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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Connecting with John Montana (Not Quite as Many Leaves)

I met up with John Montana for some fishing on the Columbia. I left the Carp Lodge in plenty of time to be early for our connection. I was down the road a ways when I realized I forgot my wading socks. I had to go back to get them. That made me a half our late. Does that bring me from 4 leaves to three? Nah, not yet; I'm still looking forward to another 4 leaf clover kind of day.

Those of us who fish the Columbia regularly have been subjected to wild differences in water level this year. Snow pack and rain, combined with water level management at the damns makes for huge variations in water levels. This has been an unusual spring and summer so far. Places where there have been fields and roads have been covered in water. We have been seeing things we have never seen in the past.

One could say that the river level is WAY too high for Carp fishing and yet those of us who fish the river regularly have managed to bring fish to hand; we just have had to adapt location and technique. We have been doing a lot of pitching, plopping, and dropping.

After meeting John, I put on my boots and realized I had been driving with my prescription sunglasses but couldn't find my regular glasses. Being late doesn't take a leaf on my four leaf clover but losing my glasses somewhere sure does!

John and I fished some pitching, plopping, and dropping kind of water. This sounds funny to say but the high water was getting too low and the low water was still too high. We had trouble fishing the high water spots because they were draining out.

We decided to head for a spot that fishes best when the water is at a normal level. When we got there I was changing my tippet. We were in John's new Jeep. I had the rod sitting on the back seat of his rig and I had my back to the door blocking it from closing. I stepped out to pull the line through the guides and just like that the wind closed the door. On my fly rod! Damn it! Fly rods are amazing pieces of equipment. It is simply incredible the stress that they can tolerate. They just don't tolerate being closed in doors. My rod was toast. That definitely takes a couple leaves off the clover!

John was very gracious to immediately offer sharing his rod for the remainder of the day. We took turns casting and wading. Actually, it was fun to move up the river together, stalk fish together, and yak. It was good.

We caught fish in the high water spot but the water was apparently way down from the week before when John was there.

Black Betty fooled this Carp.

The water level at this "normal water" spot was too high so we didn't connect there.

I had looked all over for my regular glasses. I looked all through my truck before John and I took off up the river. When I got back to my truck I found my glasses sitting in the corner of the truck bed near a corner. I swear I had looked there four times but never say them. They were too close the tail gate. Finding my glasses added a leaf back on the clover I guess.

In the end I don't know "how many leaf" kind of day it was. Even though we didn't catch a lot of fish it is always good to connect with John. He is truly a hell of a good Carp fisherman. I'm looking forward to the next trip John.

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