Steve and I were tying and talking the other day about how we should revise many of our old patterns, switching out the lead-eyes for Sculpin Helmets. The Sculpin Helmet is great at always keeping the hook riding up and they do a better job of not becoming wedged in the rocks. On some patterns they will make the fly glide or even spin as they fall and the fish seem to like that.
We found that the simple change of swapping out lead-eyes on a plain old fly often gives them a new and improved look.
Many years ago Steve came up with his Frankenstein Sculpin that does a perfect job of imitating a goby on the Lake Michigan flats or a sculpin anywhere. One of the patterns I’ve always had luck with on deeper tailing fish is the Rockhopper. I don’t know why they like the hot pink body but all that really matters is that carp eat it.
You can Expect to see us throwing more Sculpin Helmets in the future.
Lance Wilt with Outcast Anglers recently hosted a trip with us on Beaver Island. The day Lance and I were paired to fish together was absolutely perfect, almost calm water, clear blue skies and endless tailing carp.
With stars aligning for a great day, Lance had a first for my boat and that was one angler landing a carp double. While not a classic double, two fish on and landed at the same time, this was as close as you could get.
Lance hooked-up on a carp, I threw out the anchor, we landed the fish and I popped the hook. When we looked up another carp was still tailing within casting distance of the boat. Lance flipped out a cast and hooked the second fish. Pretty cool.
In Northern Lake Michigan we have very bright golden carp, others that are almost completely black and then every shade between gold and black. I often tell people that whenever they have the option, cast to the brightest colored carp.
There is no question that the brighter the carp the better their eyes, therefore those are the best carp at seeing and running down your fly. They seem to be more alert overall and unfortunately are the first to spook from our presence. A tailing bright carp would never allow us to drift the boat on top of them but we do it all the time with dark fish.
Bright carp seem to cruise and hunt more often while their dark cousins spend much of their time mudding around in silty areas. To characterize body form the bright fish have a streamlined shape and are strong swimmers and as you might guess are the best fighters. In contrast, the dark carp are often short and round with the darkest ones having bulging eyes like the fish you see in tanks. Sometimes we take shot after shot, watching the fly go within inches of a dark tailing carp and still cannot get its attention.
Remember to go for the gold whenever you get the choice.
Mike’s Gone Fishin’… Again has yet another post of great pictures from his trip to Beaver Island. Click here to head over to The Photo Bin – July 2015.