Well, I tried again. Went down to the river trying to hook a (ear muffs, kids)…C-A-R-P. Don’t get me wrong. I caught plenty of fish today. Still…the damn c*rp eluded me.
My woes with c*rp have been well documented. Earlier this summer/late spring I hooked several c*rp unintentionally (one of ’em was at least 250 lbs) on a fly, and I fought ’em all like the dickens. But…alas, for one reason or another I couldn’t bring one in.
I’ve promised that I was going to intentionally target and land one since then.
Well, I’m still batting .000 after many more missed opportunities. I’ve stalked and sight casted to many. I’ve had a few missed hook sets that resulted in the fish getting away. Still nothing.
Today I was down at the river having stalked three big boys. I knew I was going to hook one if I was stealthy and patient. I cast toward the first one and was able to get the fly several inches from his snout. An excellent cast! Let the fly sink, and then give a little action. Got his attention! Here we go…
Don’t miss the hook-set.
I hope I tied a good knot on my leader.
He’s really GOING AFTER…
and he’s gone.
Damn. Okay, I still see several more fish vacuuming up the bottom of the river. All is not lost. Next cast nails him on the nose! And better still he didn’t swim off in a panic!
Let’s do this.
So the fly is in on the bottom now and he’s staring a hole through it. I give it a little action. Still, he’s staring a hole through it. A little more action? I don’t want the fly to get too far away with no reaction. After looking at my fly for about 30 seconds and then letting loose a string of air bubbles in what I presume is a c*rp fart the fish just goes back to cleaning up the bottom of the river.
The spirit is broken. All my hopes are pinned on this one last fish that still hasn’t left the area. I’m throwing all the chips in on this one. I need a good steady cast to place the fly right in front of…wind knot…fly gets tangled on the fly line…fly line gets tangled all over the end of the rod’s tip.
Given the situation I did what any rational fisherman would do in this instance. I bring the rod tip to hand and start violently cussing it out. If I didn’t it wouldn’t learn a lesson. Right?
As I’m profanely shouting every four letter word imaginable at my gear (except the F-word. We don’t say F-O-R-K in this household) I look down at my knee in the water and see something very familiar.
It’s a carp.
THIS FISH HAS BEEN AN INCH FROM ME THE ENTIRE TIME WATCHING ME FAIL MISERABLY!
That was it. I cut my losses and went back to snatching bluegill out from under trees. I had to try and restore my pride somehow (damn c*rp). After all, I didn’t get skunked the entire day (damn c*rp). That has to count for something (damn c*rp). right?
I’m not giving up on catching one. No self respected fisherman can go down like that. I WILL get a c*rp on a fly rod, and it WILL be intentional.
The stakes have been risen, and things are about to get way more intense.