Saturday, 3 May 2014

First Post's a Personal Best

Well the time ahas finally come, I've started this blog on fly fishing for carp in Japan.  Actually I've been thinking about it for a while, but just never really got round to it-plus there's already a few blogs on carp fly fishing out there, all be it not in the land of the rising sun...
Anyway yesterday was a real red letter day.  Lou and I drove up to Lake Motosuko next to Mt. Fuji on Friday night.  the plan was to arrive around midnight, sleep till sunup and fish lake Shojiko.  Unfortunately traffic was shocking and we didn't arrive till around 4, which meant we could only manage about an hour of dozing before starting.  Needles to say we were a bit delayed in waking, and when we did get up we were greeted by the sight of what looked like a billion anglers sitting it out on the lake. Not good.

Luckily in the Fuji area there are five fishable lakes and we reasoned that the lakes without black bass would probably be less busy, so we drove the fifteen minutes round to Motosuko and found it almost deserted, just a few guys out spinning for trout.  When we bought our permits the guys at the office and the three other customers openly laughed at us when we explained that we were targeting carp with fly tackle. After a slow start when it seemed we made the wrong choice, we found a weedy bay with loads of fish moving in and out of it, either getting ready to spawn, spawning or post spawn. so we waited and started targeting the fish that were moving in and out of the area. I eventually hooked a fish on a McTage's Foam Trouser Worm- a first for me on this fly- and Lou quickly followed suit on a red woolly bugger. 

After that things started looking better, with a steady stream of fish cming past us we just had to wait for  new fish to appear.  What surprised me was that the fish all wanted a moving fly, I've never experienced that before.  In fact on the waters I usually fish, anything more than a two inch twitch is more likely to spook fish than anything else.
So we carried on picking up fish on red flies and I picked up a PB of 19lb 4oz on the Trouser Worm, with Lou getting into another couple of smaller fish. 

After a slow start things were starting to look good.  After a quick lunch it was back to the fishing, but red seemed to have lost its charm.. I suppose it was down to the water getting a bit dirtier from all the commotion.  As things had slowed down Lou decided to take the car to the store for something- I don't know what but whatever.  I switched to a purple and black Zimmerman's Backstabber.  I've been thinking about purple for a while, but this was the first time I had used a purple fly for carp.  The first fish I cast to ran it down and ate it like a bonefish chasing a Gotcha.  After a quick release, I had another shot at a better fish, cast was good fly sunk to the fish's level about 6 inches in front of it. Strip strip on- another good fish.  After an epic battle inlcuding some of the longest runs I've ever seen from a carp, I slid her into the net.
ANOTHER PB!  this time 22 and a half. As I was on my own the photos weren't so good..

Lou came back just after I released the fish and just in time for me to catch another.  at the start of the fight I was telling him about the fish he missed, how it was pig and the fish didn't look as big_ it really didn't, but I hadn't accounted for the distance/depth I had seen her from.  Anyway, after a protracted contest Lou slid the net under her, looked at her and said, "I don't think you realise how big this is. She's F*****G HUGE!" then I saw it, My second PB in two casts 33lb exactly!!!

I couldn't believe it, more than double what my PB had been that morning. I just can't get enough of these fish, for me they are the best, most challenging fish in fresh water.  We stayed a couple of hours longer and picked up a few more fish before heading back to the bustling metropolis of Tokyo.