Trout Unlimited’s Bob Blankenship sent in this amazing photo he took. Here’s what he said: I was at the lower LA in South Gate a couple weeks ago, around Hollydale Park. I walked down into the river channel – the dystopian part where there’s nothing expect a hundred-yard-wide concrete slab. I wanted to check out the low flow channel there and as I walked upstream I came upon a fish – about 18 inches of carp that was headed who-knows-where? There’s about two miles downstream of concrete channel and probably eight miles upstream. Life finds a way, right?
I’ve been fishing the LA River for more than three years with no luck, so I certainly had no expectations to catch one this time.
I only had two hours to fish and I was a bit distracted since I had to prepare for a meeting.
I got on the phone with my office while continuing to cast when I suddenly felt a tug and I screamed!
Since I had just lost one prior to hooking this one, I made sure I set the hook properly. I continued to scream while Celine @fishshootbrew started walking up with her big Rhino net, ready to assist. I was shocked to eventually land on, with so much excitement, I fell backwards!
I had so much emotions going through me, but In the end, the best part of catching my very first carp was not landing the fish, but the adventure that got me out to the river, even for just a few hours! It was the best experience!
I was at the The Fisherman’s Spot the day before to buy flies and leaders, so they were all rooting for me.
Although, Celine also gave me flies she tied. I’m not sure if the one I bought from the Spot or one the Celine made caught my fly because they both gave me the same exact one. All in all, I lost five flies, lost two fish and landed this small one.
Hubert Crawford commented on LA River carp catch, three years in the making
My buddy AnaLiza! She’s super cool!! H. Carl Crawford >
Nick Blixt caught this largemouth bass just in time, before the rain. Let’s hope it’s a good luck charm, and there are many left after these storms.
As I write, the rain is coming down hard, so here’s a reminder: Don’t look-ee-loo too close to the river. The water can come up on you very quickly. Also, I’ve heard predictions of lightning. If you are on the river and hear thunder or see lightning, immediately put your rod down and seek shelter. One of our bridges is an excellent place to ride it out. Just don’t forget your rod before you head home!
For a thorough three-part tutorial on fly fishing in weather, check this out.
Last summer, there were bass — lots and lots of bass — as well as aggressive tilapia. And as just about anyone who has fished the L.A. River will tell you, both species are a heck of a lot easier to catch than our crafty carp. Targeting bass, you can do dumb things like muff your cast or take some drag on your line, and still recover and hook up. With carp, mostly, it’s one and done.
After last season’s first rain, all the bass disappeared. Because our river is currently more of a causeway without significant structure, what was solid fact one day vanished the next, as uneven flows swept away everything in their paths, including the bass that many of us watched grow to healthy sizes. That’s one of the beauties of catch and release: you can actually watch the fish mature through the season.
“Wonder where they went?” asked John Tegmeyer, which was truly said in hindsight, as yesterday he found a new Motherlode.
Maybe we can all file our “what the heck happened?” under the line from an old Joni Mitchell song, “Big Yellow Taxi”:
“Don’t it always seem to go
You don’t know what you got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot”
In the case of our river, the opposite will hopefully be true: our paved parking lot will gradually become something entirely more heavenly.
So, until fall’s predicted El Nino teaches us what rain really feels like, and the bass once again go missing, get out there.
Roland Trevino has been consistently hooking up on prince nymphs, instead of his usual fav, white poppers.