Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Giant Carp Quest - 2nd. Day

The Giant Carp Quest 2nd. Day| 40pound + On Fly
2 Days Rod´n Reel Torturing
by Stephan Dombaj
feat.: Matthias Burget &
Nikolai Prietl

Make sure that you don´t miss the first part. Click here to get some more information!

Our last chance for the big bang and the forecast was a mess: Rain, Hail, Harsh Wind and Thunderstorms - Sun in between and time is running. A dark front at the horizon sets a deadline of a couple of hours untill thunder and lightning makes the handling of a carbon rod even more thrilling. Far more complicated than the weather situation is the simultaneous atmospheric pressure drop off, what leads to a feeding stop - from one moment to another. The air bladder is responsible for this phenomenon since it’s highly affected by this sudden drop off - it makes carp feel unwell. Anyway, the quiet before storm wasn’t quite at all since carps went nuts! Good chance for a 40 pounder?

(First fish of day II)

(A real fighter!)


(Need a landing-net for this one)

(First attempt)

(2nd. attempt - WOOHHHA!)


(Old fish with giant fins)


(Get away...)

(Yeah, Baby!)

After a couple of "smaller" steroid-bulls, Niko got in serious trouble... he hooked something really big from the drift boat. I pushed the "rec-button" and took some pictures meanwhile. The situation was tense since we all knew that this fish could be the fish we were all aiming for: The Holy Grail, the big Mama! Check this unique footage out:

(Driftboat for the win)

(Niko gently lifts the monster!)

(OMG, it´s in the net!)

We all were very eager to see if this fish could break the barrier! It was just massive -the best word to describe this perfect giant fat ass monster carp! I taped the weight-in: Exactly 18kg...
18 Kilogram = 39.68321 Pound - 150gr left for the win!!! 150GRAMMS!!! Congratulations Brother... this fish is for sure one of the biggest ever documented carps on a fly rod!

(18 Kilogramm = 39.68321 Pounds)

(Fat belly)

(Giant head)

(What a fish)

(See you soon... at least 150gr heavier)

150gr... that’s the weight of the little word "almost". Actually not even worth talking about it, just a little scratch on the surface of perfection, but in this case it means everything. We could easily round the weight off to reach the barrier but the bad taste would still remain. Don’t get me wrong... this fish is perfect, a mark that is very hard to break, but if you are just an eyelash away from your goal that you set yourself... you know... Niko rose the bar! We all realised that the average size increased rapidly and the last fish was a irrepressible evidence that some big fat crackers were feeding actively!

(Deep wading - big fish)

(Steriod bull)


(Rain beginns to fall)

Our time ran off, just a few minutes after we had reached a shelter the wet apocalypse crushed down. Seriously, it felt like a massive wipe-out. Branches, uprooted trees, blown away tents - a picture of destruction. It was still raining after the first thunderstorm passed by, when I got back into the water; assuming that the muddy water along the shoreline must be a prefect feeding spot.

(Niko and Matthias are fishing the shoreline)

A quite bright GloBug with a tinny indicator should do a good job under these conditions. It was absolutely impossible to see some movement or any hind of active fish. Anyhow, I blindly decided to present my pattern close to a submersed structure that had produced some good fish before. Just a few seconds passed by until the indicator disappeared. Still wondering about the quick reaction something underneath glazed the surface by a simple flap of its fin. OMG that must be a real pig!

(Seriously Dude, that´s a real pig!)

The first run was unhurried but constant - almost deliberate! Oh yeah, that was my chance and the quote was on my site since the the air pressure and the oxygen level in the water were decreasing simultaneously due to the thunderstorm. Long story short, considering this circumstances it shouldn’t be as hard as it’s supposed to be. The fish came up the first time and I was almost pissing my pants as I realized that this is the stuff we were looking for... and I was damn sure! Check this unique footage:

(Lifting the submarine)

(Landing a giant)


(Incredible Body Mass Index)

(Weight-In Time)


19KG = 41.88783 Pound. Take that, Nemesis!!! I lost 3 fish of that range before during the last 4 years. 41pounds - almost 42pounds, sweetest revenge. Maybe the biggest carp on fly in my life - overwhelming. I need a drink.

(See you soon greenback)


There was nothing more to say. That´s why we shut the fuck up and continued fishing in the rain. Both Pontoon and Shore fishing was overwhelming. Seeing the orange mouth right in the middle of disturbed water...casting the fly right at the feeding fish... awesome! Here’s a compilation of pics how the day went on:

(Pontoon fishing)

(Niko fights a nice fish)

(Double action)

(Matthias kicks ass)

(Niko´s turn)

(Busted...on the ant)

(Tryin to land a fish)

(Good stuff)


(Fight back)

(Tight Lines)

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Giant Carp Quest

The Giant Carp Quest 1st. Day | 40pound + On Fly
2 Days Rod´n Reel Torturing
by Stephan Dombaj
feat.: Matthias Burget &
Nikolai Prietl

A passion is always a walk on a tightrope, if you take it too far it tends to become an obsession. Well, I have to admit... I am pretty obsessed... obsessed by the thought of slamming down a carp of more than 40 english pounds on a tiny silly flyrod. Fortunately there was another guy who was crazy enough to give it a serious try. Nikolai Prietl, member of Loop´s Austrian Pro Team, a headguide of (best service for flycarp tours in Europe) and a real carp crack just like me...


