The stagnant air was heavy as I pushed the overgrown branches away from my face, keeping my eyes down on the trail. The joys of a midday in June carp recon mission. I'd fished the lake before, but from typical, easy access park locations. I wanted to find a big mud flat, and the satellite views showed me several spots worth checking out. Man I need a boat. None of these places were easily accessed by foot (unless you like the way a poison ivy rash feels). I crossed my fingers and hoped for immunity as I finally popped out of the jungle to the lake shore.
Carp wonderland! This picture doesn't do the moment justice. By the time I pulled out the camera, the 6 or 7 tailers were onto my presence and had disappeared. I needed to ease into the muck quietly and camp out for awhile. They'll be back.
After about 10 minutes of motionless patience, the tails began to reappear. I was confident that once one popped up within effective casting range, a hookup would be easy. Not the case. I had plenty of targets, but with the murky water, detecting strikes was not easy. Last time I was in this situation on a different lake, anytime I landed a fly close, I'd wait a few seconds, twitch the line, and watch it twitch back. This time wasn't so easy. Eventually, I decided to wait for the fish to get much closer before making any attempts. This strategy paid off with a nice 7 pounder.
I battled a few more after that, but didn't manage to land another until I had thrown in the towel and was stomping through the muck on my way back to shore. I spotted a slowly cruising fish that was about to intersect my path. I waited until the fish was about 6 feet away before dapping the red SJW in front of it. The fish was shallow enough that I could see its face turn. I watched it's orange lips open and inhale the fly! Takes like that make it easy to know when to set the hook. It wasn't a big fish, and the fight was short-lived, but that take will leave a mental picture in my mind for awhile!
Mid June 2017
1 week ago