For live and premium content, sign up for our email newsletter and we'll send reports directly to your inbox
And, finally, another subscriber, Kenneth Spint, has weighed in with a report on fly fishing for carp in southern California, specifically in Lake Henshaw near San Diego. It complements the report we published several months ago from subscriber Arthur Strauss, who fished the Los Angeles and Santa Ana rivers with Steven Blair of the Urban Carp (www.theurbancarp.com) in Los Angeles.
Spint gives high marks to his guide, Capt. John Hendrickson (www.bowmanbluewater.com), noting his excellent knowledge of Lake Henshaw and a personal manner that makes it fun to be with him on the water. “As incredible as it sounds, John says he can hear carp feeding before he sees them,” Spint writes. “His fish sense is downright spooky.”
Spint says he hooked about 25 carp the day he fished Lake Henshaw last July, almost all of them common carp but one of which was a mirror carp. Most of the fish were in the sixto eight-pound range, but three were in the 10-pound range. The largest carp caught here, he says, weighed 22 pounds.
Spint says Hendrickson has a 17- foot flats boat that he poles or moves with an electric motor depending on conditions. From the front deck of the boat, he said he was able to sight cast to most of the fish he caught. The rod he used was a 6 wt. with floating line, a 7.5-foot leader, and a 2x tippet. The fly of the day was one Hendrickson provided called “saltwater sandwich.”
“I have fished many times with John and have found that these fish are not easy to catch,” Spint writes. “Your fly has to land just in front of their teacup-size mouth while they are surface feeding. Then, you have to be able to see the ‘slurp’ and wait a brief moment—I count to three—before setting the hook with a trout set. When they are cruising, you have to hit them on the head. The fly landing doesn’t seem to bother them. Lining them is another matter: I have seen 10-pound fish fly out of the water when a fly line touches their backs.”
Spint gives the cost of a day of fishing with Hendrickson as $400. “This is affordable, exciting sight fishing with a dry fly,” he concludes. “It is also easily arranged even on a stopover basis if you are going to be in the San Diego area.