Wednesday, October 04, 2006

These fish are tough – and I mean tougher than nails. I don’t mean tough in a durability sense (they are that too), but more of a “tough nut to crack” tough. I’ve been watching, stalking and fishing to this select group of carp off and on for a couple months now. I’ve hooked one, and landed zero fish so far. Here is the scenario: Conditions are critical… as in any carping situation, but more so here it seems. You need that perfect aquarium lighting to see these fish. You need almost zero wind to accompany that perfect lighting. The last two times I’ve walked over there, I’ve looked out my office window before leaving: “looks nice and bright, and pretty calm” I’ve though both times. When I get there though, I still find that it’s not good enough. Sometimes I feel like the cyprinids move clouds in front of the sun; other times I just wonder if “bright” out the window doesn’t equate to bright enough for carping this pond. On Monday, I ninja-crept to the shore – and I mean black-robed, star-carrying ninja crept. I didn’t even care about the goose crap on the lawn or the thick thistles I kept grabbing as I crabbed along the ground. When I got to the shore though, I found that the lighting wasn’t good enough – I couldn’t see past 2 foot deep water. After slowly circling a piece of the pond, I gave up and stood… walked along somewhat carelessly and found out where the fish were: in ~4 feet of water, feeding heavily I think. I never actually saw them though – the only perception was a wall of swirls and silt plumes that followed me down the shoreline – always staying about 15-20 feet in front of my walking wake. The trouble is, the way the sun hits the water, combined with the bathymetry of the pond, I literally cannot see (even with my kickass polarized lenses) out to 4 foot depth until I am exactly perpendicular to the point I would hope to see. Meaning no angled viewing is allowed at this water, unless conditions are absolutely perfect. So I just keep spooking fish before I even see them… Add to that the facts that (1) there is almost no tall shoreland veg to hide behind, and (2) for some reason these carp bolt at the lightest foot fall, and a guy is in a predicament. I think my 2006 chances at these fish may be over. I believe in 2007 spring/summer the right conditions will allow me to hook another one though… All this just makes that distinct visual of hooking that big one bitter-sweet: I stalked and fooled one, which was a victory, but lost in the end (broke me off on hook set). On the other hand, tough situations like this make every carp landed so remarkable… they are tough: finding, seeing, stalking, accurate casting, presenting right fly, detecting strike, hooking, playing, landing… To complete the process is a true accomplishment.


Blogger John Montana said...

nicely said. exactly why i enjoy carp so much!

12:33 PM  
Blogger Brendon Etter said...

Why are you stupid, Justin? You could do away with all this undignified scooting about on the edges of dirty ponds with the acquisition of one high-powered sniper rifle. Believe me, them bastards can't spook faster than a bullet. And, if the light's right, you might not even have to get out of your car!

12:37 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Ironically, a lot folks do shoot them with rifles and bows... if you Google around a bit you can find some pretty gory images of "roughfish roundups".

Getting my ass kicked by these fish is what makes it so cool though...

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