Saturday, March 24, 2012

Back in the Saddle

I just couldn't take it anymore. With work getting busier by the minute (thank you produce season!) and no break in sight from the weather I simply had to make a run to the river. The deck was stacked against me though. Cold water...check. Cold air...check. Lack of direct sunlight...check. Zero visibility...check. But sometimes, you just have to ignore the odds.

 

And sometimes, you get lucky.

This was the first of six on the day, and for the record, the smallest carp I have caught in 3-4 years. Tiny little bugger at 4-5 lbs but when he dipped down for the soft hackle I think I whooped for joy before I even set the hook! Conditions were brutal, and this was the only clean take I actually saw...the rest were half intuition, half sensing motion, and half guessing. I realize that is 1.5, but carp are tough to catch.

The rest of the fish were all about 8-9 lbs and skinny...poor carp have had a lean winter. I walked several miles of river and it was a cold, barren wasteland. Not a tail or shape to be found until I stumbled onto the one section that was warm enough to bring in some fish, and found about a dozen or so spread out on a soft mud bottom. The problem...the entire area was brown and muddy. All I could see we're clouds where the carp moved around and if I stared long enough, a shadow within the cloud that could only be a carp. The little guy was in shallow enough that I could see the entire fish, but detecting the other takes was tough. My arsenal:

I fished this two fly rig, and did my best to split the flies so that one landed on either side of what I though was the carp's head. I spooked a few (big mud clouds of escape) likely by hitting their tail instead of their head, but I got a few right as well. Then it was a matter of staring at the water for a sense of motion as the carp turned to eat. All in all, pretty cool for the first time out this year. With no sun, I had no business catching those fish so I will just give a nod to the fish gods in thanks.

And I am ready for more.

 

10 comments:

Mark said...

Huzzah! I'm going to Bethany tomorrow to chase something (hopefully a carp or two) around for a few hours. I'm going stir crazy. My biggest issue right now - do I take the 6 weight, or the 8 weight?

McTage said...

6! I am so freaking jealous!

John Montana said...

There are some big carp in Bethany...spooky buggers though. I would bring a six right now. No weeds to get in the way yet.

I have a new spot in. Ind for when you come out in July Trevor. I will scout it prior to Wendy Berrell arriving, and by the time you get here we should have it down. It screams big fish!

Ty said...

Niiice. I knew it wouldn't be long before you got out, weather be damned.

McTage said...

I suspect you could find a new spot every day for years! I was just re-reading this and paid a little more attention to the pictures. That is a stunning picture with the flies reflecting off the surface.

e.m.b. said...

I completely 2nd McTage....on first read...jealousy and wows over your catch...but then that fly photo. Brought me to a full stop. The reflection, light, composition. Well done.

John Montana said...

Thanks...that pic came out pretty well. That fly on the left was tied by McTage. Stark contrast between his art and my heavy handed soft hackle.

Gregg said...

John,

About time for you! Now to get Mr.P into some action as well. And that was a high mountain lake photo, which side is up? We get a teaser possibly 70F day here today, can't fish it, and then back to rain, (always needed here) and cooler temps. Good news from Oregon!

Gregg

Wendy Berrell said...

Now things are looking up. Nice report. I figured as soon as I caught a few carp you'd run out and double my count for the year.

Glad it came together. Looking for more.

Brian J. said...

NICE! Way to beat the odds