From a bridge twenty feet above the water, I shout directions down to cohort Will Rice as he targets the beast…
“Thirty feet, 10 o’ clock. Strip. Let it sit. Okay, strip.”
The fish eats. After that, you count your blessings if your fly rod survives.
These elusive gamefish haunting our urban waters already reject flies regardless of perfect presentation. Picking and choosing – you know, deep in your own gut, they are formulating an opinion on whether to consume your offering. It’s methodical.
More frightening, however, they’ve now developed a peculiar habit of turning directly towards the rod on hookset, opening their mouths and rolling into the pressure. It looked innocent enough when I first saw it happen – a simple flight reaction – and I wrote it off as bad luck. Now I’ve talked to others who carp, and they’ve seen the same recently.
During yesterday afternoon’s outing, I was asked whether I thought it was good or bad that more fly fishers were paying attention to South Platte carp. My immediate reply was to the positive. Attention directed at the inhabitants of the waterway should beget attention to the river itself. All good.
We also laughed off the idea that these fish were rejecting more flies than they had in years prior – the consensus was there were just too many fish in the river to have covered them all – but I’m beginning to wonder. Scholars have noted these creatures possess an uncanny ability to sense danger, and somehow communicate it to their brethren.
Are they exhibiting learning behaviors: how to avoid, and evade, capture? Somehow relaying that information to their fellow fish? And committing it to memory?
MG signing off (as I’m the one who’s now spooked)