The fish was coming right at me, about 30 feet up the bank...a head on shot. She was slow cruising, but unlike most slow cruisers there was no side to side searching, no sudden stops or tip ups...just a steady, slow, dead forward movement. Still, her body posture just screamed feeder. Her head was lower than her tail, and her movement, while straight lined, had a clear purpose. This fish was looking to eat. With a head on view of both length and girth, I knew I was looking at a 20 lber. I figured I had one shot.
My only cast was a good one. I laid the two fly rig just past and to the left (the deep side) of the fish. When the flies hit the water I immediatly lifted the rod tip and slide the flies just under the surface and into position. The angle of the cast and subsequent drag put my worm pattern directly in front of the slowly moving carp...maybe10 inches away. The hybrid, unseen due to distance and color would finish about 6 inches out and somewhat in line with the carps right eyeball. As the flies settled, I shifted focus and watched the fish. I knew the worm was heavier and could see it falling through the column in my mind as I watched for a reaction from the carp. I counted silently, aware that the lighter hybrid would be a beat or two behind the worm on its descent. As I hit a three count in my head the carp turned slowly, ponderously to her right and eased forward at the same glacial pace. I watched and stared...and saw it. The briefest of pauses in molasses motion...all the cue she was going to give. I set the hook, thinking about speed, not power. The big ones don't hold the fly long, and the 2 x tippet doesn't lend itself to a power hook set...fast is the name of the game.
The line came tight, and the fish was gone from view headed to the deep water. The rest was a matter of side pressure, palmed reels and good knots. Sometimes one shot is all you need.