Sunday, October 19, 2014

One more cast


Yeah, reports of my season ending turned out to be a bit premature...though for the record, I really do think today was my last day. On a whim, I gave it one more shot today. I avoided the big flats and the big gravel bars and looked for areas with small bays and lots of sand pockets, figuring they would be a little warmer than the big bays and flats. That half ass strategy paid off...finding fish was not a problem. I did struggle with some cloud cover, a morning fog, and the low angled sun, but with enough targets around those are more annoyances than problems. I landed 18 carp today. Crazy. Top fish was 18 lbs with a handful of 15s in the mix and the usual cadre of 10-12 lbers. I also landed my smallest fish of the year, maybe 5 lbs...and managed to blow 3 shots (2 creaky good ones) at fish that were pretty clearly over 20 lbs.

Pretty amazing for a day in mid October! All but three fish took the hybrid, with the other three eating the trouser Worm. It amazes me how different those flies fish. The hybrid gets more eats on my water, but when the fish want that trouser worm they eat it with absolute resolve. Really fun to see them just plop down on that big fly, rather than trying to discern the exact moment they suck in a hybrid.

That should be it for me and Columbia River this year...then again, aren't we all victims of "one more cast."



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Season's End


I am always reluctant to call it good. Granted, by this time of year I am somewhat sated and feeling pretty satusfied about a solid 9-10 months of tails and backing, but actually admitting it might be time to hang it up is tough. Truth is, I can still go catch carp. I can walk the river and see 10% of the numbers I expect, and I have caught carp on Halloween in the past; but I do live in OR. Fall in my state is full of opportunities and the decline of carping coincides with some pretty good salmon, steelhead and trout action. So odds are, I am hanging up the hybrid for the year...unless I don't.


Regardless, it has been a banner year on the big C. One of my formerly considered "C" spots exploded to "A" water this year, reminding me that things can change on big reservoirs fast. Two seasons ago this water was full of 9 lbers...this year I caught seven fish over 20 lbs in ONE day on that same stretch. As always, the rule on the big C is you need to keep moving, keep looking, keep your boots in the water and good things will happen.


Our Lake MI trip was a success, despite a mid trip cold front that left the flats suddenly vacant. Still, Wendy and I had two solid days of fishing and time with my buddy on the water is always a win. This year Wendy came out to the big C in the early spring, and together we stuck around 135 carp in 4 epic clip for this water.


All told I put up some big numbers this year. I finished in the realm of 400 carp to hand on the year (give or take 20 fish) and landed exactly 21 carp that weighed more than 20 lbs. That second number is a record for me, for some reason in years past I kept getting stuck at 19!


Sitting in a coffee shop this morning. My son is decked out in soccer gear, reading a book and the rain is coming down outside. I can't help but think of brightly colored pink and purple steelhead flies, the moss and ferns of the coastal streams and the sound of the rain on my gore tex hood. Winter is coming, and the carp will wait...but there is fishing to be had, it just might be silver instead of gold.