Searching for Carp in Santa Clara Valley…

The wind kept me from fishing San Luis this morning although I did notice a window of opportunity between 10 am and 2 PM  Instead,  I spent the afternoon with Rick looking for some new Carp Water in Santa Clara.   We searched the shallows of Anderson Reservoir.  Anderson is closed to boating and is less than half full for seismic retrofitting again by the SCWD.   It seems they have been doing that for 10 years.   We walked the Coyote Creek from the Spillway all the way down past the old Parkway Trout Ponds looking for access and carp.    What we found was alot of fish  with very few areas that wouldnt involve some creative fly casting.    The area is all protected steelhead  water and is closed from Novemeber 16 to the last day in April .  Lots of the creek looked like it might even hold trout.  There were some rapids and rock aeration that looked like trout might hold.   When I was a teenager,  I fished these waters with float tubes and had once caught trout and bass in all places.   Today,  there is heavy regulation and patrolling of Coyote Creek .  No longer can you use float tubes or prams for fear of Quanga Musslle infestation and there is a heavy protection of the few steelhead that make it up Coyote Creek.   Its kind of crazy when you think of it.  That so much opportunity to catch bass and panfish is regulated away to save steelhead that frankly will never make a comeback as long as silicon valley business and overpopulation changes habitat and sucks dry the water locally available.   Its a Pipe Dream to think you can prevent quanga infestation by banning float tubes.   Kids are using live bait all over the place and all the water is connected from the delta to san luis to all the Santa Clara Valley local reservoirs and creeks.

I made an effort to hook one of those big carp at the Anderson Reservoir outlet.  When we got there,  a large group of about 50  asian boy scouts were picnicking and fishing.  I literally saw 50 rods in the water and people wading and fishing .  They were using rubber worms and jigs since bait and scent are totally prohibited. I use to fish for trout there with salmon eggs, but there were no signs of trout in the 100 degree weather.   I noticed some beautiful million dollar houses across the street from the creek that I hadn’t seen there 10 years ago making me feel how long it has been since I last searched this water.

Rick and I decided to walk down the creek and scout instead of fish amounst the Boy Scout troop but when we returned to the truck an hour later,  they were all gone and a large school of 10-15 lb carp were swimming around the pool actually feeding on leaves on top and bugs on the bottom.    I threw about 6  different fly patterns,  sinking and floating,  at the beasts trying to get a deliberate “troutlike” take  and got the typical Carp long stare and refusal until I put a water boatman on a long 4x leader a let it sit in the pack for a long time.   When I was about to give up on the pattern,  a fish that had been sitting there looking at the fly for 5 minutes decides to rise in the water column and put its eye on the fly to check it out.   You know that feeling when you know the fish is going to hit your fly by its movement and speed?   I knew the fish was going to eat and it came up an put its lips right up to the fly and slowly sucked it in.   I was completely unprepared for the timing of the whole event.   After  50 good casts, to the same group of fish,  one changed its mind and oh so slowly put it lips up to the fly.   Unlike a trout,  the sip of a carp is much much slower.  It’s like wine tasting where you suck it in with oxygen.   The fish sucked it in and I swear its lips were sticking out of the water about an inch while it ate.   I  waited for its mouth to close over the bug for what seemed like 3 seconds but they never closed around the fly..   I strip striked the fish and hooked if but only for a second as it thrashed its head as soon as it felt the prick.   That was all the action she wrote.  The next thing I saw were two kids throwing  bobbers at the same fish and I decided to go leave and check out Uvas, Callero and Chesburo reservoirs for shallow flats  Carp.

There sure is alot of water around the neighborhood that look Carp Rich.    I think its a matter of time of day  in many of the local spots.   In the afternoon heat,  there wasnt much going on but I bet before dark it could be a party.   One of my patients told me that  the carp in and around  Almaden Lake are most active right before dark and at night.  He does well catching carp in darkness with bread balls.       I still have much exploring to do in and around the percolation ponds in South San Jose,  but I ll have to save it for another day.

Next week Im treking to Yosemite.   The goal is to catch some native yellowstone cutthroats in Slough Creek or the Yellowstone in the park.   I also have a day to fish the famous Railroad Ranch.   Its been ten years.

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