Friday, April 23, 2010

The Best Way To End A Day.

It's around six o'clock when the skies become dark and the first sounds of distant thunder are heard through the trees. After a long day of intense heat, a cold front is rolling on in. The dense new air pushes underneath the lighter, warmer air producing cumulonimbus thunder heads. Wary eyes occasionally break their focus from line, fly, and water. They peer to the horizon worried that their afternoon siestas may be cut short. Their worst fears are realized as the roars get closer and closer and the first taps of rain fall on unprepared shoulders. The rain gets heavier and heavier until they can't take it anymore. Hoards of afternoon anglers pack it in and head for the car. The diehards stay.

With the first cracks of lightning nearby, even the diehards head for cover. A small pavilion brings three generations of anglers together. One, middle aged and ill prepared for the spring showers sporting a fresh Lamson reel. Another, retired, sporting tweed, a modern bamboo rod, and an Orvis CFO reel. Then there is me, the outcast of the group. Young and out of place in a gentleman's sport. Not much is said between the three. It seems we are all enjoying the smell of fresh rain and the first signs of green on the trees. As the rain begins to die down, we go our separate ways. The old man heads downstream from whence he came. The middle aged man heads upstream looking to probe the depths with a streamer. I head ten feet straight ahead into a shallow run anticipating what is about to begin. BWOs.

For the next hour, I work my way upstream, looking for consistent risers. Several wild browns come to hand. Their rich colors disappearing as they re-enter the green water back to their camouflaged abodes. Darkness begins to creep in. Earlier than usual due to the inclement weather. I make my way farther upstream into a long glassy flat looking for something, anything. My eyes strain looking for tiny dimples on the surface. The action has stopped. The last fish beat me and I don't want to leave the stream with a twelve inch brown refusing a perfectly presented parachute BWO. I head farther up a well worn path into the rapids that feed the calm stretch below. A small eddy resides along the bank but I casually walk by too focused on the next pool. Out of the corner of my eye, I see them. Two golden bones. How convenient.

The situation presented before me has a lot of love and a whole lot of hate. I love the fact that there is barely any light left peeking over the horizon. I love my elevated position that provides much needed visibility. I love the fact that I have a thorn bush to hide behind. And lastly, I love the fact that one of the carp doesn't spook after a failed first attempt. That is when I know the piece of gold yards away is mine for the taking. However, I also hate the current situation. The thorn bush is thick and wide. Overhanging branches hang above the thorns and a downed tree is in the water immediately downstream of the carp. The water is shallow, less than a foot. I am using a 10' 3 wt. with a long tapered leader to 5x. The odds are stacked against me and so is time.

I stick to what I know, a tried a true damsel nymph. I stick it in the mud at my feet and to my oily smelly hands off the materials. I grab the fly and pull the line taunt. I choose a slingshot cast. All I can fit into the available window. The damsel lands three feet to the left of the cruising carp. I casually pull the fly in and drop it ten inches in front of the carps face. The unweighted fly sinks slowly and carp closes in. It stops. My heart stops. It's thick lips protrude slowly sucking in a descending damsel. I simultaneously stand and set the hook. The carp bolts directly into the rapids and out and around the downed tree. I jump three feet down into the muddy eddy and give chase out into the rapids. The carp has all the advantages and I am careful to apply too much pressure. The ends comes a hundred yards downstream. In the last light of a long up and down day, I once again end on a high note. After some admiration and one self portrait, I head back to the truck in darkness, grinning ear to ear.

UV Damsel.

10' Grey's 3wt.
No Problem.

First Carp From A Stream.

All Smiles.


Bigerrfish said...

Wow 3wt !!! I dig carp fishing on the fly rod! hillbilly bonefishing!!!

Chris Michels said...

Woooooooooo yaaaaaaaaaa. That 3wt is a beast.

Mark said...

It sure is, I might have to use it on some lago x carp