Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Snake River Carpin'

Around here, we have an abundance of very large carp that live in muddied-up bogwaters with very low visibility, which makes sight casting a challenge.  Most days, you're not going to see them unless they are tailing.

Fortunately, there is a brief window each year on the Snake River where water levels are just right and carp come out of the deep and onto the banks to feed. 

That window is currently open.

Blackfoot Reservoir carp are famous the world over, but our Snake River carp are a breed worthy of special attention.  They are much less aggressive than their neighbors to the east and exhibit very different personalities.

Unlike Blackfoot, the Snake River is not a venue for stripping flies - due to a plethora of lava rock and brush snags.  Not that it matters, as these river carp seem generally unwilling to move towards their forage anyway.

Their takes are nearly imperceptible. 

Snake River carp move lazily along the river bottom like a pack of happy vacuums.  The best you can do is lob your fly into their path of travel and dap 'em if they hover over your fly and tilt their heads to slurp it in.  Maintaining a visual on your fly is critical - as takes otherwise go unnoticed.

Feeders are usually produced in one of two scenarios - laid up carp along the banks or cruising fish out in the river, just inside the current seam.  Adding current to the "moving fish + wind + roll cast" scenario enhances the challenge.

These fish are infinitely more challenging to catch than their bretheren up the road in the reservoir.  In my opinion, this is as good as carp fishing gets.

Soon, spring runoff will be here and the river will become a blown-out chocolate slurpee - but right now there's a whole lot of fun to be had on the Snake.

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