Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Friends

A while back I received an e-mail from Mr. P.  A fellow fly-carper from Washington.  He and John Montana (an Oregon resident) had been making plans to visit Idaho in pursuit of a large mirror, and their sights were set on Blackfoot Reservoir.  It's a decent sized reservoir chocked full of mirror carp (and some healthy trout too) that is becoming more and more popular for it's carp offering.

The following months meandered by and intermittent messages were exchanged.  As the time drew closer I began to realize that our rendezvous on the res. was set for the same month my wife was due.  I let them know, to which they issued hearty congratulations and said they hoped to still meet up if possible.  These two are great guys.  Determined to explore new carp water near and far.

Fortunately I was able to meet up with them on one day of their trip.  Shane and I were able to get away Thursday afternoon and all day Friday (the day to meet up). 

Day 1:  Scoping Things Out.

We headed out just as our classes were finished for the day, and made it to the drink by 2:30ish.  Clear blue bird skies and temps were in the 70's.  It looked to be a good day.

The carp still made us work.  We found large pods of fish but very few were feeding and most were easily spooked.  Shane picked one up quick at our first location, but then we couldn't get any legitimate takes so we moved on to another place.  The second place turned out to be fairly productive.  There was plenty of vegetation for the carp to root around for food and there was a decent amount of carp as we had suspected.  We picked up some fish, in between inadvertently snagging them.  Shane had good success with his brown bodied bugger with yellow legs, and I managed a few on random offerings.

We decided to try one more location as the sun was reaching the horizon.  It also proved to be successful and a good place to end the day.

Shane is one fish-catching-machine.  It's always a pleasure to watch someone be so good at something and not make any fuss about it.  There are many times we've fished together where I will look over only to see him landing a fish.  Then I usually ask him how many he has landed while I wasn't looking and he will tell some good number.  I will have had no idea and he never makes a big deal about it.  I admire that trait because he never makes you feel like a poor fisherman, even though he has an amazing knack for sticking many (and big) fish.  Kudos to you Shane.  Don't let it go to your head though. ;)

Here's a classic shot.

Now going for the JM one-handed shot and failing as the fish slips.

 really failing...

Day 2: New Friends

Friday started nice and early and the weather looked potentially ominous.  As Shane and I left town and headed to Soda Springs we eyed the dark clouds covering the Snake River valley.  Fortunately the thick wet clouds stayed to the west for most of the day.

We met John and Mr. P for breakfast at their hotel (thanks again John), and headed to the res. shortly after.  The weather was surprisingly sunny and looked promising despite what we had seen leaving town.  John picked up a fish pretty quickly as we hit our first spot.  The water temps were much cooler from the afternoon before and the fishing showed it.  We spot-hopped for a while but it wasn't until the afternoon, when the sun had warmed things a bit, that things really picked up. 

First for the day.

This has to be the ugliest carp I've ever landed.  The head looks disproportionate to the body!


Shane with a solid fish
Quick end to the photo-shoot!  I would be curious to see what captions could be put here.

Mr. P with one on.

Blackfoot Gold.

Fly carping presents a diverse fishery.  I did not realize just how diverse until meeting up with Mr. P. and John.  According to these two great fisherman chasing carp on the big C is completely different from BR.  It was interesting to witness the radical paradigm shift these C fly-carpers had to make.  It was a definite reminder that of all things a fisherman must be adaptable.  Not only in going from watershed to watershed, but also when going from one part of a single body of water to another part of it.  In general though, it is clear that we have more aggressive carp here in our Idaho waters.  You won't find me complaining.

In SE Idaho carp-dom there are days where you can't keep fish off the hook and your arm gets tired from fighting them.  There are days when it can almost be too easy.  This coin flips, and can do so quickly.  Some days you can go the whole day without seeing a single carp, or only carp that have no interest in eating.  The latter is more maddening than the former.  Blackfoot carp fit into both categories, some days are easy and some are tough.  The weather is always a factor in the equation, and temperature is generally numero uno. 


Mr. P. and John took to the water on Saturday and part of Sunday as well.  You can check out the results on their blogs.  They had tough conditions as the weather got colder but still managed to get into fish.

It was great to make some new friends and learn some new tactics.  Those two truly are amazing carpers.  I hope to get out on the water with them again.


  1. Thanks again man...looking forward to returning the favor when you and Shane can make it to OR!

    1. It would be awesome if we could make it out there! Let's hope the stars align next year and the fates allow.

  2. Man, I should have figured out a way to meet you guys down there on Friday. Saturday was very cold, cloudy and windy.

    Heading down there again tomorrow for some redemption.

    1. Wish you could have made it Brent! Heard you took a dunk. That is no bueno, especially in the cold. The weather is looking a bit more promising. Hope you do well and I look forward to getting out on the water with you.

  3. Chris, you, Shane, and Brent were tremendous hosts! Thanks a ton for showing us your water and your techniques. It was great to meet you guys and to share time on the water. I hope you make it to WA/OR next year.

  4. Too cool all of it. You guys sound like a class act!