Sunday, May 20, 2007
I had 2 hours today, and poor conditions. Not an ideal situation, but it turned out to be just a perfect carp session. I hit a local spot and the fish just weren't around so I checked out this cool creek bottom instead. I fished water that was maybe 4-10 inches deep. I'd see the fish from several hundred feet off, making a V in the shallow water. It was really a cool experience.
The tricky part was to avoid spooking them. In water that shallow, I could get really close to the fish, but not without making them speed up and stop feeding. I snuck up about 25 ft from one, and the second the crayfish fly hit the water, it just pounced on it like a cat. Not a huge fish, but in water that shallow it was quite the experience. I got him in quickly, as he couldn't get up a head of steam with only a few inches of water with which to work. When I made the cast, I could see 1/3 of the carp's body out of the water.
I can't really explain how cool it was to watch these fish moving in that water. Sometimes I'd clearly see their backs and tails moving, other times it would just be this push of water as the fish swam forward. I stalked around like a heron,and would have had a blast even if I had left the fly rod in the car.
But, it was tough. I just kept spooking them. They didn't blast out of there once they saw me, but they moved a little faster, and had no interest in eating. I did manage a bit bigger fish (about 10 lbs) in a deeper channel. I spotted that fish in 3 ft of water, dropped the crayfish in there and he just kind of settled down on it. Neat take, but the shallow water stuff stole the show. The last shot I had for the day was a great big fish...easily in the high teens. It was feeding against the bank, and I put the sneak on and got into position. I dropped the fly in on his big, hungry mouth and he looked at it, and just sucked it up. I literally had no time to set the hook. The second he took that fly in, he spit it right back out. It was really, really fast. I was RIGHT on top of the fish, and never even set the hook. One second I saw him eat the fly, and then I saw the fly come shooting back out of his mouth. As KB said, they don't get big being dumb.
This last shot was the release of the smaller fish. It just shows you how shallow that water really was. To top of the excitement of that shallow water fishing...it rained the entire time. I love to fish in the rain, though that usually makes the carp fishing really tough. What a great outing today.