Fly Fishing for carp:
Although fly fishing for carp is tough, every so often someone successfully stamps their huge muddy boot print onto the fly fishing for carp tapestry. Most often these events remain unnoticed, but once and awhile, the event is captured on film.

Dr. Tim Blackwell D.V.M.
Swine specialist Dr. Tim Blackwell D.V.M (grinning) put a small scratch into the annals of Canadian, and world, fly fishing history. On July 31, 2003, he hooked and landed his first carp on a fly, and he did it using a pattern bearing his name. This was his second carp of the day, after performing a flawless L.D.R (Long Distance Release) on the first carp hooked during his illustrious fishing career. After a heart-stopping 30 minute battle using only a 5 weight rod, Dr. Blackwell exclaimed: "Bloody hell! I now have a new and healthy respect for carp. This was way more fun than trying to collect blood samples in a barn full of 300 weaner pigs."

He went on to say ...
After the fish was released Dr. Blackwell went on to say: "In retrospect, I think that fish might have needed a penicillin shot." When asked to share any words of wisdom, or encouragement, for other anglers going after carp with a fly rod, he answered: "Don't do it! But if you must, have lots of backing, I mean LOTS of backing and make sure your hook is sharp."

According to Dr. Blackwell, one other key point to successfully landing a hooked carp is to "make sure the guys you are fishing with remain silent, or ask them to offer any fish landing advice using hushed tones. It's not that the talking will spook the hooked fish, it's just that you can more fully appreciate the squealing and squeaking noises made by the reel and rod."

Yes folks, those are words to fish by.

The Blackwell's Baitfish
Anglers have been successfully using this pattern since 1998. I initially developed it as a minnow pattern for Great Lakes Steelhead, but as it turned out the following species will also have a go at it: Smallmouth Bass, Grand River Brown Trout, Speckled Trout, Chinook, Coho and Pink Salmon, White Perch, Yellow Perch, Walleye, Silver Bass, Sheephead, Gar Pike, Channel Catfish, Quillback Carpsuckers, Redhorse and Splake. This was the first recorded case of a carp being landed on Blackwell's Baitfish. It was one of those wonderful moments in fly fishing when the chap who has the fly named after him, was the first person to add a new species to the list. Sort of like Mr. Jock Scott, using a Jock Scott to land a Sea Trout on his Atlantic salmon pattern. Or even, Mr. Ally Gowans using his Ally's Shrimp to land a Northern Pike.

Fishing the Blackwell's Baitfish
The Blackwell's Baitfish is best fished slow-and-deep on a longish leader around 15 feet. Most of the hits are quite soft, and even hard hitting species like Steelhead, Smallmouth Bass and Gar Pike will just tap the fly when they take it, and take it they do. If you are planning on fishing in freshwater, you probably want to have a Blackwell's Baitfish in your fly box. Actually, you probably want to have it attached to a 15 foot leader, and you may want to fish it slow-and-deep.

The original dressing had a white tail but you should match the tail colour to that of the local baitfish population in the watershed you are fishing.

Time out
Dr. Tim Blackwell takes time out from a busy day of Brown Trout fishing on the Grand River to share a joke with Tony Donnelly who was visiting from Scotland. Tony said, "Meeting Dr. Blackwell, was just as exciting as Heart of Midlothian winning the Scottish Premier League, but I may never see that in my life time. It was great to meet the man whos name is on the fly. It's a cracking Sea Trout and Rainbow Trout pattern back home in The Motherland."

For the record
a. Yes:
I did airbrush out the top part of the picture, and I did add a few things, so that the fishing location would remain hush-hush.

b. Posters:
Full colour posters, signed by Dr. Blackwell, will be available in most retail outlets across North America by the fall of 3002.

c. Rumors?
Dr. Blackwell would not deny or confirm rumors that he has developed a series of inspirational and educational children's books based on his life-altering carping experience. He would not comment on the suggestion that he has been in touch with the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario, to have the following classes included as "required" for all O.V.C. students: Carping 101, Beyond Carping 201 and Cattle and Carp for the Large Animal Specialist 301.

d. Full disclosure:
I have known Dr. Blackwell for about 25 years since my "Aggie Days" when I was enrolled at the University of Guelph. Poking a wee bit of fun at Tim was done with his full consent. Yeah, right!