Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Landing A Carp and Sinking Myself

Have you ever heard the term, "sure footed?" Try that one on for size when you are sinking into the silty bottoms of a lake that has never felt the soles of a fisherman. As an urban angler, you are only in the water if something went terribly wrong. No one wades or swims in these murky and somewhat smelly waters. Well, I guess that social que doesn't apply to me. I busted out my hip waders and slugged to the out of place and hard to reach spots at the local pond. There is a no swimming sign posted, but I didn't see a no walking in the water sign. I quickly learned that balance is key in the foot sucking mud. I also learned one final lesson, make sure you can move your feet when you take a step! I got both of my feet stuck deep in the sludge and I fought to free them. As I pulled, I went a bit too far backwards and I fell like a tree in the forest. I plunged backwards and remembered my baptism in the murky urban pond scum water. Everything on me got submerged. I was immediately thankful for two things. One, my friends got me a cell phone dry box (they really know me) and two, no one else was around to see me being an idiot. I shot up out of the depths and raced to the shoreline. I threw my gear on the ground and hauled myself onto dry land. This gave me time to compose myself and remember that I was actually out to catch some carp on the fly rod and not to take a quick dip.

I hunted the banks and shallows for feeding carp. I crept,
as quietly as one can with soggy socks, up to a few carp and a couple actually took the fly! Despite my crazy water aerobics, I landed 2 mirror carp for the day on a fly called the Carp Carrot.

The Carp Carrot was developed by a guy named Jim Pankiewicz, otherwise known as Mr. P. Check out his blog and how to tie the Carp Carrot at:

Mr. P has a great blog with a ton of good information on flyfishing for carp. I really appreciate all the people out there sharing their knowledge on fly fishing. I wouldn't be half the fisherman I am today without the incredible people who care to tell their stories and share what works for them. Thanks to everyone who shares and I hope to be a resource someday as soon as I stop falling into the lake!

P.S. Does anyone have any tips on wading in stillwater with silty/muddy bottoms?

Thanks for reading.


  1. Be careful in that mud. You'd hate to fall forward and get your arms and feet stuck. You could drown that way.

  2. Hey Kev2380. Thanks for reading and good tip. I did manage to sink my left arm a bit on my way down! Enough hard thrashing about did the job.

  3. Justin, the carp carrot you are showing in this post, what is the head palmered with, marabou or pheasant rump?

    By the way, it matches your line color nicely!

  4. Hey Brian. Thanks for reading. The Carp Carrot I tie has yellow marabou. I could not get my hands on pheasant rump. I also use a size 8 scud hook and orange chenille. What are you using for carp?

  5. Regarding muddy bottoms, if your foot/feet get stuck, try rocking the offending appendage back and forth/in and out repeatedly until it comes loose. Keep moving in muddy areas if possible, as the longer you stay in one spot the deeper you'll sink. I enjoyed the read and love exploring those hidden urban "gems" too.

  6. Justin,
    Great post, as usual. The reason I'm getting a Mad River Adventure 14 is so I WONT have to wade the mud and muck of the lake bottom. the few times I've done it, I had the same experience as you, minus the dunking.
    From there, I thought I might like float tubing as a way to get out of the sucking ooze. But, finally Ive admitted in a "boat guy" and but have given up on that in favor of the speed and capacity offered by the MR 14. Glad you survived and thanks for the tip on the Carp Carrot.

    PS Anyone interested in a brand new, in-the-box Chehalis, Dee-luxe float tube??

  7. The problem with tubes is you hang down a fair bit, and can't see very well. Not ideal for shallow water sight fishing.

    I made a kick boat out of plywood that has appeared in Duckworks. I also have a freedom 14 kayak, and am working on two plywood solo flats boats, and have a catamaran for two person flats fishing.

    The guy with the FlyCarping site has made an interesting catamaran stand up paddle boat. But he didn't have enough displacement. If you are nearly sinking hulls, the boat will not be stable. If you want to make a catamaran SUP, it needs to be wider, longer , or deeper than a regular SUP of competent design, none of which is desirable, or it will not be seaworthy (which may not matter is you don't run it in anything but shallow water).

    Keep in mind that at this time of year the fishing can be great, but in many places the water is still dangerously cold.