Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Take

So I had a pretty good day today. Good enough that when I walked into a unique situation late in the day I goofed around and intentionally did not set the hook...more on that, but first, two fish that stood out from earlier in the day.

This 21 lb girl was slaloming through a patch of weeds in a slow cruise. I spotted her 20 feet out and sunk a soft hackle into a small opening in the weeds. She hit a fork in her path, but chose the one that led to my fly. Twitch, twitch, fish on.

This 16 lber was tailing heavily in some gravel. I put the fly just past her from about 30 ft out, and when it was in the zone she got all jittery and excited, so I set the hook. Columbia river apex athlete.

But the really cool part came later. I walked into a nice, soft but firm bottomed weed bed just loaded with sunning carp. The bottom was perfect for a stealthy approach, and since I was waist deep my outline wasn't too terrifying. In short, I was one sneaky SOB...and I got RIGHT on the sunning fish.

With just a few feet of leader out the rod tip, I started dapping a lightly weighted rubber legged hares ear on the fish, and they responded well. So well, that I decided not to set the hook, instead I just let them eat the fly as I watched the entire thing from a couple of feet away. Lest you all think I am totally crazy, I did set the hook on two big fish, but they both destroyed me in those weeds.

All told, I saw about ten good eats. The fish would simply extend their mouth like a tube and suck the fly in from a couple of inches away...really cool to watch. Not one fish hooked itself. In fact, not one fish ever took the fly in deep. For the most part they just mouthed it with their extended lips, and only for a split second. Granted, these were not "positive" or feeding fish, but it was still amazing to see how delicately they ate that fly. Most fish immediately spit the fly, and then hard spooked out of their like their tail was in fire. One fish though...poor dumb bugger. He ate the fly, spit it, then moved forward and ate it again with this confused look in his eyes. The second time he held on for maybe a full second then spit and spook like the others.

What a cool thing to witness. Carp are an interesting fish!



Gregg said...

You are lucky to live with the big C in your back yard, and it helps that you know what your waters are all about. very nice fish John!


fireflyfisherman said...

Great fish!

testflycarpin said...

Only John Montana gets to take a break and miss fish on accident! Sure looks like things are setting up nicely for next week.

Ty said...

Amazing. I once saw video of a carp repeatedly picking up and then spitting a hook loaded with a couple of corn kernels. Never did hook himself. Crazy stuff.

And that pic of those sunning carp is way cool.

Unknown said...

If only you had gotten that on video! I'm sure it was quite cool to see.

John Montana said...

I need a gopro Tim...that would have been a sweet video!

Wendy Berrell said...

One of the sweeter pics I have seen. Way to sneak in there.