Observations on mid-Columbia Carp

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by Paul Huffman, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Last Saturday, I hit the carp flats of Chamberlain Lake on the Washington side of the Mid-Columbia. On the way to the flats, I spotted a pair of actively feeding carp in the outlet slough of the lake. They were wandering around, pecking and digging in the slow current. I positioned myself on the bank upstream of the fish and dropped a carp woolly a 20 inches upstream of them so the fly would drift right down the the lead fish. The lead fish immediately sprang forward and slurped in the fly. A little started by this aggressive lunge, I pulled the line tight and pulled the fly right out of her mouth. I laid the fly right back down and fish number 2 sprang forward and grabbed it. Fish on! Actively feeding indeed, these fish were hungry.

    By 2 PM, however, all the feeding fish had disappeared. It seems that by early afternoon, all the fish are shoaling up in the warm shallows and sleeping. No tails come up, and no heads go down. No interest in interrupting the nap for a little snack. You can find a few fish not on the sleeping shoals, but they aren't feeding either. They're cruising, heading for the sleeping shoals.
  2. Where is the outlet slough? I remember a drain pipe or something about midway down that connected to the columbia...

    Any pics How big were these active feeders?

    Carp are game fish

  3. One of these days, I'm going to fish Moses Lake for the big ones....
  4. The culvert under the railroad prism is usually an inlet, unless the elevation of the reservoir is dropping. The slough is at the west end of the lake along the railroad tracks. I think the outflow percs through the prism. I like it there because no one ever hole jumps me there.

    I've always thought that the carp woolly doesn't look like anything in particular, but when you plop it down in front of a mudding carp, it's easily sucked in because of the palmered hackle. In this case, however, the carp saw the fly in clear water as soon as it hit the water and pounced on it.
  5. People are hole jumping you on a carp flat ! holey cow! I rarely see another fisherman when I go looking for carp...

    Your observations are interesting, It confirms my feeling that timing is crucial to carp catching...you gotta find them in feeding mode...cruisers are a waste of time ..and sunning carp hit the fly like 1 in 50 tries.

  6. I've been fishing a reservoir in eastern WY about once a month since April. The fishing has been improving each trip which makes me think carp are very temperature oriented. In May and June air temps were in the 60-70's and it was pretty common to find groups of 15-100 fish tightly clustered, some jumping, some tailing. I caught fish by casting to the edge of the group. Yesterday air temps were in the low 80's the fish were in singles and small groups of 2-6. The cruisers were a waste of time and usually singles weren't interested either. All my good takes came from small groups that were slowly milling around in very shallow (< 12") water. My guess it that they were a little competetive about food. I would cast into the path of the group and usually two or more fish would make a run at the fly. Good times.

  7. I spent the lat 5 days camping at the Potholes Res. Camped on an island and fished for carp a lot. I only saw a couple carp in the water (hundreds jumping radomly). The reason for not seeing any was that the water had a 1-2 ft. vis and there was not a time where there was not a breeze or stong wind. What are some better carp areas to try?
  8. If you head up crab creek into the gloyd seeps wildlife area north of moses lake you will find some nice shallow carp flats. The fish are slightly smaller (than ML) and very spooky....and the ticks are big and aggressive.

    Windy conditions can be good if the carp are tailing so you can spot them...the choppy water prevents them from seeing you.
  9. All this carp talk has got me antsy!

    That's it! That's what I'm doing this weekend - Columbia basin carp! Thanks for talking me into it!


    Streams are made for the wise man to contemplate and fools to pass by.
    (Sir Izaak Walton)

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