Location: The Location was the cracking point because it's for sure the most important part of that whole quest. The chance of hitting an appropriate spot is rapidly decreasing if one may consider a flyfishermen´s requirement. During our last carp trips we were trying to figure out all necessary requirements and unlike coarse fishermen we are kinda bound to some limitations such as water depth... for a flyfisher, a 60pound carp ain't worth a penny when it's cruising around in 10meters depth. Best situation would be a mudding fish, a surface-feeder or a school of itinerant fishes. Another important point is the availability. Not every water can produce a fish of that size or even bigger ones. Finding an appropriate water that matches all requirements and fullfils all other facts is a puzzling game. So, back to the roots of modern carp fishing...

("Dude, that is nuts...")

Specimen hunting has a long history here in Europe and it's still in focus. Ever since carp/specimen hunters went out to explore new lakes, channels, reservoirs or rivers they wrote detailed descriptions, took pictures and conveyed the message of possible giants across Europe. There are even some sorts of lists of Europe's biggest carps, where they swim around and the best way to approach them... some of them are very famous like that fish from Lac. St. Cassien called “Banana” or UK´s “Benson” who died a few weeks ago. Long story short: This knowledge was a main part of our research. Our perspective journey should lead us to South-Austria.

(A hind?)

My first impression of the lake was just too good to be true. The upper and narrow section was part of a degenerated river mouth system with a lot of vegetation, submersed logs and, due to the former creek that flew into that lake, a very structurized ground. Within the first 10 minutes a saw a whole bunch of feeding fish along the shoreline – a dream came true!

(Getting ready)

Equipment: If a 40 pound meatball starts to run it's tails of you better should be prepared. It ain't no secret that a carp is a hell of a fighter and considered to be one of the most enduring warmwater-fishes on a rod. So let's have a look at the main part of our hardware.

(Tool of torture: 6# 12ft.)

Kick ass recommendation:

6120 Göran Andersson (UL-Doublehander) + 7/9 Evotec G4

890 OptiSalt (X-Grip) + Opti Speedrunner

693 OptiCoast (X-Grip) + Opti Runner

Of course you can fight a big carp on your trout 5weight - no doubt that it will work out, but we were aiming for the "DA MAMA"; a fish with an incredible BMI (Body-Mass-Index). Just in case you hook up such a monster, you'll get to know if your dragystem is worth it. The first run is breathtaking but nothing to fuck up a rod (if your reel works properly) - the landing is the cracking point. You need a rod with a lot of backbones because unlike troutfishing you need liftingpower. What I mean, don't mess around - we are not talking about a 15pounder! Not only because you could mess up your trophy-moneyshot... you could harm the fish as well; releasing a fish that is almost dead is just perversion at it's finest.


Two driftboats, sparereels with other lines, tying vise and material, landing net, digital scale, weight-matting and some other small items completed our hardware. Ammunition? Well, let's see: Glo Bugs, Crab- and Crawldadpattern, Damsels, Bloodworms, Terrestrials (Ants, Bugs ans Hoppers), some sort of Breadcrumbflies, Rubberlegnymphs, USD-Streamer, Charlies, San Juans...and so on. Carp's favourite dishes!

(After 2Days: Screwed Foam-Ant)

(USD-Damsel - heavy and light)

Starting up: Even though there were a lot of fish, it was still a tricky thing. Either because it was hard to stay calm or even harder to not react when a school of smaller fishes (Up to 15 pounds) passed by just to not mess up the chance of hooking a big pig.

(Wading the "turtle flats")

1st. commandment: " Act like a heron!"

3 guys stalking the shoreline, hiding behind any form of cover and remaining statically for minutes... just to get the perfect shot.

"School ahead, big fish infront - feeding the weedfields... can you see it?"

Yeah, I do... a simple bow and arrow cast with my 12ft. 6wt. and the presentation is done. The mudding fish in front of the school reacts instantly after my fly bumped just a few cm away into the water. As it "tails" for that USD-Damsel pattern I set the hook via flyline. Instant Start-up! A good fish... mid-twenties for sure! Check the pics from the first fish of the quest!

(Landing the first fish of the quest)


(Weight-in: 24 pounds)

(Eat, Sleep, Fish Pt.II)

Every carp on a fly rod that cracks the 20pound mark is a real good fish, no doubt about it. Considering the facts mentioned upon, a 20pounder is often the top of the edge in most waters. Well, a 24pound warm up carp... seriously, things could be worse. I never expected the first fish to be that big, even though it's still far away from the our final goal.

2nd commandment: "Down & Dirty!"

(Structurized shoreline)

Due to the enormous amount of structure, which is very good for fishing but the worse case for fighting a giant fish, you need to get a plan... or at least a tactic. Carp reacts very well on pressure directions since it wants to reach mostly the opposite direction. If you pull your rod to the right, the fish turns left - if you lift it, it wants to reach the ground and way around. If you stay calm enough to remember this while you are playing a good fish you have a good chance to direct the fish away from any sort of obstacles...and away from the ground. "Down and Dirty" describes very well what I it? Enough theory for now... time for Niko to fight the next carp...



(Nice fish)


Everything was possible, we knew it! The first rush yield to a collective insanity. We were wading quietly along the shoreline, watching for itinerant schools and it felt a bit like bonefish-hunting. Backingruns, fully bend rods, big crackers, massive boils... the first day was really a picture-book day of carp fishing. We thought it couldn't get any better... until we came back on day two...

(I want my Backing back...)

(First attempt)

(WTF, NO!)

(Yeah, Baby)

(That´s the name of the game)

(Good stuff)

(Niko with another one)

(Release Pt.II)

(Happy landing)

Click here for the 2nd part!