For the last three days I've known quite well that conditions on Rock Creek for capturing carp have been most unfavorable. Yes indeed, I've known since Wednesday that the cards are stacked against almost any possibility of battling a carp. However, somehow I felt this overpowering compulsion to go to the creek and try. Today, after failing for the third straight day in my battle with carp, I realized that these beasts have led me to be driven.
The mere existence of the carp in Rock Creek, along with the possibility of engaging one in battle, has me not only captivated... but fixated, not being able to think or dedicate time to much else. For example, tonight I was to fix Dutch oven leg of lamb and I found myself in such a hurry to get to the creek, I started second guessing the temperature on the Dutch. Fortunately, I was able to get it right, and I say fortunately because leg of lamb is a very expensive cut of meat, and comes our way only once in a Blue Moon.
This past Wednesday, every weather forecaster across the prairie ocean was predicting, almost guaranteeing, dire and severe weather. However, in spite of the warnings, I found myself standing on the bank near the water's edge, trying desperately to see a feeding carp... any carp for that matter. I stood there an hour as the sky grew darker and more threatening. Fly rod was in hand, tilted up toward heaven, as if I was expecting a St. Elmo's fire. Stupid thing really - to be on the water under severe skies.
After an hour or so, and no carp before my eyes, I gave up and went home. Two hours later, the tornado sirens would blare, and heaven would release a flurry of furious weather across the prairie ocean. Tornadoes were dancing - cutting deadly swaths. Hailstorms of biblical telling were raining ice and fire from the sky, and the rains poured as if dumped from a vial of the heavenly bodies.
All these things added to the misery of Rock Creek.
Yesterday, I somehow thought that a day since the storms passing would make a difference, and again I was called by the carp. Again on this day, I would stand on the creek, searching, seeking, asking, and praying perhaps, for the slightest hint of a carp. Once again, I would go home with no carp battled.
Today I knew that two days since the passing of the storms would certainly make all the difference. But, once on the creek I could easily see that eight-five percent of the creek was still dirty, dingy, or murky at best.
I was prepared to stay an hour, maybe two, just standing on the bank waiting for a carp to come my way... but that plan was thwarted quite early with the coming of this lovely couple.
My first thought upon seeing these kids was why would they float down a dirty, muddy, creek when in just a couple of days it will be much clearer. After thinking about it though, perhaps they were there for the same reasons I was - they simply couldn't keep from it.
I asked them where they were headed and they mentioned "Forty-foot" which told me they had at least two miles of hard navigation in front of them. Further discussion revealed they didn't even know where they currently were on the creek, which is a scary thought in itself.
At that point I decided to just go home but on second thought I decided to explore a new route to Charlie's Pasture.
By taking one of the walking trails, I discovered a new way to the pasture but I really don't know how much of a help it will be in saving time. Actually, I think it's a little longer. But, the beauty of this new approach is that we won't have to wade the creek, telegraphing the carp about the soon coming ass kicking they're about to receive. This new trail leads to the island at Charlie's Pasture which is a favored place for Charlie and I both. The last thirty feet of the approach is a little rough with lots of thorns, but that's nothing that can't be overcome.
After exploring the new trail I headed back for the Prairie Schooner and I was getting quite tired and hot. I stopped at the pavilion to refresh myself with some Sulphur water. Having grown up with this water I'm quite use to it, but to newcomers it takes a bit of getting-use-to. It's good water... no bleach, no fluoride, just water.
Tomorrow is Saturday. I really don't know if I will try and fish at this point, given the condition of the creek. But that's what I said today, and yesterday, and the day before.
If you think I'm bad, Charlie is the same. Yesterday, he went to the creek. Today he was back on the creek and even picked a fight with a gar. Charlie is just like me - driven.