Once the thought was in my head I couldn't shake it. My secretary was sick. No appointments. Try as I might, after working the first half of the day I tossed my flyrod into the car and headed for the carp ponds. As cool as it has been, I didn't hold out much hope. I got out of the car and didn't even string up the rod. Quickly I started walking the perimeter. The first pond had a flyfisherman. I watched for a few minutes and determined that he wasn't having any action and didn't seem to know what he was doing. Not wanting to horn in, I walked around his spot to the next pond. No sooner had I arrived than I noticed several thick mud clouds in the murky water. A carp flopped on the surface. Water boiled over in the corner of the cove. That was all it took. I sprinted back to the car, strung up the rod and was back. The fish were still there. I tied on a fly -- one of my new yellow carp bitters -- and started casting. I could see several individual mud clouds, though no fish were visible, which is typical for this spot. I was just getting into it when a small dog came up behind me, rushed past, and jumped into the water. Fish went everywhere. Needless to say, that spot was spooked, but at least I knew they were there. The dog's owner showed up shortly after and called her dog saying that she "didn't want to scare the fish." Too late, but I've learned that I'm better off saying nothing and letting the event pass. Sometimes the fish come back. I exchanged pleasantries and the dog owner moved on. Soon the fish were back.
This first shot is just a mood maker. Look at that bright sun! In Oregon we learn to really appreciate these days.
With new mud clouds forming in front of me I tossed my fly out into the fray and tried to keep a tight line while retrieving ever so slightly. The indicator twitched and I set up on the fish below -- a nice little 6 pounder. Ah, that felt good!
The two hours I had set as my limit soon expired and I had to leave for an evening meeting. But this was really nice -- the first carp for 2008. Based on my records from last year I expect the next three months to be the best of the year for carping with the largest fish available in shallow water. From now through the pre-spawn I expect to break my last year's record of 28 pounds. Great day on the water.