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Newbie Alert

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FishNoGeek
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Newbie Alert

#1

Post by FishNoGeek »

Greetings, all! Long time lurker here, and it's high time that I finally asked Paul to make an honest man out of me. Glad to be here!

My name is Brian, and I currently live on the Gulf Coast of Texas. I grew up in the Rocky Mountains and started fly fishing at a tender age back in the 70s while still in single digits. I'd become a full-bore trout snob by my mid-teens, but I'd developed a lifelong problem with carp by my early 20s...and it's all been downhill since then. Flats, marshes, jungles, chalk streams, concrete urban bayous, freestones, farm ponds, inundated flood control catchments.....I get my fix where and when I can.

Casting-wise, I'll shamelessly admit that I was a solid 20+ years into my fly fishing journey before I could throw what I'd now consider a proper loop. It really only got better because I was fishing the salt regularly and getting my tail handed to me by the wind, but hey, better late than never.

In recent years I've gotten more serious about tightening things up to the place where I can consistently punch out to fairly respectable distances, exploring the 170 and various stances and dances.....and trying not to wreck whatever good stuff might still be left in my shoulder.

My 15yo son just recently passed the century mark for the first time - that was pretty cool. I'm in this for him, too.

I'm looking forward to geeking out with all of you distinguish casting nerd types! Cheers.....
"What gets my cast into trouble isn't what I know how to do - it's what I think I know how to do that just ain't working."
- Mark Twain
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Paul Arden
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Re: Newbie Alert

#2

Post by Paul Arden »

:D :D

Hi Brian and welcome to the Board!! Great to have you here! :cool:

Funny I didn’t even know you had carp in Texas. There are a few other Texans here too.

That’s great that your son is throwing distance.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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FishNoGeek
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Re: Newbie Alert

#3

Post by FishNoGeek »

Paul Arden wrote: Thu Apr 20, 2023 6:32 pm Funny I didn’t even know you had carp in Texas.
Since I started actually looking for them, it seems like there are carp pretty much everywhere. I've fished for them now in a dozen US states and a handful of countries, and they seem to be bastards wherever I find them. It feels like 5-10% of the time they're stupid easy, and the rest of the time they're invisible, spooky, picky, and downright rude. Maybe not quite as bad as your gourami friends, but they can be pretty frustrating.

My favorite carpy diversion for the past few years has been to torment the grass carp in the bayou out behind my neighborhood. It's a whopping two minute drive from my garage, and some of the fish run well over 15lbs. Sometimes I'll find them feeding on the surface, but most of the time they're like ghosts who can apparate at will in the murky waters. It usually takes just three or four casts to make them disappear for several days.

Still, it's fun, and it keeps me sane between trips to the salt.
"What gets my cast into trouble isn't what I know how to do - it's what I think I know how to do that just ain't working."
- Mark Twain
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whinging pom
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Re: Newbie Alert

#4

Post by whinging pom »

Hey, i dont think ive ever responded to one of these but your words struck a chord about geeking out with all the casting nerd types.

They are a whole new level of geek + nerd at times, off the dial, and when im not just treading water I often feel completely mystified or out of depth.

As well as brains and god given ability they've been boffining over these themes for many years ...
Do not be afraid to pull the geeks back occasionally and say ""whoa I m Struggling to keep up here! can someone please explain this a bit simpler for me, or what exactly do you mean by ..... ?"....
youll find on here there's always someone helpful soul on this forum with the patience to give you a leg up ( or throw you a life line)!.

My way of looking at it is your doing the geeks a favour.. If they have to reassess their thoughts into layman language then it helps them process and store the info. Its a win win!
Your helping the Nerds get even Nerdier or the Geeks get even Geekier!

I dont feel Im in a position to say Welcome to Sexyloops being a simple duffer, but i hope it ends up as beneficial to you and your son as it has been for me.

Newbie Alert....now thats a hell of name! :D
All the best
WP
The Duffer of the Brook !

Nothing is Impossible: :???: I do Nothing everyday .
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Paul Arden
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Re: Newbie Alert

#5

Post by Paul Arden »

I remember reading this many years ago. Nice to find it online:

http://www.fishingmuseum.org.uk/sheringham_on_carp.html
I dont feel Im in a position to say Welcome to Sexyloops being a simple duffer
Blimey! I hope no one else feels that way. You’re as much the fabric here as anyone else Chris!! :cool:
the rest of the time they're invisible, spooky, picky, and downright rude.
I wonder how much of that comes down to feeding/not feeding? Probably it also depends how often they are fished for and how. In some parts of Spain we could catch 20-30 carp in a day (3-7lbs, never really caught big ones there).

I remember fishing with my mate Tonio. We had tied a few flies at the trucks and Tonio asked if I wasn’t going to weight mine? And I said no. Which turned out to be a colossal mistake because I had to go back to the truck to tie some more. Tonio, who was very obviously in a competition with me, was catching fish left right and centre. He was on 15 or 16 by the time I came back with weighted flies.

