July 12, 2008

Urban Roughfishing

I joined up with Wendy Berrell last Wednesday for some urban roughfishing. WB scouted for carp on his way home from work and picked me up. At our first stop there were some fish near the surface. We tied on carp woolies and tried to cast out to them off of a 20 foot retaining wall. The wind was merciless and my casts looked like crap. I had difficulty getting my fly to the fish. I eventually snagged a huge branch of brush in the lake and spooked all the fish. Time to move on.

When we visited Wendy's other haunts, the fish were no where to be seen. Bummer. We decided to walk the shoreline on the South Fork of the Zumbro and look for fish. No carp were spotted but we did find some redhorse feeding. The shallow water was gin clear near shore, so I did everything I could from spooking the fish.

It didn't matter as these fish were oblivious to my presence, and unfortunately, every fly that I presented to them. I worked the area for about 20-30 minutes. I finally got a few looks with a gold ribbed hare's ear nymph. I saw a lone fish near my fly and appear to pause and hover over it. Not knowing if it had taken my fly or not, I set the hook and the fish turned into the current, my line went taut. I landed the fish after a few minutes, and found that I had snagged some cheek meat in a silver redhorse. Double bummer.

We moved on in search of carp. We headed over to Cascade Creek to see if there were any fish holding above the low head dam. There was a group fishing below the spillway so the fish in the area were cautious and very spooky. No fish of interest were spotted. I blind nymphed near a few branches that were submerged in the water. I managed to catch a white crappie, and finally added it to my lifelist.

We fished the upper pool to no avail. We moved and tried one more of Wendy's haunts before calling it a night. Unfortunately the outing was a bust on the fish front. It's hard to catch fish when you can't find any. The one shining light to this is that I now have a couple of new spots to check out next week. Wish me luck.

photos courtesy of Wendy Berrell