Sunday, April 08, 2012

Roughians have been beating me up lately…

(1) Other day had three hours come free in land of good carping. I walked up to a tailwater and from a high vantage saw all kinds of carp down in there. Hanging in the slack water. Some big ones in there. Nice long black lines defining dorsal and wide gray up by the head. Looking pretty good. By all accounts I already had those fish in the bag and I found some involuntary smiles and whoops as I rigged up. Not to be. There is always something that can get you and in this case it was the water scenario: when I got down there and put my eyes at that level, I could no longer see the fish. I’d marked them so I knew where they were… but couldn’t see them. So sight fishing was out. And the water was so low and slack there was no way to blind nymph a la trout fishing. I had all that stuff along too: big indicators and heavy shot. But no current to carry the rig. So a person is relegated to casting out and slow stripping blind. I suppose that can be good if things are hot, but in most cases I’d say it sucks bad. No sight fishing and no dead drifting. Crippling. I knew I was screwed but I pounded away for 2.5 hours. Snagging fish fairly regularly. I got one to eat just by pure chance and couldn’t even stomach a picture. And to cap off that encounter, on my way out I stopped again at the high vantage. There they were… milling slowly fuggin mocking me but I was good with it. It’s a campaign.
(2) Slow walking on a river and I spotted a bright orange koi. Maybe 4-6 lb range. It was hanging with a bigger common. Right behind a snag, nice current break. No way would it have eaten but had to give it a try. Approach was too close though and before I could present and confirm failure the orange faded off into the greater current. Funny to think of a koi though, not in a pond, but making its way in the big river.
(3) Found a big pod of quills hanging in current. Worked them via dead drifting toward their heads one after another. Finally guessed right as a fly entered vicinity of head and I thought/felt/vibed a movement that seemed right. Small fish and zero fight but fascinating nonetheless.
(4) On the way out of this watershed I decided to stop and walk a good shore. Easy walking. Night was falling but I figured: no one home, so why go home? I walked as the sun started down. And here came two guys carrying fly rods. Heavy stuff. For carp. This was the highlight of the day. Chatting with guys who are into this stuff. Naming folks that we both know. Talking carp water. Freely passing information because the guys seem right. I’ll remember that for a while. Not every day you run into guys staring hard at water looking for tails to dap on.
(5) Local river – back for some action – hoping for something like I had first carp outing (three to hand). They were there. Conditions again tough. Had only 1.5 hours. Walked right up on a beauty, in the one good visibility stretch. It was methodically eating in the rocks. Absolutely dead lock, owned fish. The fundamental choice on this water is whether to cast from the high bank or sneak down to the rocks. I chose the latter. It worked. Presented the fly, although the fish had fallen back into slightly deeper water and became an oblong dark shape. Fish either saw the fly fall, or spooked when I jigged it ever so slightly. Gone to the depths. The rest of the fish spooked ahead of me as I moved like a heron. Absolute heron but the water was turbid and no light; they had me whipped. Spooked fish after fish. Let them be; picked some nettles for Easter dinner and went home.


4 Comments:

Blogger Gregg said...

Great story! Relegated to fishing low, as from a wheelchair as it be, I know your angst. Rarely do I see the classic things others usually do. I would have done the heretical thing of using one of my eggs under an indicator, is simply works for unseen fish, well, often enough for me. I have read about quill backs and their propensity to produce slime as a slug might, true?

Gregg

2:28 PM  
Blogger Mr. P. said...

Good job getting out Justin. Someone asked me recently in an email, "What is an "ordinary" day of Carp fishing like for you?" (Actually I have been asked that many times.) I answered, "Windy!" He meant how many fish do I usually catch. Often the conditions aren't perfect and we just get after it anyway.

11:00 AM  
Blogger robertred said...

I brought a few pods to hold the fish that I caught. I must say that my last fishing trip I caught so much fish i couldn't even fit them all into my small storage pods. Thanks for sharing this article. I thoroughly enjoyed what you had to say.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Slug slime: never heard of that Gregg. Never experienced it either. Your idea of egg under indicator is interesting to me. An egg... hung in the water column... might have worked.

Mr. P: I'm learning to welcome various conditions. Even look for a bit of wind and cloud to give me cover.

12:46 PM  

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