Been Carpin’

I been carpin’ and carpin’s been good.  After the carp opener I usually go balls-to for the “big” fish flats.  But thanks to an exponentially-growing furor about local carp, I just can’t get up the interest to fight the crowds over there anymore.  (So shut up everybody, for chrisakes, and forget about carp.  You’ve proved your point and had your fun.  You have your stories to tell the grandkids about your wild slumming days in the mud.  Now it’s time to put this little phase behind you.  Genuinely trashy anglers are being put out of work here.  Ha ha, just kidding of course.  How ironic would it be for me to complain about all the sudden pressure on my once oh-so-abandoned flats, when I’m at least partially to blame for hyping the local carp scene?  Ha ha.  But seriously, trout are so nice.)  Being forced to the sidelines, though, has been good for me.  Water levels have been perfect in the secondary locations and I’ve been catching the kind of numbers that make me feel like John Montana.  Alas, these are small fish, but life, for our own good, can’t be perfect.  (That’s a wise little life lesson and you should write it down.)

I’ve been accosted by reptiles, and I like that.  I watched a big snapping turtle ease across the flats at me one afternoon, and we shared a vigorous work-out which ended with me dragging him carefully to the bank by the back legs.  (Never lift a big turtle by the tail).  He was a brute, battle-scarred and vicious, possessed of a single protuberant eye and dozens of leeches.  I say “he” because I like to think he gained his scars in the bloody territorial disputes that males are known for.

tore up

timber rattler: ID by Brayshaw, T.

I caught my first mirror carp.  I’m embarrassed to admit that in years of carping, this was my first.  It was followed on that same day by my second and third.  From the online literature, I have learned that this June is the month of the mirror carp.  Therefore I shouldn’t be surprised.  But three in a day, at a location that has never yielded one before, made me giddy.  They were identically-sized, suggesting that a cohort originating a few years past had a rich mix of the good German genes causing mirrorism.

first mirror


I’ve continued on with the lowbrow beer, and that has eased my uneasiness about the level of snobbery that has crept into my drinking.


extra classy


The longest days are here, and a summer of carp is yawning wide open.





7 comments to Been Carpin’

  • That is indeed a timber rattler, though in your area they’re often called “canebrake” rattlers. Anyway, you can tell it’s a rattler because the poison stingers in the mouth are visible, right on the tip of the forked tongue.

    Also, the elliptical pupils are a dead giveaway, as are the gloves.

  • Gregg Martin

    Nice fish! I still have not caught a mirror but you and others have given me hope! I DID, (well, my sons and I) introduce our favorite spot to conventional gear anglers who keep every carp, quite innocently but it happened.


  • Ty

    So it’s come to this. We can legitimately bitch about our carp water being crowded and overfished. Guess that’s what we get for more or less daring the trout guys to come out and chase carp. Wouldn’t worry too much about it. I’ve seen a few fly anglers on my carp flats over the last year or so, but I rarely see the same guys more an once or twice. I think they come a time or two and then go back to trout or whatever. Most folks can’t take having their hats handed to them every time they take to the water.

  • Good job catching a few Mirrors.

  • lowbrow1

    Thanks guys. With the mirror carp barrier hurdled, I can go ahead and catch a 20 lb. carp, a 30 lb. carp, a carp on a dry fly, and also 20 and 30 lb. carp on dries. If I can do this on my next trip it would be really gratifying. Ty, I hope I never gave the impression that I was bitching legitimately. I’ve never been specially trained, so I’m just an amateur bitcher (albiet a highly experienced one).

  • Sweet mirror! Congrats on your first. Next thing you know you will be flying to ID on the rumor of a lake filled with 100% mirror carp…it is a slippery slope.

  • English Jonny

    carpe diem.

    Nice waders.