The Cayuga Fisher

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Hot Knots

Never tie an improved clinch again.

The uni knot is versatile, easy to tie, and strong. Use it to tie on hooks or join two lines together with the double uni knot. Works great for tying dissimilar lines together or a leader to braid. For tying a braid backing to heavier mono or even a leader to braid the Red Phillips knot is faster and smaller.

Fly Fishing for Carp:  The Spring Behemoth

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Best Fight in Town:   The common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Spring is finally here again- and that means carp!  The next two to three months are the prime time to target carp in the Finger Lakes.  Easily the best fight around, nothing compares to one of these big beasts on a fly rod.

Carp were originally introduced to New York and the U.S. as a food fish in 1831.  By the mid-1800's the U.S. Fish and Game Commission was planting them throughout the country and by the end of the century carp were everywhere and the backlash had begun.  The idea of food never really caught on, and unfortunately the carp proved to be prolific breeders, impossible to control, and quite often caused major changes in local ecosystems.

Carp were introduced into Cayuga Lake around 1889.  Considering the following tales and the ease at which the common carp spread, is it any wonder these golden behemoths are nearly everywhere?

This species was first noticed in the lake about 1889. Four or five years prior to this date three different persons had constructed ponds and stocked them with carp. One was at Newfield in a tributary to the inlet, a second was in a small tributary to Fall Creek six or seven miles from the lake and a third was at Ludlowville in a tributary of Salmon Creek. In 1888 all three of these ponds gave way during a heavy flood and in the following year carp began to be in evidence in the lake and have increased rapidly to the present time.  ("The Vertebrates of the Cayuga Lake Basin, NY", Reed and Wright, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 48, No. 193. (Sep. - Dec., 1909), pp. 370-459.)

And this from Catalogue of Fishes of New York State, Bean, T.H.  New York State Museum, Bulletin 60, 1903, discussing J.E. De Kay's classic Zoology (pub. 1842):

De Kay places the first introduction into New York waters in the year 1831 and publishes a letter of Henry Robinson, Newburg, Orange co., who brought them from France, reared and bred them successfully in his ponds, and planted from one dozen to two dozen annually in the Hudson during the four years preceding his letter.   Mr Robinson stated that they increased greatly and were frequently taken by fishermen in their nets.

From these inauspicious beginnings in the ponds and rivers of New York an invasion was born.  The carp- common, mirror, and leather, not to mention the goldfish (introduced to the U.S. in the 1600's as pets (Bean 1903)) and their more recent cousins, the grass and asian carp- have simply exploded all over the United States.  A five pound female carp may have nearly half a million eggs! 

While introducing the carp is seen as a mistake, the carp are here to stay and the best thing to do is take advantage of their existence.  The spring warm up concentrates the carp and gets them feeding before spawning: it's prime time for fly fishing!

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