Mud Gangsters

It’s hot as dog shit out here, and whether we are guiding or working in the shop, it sucks. The only time the heat isn’t too bad is when the tricos are popping on the Mo during the morning. Clients are happy, fish are eating, and life is good. Then noon comes around and it’s so hot you are convinced your ass is going to melt into the rowers seat. Don’t get me wrong, the trout fishing is excellent right now on the Missouri, but when the boys get a day off sometimes it’s worth switching up the scenery.

Carp. A four letter word that means one thing to people like us (morons with fly rods), and something completely different to normal people with real jobs. In Montana there is absolutely absurd carp fishing. I’m talking ten to twenty pound carp on dry flies. The type of fishing that makes you stop and realize how fucking insane the whole thing is.

Imagine feeding an oversized goldfish a hopper, and then going into your backing instantly. This shit happens all day where we go to throw flies for the infamous trash fish. Jim Beam, light beer, and dumbass carp annihilating flies for ten hours. It’s like Disney land, but with more alcohol and mosquitos. I’m writing this blog right now, but I’m starting to think we can turn this into some shitty fishing show that gets aired twice a week around midnight. Mucking Carp and the boys, MotherMuckers, The Mouth Muckers… all good show titles, if you target the right audience. I digress, TV show or not, the carp fisheries out here are the real deal.

People can say what they want about carp, but they are incredible on a fly rod. Sight fishing for them is very similar to some of the saltwater fishing I have done. The visible takes can be subtle, or violent at times, and the serious runs that can go deep into the backing are reminiscent of bonefish or reds. Last year we made a video about carp fishing, and we got feedback from some saltwater guys who were saying shit like, “go chase a real fish like permit”. Ok bud, thanks for the obvious. Yeah of course permit are more badass than carp, who the hell would argue with that, but don’t hate on the fish just because it isn’t elite enough for your snobbery.

Anyone who has ever carp fished in their life knows it is no easy task to trick one. They are intelligent, spooky, and very picky sometimes. If a carp isn’t eating, it is sure as hell not going to eat your fly. Finding feeding carp is the name of the game. Most carp dig their faces in the mud and eat anything on the surface, a lot like a redfish actually.

In shallow water, you will see their golden tails whipping around. In general, this type of activity is what most people try to find when looking for carp, but in Montana, it’s a little different. Carp will sit suspended in foamy back eddies and slurp out of the foam all day. One dude holds a pair of binoculars while the other casts into the foam. It is usually impossible to see the fly, so the spotter lets the angler know when to set. On our most recent trip, I climbed up a cliff and spotted from directly above the pod while Tege fished.

Tege’s fly got guzzled up after a few minutes of watching the fly spin around in the eddy while carp crushed all around it. The spotter yelled set, and Tege was in his backing on a huge mirror carp real quick. We landed the beast, and then we drank. On every swig of whatever pathetic beer we were drinking, I was reminded of how wild it all is, that carp actually eat flies, and how most people are missing out on the madness. Hopefully, this decent blog post has shed some light on how gangster carp are, until next time. Tight lines.

Make sure to check out @yellowtreeflyfishing on Instagram for more badass content!

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