Sunday, June 08, 2008

Rough day. I headed out today primarily on a scouting mission before Justin arrives to chase some carp. I wanted to take a look at just how bad the water was and figure out if we could still scrape something together. To get an idea just how bad it was today...I called Justin and had him look into changing his ticket and coming out in July.

Conditions were horrible. The water is ridiculously high and muddy, and even the areas of the flats that are often dry were covered by 5 ft of water. I drove all over and checked everything I could think of and it was rough. I fell in at one point, slipped off a boulder I was using as a platform to vainly search for carp. Ended up neck deep in cold water. I tore holes in my waders because I got stuck in some blackberry bushes...those same bushes ripped my already many times repaired net into pieces.

But at the end of the day...I was still fishing. I did find a tiny bit of clear water, and lo and behold there were some carp around. They were spawning, but when you haven't seen a fish all day, you take what you can get. I snuck into position, made some fruitless casts and then spotted a single fish milling around on the outskirts. I put the worm on him and BANG! My day turned around. It was only a 7 lb fish, but it felt good. Minutes later another single guy cruised within site, this one ate the worm as well.

I was heading back to the car and like most fisherman, was just looking for an excuse to make one last cast. I found it in the shape of a big, dark shadow cruising the edge of the shallow water. I made a 25 ft cast, dropped a two fly rig about 2 ft in front of the slow moving shape. It kept moving for approximately 2 ft...and then stopped. I almost felt bad for the fish, the take was so perfect, even in the slightly deeper water. It just stopped, right on top of my fly. I set the hook before the fish had time to realize its mistake, and had a real battle on my hands. I swear, my 7 wt Albright doesn't have the butt of my 6 wt st croix. The big fish made a run for a logjam and I couldn't stop it, but managed to turn it instead. She dove into a weedbank, and I had to give her line and let her swim out. My fly line reappeared on the other side of the weeds moments later, draped in salad. Eventually, I got her within distance of my tiny little net and managed to steer her head into the opening. The rest of her wouldn't fit. She weighed out at just a hare over 21 lbs.

I felt really good after letting that big fish swim off. So good that I actually stuck to my little mental promise that fisherman always make. I cut off my flies, reeled up the rod and headed home. Not bad for a last cast.

Justin will be here this weekend, and while I don't expect conditions to improve, and I'm convinced we'll have a tough time finding any consistent carp fishing...I know we'll have a good time. We will likely resort to trout fishing (the horror!) but I do love the big D. I imagine we'll poke around for carp and sooner or later we'll stumble across a few. Hopefully we can find some big ones and find them in an eating mood.

See you soon J!

6 comments:

Wendy Berrell said...

That is one black ass carp, as you said. Great fish. For tough conditions, that is a pretty decent result. That would be a PB for most folks.

Whatever we find - we'll have a good time bumping around. I'm looking forward to getting out there!

Hank said...

Nice blog, it came through on our news feed. We posted it under our Stories section. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

sorry to miss the trip John and Justin. I'm just not into driving and walking around all day when I am free to show up when conditions are ripe! I'm not as dumb as I look!

Have a great trip and think about MT for next spring!
The Reel John Montana

john montana said...

are there carp in MT dad? heh heh...

Anonymous said...

Yes, the blasted creatures got into the state! Ugly fish that most MT Boys and Girls bowhunt to help get rid of them. Not too many flyfish for them yet. As rough and tough as most Montana Boys think they are, they don't like picking flies out of their lips!

Rainbow are much prettier...they just don't get nearly as big unless you fish Kookanoosa...
the Reel John Montana

vanckirby said...

wow!