You are suddenly whisked away to that envisioned destination, but wind up standing on a discarded tire. Sensing your fairy godmother made a mistake, but keen to figure out what all those shadowy figures are on the muddy bottom that you keep spooking as you walk by, you cast. Then you wait. You twitch that fly with an ever so tiny tug of the line. And you wait again.
Twitch. Wait. Twitch twitch. Wait. Pick up, and start over.
When you think you’ve got a follow, it’s just a carton of rotten eggs floating nearby. Gotta strike? No, it’s just another submerged shopping cart. Feel something akin to a palm-sized bream nipping at the bread-ball you wadded up just a bit too big? Could be Brownliner Target A, that elusive second cousin (thrice removed) of your kid’s goldfish bowl inhabitant, the carp.
Those who know me best already presume this is not my kind of fishing – I’m even surprised an anxiety attack never kicked in. A fast pace is more the liking – I prefer throwing meat and seeing fish give chase – the more pissed off my prey is the more I’m smiling. But the weather was beautiful, even early, and I’d pounded on another project until after midnight. I earned the right to wade stinky water and trip over sunken industrial debris while the sun shone brightly on my ever expanding forehead. And despite the fact that the morning was spent…twitching…and waiting…I’m hooked.
I’ve heard people call carp the ‘golden bonefish’ – well they don’t strip 150 yards of backing off the reel on the first run, but they’re so damn picky that I’m giving the alias a pass. Par for the course, this transplanted kid carried a saltwater rig on his first serious carp outing – a half dumbbell attached to a broomstick (Tibor Everglades/Sage SP+ 890-3). After struggling with the fact the setup needs every bit of the belly out there to load – not conducive to dropping 10 feet of flouro twenty five feet ahead – me now thinks a medium-fast 7-weight (or a stiff 6) is more suitable for the activity. As for flies, well it was much the same – a box full of bait labeled Ten Thousand Islands. Funny enough, that part worked out fine (although I’ve already got a double-super-top-secret source with a Ph.D. in Brownlining queued up to dish me some real carp candy).
These oversized rejects from the ornamental pond are wily buggers – an outstanding challenge for any Homo sapien flyroddus. And they are now in grave danger too because I’m hereby taking it upon myself to target them with fervor. Cyprinus carpio watch out, ’cause I’m gunning for you.
Editors note: waders and boots are now soaking in a vat of nitric acid – time will tell if that gets the stench out of them.