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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Carp and Grace

Some days of fishing are just better than others; I wish I knew why.  For Carp fishing the wind can be howling, the sky can be cloudy, the water can be high and muddy.  That makes it pretty easy to understand why fishing is difficult.  If I only catch a couple fish I can blame it on the wind or the clouds or any number of culprits.  When conditions are ideal, or as close to ideal as they can get here in the Pacific Northwest, fishing can still be crummy.  Now that's one of things I just don't get.  I just don't know why Carp won't readily take my fly on those "ideal conditions" days.  Why is fishing good one day and then not so good the next day?  It appears to be one of the many mysteries of the universe that are just beyond me my limited capacity for discernment.

Here is another thing I just don't understand.  How come the fishing is pretty good one day and then the next day it is incredible.  While that is of course wonderful I just don't get it.  I like to think it is somehow connected to my amazing prowess, my laser casting, my stealthy stalking, my scrumptious flies, and the positive energy I send out to the fish.  Alas, I know it ain't true.  Some days I'm just lucky and just like the days when I can't figure out why I'm NOT catching Carp there are days when I can't figure out why I AM catching them.  At least I can't figure out why I'm catching as many as I am.

Last Thursday was such a day.  I had no idea why I was catching as many Carp as I was.  I had three to the net in the first 45 minutes.  I do acknowledge that as my success increases during the day my confidence in my ability to cast goes up.  The more confident I am feeling the more likely I am to deliver my casts well.  I do understand that the confidence makes a difference.

When I was younger and better looking I used to play a lot of racquetball.    I played in some tournaments.  The best I ever did was come in 2nd in my age division in the State championships.  I loved the game.  I haven't played in over 10 years. Confidence on any given day and on any given shot made a huge difference.  I don't think it is as true with fly fishing though I know it makes a difference on casting accuracy and the smoothness of delivery.  Still, I don't believe it is enough to make the difference I seem to randomly experience some days.  There are days when I'm catching a lot of fish and I just don't seem to have the slightest idea why.  Okay, I have some idea but not enough of an idea to make it happen consistently.  And that is yet another mystery beyond my ken.

How would I describe the day?  Wonderful.  Stellar.  Amazing.  I started fishing at 9:40.  Within minutes I had a fish in the net.  I continued to catch fish if I was fishing and not resting.

How would I describe the day?   "Jading"--meaning I got jaded during part of the day.  I lost count of the fish.  I lost interest in counting.  I lost interest in playing some of them; I just wanted them to come in and be done with it.  (I recovered from being jaded and savored the day and the moments that made up the day.)

How would I describe the day?  Tiring.  I cast right and reel right.  (Old school you know...)  My left arm got sore and tired enough that I had to just sit down and take breaks.  I had planned to fish until 4:00.   At 2:00 I was resting my left arm and caught myself wondering how much longer I "had" to fish.  I had caught enough fish to more than satisfy me but I knew I could still catch more.  I "made" myself stand up and keep fishing.  While fishing from the boat there is a lot of upper body twisting and turning that I have to do without moving my feet so as not to spook Mr. Buglemouth.  Its like doing isometric exercises.  By the end of the day my legs were shaking some.

How would I describe the day?  "Giving of grace".  In Catholic elementary school I remember learning  that grace is a supernatural gift of God, freely given by God, and undeserved by me.  Undeserved by me...Hmmm...Yup...I get that...  There are plenty of days when I experience a plethora of gifts that I believe are undeserved by me.  I am serious.  I would say then that my life is full of grace.

The numbers of fish, the size of the fish; yes those things were very satisfying, very satisfying indeed.  I am grateful for my health and ability to still fish at age 61.  I am grateful to be able travel safely.  I am grateful to my dad for taking me fishing when I was little.  

I have no idea why I caught so many Carp last Thursday; grace is the only explanation there could be.


  1. Well said. Good ol Chocolate Cherry didn't hurt. 3 fish is a good day for me. That was then for you a very blessed day.


  2. Any carp is, for me, a little bit of grace. Well said, Mr. P. Well said.

    1. Yes, each of them is a bit of grace. Thanks Erin.