Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Looking back through the pictures and recalling the fish, the takes, the company, the setting...it is difficult to believe everything occurred in only a day and a half.
The numbers were there...we estimate that we laid eyes on a number closer to 200 than 300 fish on Day one. This despite conditions that, while not anywhere near a disaster, were less than ideal
We started out with hopes high while the sun was still low, and within a few hundred yards of the car Wendy laid eyes on a monster carp marauding along some rip rap. He got a fly to the beast, and despite being snubbed, it was a sign of things to come. A few hours later and we were already into the fish...big fish
Day one we landed not one, not two but three fish over 20 lbs. This included the earlier mentioned 20 lb holy grail of mirror carp that wendy nailed on a little green fly. I picked up the other two on that same fly as well.

We stalked down the flats laying waste to the carp with some real efficiency. Tailing fish = caught fish, and only the rather pedestrian show of heavy feeding by the carp kept this from being a total massacre. We did see tailers, but spent more time on slow cruisers and stationary fish. We would put flies within inches of a sedentary monster and wait patiently while the fish seemed to decide..."oh yeah, that looks good!" and ease forward to chomp the fly. Pretty heady stuff for two guys armed with fly rods.

Day two saw us rigging up near the car with rain splattering our glasses and dark clouds blanketing the sky. We pushed on under the theory that you either fish and get your butt kicked, or drive home with your tail between your legs. Good decision. Throughout the day random pockets of sunlight fell upon us, followed by immediate hook ups and hallelujahs as the river opened before us like turning on the lights in a dark room.

The fish were in tight to the banks, dark shapes amongst the light rocks and our flies were no less effective. We covered maybe 1/3 the distance on this day, choosing instead to stay close to the route home and having enough fish around that at one point Wendy commented that he "expected" to see a fish every 30 seconds to 1 minute. Some pretty concentrated carp. The day ended with the sighting of 2-3 of the biggest carp I've ever seen on the river...ghosting in and out of a small area, not interested in our presentations, but reminding us of what is store for future trips. You can't have it all, and laying into one of those beasts would have been too much for any sane carper to ask for after the time we had just spent on the water. We clipped our flies with the big boys still showing and headed home for dinner with our kids and wives. Another great bit of time on the water together, memories stored and future events already forming in both of our minds.


Unknown said...

fo shizzle that is some smokin numbers. well done boooys

Mr. P. said...

Beautiful fish John and Justin.

Royce Gracie said...

Next year the three of us for 4 days minimum.

Matthew D Dunn said...


cort said...


John Montana said...

Get it planned Royce. You know I'm an easy mark.

The crazy thing was the fish really were not feeding aggressively. We had to force ourselves to slow way down and be extra patient. The big key was waiting an extra few seconds for the fish to kind of wake up to your fly being there, and then wait even longer for them to saunter over and suck it up. Pretty interesting takes!

Feather Chucker said...

The waiting is the hard part. I don't have 100 fish to choose from, 2 or 3 at most so when they come close I can feel my heart almost beat out of my chest.

Wendy Berrell said...

Great post.

On the road for a while here. Still thinking about that big river and those fascinating fish. I'll report out asap.

Thanks John for yet another learning experience on The Columbia. Appreciate your time taken and it sure is good watching you deal hook-sticks to all those fish.

We put together quite an outing, considering the relatively poor conditions and the mood of the fish.

Top five fish ~ 104 lbs total is unheard of.

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