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Carp: the other white meat
As a country, Americans aren't short on irony when it comes to our views on nature and the world around us.
Many of us claim to be patriots but don't trust our government. Many of us think that we live in the best country in the world and haven't seen the rest of the world. We all want to catch big fish but so many anglers in this country harvest fish when they should practice catch and release.
Carp are viewed by many Americans as a junk fish, but they were originally brought to the States for their food value. In fact, carp are so valued as a food source in other parts of the world they are listed as "vulnerable to extinction" despite their swelling numbers in the U.S.
Have I ever eaten a carp? No. I haven't eaten trout in 13 years either. I spend most of my time fishing Gold Medal Water, and I just don't have a taste for fish.
Like many flyfishers I just enjoy nature and the challenge of imitating nature's food source to catch fish. It's a hard pill to swallow sometimes when so many of my fellow anglers scoff at the idea of chasing carp and yet they enjoy the same aspects of flyfishing that I do.
So here is my challenge to each and every single one of you readers: Fish for carp (common or grass) until you finally land one.
Some of you may get lucky and hook a 10-pound fish your first time out, and then you may never catch a carp again despite your best efforts. Keep in mind that a 10-pound carp is a small one in most places. These fish are some of the smartest, hardest fighting, and biggest fish you can catch in Colorado.
If you enjoy the thrill of sight fishing to big fish, and you practice catch and release anyway, I assure you there is no greater challenge in freshwater with a fly rod. We are talking that landing one fish is a great day on the water. Landing multiple fish in the 15- to 25-pound range on the same trip is the stuff of legend.
Seriously, you'll start to see definition in your casting arm after one of those days. That is, of course, prior to getting your celebratory double bacon and blue cheeseburger afterward.
To learn where to go and what you need to get started carp fishing, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.