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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Roughfisher comes to the PNW

Roughfisher, Mr. P., John Montana

JP (Jean-Paul) Lipton, aka the Roughfisher, traveled from far away Minnesota, to come to Washington and Oregon to chase Carp on the mighty Columbia River. He had a trip arranged with John Montana, for the end of April. I have fished with both John and his dad and always had a great time. John called me and invited me to join the trip with JP. How could I say no? Say no, because these two young tigers walk faster than I do? Say no because they are more sure footed on slippery rocks? Say no because the weather forecast was for winds that could blow a semi off a bridge? Oh what the heck, I said yes.

I arrived late in the afternoon in Oregon the day before JP got there. The first day of fishing was challenging. In the spring the wind blows often and it blows hard in eastern Washington and eastern Oregon. It's probably accurate to say it just blows for about 2 or 3 months straight. It makes stalking Carp challenging.

When it comes to fly fishing for Carp John and JP are both kids; they're just kids. When it comes to fly fishing for Carp I'm a kid too. I just happen to be a kid that's almost twice as old as John and JP. As kids its hard for all of us to resist the temptation to go when the weather is so crappy. We haven't been Carp fishing for months so all of us can hardly wait.

Adding heavily to the temptation to go in April is that while we were virtually assured of difficult conditions we also have the best chance of seeing a large Carp feeding on the flats. What the heck, these three kids got in there and tried it.

On the first day, we moved around a fair amount trying to get out of the wind and looking for tailing fish. It was dang difficult. I got a fish to hand, my first of the 2010 season. We were in a small sheltered area and taking turns casting to tailing or slow cruising fish. I had made a few casts to this particular fish and John, who calls himself "a poacher" said if I didn't catch that fish in one more cast he was going to fish for it. Indeed he did. I didn't pick up my fly though. The fish had two flies to choose from. I like John and I'm happy to see him catch fish of course but I was also happy to see that Carp pick up my Carrot when John was trying to poach that fish from me. It is interesting to me that John Jr. says his dad, John Sr., is "a poacher". I have fished with both of them at the same time and have not found Sr. to be a poacher. Hmmmm...

We walked down the river a ways and saw a huge, "bleeping" tail sticking up out of the water. John did an excellent job of sneaking up on that fish and actually casting from behind a bush and over gravel. It was both hilarious and impressive.

Did I mention that these two kids, John and JP, are in their 30's? Did I mention that I will be 60 this year? It's all good but I am reminded pretty often these days that an awful lot of my frame has more mileage on it than someone in their 30's. I walk more slowly and carefully than kids younger than me do, particuarly on wet, uneven rocks. On the second day the wind was as bad or worse. We were on a section of the river that both John and I have fished many times. We hadn't hooked a fish in the flat and were moving down river. John went ahead "just 100 yards" to see if there were any fish. I decided to wait for him to come back thinking we were going to need to drive to another section of river. My heel has been bothering me and I didn't want to use up my allotment of pain free walking for the day. I waited about 20 minutes, called him a couple times (cell phones on the river--good grief), and then decided to drive down to the spot I thought we were going to. I ended up fishing the rest of the day by myself. I got two fish that were both "in the teens". One of them was thirteen pounds and the other one was eleventeen pounds. John and JP got into a whole mess of 'em. I was particuarly happy for JP because those were his first Washington and Columbia River fish. Very cool for sure.

The next day I think we worked as hard or even harder for fish. I had one fish but I have to say it was a slug. It didn't look sick; I think it just couldn't be bothered pulling. John and JP each had a fish I believe.

I love my St. Croix rods and my Lamson reels. Dang they are good gear!

The Roughfisher has a big, he has a big ammm... well he has a big ammmmm... "space in his waders for fishing gear". That's it. Yup, he has lot's of space there. There is probably some Roughfisher tummy in there too but it's probably mostly flies, and leader, and stuff like that.

Thanks for coming to the Pacific Northwest JP. It was good to meet you and to have a chance to fish with you. I hope you can come again next year.

1 comment:

  1. The pleasure was all mine Mr. P.

    I didn't realize my gut was so lumpy. Must have eaten my fair share of carrots and worms too.