Anyway, Tonio wandered along the bank and I was picking up a lot of fish, finally. After a few hours he came sploshing back through about 2 feet of grassy water. Splosh splosh splosh. I could hear him coming from well over a hundred metres away. Splosh splosh splosh. Getting closer. Splosh splosh splosh splosh. About 30 metres away he suddenly stopped. Total silence. Four seconds later the entire bay I was fishing erupted and spooked of fish. Fish in front of me. Fish behind me. Fish I didn’t even know existed. Hundreds if not thousands of fish left the bay. Some may have swum between my legs.

Son of a bitch.
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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FishNoGeek
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Re: Newbie Alert

#6

Post by FishNoGeek »

whinging pom wrote: Thu Apr 20, 2023 9:18 pm If they have to reassess their thoughts into layman language then it helps them process and store the info.
I'm very much a verbal learner / thinker, and I'm convinced that this process - working through the semantics to crystalize the concepts, whether it's to convey them to a peer or teach them to a student or just comprehend them myself - is at least half the battle for me when acquiring complex new skills and figuring out subtle, nuanced technique refinements. Articulating the ideas - collaboratively, when possible - helps me get the traction I need to put them into motion.

It's clear that this mechanism is highly individual and intensely subjective. It works for me, but the range runs from "less productive" to "#$&%ing annoying" for other people in my circles. As I've grown older, I'd like to think that I've gotten better at not triggering those types with my wordiness, but it's always a pleasure to find another logophile who's keen to play and benefits from this game. I suspect that the stigma attached to "nerding out" is often because one of us verbal learner types has, while innocently attempting to process a tricky idea out loud, accidentally triggered a strong reaction from someone who doesn't approach the universe this way.

Of course, sometimes we do it on purpose. :???:
"What gets my cast into trouble isn't what I know how to do - it's what I think I know how to do that just ain't working."
- Mark Twain
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FishNoGeek
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Re: Newbie Alert

#7

Post by FishNoGeek »

Paul Arden wrote: Fri Apr 21, 2023 5:40 am I remember reading this many years ago. Nice to find it online:

http://www.fishingmuseum.org.uk/sheringham_on_carp.html
Very fun, thanks for that! It was a nice way to start my morning. It reminded me a bit of Chris Yates - been a big fan of his books for years. I've also forwarded it to a mate who got big into euro-style carping with crazy long sticks and rubber bands. Not my thing, but I love hearing his stories and basking in the glow of his excitement about it.
Paul Arden wrote: Fri Apr 21, 2023 5:40 am I wonder how much of that comes down to feeding/not feeding? Probably it also depends how often they are fished for and how.
Yeah, this is a pretty well-known concept in my circles - it's critical to look for "happy" fish rather than wasting time on the carp that are sleeping, basking, breeching, breeding or whatever. The percentages definitely go up when you find fish that are high and happy and aggressively feeding, though it's still be rare for me to ever find them to be easy. In general, I find them (especially the grassies) to be vastly more challenging (and more interesting) than more "binary" species (which will either eat immediately or never, like many bass scenarios) or trout, which will often give you lots of shots. In my little carping world, we usually get one shot, maybe two. If you screw those up and blow out the pod, you're pretty much done for the day - maybe for a couple days. I'm not sure what it says about me that I find this trait to be attractive in a fish.
Paul Arden wrote: Fri Apr 21, 2023 5:40 am In some parts of Spain we could catch 20-30 carp in a day (3-7lbs, never really caught big ones there).
Ah, that sounds like fun! What were they eating? I've heard of days like that here on stillwaters when they're on mulberries or cottonwood seeds, but I haven't managed to hit one of those yet myself.
Paul Arden wrote: Fri Apr 21, 2023 5:40 am Four seconds later the entire bay I was fishing erupted and spooked of fish. Fish in front of me. Fish behind me. Fish I didn’t even know existed. Hundreds if not thousands of fish left the bay. Some may have swum between my legs.
That thing I said above about how your day's fishing is done if you spook the pod with an errant cast? Well, what the cast did you guys throw that managed to spook an entire bay full of fish?!? :laugh:
"What gets my cast into trouble isn't what I know how to do - it's what I think I know how to do that just ain't working."
- Mark Twain
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Paul Arden
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Re: Newbie Alert

#8

Post by Paul Arden »

It was actually one of the most fascinating experiences I’ve had. How those fish tuned into Tonio’s splashing and then spooked like f*k the moment after he stopped. To be honest I’m not surprised. But I was surprised by how many bloody fish I had around me!!

Sometimes I’ve seen them on ants. Which is pretty straightforward. Most of the time they were hunting along the bottom or in weeds. It was mostly sight fishing of course and my go-to fly is my small green marabou damsel.

I had another experience in Spain a few years later, also with Tonio. Tonio had gone over a bridge and I could see him on the other side of the lake. Enough to know that there was someone there but not enough to know if they were catching fish.

