caught a bunch of baby smallmouth bass, and a couple of these tanks.  I highly recommend anyone that loves fly fishing to look into fly fishing for carp.  It‘s the perfect fish to target during the warm water months, and create amazing opportunities since you can target them in the heat of the day.  Until next time, tight lines my friends!





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