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Thursday, May 23, 2013

When Conditions Aren't Perfect

In my previous blog post and in the one before it I talked about back to back days when conditions were near perfect.  The sky was blue, the water was clear, there was only a slight wind, and there were a lot of Carp for me to cast to.  It was heavenly.

Every day of Carp fishing is not like that.  Sometimes the weather conditions might be excellent but there are very few fish around.  When the water is not clear that is the worst.  When it is windy that is more worse.  And when the damn, devil clouds fill the sky that is the most worst.  I like clouds and even rain when I'm trout fishing or salmon fishing but NOT when I'm Carp fishing.

Today, Thursday, the sky was filled with devil clouds.  There was just a very light wind.  That's fine.  Was the water clear?  How the heck would I know?  The damn clouds made seeing things impossible.  Okay, the water was actually very clear but the sky wasn't.

I had come over to the Carp Lodge yesterday just before dinner.  I was planning to fish with Dan Frasier and John Montana on Friday and I was really looking forward to it.  I thought I might actually head to Oregon this morning but I ended up writing a Purchase & Sale Agreement for some clients.  I set it up for electronic signatures from the Carp Lodge--it is an amazing electronic world.  By the time I was finished with that it was much too late to go to Oregon to connect with Dan and John.  Plus, I could look out the window and see pretty easily that there was no blue sky.

I actually took this picture from the Carp Lodge after I was finished fishing but this is what the sky looked like almost the whole day.  I don't know what that blue thing is in the lower left corner.

After writing the Purchase & Sale Agreement I thought about going trout fishing instead but thought better of it when I realized that I didn't have any trout flies with me.  That meant I was either "stuck" at the Carp Lodge for the day or "stuck" Carp fishing.  Even with the devil clouds I opted for the Carp fishing.

There are a few spots that I Carp fish on the river that are very close to the Carp Lodge.  (Less than 30 minutes away).  It was late in the morning so I went to one of those spots.  The first spot I went to is "high water only" spot.  The river has to be good and high for there to be fish there.  That is because if the river isn't high there is no water at this spot.  No water means no fish.  It only is good a small amount of the summer.  I call it "Ray Ray's" because the first time I went there some years ago I met an extended Cambodian family.  As I was gearing up one of the men came over to me and introduced himself as Ray Ray.  He was drinking beer and eating a piece of deep fried Carp.  They had caught several in the previous few days and had cooked them in a propane powered deep fryer.  He was thrilled to see a white guy fishing for Carp.  He offered me some deep fried Carp but it turned out the kids had just eaten the last few pieces.  We talked for half an hour before I walked down to the water to fish.

Today there was very little water at Ray Ray's.  I walked the margins but I knew from experience that even if the sky was clear there wasn't enough water to draw the fish in.  It was a nice walk.  I walked farther down the river to another spot.  The sun peeked out for a bit and I was able to see just a few fish.  One of them took the Chocolate Cherry.  He actually thumped it good and hard.  I released 38 Carp in two days the last time I was out.  On a day like today one fish becomes much, much more satisfying than on a day when I catch so many fish.  I knew this could easily be the only fish I would hook and I was very grateful for it.  Thirty-eight Carp in two days is easy to write about but it is not normal.  It is important to also talk about the days that aren't easy or productive.

I weighed this Carp and it was 10 1/2 pounds.  He was wonderful.  On a day like this one fish becomes so satisfying and rewarding.  

When there are lots of devil  clouds, and when they are gray and black, they do this nasty thing, they drop water on me.  I like trout fishing in the rain and I like salmon fishing in the rain but I DO NOT like Carp fishing in the rain!  It started to rain, and big baby that I am ,I decided to go back to the Carp Lodge and get a candy bar.  I thought I would just sit on the patio, eat my candy bar and be done fishing for the day.  

Energized by the Reese's Nutrageous, and tricked by a bit of blue sky, I decided to drive back to the river.  There is a sign at this next spot that says that a troll lives there so I call it the Troll's House.  The Troll's House is also only good when the water is high.  The water is somewhat high right now but not high enough to draw large numbers of fish into Ray Ray's or the Troll House.  Two years ago when we had flooding these two spots were amazing.  In 2013 they may never be good.  In fact they aren't likely to be.   They may not be good again for years.  

There were some brief breaks in the devil clouds and I was able to spot a few fish at the Troll House.  I hooked two small fish.  (Small for the Columbia River is under 8 pounds.)  One of two was 6 1/2 pounds and the other was 7 pounds.  It started raining again and since I don't do rain when I am Carp fishing I called it quits for the day.  I was back at the Carp Lodge by about 3:15.  

Tomorrow I am going to fish with Dan Frasier and John Montana.  They are more than twenty years younger than I am.  Figuring I better rest up for the big day, I took a nap.  

I'm looking forward to connecting with Dan and John tomorrow.  


  1. Looks like you did pretty good despite the "less than ideal" conditions. Have fun tomorrow.

  2. I seem to rarely have good visibilty in my ponds so I share your angst. I think larger water helps. Sounds like a good day anyway-good luck with the guys.