Sleep well carping 2013
Really the issue for fishing carp with a most-refined approach is keeping faith intact. One day I hope to have it completely burned into appropriate seat. Thus far, it comes and goes. Snapping back to it and having things work out is a very desirable medicine: the fishing going forward after a revival can be really good; impactful for the angler. Most probably the top carpers have the best combination of time on the water and unwavering faith. Faith in the fly, the presentation and probably most importantly… faith that the carp eat.
Faith, decisiveness; practice. Hold a few carp. They swim around carefully, peering in amongst rocks looking for things; I just wanted to edge into that world for a minute. When the water recedes they move to deeper slots; nobody likes thin water and air and predators close at his back, so close he can feel the thinness of the water breaking at his dorsal. I can see why one might move away from that and head to deeper, safer gray water where slow grazing is available; slow grazing in relative obscurity. "The carp were in the gray bellies and so that is where we hunted them."
Two afternoons came available - a Sunday worship and a Monday follow up. Fact is I've been thinking about these takes with regularity. There was a lot to them. Faith is the concept but the action word that might fit is intuit: to know or understand (something) because of what you feel or sense rather than because of evidence.
|Day 1, fish 1 & 2. The setting was the rip rap and nettles. Somewhere around 6-8 carp holding. Mood was moderate interest; passive interest. Nobody feeding heavily. But moving slowly now and then, letting a guy know that they were open to ideas. LOD being a very good one, it was presented in drag and drop fashion. There is a lot of geometry to consider here, given the relatively deeper water, slight current and angle of presentation. The simple fact of the matter is that there were no physical or visual cues offered other than the act of the carp swimming in the vicinity of the fly as it did a headstand on the river bottom. "I bet he ate it." I said things like that in my head. And as has been previously stated, to make that assertion, act accordingly, and then find everything is straight and accurate... it's right up there on the list of highly-fulfilling angling facets. Pick up the rod; you can feel right away the rubber lip as opposed to the irony scale; you can see immediately the white mouth flare because something isn't right in the carp's world. Then a head shake. Then an exhale by the human involved.|
Day 2. Fish 3-5 were similar gray ghost non-detect detections; same as the two fish on day 1. There was also one similar take afterwhich the carp came unpinned. This threw me a bit, as it doesn't happen all that often around here. Not anymore anyway; not in this day; not in a time of good hooks, good flies, the right gear, the right faith. I saw the fly in the mouth, I saw the headshake, then done. Suppose sometimes the numbers game puts the fly in an inferior seat.
|There were two tailers encountered on day 2 (which was somewhere around end of October; can't say for sure right now). Nice big red tails. They send hearts fluttering. The key here being that both of these tails were found in relatively difficult-to-walk-to-locations, approached with only the utmost stealth. The first was presented with a drag and drop, but the grass was such that the details were hidden from me. I could not see the fly; I had to figure it's location and fill in some details in my brain as I watched this carp come aware, move to the fly and set its head down. I attemped to compensate by keeping some contact with the fly... but this put me off a bit somehow. I kept lifting the fly and the carp would turn, looking. Wanting it. I'd drop it and pick it up; fish would search and swipe and settle but never connect. This was disheartening but also pretty interesting and amusing. In the end the fish left for a calmer setting. The carp pictured above was the second tailer encountered. A top take of 2013. She was facing out and upstream a bit, tail waving right at me; kind of a tough angle. I had forgotten that it is possible to go beyond dapping and short drag and drops; I did indeed have a fly rod in hand. I cast a good distance upstream and did my best geometry and estimation in an effort to sink that fly on top of the unseed fish head. When I figured things were about good (no clues from the tail), I picked up the rod. Damn it if it didn't work just right. Big, BIG rubber lips. A couple decent runs given relatively cool water. Nothing too dramatic. Scaled at 14 lbs. Thought maybe it'd be a little bigger per lips and tail size.|
|That is a hell of an upper lip.|
|Took five carp home over the two day span (let the 14 lber swim). Filleted four of them and froze six fillets; gave two away along with one whole eviscerated fish to a family friend. They have already consumed all the flesh of the fish and had a few good things to say about the act. I think a little protein mining during cold weather can't hurt. And I think that faith-based hooksets can make an angler whole after he's had a bit of a hollow feeling for a while.|