I'm an old dog. Old dogs have to create ways or avenues that make it easier to obtain our goals - goals that once came easy when we were younger dogs. Also, old dogs don't sleep as well as they once did and tend to rise early.
This morning I arrived at the mercantile store at 5:30 and in a forty-five minute flurry got things presentable, or "acceptable" as the big boss likes to say. At 6:15 I announced to the rest of the cast and crew of the mercantile store that I was headed for the creek and would return in one hour or little more. Also, I told them it was my hope to return in the air of victory. As it ended up, only half that time would be needed to have a say-so with the carp. Within thirty minutes two carp would be brought to hand for branding.
Armed with the red tail, black body Curiosity pattern the first carp was taken by sight. This fish was a respectable fish and put up a rather worthy fight.
The second carp of the morning came on a blind roll cast. No more than three or four seconds passed from the time the fly entered the plunge until this fish inhaled the fly and ran. These kind of takes don't happen much on this creek and when they do they serve as a most pleasant surprise and experience. This fish was a good bit larger than the first, but you can't tell from the picture. Full of fight the fish took me past the backing and line knot for a length of fifteen or twenty feet. Finally, I would recover some line and the tug-of-war would begin.
Oh how easy it would have been to stay longer this morning - my soul did not want to leave the creek. However, never have I been one to totally shirk responsibility. There on the creek bank I said a small prayer thanking my creator for the opportunity of this morning and then went to my prairie home where I washed off the carp, slipped on the khaki trousers, white shirt, and return to the mercantile store by 7:30.
Hell'ava life huh?
Now, what about Charlie? Charlie has had one complicated time in getting quality carp-by-fly time on our beloved little creek. One thing is that he's still nursing that bum foot, and this has limited his once spry (for men our age) movement. Then, there's the inn he owns and operates. It seems to me that business at his inn has been much more this year compared to last and this dominates a lot of Charlie's time. Now, there has been a new chapter opened addressing what is slowing Charlie's carp time down.
Last Saturday after spending about three hours on the creek I return to my prairie home and pick seven ticks off my person. As soon as I discoved the ticks had attacked me I sent Charlie a message telling him ticks were thick as molasses - a fact Charlie already knew. The intent of my message was to remind him that he and I owe to ourselves due dillegence when it comes to ticks.
I think it was sometime Thursday that Charlie ended up at the emergency room with high fever and severe body aches. The attending doctor informed Charlie he had tick fever. Fortunately it can be treated with antibiotics and it's stay will be temporary.
Ticks are nasty little critters that carry disease and can make us quite ill. Lyme disease is something that nobody wants to deal with.
So Charlie is off the water and out of the woods until he gets clear of this round of tick fever. I think it's time we start thinking about some kind of tick defense strategy in our carp-by-fly life. I say this because I know Charlie... and I know of little that will keep him from his cherished carp.