After two days of absolutely crushing carp on Lake MI, Wendy and I decided to change it up on day three. Day one and two had featured heavy volumes of fish in one large bay, mostly spawning, but with enough feeders to keep us tied into fish all day long. Toward the end of day two we had walked away from the bay and found some ultra aggressive carp cruising the rocky points...this grabbed our interest, so we started day three by ignoring a sure thing, and walking some rocks, looking for the chase...the eat...the carp that would kill our flies. It paid off.
J hooked up first, and after releasing his fish, I took the lead down a rocky point...eyes peeled for carp. In short order a group of four fish appeared, seemingly negative, just laying near the bottom, not moving much but in this shallow, rocky water, I suspected these fish would leap into action at the sight of prey. I crept into position and laid the fly 30 feet out there, past the fish, but on a sharp angle so I could pull the fly not toward the fish, but away from the fish as if it were an escaping goby. The bunny leech settled to the bottom and I stripped and hopped the fly into range, a few feet away and past the sleepy carp.
One broke off immediately, lumbering forward to the fly, fins up as it closed the 5-6 foot gap. I let the fly settle and watched the fish mosey along...at two feet away I hopped the fly once, a solid 6 inch strip, then a second six inch pull and the carp sped up and darted toward the fly at what looked like full speed. I gave the fly one more hard strip, but shorter, maybe 2-3 inches and killed the fly, letting it simply fall to the bottom in amongst the rocks and shells and cobble. The carp darted forward again, right on top of the fly and then flared its gills hard, flashing a big, white bucket mouth and I set the hook with a hard strip set.
The fish ran out into the blue waters of Lake MI, and I happily watched the fly line disappear. As Mr. P says, the take is the premier moment...the battle, the rush, the spinning reel and the long tug of war are all part of it, but the take, the eat, the dead ass bunny leech, the gill flare and white mouth...those are the moments that keep us coming back.
Credit to Wendy for the photos.