I'd rather be fishing...

Common Carp close up. 

 Since I was a kid I can remember a lot of good times staring into the water with a rod in my hand waiting for the next state record to bite my bait. Now that still hasn't happened but I haven't given up. through out my life I have usually walked away with some sort of catch wether it was a small blue gill, catfish or a carp. Recently I watched my friend KC Badger's love for fishing grow dramatically as he got more into fly fishing and has become pretty successful with it. Seeing all his adventures over social media motivated me to get a fly rod and give it a shot and I have been hooked ever since.

Looking out at the wild horse of the Salt River.

  When I first got my fly rod I just tied on the Walmart flies and went out thinking it was similar to a tradition rod only a different style of casting. I quickly realized there was a little more to this then I previously thought. I would try for a while but seem to scare more fish then I caught so I picked up my normal pole and would fish for bass or whatever was around in the lake. Mostly fishing the urban lakes we would use dough balls and get some decent size carp but I felt bored just tossing a line in the water and waiting for something happen so I started messing around with the fly again.

 It wasn't until I started doing a little research that I found I was suppose to have a lead line attached to my float line and after a trip to the Salt River with my friend Ricky I learned there should be a tippet line on there as well. The way I got it there was a couple feet of line tied to the float line so I just used it as it was. After that ground breaking discovery I decided it was best to ask my friends (KC and Manny Chee) for a little more advice and for some references on where I could do more research of my own. Without the help of those friends I would be scaring all the fish around town still so I thank them again for all there help and always letting me bug them!

Bike rack/ fly rod rack?

 Now that I have a little better idea on how the rod should be set up I started fishing more often and only bringing my fly gear. The first couple fish I hooked ended up snapping my lead line which at first I thought was just poor knot skills on my part. Eventually I realized that its not such a tug a war battle like with a normal pole or bigger test line and that you had to work with the fish on getting it to the shore. I had no net, no skill and really no understanding so I had lost a few of those battles but started to do alright. After a few fish at local urban lakes my brother in law and I have been trying to get out whenever there is a little time so we can improve our presentation and sharpen our skills. The carp seem to be pretty picky about what they eat which makes them fun to practice on and rewarding when they do finally bite.
My wife's first fish on the fly and there will be many more to come.

Bend rods and tight lines, I knew this one was going to be good.

And I was right! 5.7lb Common Carp from a local urban lake.

  We live pretty much in the middle of a a handful of urban lakes which all have some fun fish. The carp seem to be one of my favorites so far but that didn't stop me from throwing some flies in hope of bass. The excitement of watching the chase and seeing that mouth open on any fish is awesome but Large Mouth Bass take it a step further for me. I have caught a few small bass fly fishing so far and can't wait to get some proper flies for  the larger ones.

1lb even on the scale and was excited to chop down on the fly.

  Last year was lucky enough to receive a day trip fishing with a friend Manny Chee (a professional fishing guide) as my birthday present from my lovely wife. Instantly was shocked seeing what Manny said could have been around a 9lb fish open that large mouth at my swim bait. The excitement was a little over whelming as well as never having bass fished from a boat, with swim baits or seen the actual chase and that left me with zero fish caught. I wasn't in the least bit disappointed. One fish I moved to fast, the next to slow, a few followed or last but all of it was time that I got to improve my skills with expert advise on hand. The chance to see those size bass up close and personal and all the knowledge I soaked up left me ready to get back out there for some more of the Manny Chee Experience.  I highly reccomend getting a guided trip book with Manny for whatever type of fishing you are interested in. 

11oz LMB on a my new Orvis Clearwater.

 Recently we spent Memorial Day weekend up in Flagstaff to have a family get together at my brothers house. The weather was not cooperative on Friday with my idea to get out for some trout hunting but we gave it a shot. The first day we got rained out which turned to hail then snow.  Sunday we ended up getting a to throw a few flies right before dark and that broke the ice on my first Rainbow Trout as a fly rod owner. In the past I had fished the Greer lakes and ponds with rental gear but it was nice to catch one on my own. Before we headed back to the valley I had to stop by Lake Mary and get some real fishing in. The wind was strong and right in our face so getting out to the fish was difficult but when I did it was worth the effort. I was able to get 3 more bows landed and missed a few more. I even had one that fought like it was a about to become dinner or something and managed to launch its self into the air spitting my fly with a clean escape. Most of the trout were normal stocker size but still a blast to catch and even my little brother in law got one on the shore.

Rainbow Trout from Lower Lake Mary. Catch and release.

Fish on! Another bow landed.
We met a lot of new slithery friends walking around the lake.

The second we packed up to leave the wind stopped and sun came out. 

 There is so much to learn and plenty adventures a head so I couldn't be more excited to pack up the TDI for the weekend or just cruise down the street in our 65 Chevy C10 for a picnic and some carp. Now as I am working on the basics I hope to get more comfortable with a fly rod and bait caster to bring in some good size fish. No matter what the fish or water I hope to progress my skills and spend plenty of time on the water with our kids hoping the next state record is about to be on our line.

Clare was stoked on the spots this catfish had more then catching the fish in the first place.

Devyn sometimes has the same attention span of the fish she catches but its nice to see her land a few in between playing on the play ground and practicing cart wheels.

Mrs. Coleman with a young carp at sunset.

Raph catches some decent fish but also is a pro at finding the smallest fish in the pond. After a 5 inch catfish and a couple 2 oz bass I think he was pretty happy with this 3lb 13oz carp on the fly.

That's allllll folks. Thank you for reading and feel free to share!

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