Minnesota Carping Capsule
This is how it goes, generally, for Midwesterners without target-rich, clear-water environments. Relegated to fishing ponds.
Fish #1: stationary, bigger fish. There is a smaller fish, probably high single digits, levitating in the background, slowly pivoting toward the bigger fish. Flip a cast, both carp fade to gray and are gone.
Fish #2: single stationary fish in very shallow water, resting in moderately thick vegetation. Positioned parallel to shore; difficult to present from the side. There is only one way: sneak up directly or nearly directly behind the fish. This requires removal of shoes and socks (this is not fishing gear; not a fishing outing, rather minutes wedged in). Wet to knees, bottom is pretty good, heron is in effect and working well. Presentation made at one rod length; the fish has not spooked because no water has been pushed at it; moves about 20 degrees in a pivot toward fly; hook set; nothing; fish leaves. Son of a bitch that one should have happened; but thinking more while walking, the odds were pretty low (not feeding or cruising); indeed, a remarkable attempt at a low-odds fish may preserve the small chance made available but in the end cannot increase the overall odds.
Fish #3: a walk-out fish, meaning I was resigned to the skunk and was walking out the way I'd come in, paying only divided attention to the water. But the shapes can grab attention, even in this mode. A small fish materializes, pushing a silt plume at a diagonal toward shore. This is an active carp, unawares. Pretty standard from there. Interesting twist is a surge that puts the fish completely out of the water, running along the shore in the cattails before breaking out into the pond for another run. First MN carp since returning from Lake Michigan.
Fish #4: I think it was fish #1 again, stationary in same location. Wind just howling now, blowing in dark clouds and rain. I put a tracer flip out there to gauge the needed adjustment and find it to be about 10 feet. Second flip is good, the fly sets down in the right circle. Sinks in the veg though as the carp moves toward it to investigate; I pop a hook set just in case and move a bunch of plant matter; fish goes his own way as the sky darkens and I hop on a vintage 1950s yellow bike and pedal the hell out of there.
That's about what one can expect around here. I dig it for sure but man, I'm kind of ruined now. Need some new carp ideas; that or a guy might just fish more trout water.