Transition from trout to carp. As excited as we'd been to watch redsides flush the toilet on some big ass dry flies, we were equally, if not more amped to see some golden ghosts. We started out by hitting some local "ponds" as a prelude to the drum-roll-demanding moment that we'd lay eyes on the Big Flat. It was windy. The first couple joints we scoped were pretty much busts. Saw a couple fish and put flies on them... The third pond got us each a hook up - mine popped off but I believe JB landed one... The wind was just whipping our asses. At one point I tried to cast from a high bank and my flies actually ended up on dry land, down wind from me.
We eventually found a pond that provided a little shelter... some clear water... and a nice mix of flats on which we found a load of fish. Spawning behavior was evident, but we managed to hook and land a number of fish. The highlights were three-fold I think:
(1) The straight up coolness of the place - we found fish in a little bay, fish on a gravelly flat, and fish at the far end in a silty bay... and fish sunning out in the "pelagic" piece of the waterbody.
(2) This 11 lb fish (may have been 13 lb - can't remember now) that I hooked and landed... it ran like an absolute biatch - took me to nearly the end of my backing in fact. At one point I made the mistake of getting my thumb too close to the reel... swear on a stack of Bibles that carpio nearly busted a nuckle. I honestly thought there was no way I could bring that fish back... but it worked out in the end.
(3) The big fish of the trip was caught this day... same cool pond, just feet away from where I landed that racecar fish. We saw a big ol' tail waving like an oriental fan in the water... and I believe that we both knew it represented a caught fish. We didn't see many tailers. It looked good and it looked big. JB strutted on up and presented a fly... immediately hooked the fish on an educated guess hookset. As he fought it, we began to understand how big it was. Big. We guessed 24-25 lbs. It scaled at 22 lbs. Beautiful fish.
We ended the day with a drive to the big flat... and initial observations suggested that it would be fishable. Exciting. Would have to wait for tomorrow to confirm.