I had a coldwater trip go South on me this past weekend due to uncontrollable circumstances ,with those plans shelved it left me with a couple days of nice weather and nowhere to go. I'd been wanting to do a little exploring and revisit some carp spots I hadn't seen for several months anyway so that's what I spent Thursday and Friday doing.
Joe and I headed out Thursday after lunch to check out a small creek that I've always thought looked like excellent water , but that hasn't proven itself yet on a handful of visits. While I've seen a couple of fish , they havn't shown themselves on any consistent basis and I still havn't caught a fish out of this spot yet. The day couldn't have been any nicer and we enjoyed walking along the creek , always keeping alert for fish while dodging the ever present "city detritus" and thorn bushes.
We hiked a couple miles of stream and although I saw numerous spots that looked perfect I never saw a fish or even a sign of fish. I know they're in there but I wanted to find some active fish so I didn't even bother to try any blind casting. We spent the rest of the afternoon driving to a couple of other accesses on this same small creek, taking short walks at each stop to survey the opportunities.
I might have seen one fish , but even then didn't have a positive identification to be sure it was what we were looking for.
Carp 1...Jeff 0
Friday was the perfect day , by late morning it was already feeling more like late June than the middle of March. Joe and I decided to head South to do a little re-con on some shallow creek flats at the back of a local reservoir I like to fish. This is another spot where there's no doubt the fish are around , but the dismal visibility at the back of the lake makes finding them a hit or miss venture.
We hit some backwaters and some main creek channels , all with limited visibility , but did manage to see several fish. Unfortunately they all saw us first ,I think Joe still needs a little work on his stalking skills. After hiking around and working up a good sweat in the by now 80 degree heat wave , I left carrying a flyrod that had still yet to be cast.
Maybe it was still too early?? After all there were still small piles of snow that had yet to succumb to the heat lying around as a reminder of the exiting season. On second thought , Bullshit , the only thing keeping me from catching my first carp of 2013 was effort...and maybe a little luck.
Our next stop was at a small county lake that I'd been wanting to hit for some time. The back of it contains large expanses of shallow mudflats bordered by grassy shorelines that just scream CARP. After a short walk to the area it became obvious that the fishing gods were finally going to smile on us. I had no idea whether I'd catch one or not , but the scattered tails and porpoising fish put a smile on my face anyway.
After rigging up and then locating a fish that looked within casting range I proceeded to make a couple of practice casts (meaning I didn't hit my intended target) and then on the third cast I saw the tail disappear and felt a slight twitch while crawling my fly in this guys face.
Finally a little payoff!
My first carp of 2013 and I couldn't have been any happier. A decent sized fish , he engulfed my size six fly and left no doubt about his intentions.
One down and looking for number two , this was going to be easy...and then I remembered that I was carp fishing. After a couple hours and numerous fly changes with no other eats I was thinking one fish might just be it for the day. I had on an egg , a fly pattern that I had never caught a carp on before , and decided to walk another 100 yards of shore before calling it a day. About ten steps into my hike I saw a boil not fifteen yards off the shore in front of me. Figuring I had somehow spooked the fish I stood around watching the area hoping to get lucky. And then I saw that big tail waving at me above the muddy waters ,not unlike the mermaids of old that lured sailors to their graves. Somehow I managed to place the fly right in front of his face on my first attempt. As if it was just supposed to happen that way , the fish moved over and sucked in the egg before it even hit the bottom.
To say I was stoked would have been putting it mildly. This fish was a little bigger than the first and put up a hell of a fight considering the cold water.
I had finally accomplished what I set out to do , albeit a little later in the game than I would have liked. The rest of the afternoon was unfruitful but I had already chalked this one up as a successful early season carp outing. Todays fish would go a long way toward stoking the fires to get me out exploring more often. Once again the lowly carp proves that persistence does actually pay , or that even a blind squirrel can find a nut. However you choose to look at it!