We were walking crap water. Deep and rocky...but big rocks. Boulders and stones too big for carp to easily nudge them aside...the window to spot a fish was maybe 5-6 feet wide, then the water dropped steeply down to maybe 8-10 feet. Crap water, but also big fish water.
"If we see one, it will be a nice fish." David said, and I nodded in agreement and turned my eyes back to the front...this was my kind of water.
A few seconds later I froze and pointed. Big fish in the shallows, quartering away from me and just laying there like a pig in mud...roughly the same size too. I slipped my flies loose, stripped out some line and took a couple of careful steps to get into position.
The fish's scales were the size of quarters.
The cast was a good one, and I dragged and dropped the trouser worm slightly in front and to the shoreline side of the fish, the hybrid trailing behind. The fish slowly swam forward a few inches, watching as the t-worm fell, and then made a sudden, sharp lunge to the left and ate the lighter, still sinking hybrid in mid column. Fish on!
Immediately the carp rolled up to the surface and I could see the hybrid stuck firmly in the corner of the mouth. I pumped my fist...it was a solid hook up and looked like it wouldn't pull loose. Then the big carp surged forward and darted down the drop off, heading toward a boulder and quickly wrapping the line around a rock. I ran to my right and found an angle to free the line and the fish took off again, swimming deep and far and I started walking down the bank after the big fish. David moved into the bay, looking to double up and I watched my reel spin and listened to the music...a smile on my face.
Then it happened. I felt something rubbing on the line and then everything stopped...the line was still tight and the rod bent over double, but no more fly line left the reel and I knew it was over. I walked this way and that, trying to free the line (and hopefully the fish) but it stayed stuck to the bottom, unseen in the depths. I threw a bunch of slack on the water and waited, but the floating line stayed still. Eventually I pointed the rod and pulled.
All I got back was half of a leader, frayed and destroyed.