Just for those of you who haven't already heard about it, Carpicide was a Carp on the Fly tournament put on my Isthmus Fly Fishing CO in collaboration with CarpPro, Orvis, TFO Rods and Mend Provisions benefiting Trout Unlimited in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The turn out was incredible and the fishing was even better. The kickoff meeting was held at Mend Provisions on Friday evening at which Dan Frasier, the fly fishing editor at CarpPro magazine gave a little speech on the rules and the current fishing as well as introducing Jared and Carson, the Isthmus guys, to everyone that showed up. Lots of beer was consumed and lots of friendly competition was started. Ben and I shot the shit with everyone and ended up heading out way after closing. We got back to where we were staying and immediately whipped up a couple bugs specific to the fishing situation we encountered while scouting earlier in the day.
Minneapolis had been pounded with rain for a few weeks preceding the tournament, so every body of water within the allowed boundaries was up to 5 feet higher than normal. The high water submerged new areas causing massive numbers of fish to travel into shallow water making them ridiculously vulnerable. In many cases, we were hooking fish less than a rod length away from us. Aside from the fact that they were shallow, there were so many worms that had come up from the waterlogged soil that they were practically gorging themselves. We had a few fish that spit up verifiable gobs of nightcrawlers when we landed them.
The morning of the tournament didn't look nearly as promising as the previous day, but as the day moved on, fish started moving up in numbers. We started out fishing new water and right off the bat realized that we were going to have some major issues with landing the larger fish that inhabited it. The normal bank line was blocked by a thick layer of bushes and trees... which basically meant once a fish ran in, it wasn't coming back out. This made for a couple of really frustrating hours of hooking fish and either horsing them to the point where something broke, or watching them disappear into the thick brush line. I hooked probably 20 fish and only brought two cookie cutter sized ones to hand. Ben however, managed to land four! Two of which were over 30 inches. Ben actually ended up winning second prize for most fish, which was a 7 weight TFO mangrove!
After a long day of fishing, we retreated back to Mend Provisions for the award ceremonies. It turned out fishing was difficult for everyone except local Joey Paxman who ended up landing multiple dozens, some of which were damn near 40 inches. He knew the area better than anyone there so he obviously had the upper hand! We shot the shit with everyone again, drank some more beer, bought some bitchin' tee shirts featuring artwork from Johm Piacquadio, then headed back to the house! All in all, the tourney was a huge success. Never have I been around such a huge group of people like that before, and both Ben and I will most definitely be in attendance next year! (hopefully with some buddies)...
Now for some more noteworthy pics!