August 28, 2008

roughfisher 10, carp 0

I named names today. It had been several weeks since my last roughfish outing, and I had been long overdue. I was jonesing. Bad. To make matters worse, I had a full tin of carp flies fresh from our mini-swap, and was subjected to witness the carp massacre by the hands of John Montana. A 30 freaking pound carp on a fly. Insane. Props John.

I didn't know what quite to expect when I awoke; rain littered the radar. Knowing that I had two days left of vacation to make it count, I grabbed my gear and hit the Otter Tail. The river level has been falling since last month, due to drier seasonal weather patterns. Recent rains, however, left the waters turbid. This would squash any attempts to successfully sight fish carp. At least it was now sunny out. Undeterred, I tied on my trusty X Factor nymph and hit the water. Right off the bat I was hooked up with a fish, unfortunately, I couldn't see what it was as it took my nymph blindly. I was blessed with a first: My first mirror carp!

I didn't even know if mirror carp were present in this watershed or not, as I've never spotted one here before. I was psyched.

Bass truly are dumb. I spotted this poor bastard sitting right next to me in the water. I knew it was a big fish, so I dapped my fly right in front of its face. I saw it go for a take and I pulled the fly back to watch it chase. I pulled the fly out of the water and hovered it just above the surface. I knew the fish wouldn't be able to resist; it was just like a buck in heat. I watched the fish break the surface meniscus and take my fly three inches above the water. Bass are too predictable and almost no challenge to catch. This is the third such fish I've caught in this manner. It's a wonder they even survive to get this big. They only think with their stomach. This bass taped out at 19".

During the next hour stretch, I proceeded to lose a handful flies. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but these were my fly swap extras. They never saw their fair share of duty. It's a good thing I kept the originals at home. I tied on John's Rubber Legged Hares Ear and the carp couldn't resist. This fly is killer.

After losing the RLHE on a snag. I tied on Mr P's red spider. The fly look so unassuming, you almost wonder how it can even catch fish. I don't know how it does it, but this fly was hot. I finally managed to hook up with those elusive quillbacks. I haven't interested one to take a fly since this spring. I scored a deuce.

A lousy hammer handle pike bit me off, and my fun with the red spider was over. I tied on the spider's cousin, the venerable carp wooly, but it was not nearly as productive as the red spider. No more quillbacks. I definitely need to tie up more of those red spiders.

As the day unfolded, I managed to catch a bunch more carp using my old standbys: a brown antron nymph, and black buffalo soljah. I was able to give my new collapsible landing net plenty of action.

The only question is, do I go back tomorrow or do I fish new water? I'll figure it out in the morning.

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