Monday, June 05, 2006

First ever sight-fished carp was today... I figured I've logged ~20 of the gray ghosts to date, but all of those were nymphed blind. Today I found really low water, and over my lunch I ran around looking for fish. All of the probably holes around NFLD were too low - I found only hordes of bullhead at one location. Cows in the stream obscured another hole... so I decided to walk the Big Cannon itself. I came upon a log wing-dam of sorts, and behind it was a long slackwater situation. The entire bank was thick with stinging nettle and I wasn't prepared - no waders or even respectable pants. Also, the bank was very high - 8-10 feet in most places. However, I poked my head through a few places and saw carp milling about - some sunning, some cruising, and in the shallower places I could see them feeding. I am betting they were feeding throughout the slackwater, but I couldn't see to the bottom in most places. I ran back to the car and grabbed an 8 wt, my new and improved lanyard and a box of nymphs. I started flipping and rolling casts to these fish (too dense for any backcast, and none was needed anyway), only to be denied time and time again. In fact, many fish deliberatedly moved away from my flies when they saw them. However, it was great to be casting to these carp that I could see so plainly - new experience for me. After a little over an hour of plopping nymphs in front of stationary and cruising carp I began to walk back up toward the log dam. At the head, I saw two carp finning around under the debris - one big one and one small one... both left the shade and started swimming up a shallow near-riffle area... I threw at the big one, but didn't get a decent cast out there. The smaller one was moving slower, and actively feeding. On my second cast, my bitch creek nymph sank just to the side of his head... I saw a slight pause and a little side motion of the fish's head and I set the hook. He was there - what a surprise! Not the most amazing fight given the large rod and small fish, but he did take me toward the wood dam three times. The toughest thing about the fight was the bank - I had to shimmy down it while holding the fish on. I ended up calf deep in the water, which was okay by me.


Blogger John Montana said...

way to go justin! glad to hear the story, and as usual, some great pictures.

get out there and practice those carp skills, we'll be going after some big boys when you are in OR.

check out Flytimes and take a look at "General Sherman."

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