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