There have been no exceptionally remarkable outings as of late... no feats worthy of song, no rods broken into so many pieces, no buffalo herd and no duels with the micro rod. However, the last couple days have provided some interesting bits. Fragmented - like passerine habitat in a major metro area. Here they are though:
(1) Friday forecast was for severe weather. I saw, around 4:15 PM, a major storm cell west of town, heading right for us. The thing to do, I figured, was to try to beat it and get in ~20 minutes of fishing in to kick off the weekend. We'd done a little field work, and a coworker mentioned that she'd seen some carp at a particular location that was, in a round-about fashion, on the way home. Stopped then, and indeed saw said fish, in said location. They were holding in current - two of them - neither really big. Clouds were moving fast and the darkness was falling... it was like Sauron was spreading his presence... only from the west this time. I marked the location of the fish by an indicator on the bank... then clicked the 7 wt together and sneaked my ass down the hill. Wind was picking up. I dapped in the Legion of Doom soldier in the water to make sure it was fully saturated, and thus would sink correctly. Good. Crawled through tall grass and did peer out into a little side-slack water... fish were cooperating. They were holding on the edge of the slack, feeding in slight current. I had that good grass cover on my side, so I was able to get pretty close. Flipped fly up, and on first cast saw one carp head move to the side. Set hook and found fish on. It was a little 4-5 lber, but that summabich ran a few times... pretty impressed. Darkness fell on the battle and the wind started to whip. Fish ran upand across in diagonal fashion. Excellent. Ran and pulled. Got downstream of me then, and I found a nice little nook to land it. Hook was right in the corner of the mouth. I toyed with the idea of taking the fish home to smoke. Toyed, but when a thunder clap called out "release that fish you MF!" I felt compelled to do just that. The fish still swims. No photo. This isn't quite a 1000 words and thus does not directly replace the worth of a photo, but at least now you know the story. It was a perfect fix for a Friday. On the way home, not more than 6 minutes after watching that fish dash away, my car was shit-canned by hail as the fell beasts wove a wreath of foulness around our City of Rochester.
(1.5) Did some tying last night (craft night with Em - this involves drinking wine, eating cheese and our respective crafty crafts). The draft was in effect, as more soldiers were recruited. I didn't tell them they'd all spend the rest of their lives either in a dark box or being eaten by fish.
(2) The original deal was that I was to take Monday for an adventure outing. That changed though, and the event has been reduced in stature to approx half of one day. Okay. In compensatory fashion, I was able to get out for a few hours tonight. Looking for a quick hitter. All the best that I know are up in Northfield... don't have confidence in my Rochester knowledge yet, but it's getting better. First couple investigations were busts. Brown water. Third spot - BINGO was in play: despite dirty water, I could see myriad carp backs just below the surface. They were not in eating stance or mood though - I knew it'd be tough. With only a couple hours - give it a try. I figured I was in good shape when immediately I landed ~6 suckers/horse - ALL FAIR CAUGHT. Actually kind of shocked to find that they all ate the fly... I was naked-nymphing their asses and it seemed to be working. Two redhorse, three whites, and a northern hogsucker (maybe my first ever - see pic). Those carp would not eat though. That simple. Not sure if they were seeing the fly, but you have to figure they were - suckers were. I finally hooked into something big, and boy did it feel good. That SOB ran down stream and my reel was just screaming in protest... wow was it good. It was a combo knuckle-buster, finger-tip-burner. I let the fish go and boy did she go. FAR into my backing. I got rapped on the fingers quite a few times because I kept fugging with the reel while she ran. Took quite a while to haul her big ass back upstream... when I caught sight, I found she was a mirror. A mirror with a beat up dorsal fin, and in general, a beat up body. Because I am honest angler, I must let on that this carp was foul-hooked. What was I to do? Had to play it anyway... It was the only snagged fish I landed tonight, and also the only carp I touched (other than the ones I kicked and stepped on while wet-wading).
(3) To top off the night, I went to the same bridge that gave me a fish on Friday. I saw a great carp from a high vantage point, but it was damn near 8 PM already and vis was tough. I marked the spot, but when I got to water level, I had no chance of seeing that fish. Failure. Maybe back tomorrow. I walked upstream to a place at which I had come across some great smallies while scouting a few weeks ago. First, I dueled a bit with one that I could see: heroned-walked to her ass and presented a fly... I think she was on to me though and she told me to bleep off. Then I started swinging a bugger. I recalled Holschlags proclamation that one should "use yellow because of the simple reason that the fish can see bright colors better." The bugger was yellow and it produced this fish - a nice micropterus dolomieu in its own right.
Location? From the BWCA? From the St. Croix? From the Snake? How about from a downtown Rochester ghetto stretch? Yes.