Carp were on the cottonwood seed "hatch" [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Carp were on the cottonwood seed "hatch"

05-12-2008, 06:34 PM
I've seen it (and heard it) before, but this time I have pictures :D . I fished the baby carp section of the Housy on Sunday, and while rowing up the river I saw what I first thought was a muskrat, then maybe a snake. It was a carp, swimming along with its lips on the surface and sucking down the cottonwood seeds floating on the surface. I've seen carp slurping cottonwood seeds before but it was in still water. On that occasion, they were all crowded around a log where the seeds had bunched up, inching along with their lips halfway out of the water and making these munching/slurping sounds as they chowed. This time it was in the current, and this particular fish was swimming slowly upstream, zig-zagging along and munching down seeds. Then I saw several fish bunched up behind the end of a log where the current was concentrating the seeds. There were also times when three or four fish would rise from the depths in "v" formation and start grabbing seeds from the surface a few feet in front of the log.

Here's a pic of the carp behind the log:

05-12-2008, 06:35 PM
Look at those lips!

05-12-2008, 06:37 PM
I snagged my fly on the end of the log so I put down the rod and grabbed the camera for a close-up before I spooked the fish trying to unsnag the fly:

05-12-2008, 06:55 PM
I did hook up briefly a few times: I put on a tapered leader (I usually use straight 12# or 20# fluoro) and tied on the cottonwood seed fly that I got in the carp fly swap, from John Desjardins I believe :cool: . Got a quick bump from a fish in front of the log, then nothing. Snapped the tippet :o . Tied on a small white foam ant, same result. Tied on a mostly white fly from a store-bought trout fly package and got a hit on top without popping the tippet, but then the fly wouldn't float. I drifted it just below the surface and a carp rose up from beneath the log, grabbed the fly, swam back under the log and snapped the tippet :roll: . I took off the tapered leader and tied on some 12# fluoro but I didn't have any more small white flies. I tried a white woolly bugger for a few casts but by this time the fish were fairly well spooked and would disappear whenever the boat got close. Then I went to the flats and caught a bunch of fish on the berry fly :D .