5.19.2012

Horny Fish and a Broken Rod

small swamp on the way to the spot
As I headed out to find more carp on the fly, I was armed with an arsenal of flies, a couple bottles of water, and my 8wt fly rod.

With the temps hitting 9o degrees and not a cloud in the sky, the thought of putting my waders on made me cringe. Reluctantly, I did so anyways and started hiking bushwhacking through an overgrown forest floor to get to my fishing spot.

Northern Watersnake - Nerodia Sipoden

As I made my way, I noticed so many new signs of life that weren't present the last time I was in this area. New undergrowth, flowers, frogs, and bugs were all natures attempts at foreshadowing. At the point where I entered the river to wade into the backwaters that I planned on fishing, I froze when a creature hurriedly slither itself through the water. This was my first water snake that I can really ever remember seeing and thoughts of venomous water moccasins filled my head for a brief moment as I readied the camera for a picture. Upon closer review and some research when I got back home, I figured out that this was no water moccasin. Instead, it was a northern watersnake - one of three that I saw today!

As I finished playing with the snake, my ear drums caught the sound of heavy splashing just upstream. At first it was just one splash, but it then began to sound like a grand finale at a Fourth of July fireworks show. As I quickly followed my ears, it dawned on me.....

CARP SPAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A few steps later, my intuition was confirmed...carp were everywhere! At first glanced, it would seem that this would be like shooting fish in a barrel, but I quickly realized that this was going to be a much tougher day of fishing than I had hoped. After casting and casting and casting...and changing flies and changing flies and changing flies, I decided to give it a break and hike to the head of the pool to see if nature would give me the answers I was looking for.

It turns out that the power of observation is an incredibly powerful tool. I spied a small pod of fish that were sitting in the current near the shallow head of this pool/backwater and clearly not interested in the big group orgy. Instead, they were actively eating food as the current carried it past them.

At the moment, I had a backstabber tied on and was having trouble getting it to stay off the bottom and actually drift. The water was less than a foot deep in most spots so I decided to tie on a weightless san juan worm in red. I targeted the biggest fish in the group and after only a few drifts, he sucked it in and it was game time! The fish took one blistering run downstream then provided a good tug-o-war battle upstream. It took a good five minutes, but human patience and endurance persevered.

Not a huge fish, but fun nonetheless

After releasing that fish, I started casting towards some further targets when I noticed a few bubbles near an exposed boulder. As I let the fly settle, the line began to move so I set the hook and sent a poor bluegill flying through the air. This is the second time that I have done this already this year. (I blame the River Damsel's advice for this...) After his BFA Air flight landed, I let the little guy swim away with no further torture.

I decided to make one more cast to a group of fish that was about 60 feet out. I lifted the line and sent my back cast in the air. As I started my forward cast, I felt a sharp tug accompanied by a loud snap. Without have to look, I knew that the tree behind my right shoulder had snatched my fly and that my new TFO BVK rod had just snapped.

Son of beep.

With that, I called it a day

15 comments:

  1. I call them wallflowers. There are almost always wallflowers during the spawn and if you can just find them they are almost always eating or very willing to eat.

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    1. I see. One interesting this that I didn't mention is that once hooked, the other wallflowers were chasing this fish instead of running away - it was quite strange to me

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  2. Do the water levels seem to be down to you? I feel like lake levels are low this year.

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    Replies
    1. Most definitely and I would blame a crappy winter for that

      Look at the snowfall totals for recent winters...
      2010-2011: 57.9"
      2009-2010: 54.2"
      2008-2009: 52.7"
      2007-2008: 60.3"

      Then look at last year...
      32.6

      On top of that, it has been crazy warm which has to help fuel evaporation in some way

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  3. I don't like snakes...don't care what kind they are. Are we having fun yet?

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    Replies
    1. Some people are snake people...others aren't! I think they are quite neat....from a distance

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  4. Carp the size you landed is like a smallmouth on steroids, they never know when to quit fighting. I can only imagine what 5 to 6 pound would be like. Great Story!!

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    1. That would be a great comparison! They really just keep going, don't they?

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Yes, it was a great story. Especially the part about...ugh, RD giving sage advice! (It obviously wasn't for blue gills) But, it definitely works on carp! = )

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    4. I blame the bluegill for being small - OTSS

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  5. Awesome story, And a nice catch. Sorry about your fly rod though. That is always a rough end to a good day.

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    Replies
    1. It was...and an early ending, too. That cast was my "last cast" at this spot. I had planned on hitting a new spot after that, but that obviously didn't happen

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  6. I never, ever said to use a back cast under a tree. When around trees, I ALWAYS use a side cast. = ) And about that little bluegill. Well, I don't have small fries like that where I fish, so it is acceptable to do a hard set! Lol. Seriously, sorry about the rod. But, I have sent back two TFO's and they are great to send back quickly! (don't ask)

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  7. I wasn't really "under" the tree per say....as a matter of fact, that tree was a good 75+ feet behind me....I didn't really think about it's presence until I felt it's menacing tug. LOL

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