In the dimness of the dismal day I take a familiar trail to the little creek that is home to the grand and golden ones. The sky is heavy and full, threatening and ominous. Clouds are steam-rolling from the west, packed with stampede-inducing thunder, full of rage in unforgiving lightning.
At the pasture we call Upper Shallows there was a bright spot within the dimness of the afternoon. This bright spot I speak of came in the grand ones gently sipping blossoms from the surface - casually sipping the shedding of spring freshness, like a southerner imbibing a Mint Julep.
On this day I would learn, or perhaps discover is a better word, that surface feeding carp will take notice of subsurface flies even though they are fixated on what's in or on the film. I knew that on my person somewhere was a size 10 Elk Hair Caddis in hiding. It was the same fly used last season to capture carp while feeding on top. However, the first drops of rain had arrived and I chose to send out what was already tied on - the Mysis Shrimp.
The lesson learned was if we put a subsurface fly in front and near a surface feeding carp, the fish will dive for the fly. If the fish is quick enough it will capture our gift mid-column and if not then the fish will follow it to the bottom where there is an excellent chance the fish will eat.
Three times yesterday I put the Mysis within inches of a blossom sipping carp. Three times the fish went for the fly. Three times a fish ate the fly and three times I failed to bring the beeve to the hand for branding.
My dilemma with solid hook-sets continues.
Upon thinking about the recent number of carp I have missed on the hook-set, gives pause to examine all aspects of what is taking place. Sometimes in fly fishing for carp the most minor details makes all the difference.
I begin to think about the fly used - the Mysis Shrimp. The Mysis is tied on a straight shank hook and even though it is counter weighted, which theoretically makes the hook point ride up, this particular hook has a narrow gap. So, now I am wondering if the narrow gap in the hook bend is the reason the sharp point is not lassoing and holding the carp.
One of the more interesting things about the fly fishing for carp life is the continued wonderment of what all is involved, and what all can be achieved.