With a little help from nature, Charlie and I should be back in the saddle this weekend riding on the great carp trail of Rock Creek. We'll have our lariats in hand... ready to lasso the herding and sometimes stampeding carp. So hopefully, nature will let us cowboy-up, saddle-up, and ride once again in the crusades.
Today, I had pretty much set my mind to not go to the creek since it's been so compromised of late, not to mention this morning's rains. However, a ten o'clock telegram from Charlie reporting the rains had no effect and the creek continued to clear, changed my mind about fishing.
When I got to the creek it was noticeable that the fringes had cleared quite a bit but the main part of the creek, at least for me, was not fish-able remaining a milky color. But it didn't take long to turn my attention to the grazing beasts just upstream in the shallows and riffles, and these creatures were having quite the feast on tree blossoms.
Early on in describing surface feeding carp I caught myself, when talking with Charlie, referring to them as risers but carp really don't rise like trout do. Surface feeding carp, or slurpers as I call them, stay near the surface all the time and simply raise their bugle shaped mouths through the film and slurp. If you listen closely you actually hear the slurp sound they make. Across the big pond in England and Europe they call them cloopers.
To fish the shallows and riffles you almost have to be on the opposite side of the creek which requires you to make a painfully slow and methodical wade so you don't set off any miniature tsunami's which I assure you will put the carp down and away quickly.
The slow wade was made and as I got into position to make a cast there was a tremendous splash just upstream. I knew it wasn't a fish and upon looking behind me and up at the football bleachers there stood the perpetrator. A schoolkid had tossed a boulder the size of a quart cooking pan into the creek trying to hit one of those carp. Of course the carp scattered lickety-split. I decided to hold steady and see if some would come back.
Yesterday, fishing this same spot it was the same situation with slurpers grazing like no tomorrow. I already had a San Juan Wormball tied on so I cast it into the thick of them and one jumped on it like a duck on a June Bug. I got a good hookset and as I told Charlie it seemed like a rather good-sized carp. The battle was short lived and I lost another San Juan to another tippet break.
Today, I spotted that carp and it turns out he wasn't all that big to begin with... maybe four pounds and he was swimming around with that San Juan in the upper corner of his mouth. Really wanted to hook him again today to get that fly back but it was no dice.
Having a heck of a time seeing anything I concentrated on the water directly in front of me and managed to see the shadows of the carp. A toss of the San Juan to a shadow and leading the carp into shallower water I saw the suck and set the hook. He wasn't a big fish, about two pounds, but what a fighter he proved to be, making the old Okuma sing like a barber shop tenor. It was a lot of fun.
Tied a new pattern last night and hope to use it this weekend. Since both the Clouser and Backstabber have battled carp, I married the two taking elements of both and blending them together. We'll see if carp are interested in this pattern I call the Cloustabber.
The month of May is only a week away and I predict it's going to be one heck of a rodeo for two fly-fishers cowboying for carp.