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Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Changing to the Past" Day Two of Three

Day two seemed like it was going to be perfect. I got an earlier start. I was visiting "old new" water, the sky was blue, it was warm, there was no wind, and the visibility in the water was good. Oh yeah Baby; here we go!

Okay, there was one lurking problem, but I just looked away from it and pretended it wasn't there. As long as I didn't look at it, it didn't exist.

I had been wading for over an hour without seeing a tailer. I was starting to think that I don't like "old new" water and I only want to go places where there are lots of fat, feeding fish. Finally, finally I saw my first tailing fish of the trip. I got three casts on his platter and he just ambled back out in to the deep water. No love.

Even though the sun was bright and the water was clear the fish were really blending in with the bottom of the river. Before I ever saw them I spooked two fish that were in the margins. Grrr...

The next fish I saw was one that put me on alert immediately. He had thick shoulders and was clearly in the high teens. I didn't see him as soon as I would have liked to so I felt that I had probably gotten too close. I made my cast, it landed just off his platter, I gave a short strip, and just like that he picked it up. Bam! Oh, I like that. But wait a minute, that problem I was ignoring, reared its really ugly, thick, tangled, stupid, head. The Carp charged into the weeds and that was that; he broke me off. I'm a good sport but its way easier to be a good sport when I have already caught some fish that day.

I looked up and down the river and realized that I was going to have a hard time with most larger fish that I caught on this stretch of river because there were more weeds than usual. There were breaks in the weeds so all I could do was hope that I hooked up near a break and the fish would have the good sense to run into clear water.

I was seeing more fish now. Some of them were sunbathing or sleeping or whatever they are doing when they just sit there and laugh at me. Some of them were swimming around in circles. A few of them were shopping and a few were tailing. I cast to a few tailers that were very near each other and spooked them all. I felt that I made a perfect cast to one of them and all he did was just swim away.

Within 20 minutes I had another hookup. This fish was also in the teens but not as big as the last one. But OH, guess what, he liked the weeds too. He was right at the edge of them and I was able to turn him down river. I played him for awhile and it was just as if he knew exactly what he needed to do to finish this nonsense. He headed straight into these weeds and that was that; he broke off.

If only I was good looking instead of nice, maybe the Carp wouldn't do this to me.

I waded some more and was seeing tailing fish. There was no wind at all. I wonder sometimes if a small amount of wind actually makes stalking Carp easier. I'm not sure about that one way or the other. It was awhile before I hooked another fish. It would be the biggest fish of the day for sure. I was able to keep him out of the weeds and finally had him in the shallows. I had backed up to the shore and had the fish right at the edge of the water. There was a slight gravel lip where I was that I couldn't quite get the fish over so I set the rod down in the brush and walked over to the fish. It was just a few steps actually but just as I took my first step the fish made a couple flops and the Carp Carrot came out. The fish didn't realize he was unbottoned for a couple seconds. I thought I would still be able to grab his tail and slide him up on the shore. He started to swim away slowly and I must confess that I actually thought of diving after him. I remembered that the bottom of the river is rocky, my bones break more easily at this age and that fish are very slippery when they are wet. I didn't dive in. Damn it! That fish was over 20 pounds! I count him as being to hand but I didn't get a picture and I wish I had.

Not having hooked a single darn fish, heck not even making a cast to a tailing fish the day before frustrated me. Losing these fish also frustrated me. It was starting to effect my casting. I sat down in the rocks for a bit, drank some water, and changed flies.

In keeping with discovering new water and rediscovering old water I am fishing some flies that have produced for me in the past but that I haven't used in awhile. In particular I wanted to put Black Betty back in the lineup.

I put one on and it produced for me. I was finally able to get 5 more fish to hand.

All in all, it was a good day. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The fish were cooperative. Well some of them were and some of them even let me bring them in. That was nice of them.

It was so good to go back to fish "old new" water and to catch most of them on Black Betty. I'm remembering how much I liked some of this water and how much I like this fly.

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