Yesterday Charlie and I discovered something wonderful to watch on Rock Creek within the community of carp. On Rock Creek there is a spillway system that owes it's beginning to the lake at the local golf course. Three years ago we had tremendous rains that caused the golf course lake to overflow and as it did legions of common carp flooded the spillway on their way to Rock Creek. At the spillway yesterday, there was a huge pod of carp trying their best to overcome an insurmountable obstacle at the spillway entrance in an attempt to get back to their home-place. Knowing the landscape and impediments of this spillway system, I knew that even if they'd cleared the obstacle in front of them... they would have perished trying to push upstream.
In talking last night, both Charlie and I agreed what we saw was a pre-spawn event rather than a true spawn and therefore we would fish these carp just like an angler fishes pre-spawn bass. However, if our conclusion was wrong then we'd be fishing true spawn carp when it's best to leave them be as they try to fulfill a natural instinct.
At the noon hour today the wind was brisk but didn't seem all that much so I'd already made up my mind to hit Rock Creek in a couple of hours. Upon arriving at the creek I discovered there wasn't a single carp at the spillway entrance which reinforced by belief that this truly was a pre-spawn happening.
Within the first five minutes of fishing I turned the head of a carp. As I set the hook and the line grew tight, this carp did a series of somersaults and snap my leader and tippet connection. I was using the same leader I had to rebuild last week using 4X tippet and it simply didn't hold today. The carp also claimed two new flies that I tied two nights ago - a crawdad with a San Juan worm-ball as a trailer.
I rebuilt a make-shift leader and tied on a counter-weighted San Juan worm-ball but today the carp seemed indifferent to this present. Next came a size 8 crawdad pattern tied mainly out of pheasant tail fibers.
Hook-up number two would come shortly and this chap would come to hand. I'd left my camera tripod downstream and had to snap this photo on the cheesy. He was quite the fighter for a twenty inch fish.
Another warrior carp would follow shortly and he too was a good fighter almost identical in size to the first one.
With each passing minute the wind seemed to increase and conditions deteriorate. Within thirty minutes the surface of the creek was covered with blossoms and tender young leaves. I was having to clear my fly of debris with every third or so cast. Facing the sun that was sinking lower in the west created more and more glare. Seeing the takes was becoming most difficult. I guess I could use all these factors as excuses but kept reminding myself that there's no such thing as a bad day of fishing and this is one of the truest things I've ever heard or read.
If there was a frustrating part of today's crusade it is the fact that I turned the head of at least a dozen carp. However, with the conditions being riffled, ever-glaring water, and a flotilla of debris on the creek... I simply couldn't see when the carp was at or on the fly... and I missed a lot of opportunities.
Hopefully the wind will lay low in the next several days and a return to this home away from home for the carp can be made.