Charlie should be a professional carp scout. The man just has an uncanny sense on locating these creatures. Yesterday he sent a dispatch saying the carp were extremely active in this particular sea-lane and we agreed to meet mid-afternoon today.
Upon getting to the big body water there was a lot of activity taking place. Almost immediately I recognized it as early spawn activity.
In the past, when the spawn is taking place, I simply do not fish these creatures. I do love watching them during this special time however. Both Charlie and I believe that carp will not eat during the spawn, but neither of us are experts and have much to learn.
Today though, we decided to answer the question of whether carp will eat a fly while they are interested in making love.
We could literally stand right over these creatures and drop our flies right in front of their face. Usually there were three carp or more in a love nest - a large female and smaller male courters. Time and time again we dabbled the fly in front of their face and no... they did not eat.
On the far side of this lake there wasn't as much activity taking place so I decided to go there and have a look-see. On the far side there was the same debris on top of the water as the side we started out fishing and I had tied on a heavy metal carp fly in the Carp Tease. This seemed necessary to get the fly down through the debris.
However, on the far side I found some clear pools and the water was remarkably clear also. Much to my pleasure there were lone carp cruising - singular carp without any other carp dogging them. They were just gingerly swimming around. I do believe that not all carp spawn at the same time and what I was seeing today reinforces that belief.
Standing near the clear patches of water I begin flipping the Carp Tease to the carp. The first carp turned on the fly and went after it on the fall, but in my haste, the fly was pulled from his reach.
Soon, a horse of a carp came slowly swimming by and this was a big carp for our neck of the woods. The carp we fish for do not get the size of the carp the boys in Idaho, Oregon, and Colorado fish, but for us this was a big fish.
The Carp Tease went out and as the carp turned on it I really couldn't tell if he had it or not so a gentle lift of the tip, pressure felt, and rod tip snapped.
The dialogue begin.
Never have I held a longer conversation with carp than today. I'm not sure exactly how long the exchange lasted, but it was a good ten... maybe fifteen minutes.
As soon as the fish was hooked I became concerned because I'm still not rigged up for carp and today brought a five weight rod. In addition the five weight had 3X leader when I usually use 2X and to compound things more I had lengthened the leader with tippet and a surgeons knot. I've lost too many carp by surgeon's knot and usually fish straight leader. Remarkably though, everything held.
Finally the fish was worked to the shallow weave and was taken out of the water only long enough so I could hold him up to show Charlie on the other side of the sea-lane. The fish went back in the drink and I stayed with him until he blasted away to the deep.
The carp will be through with their loving ways in a day or so and Charlie and I will explore this water some more.
Charlie my friend, thank you so much for scouting and locating this special carp current.