There were fish everywhere, not eating, but everywhere and travelling in all directions. Both Barbel and Carp. And next to the bank, in about a foot of water, there were shoals of barbel 4-7lbs that were very obviously sleeping. Having not caught the other fish I decided to put on a size 8 RFU (Royal FuckUp. It’s a bit like a Royal Wulff but not entirely) and I cast over the sleeping fish. After about 1 minute one would wake up and eat the fly.

This was pretty successful and I had about 17 when Tonio texted me. “Any fish?” “17” “Bullshit!!” And then after a long pause “how you catching them??” :D
He had been ignoring them as I had.

I think that’s the only time I’ve actively targeted sleeping fish :D

Grass carp are another level. Never caught those. I’ve tried in Hungary a few times with no success. What flies do you throw at them?

I once ate one by the way and it was surprisingly fantastic.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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FishNoGeek
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Re: Newbie Alert

#9

Post by FishNoGeek »

Paul Arden wrote: Fri Apr 21, 2023 3:01 pm But I was surprised by how many bloody fish I had around me!!
We get something like this with mullet occasionally in the marsh when we're hunting redfish. The water will be BOILING with fish, none of which are interested in flies. It's cool to see but it gets annoying and frustrating. A huge part of that game is learning to differentiate the fish species by wake.
Paul Arden wrote: Fri Apr 21, 2023 3:01 pm Grass carp are another level. Never caught those. I’ve tried in Hungary a few times with no success. What flies do you throw at them?
It depends on what they're eating, of course. My impression is that my local fish are primarily herbivores, but sometimes they'll play the opportunistic omnivore, and it's a mood thing. The trick lies in learning to differentiate the happy fish focused on munching their veggies from happy fish on the hunt for whatever looks tasty, and being able to tell both of those from the unhappy fish. I've gradually learned to resist the temptation to throw at those; they won't eat, and pestering them will eventually cause them to fully spook, which in turn traumatizes every other fish within reasonable walking distance, some of which might've been happy feeders. Unless you're simply out for a stroll, it's better to pass on those fish and keep looking for their happier compatriots.

My grassie flies are generally a mix of modern patterns for common carp (some of which are effectively overhackled trout nymphs, or evolved from them) in a variety of weights; most of them tend to be my twists on Jay Zimmerman's versatile Backstabber chassis in a range of weights and colors. Those are great for the fish who are looking up and actively hunting - stick it near their face without too much splash, hope they see it, and hope they don't spook. Sometimes the takes are surprisingly aggressive, but those are rare - at least for me. It's much more common for them to freak out when they see the fly, even if it's been presented well. It's a challenging thing - you really only get one shot, and some of the fish are brutes over a meter long. Remind me again why people bother to fish for bass?

The foliage flies are arguably more interesting, although I'm not very proud of them. During summer in the suburban areas, every few weeks a crew of gang mowers and string trimmers will come along hack down all the grass and weeds that grow up along the banks. Lots of those trimmings end up in the water where they pile up in back eddies; grassies will congregate under them and sip off the surface in ways that remind me of trout sucking down spinners from a slow foam line. My flies for those situations look like San Juan Worms made from bright green foam strips and raffia mixed with tan foam, and they suffer from the same problem as you face when fishing those crazy spinner falls: your fly looks exactly like a million other things floating on the surface, and there's very little reason for a fish to eat yours. But sometimes it happens, and it's incredibly gratifying.

I tie a few other foliage variations, all of them hideous. I've had some luck with a mix of foam and mottled green chenille loops and strands which sink, so it looks more like a hunk of floating weed with some tendrils under water. Honestly, it usually doesn't work. It usually gets ignored, and if I twitch it, they spook. It's frustrating sometimes, but it still beats sitting in an office staring at a screen.

I'll save The Great Algae Fly discussion for a separate thread....
"What gets my cast into trouble isn't what I know how to do - it's what I think I know how to do that just ain't working."
- Mark Twain
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whinging pom
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Re: Newbie Alert

#10

Post by whinging pom »

We have a couple of carp lakes nearby where the British record has been taken a few times, two poor big beasts over 60lb were caught time and time again ( named Benson and Hedges after the cigarette brand) , and depending on their condition you may just be lucky to get them on a fat day and set a new record !
The guys fishing there go for 48 hours plus camped with an array of rods and electronic bite indicators and secret recipe baits. And if they catch a couple of 20lb + that’s a good weekend ,
I was talking to a match reservoir fly fisherman recently , he and his son asked if they could try fishing it with fly rods they promised to use landing mats for unhooking and use iodine on the hook wound. … fly was so devastating in comparison that they got banned from going back!
I’d love to do carp on the fly,,, but it looks like it won’t be on my doorstep now!
Pom
The Duffer of the Brook !

Nothing is Impossible: :???: I do Nothing everyday .
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