Days spent on the water have been few and far between for me as of late. Before yesterday, Thursday, my last day fishing was the Full Moon Open. In fact the weekend on the FMO was only one of two weekends that Iíve been home since Sueís Motherís passing. Simply, this year life has interfered with fishing, a rare situation for me.
So when Dave emailed and said, ďIf youíre fishing Thursday, let me know. Wife and kids are out of town, so I might be able to go.Ē Turns out Iíd been thinking about fishing then, figuring all the chores around the house could wait a few more days, especially as Sue was gone too. So that was all the incentive I needed.
After a bit of discussion, we settled on fishing Wellington #4 (close for an after work fish), and Dave wanted to fish from the drift boat, as heíd yet to check out the float tube after stowing it for the winter. It didnít take long for me to agree to that, especially as he indicated heíd do all rowing. Donít know about you, but having someone else do the work when fishing from a ďrowĒ boat while I fish works for me.
I showed up lakeside an hour ahead of Dave. Not wishing to tog up in waders (failed to bring a change of clothes to fish wet) and I was sweating enough without an added layer, I decided to prowl the shoreline and see if I could manage one or more of the carp I saw feeding in the shallows.
The first carp turned away from my flies placed 10-15 feet to its right. Casting to its left my line landed too close and the fish headed to deeper water. The score was now carp one, me zero. The second fish I encountered was working toward my right, so I cast a good 12 feet further right of it, but an errant cast left the flies almost on the shore. I quickly picked up the line and recast, laying the flies about 20 feet off shore and 12-15 feet right of the fish, and to my relief it didnít spook. After a minute or so it got within six feet of the flies; I gave a small strip. To my delight the fish adjusted its course and moved toward the flies and stopped about three feet away from them. Figuring it detected the motion and had lost track of the flies themselves, I made a short strip (twitch if you will). That did it! The carp now zeroed in, quickly closed the gap to the fly. As soon as it stopped, I counted 1001, and set the hook. Fish on!
Itís been a while since Iíve hunted carp and it wonít be long now until I do so again as its great sport. They are a wary fish, requiring a long cast and good presentation in order to get a strike. The number one thing to remember when stalking carp is they will readily take the fly if they are allowed to approach it, but almost always will snub a fly cast directly to them.
Anyway, Dave showed shortly thereafter and it was drift boat time. Most of the evening was then spent working shore edges and weed edges for carp and bass from his boat. Turns out the bass were more cooperative and we managed several nice largemouth bass, primarily on topwater or I should say Dave did. He fished poppers with spinning gear. Me, I managed one on my tube fly and didnít fish topwater flies much, regretfully in retrospect.
We fished into the dark, and ultimately called it an evening when I decided I was getting close to needing a blood transfusion due to bug bites. Still it was a great evening, good company, near full reservoir, great weather, and a few cooperative fish. My only hope is that my next outing isnít so long in coming.