When the client’s away, the brownliners will play

Trent's PigI’d been working like a dog all week, and seeing it was a short week I was extremely worn out. A man can only go without fly fishing for so long, and my limit seems to be…uh…well it has been roughly ninety hours since I last cast a fly to fish. Pathetic I know, but it was a really time sensitive project.

At 9:30 am the phone calls ceased, meaning the work was either complete or no longer in red-level alert mode. A half hour later there was a knock at my door, guaranteeing that any additional work requests wouldn’t get fulfilled on contact anyway. Fly rods were our keyboards, and the new client was carp.

Our arrival at goldfish city started with disappointment – the water was silted over throughout, making sight fishing a difficult task. We stalked what tailers we could see, stacked up anywhere from 20 to 60 feet off the banks, and did what devoted brownline folk do, exercise extreme patience. Colleague in arms Trent was first to score, with a roughly 15 pound piggie that ate a red sparkle worm. He felt mighty proud, and with good reason – it was his first carp on the fly! I was beaming too – Trent had been standing where the surface glare obscured his view, and I had spotted the fish for him. It took just one perfect cast and three short, fast strips to hook the prize, and more than ten minutes to get it to net. Carp usually give anglers a black eye, but in this case it was the fish that showed up with one.

Two piglets - only the one in the blue shirt stinksOnce we had a clue about flies, the rest was pretty easy still like pulling teeth. We got plenty of strikes on variations of the sparkle worm, from armored cars to straight red San Juans following small, flashy buggers. But carp mathematics are complex. For every hundred hits you think you felt, maybe two are legit. And for every ten hookups, you’re lucky if you land one. Even worse, you get a [potential] strike about every twenty or so casts to fish you specifically target. If you ask a commodities trader, a poker player, or even most fly fishers, they’d say that is a chance not worth betting on.

It’s that one good fight that immediately puts you at even money. And it’s the infrequent, but big, payoffs that keep this brownliner in the game.

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