I met up with a couple of co-workers on the water this morning, in search of some carp. Fish were taking flies a bit slow on Friday, but I wasn't concerned for today. I got rigged up and hit the water. Boy was I wrong. The cool air temps of the past week really slowed things down. The big pods of fish are all but gone. Fog was rising off of the warm water. I couldn't buy a fish to save my life.
After an hour, I moved upstream and managed to hook two little dink smallmouth. I at least got the skunk of my back, but I still wasn't satisfied. I effectively wasted another hour there, working my way back downstream to my original spot. By now, the sun was peeking through the clouds occasionally. There was some hope that the sunlight would improve visibility and make the fish more active. It did improve visibility all right, it was a dead sea. It was hard to locate fish, especially in an area that damn near held a hundred fish just a few days prior. It was rough.
I ran through about five fly changes, when I desperately tied on my version of singlebarbed.com's clam fly. Using a single spey cast I rolled my fly to the edge of a weed bed. I really had to let my fly sit there. I patiently waited and almost didn't notice my fly line begin to move, slightly. I pulled back on my line and was hooked up. Not sure of what I had hooked, I pulled up line to bring the fish to the surface. I saw a carp rise to the surface belly up. Not good; it looked like a foul hook. After playing the fish a bit more, I soon discovered that it was indeed a fair hook, and the fight ensued. I finally landed the fish near shore and held the first and only carp of the day.
The going really got tough now. I spent the next several hours trying everything I could to get the fish to bite, but they just weren't there. They must of moved on to the main channel holding in the deeper water. The fishing should improve once the fish adjust to the cooler temps.
Before hanging it up, I moved downstream and tried my luck with the clam fly one last time. I found a nice spot with a current seam running adjacent to a nice boulder cluster. I drifted my fly through this run. I had a couple of hook ups, some were rocks, but a couple were definitely fish, likely foul hooks. I tried the drift again when my line went taut. Thinking it was a snag, I half-assedly pulled back on my rod. To my surprise, my line pulled back. I got the fish up near the surface when I received a pleasant surprise, a silver redhorse. This was the first silver I had caught in quite some time. Always an adversary worthy of a good fight, I finally brought the fish to hand after a few runs.
The day wasn't a complete bust, but it was a sobering reminder of how good I was having it for so long. This was by far my hardest day on the water this season. My coworkers managed to land three carp between themselves. It wasn't the most productive day, but we had fun. Good thing there's always a tomorrow.