A couple of weeks ago, we got on a roll trying to figure out what, exactly, carp are munching on in the L.A. River, and how we fly fishers can use that knowledge to best advantage.
First, we agreed about carp and crayfish, with McTage writing:
“If there are crayfish, they are on the diet, guaranteed. Crayfish are high on their list of favorites just about everywhere.”
And so it is on our river.
Next, Sean Fenner widened the discussion, commenting that:
“They eat anything they can find. In the L.A. River, they live mostly on crayfish, tilapia and other carp eggs when they spawn, worms, other insects, and their favorite, BREAD. In my opinion, that’s why the Glo-bugs work so well. I also tie a fly that I call the Tortilla, and they seem to jump all over it. People are always down there feeding the ducks, and the left over bread makes for a great meal.”
Now, I haven’t tried fishing during duck feeding time, mainly because of the legendary Duckman, who supposedly kept the Griffith Park Rangers on speed dial, and was always ready to call them in when he saw a fisherman poaching “his” territory. This is most likely ancient history (2007), as I haven’t heard of park rangers anywhere near the area. In fact, one told me that because of budget cuts, they no longer patrolled our water. And now that there’s been a pilot kayaking program on the water, official attitudes have changed, big time.
But … back to the story. After agreeing that Glo-bugs were a potent carp fly, commenter Gregg Martin went on to write:
” We use bread ties in a local park greatly, casting a SUNKEN fly next to the ducks and geese eight inches under an indicator blind. It’s hot when they’re on it! This sure-thing lasts only a couple of weeks, and then they seem to become jaded by our flies. Mine is a spun and packed wool duster material fly on a weighted size 4 M3366 hook, or similar, or the same material spun in a dubbing loop and brushed out. Or, white glo-bug yarn. My son uses a white or flesh colored bunny leech and does well with that, actually no matter what with that.”
Also, he wrote in an e-mail, that the bread fly tied with wool floats like a cork! Martin found this out, to his chagrin, one day with new ties tightly spun on the Mustad 3366. They wouldn’t sink. So now he packs a few of those, but also some that are less tightly spun, with the wool packed over a shank full of .030 lead. His boys use a dubbing loop with wool or Glo-bug yarn over lead as well. He wrote that they often use often a std. wire TMC #4 200R.
Which brought us full circle to McTage, writing:
“Yeah, I have a park here where they feed the ducks like crazy and I have tried a time or two to take advantage of the urban bread-hatch. Not my fault if somebody else is accidentally chumming them in, right No luck though, I have always tried something on top, will try something wet next time.”
Me, too, after I get some time to tie this recipe up. Hopefully, the water will be still enough and the dreaded Duckman won’t lift a feather to stop me.
See you on the river, Jim Burns