Friday, July 29, 2022

Four Years

A typical summer sunset from the back of the van...

After three straight days of trout fishing in the Flaming Gorge, I found myself with a signal at a prominent overlook. I reconnected back to the world, caught up with family, cooked a meal, and checked my boondocking apps looking for a place to stay. Rather than drive far, I decided to head down a long dirt road that I'd been watching numerous off-road vehicles, kitted out trucks, and a few RV's turn onto. By the time I decided to follow them, I had no idea if there would be any spots left, or if they'd welcome me alongside them. With the lack of four wheel drive in the van, along with a scant amount of clearance, I always find myself rolling the dice in these types of situations. As the last light faded below the horizon, I turned off the main dirt road down a riveted finger being ultra careful to not bottom out and/or get stuck. It led me to the edge of a cliff overlooking the lake and a clearing where vehicles had previously parked. I set up shop, grabbed a cold one, and checked out the stars before hitting the hay. In the morning, I made some coffee and walked to the edge of the cliff. I immediately spotted a prowling carp in the shallows. The last time I casted at a carp was almost four years ago but the image in front of me was stirring something within my fly fishing soul...

Fly fishing for carp used to dominate my free time and it was something I pursued year round for almost a decade. It is one of the few species of fish readily available in Delaware, where I live and work, and I'd catch them in creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, canals, and in tidal backwaters throughout the Delmarva Peninsula and other Mid-Atlantic States. I'm not sure if I would label it as a stage, but rather something that I feel like I've already accomplished. I don't want to use the word conquered, but when you catch a carp well over 30 pounds, and another that taped over 40 inches, you feel pretty accomplished at that particular skill. I don't think I lost my love for sight fishing for carp, I just moved on to other techniques and target species like musky, trout spey, and dry fly fishing. 

As I sipped my coffee and watched the carp prowl a few feet off the shore, I wondered for a few moments if I packed any carp flies. I also debated whether or not to actually look. The temptation proved to be too much and I went to the van. I found a damsel fly, a long leader, and strung up the Orvis Blackout H3 595. I stalked down to the edge of the water in a pair of flip flops. On my third cast, I watched the carp move for the fly, gills flare, and set the hook. The battle muddied up an otherwise picturesque scene. As I watched the carp swim off, I realized that my flip flops sank into the mud and I broke them getting free. A familiar smell of carp washed over me as I headed back up the embankment for my coffee and a fresh van shower. 

A few hours later, I got bored and headed back down to the lake. The reservoir was no longer calm, reflective, and placid. The wind churned up the water and passing boats with wake boarders caused a scene. I found a few carp that weren't as easy at the first. They are never that easy. Nonetheless, I persisted and found another player. 

A week later, I found myself with an opportunity to head to the Blackfoot Reservoir, a famous mecca of the fly carping world. 

I decided to go trout fishing instead...

No comments: