Good times, bad times. No, not the Led Zeppelin song but the real deal. We've all heard of them, and we've all probably had one or two along the way. Today, I had one.
Actually, it was all good until carp number five came along. Trying to get a picture of this freight train in the water, I, of course had one hand on the rod, and, Miss Carol's camera in the other. I snapped the picture and as soon as I did, ole freight train decided to go for another run. Most certainly, I thought I'd slid the camera back inside my waders, as done hundred times before, but when that ker-plop sound resonated down the creek... it was uh-oh time. Miss Carol's camera expired today in a freakish accident on Rock Creek... an untimely demise for sure.
Upon releasing the fish I was done fishing and went to get a beer that I would drink in the park while trying to come up with an approach in informing Carol of the death. A plan was born, and with a belly full of courage I went home to inform my love I thought it time she have a brand new camera... since hers was so terribly out-dated. Carol saw through me like water runs through a landing net. "You dropped the camera in the creek, didn't you." she asked.
Thirty minutes later at Wal-Mart, looking at new cameras, I slid over to the photo processor and presented the saved memory stick from the deceased, to at least get a record of today's fish. Of course the clerk on duty heard the story of today's event, and the good chap suggested we wait twenty-four hours before acquiring a new camera because there stands a good chance the deceased might actually not be deceased at all... just in shock. In other words, the camera might actually dry and work again. I hope that young man is correct, because it will save me a Franklin plus heavy change.
The good part of today was very good. Actually, I went a-fishin' twice. On the lunch hour I hopped down to the creek to fish the area Charlie and I have been exploring the last couple of days or so. In the last two outings, my leader had been effectively... no, completely destroyed by close encounters of the carp kind. I decided to try one of Robin Rhynes furled leaders that I've had for years but never used. The only concerns with using a furled thread leader is water spray from the thread when these creatures are spooky enough. The second concern was the bulk of the leader and color. But... I looped it on anyhow, and added a four foot section of tippet which now made by leader system twelve foot long.
For the first thirty minutes of my lunch hour, all I did was spook fish. As I was spooking fish, Charlie shows up and I see him scouting along the bank. I want Charlie to fish but it seems he has other things to attend to. However, he keeps scouting and then starts spotting for me, but I still continue to spook fish. Finally, I see a patch of water located below some overhanging branches. The water is a mixture of shade with smaller patches of sunlit soup. I cast the crawdad into one patch of light and then see the pale yellow mouth of a carp suck it up.
It was a nice carp... probably about twenty-two inches long. At this point the lunch hour had been expended; plus more; I was fifteen minutes late getting back to work.
Getting back to work it didn't take long to catch up. The food business today seemed like a dead-zone, so my long duration presence wasn't required and I found myself back on the creek within an hour and half.
The main reason I wanted to go back was because I didn't get to try a Clouser pattern on the lunch hour. The first cast of this second go-around still presented the crawdad pattern of earlier... and it captured one small carp about two pounds.
Then the Clouser went on... a black and white with blue flash Clouser, a fly the carp could not get enough of.
Before leaving for the day, I had battled five more carp but one didn't count because he was a foul-hook. Honestly I don't know how that fish was foul-hooked because I saw him swim to the fly, suck the fly, turn and then I set. Guess I pulled it straight out of his mouth but again he didn't count.
In using the Clouser, if they didn't take notice on the plop and drop, I would start to slowly twitch the fly back to me on the bottom. These carp seem hungry because they would come to the fly on the twitch and the hook-set would follow.
Today was the best day I've had in the carp crusades and one note on Robin's leader. Once it gets good and wet there is no spray and after today's results... I think it's going to stay on the ole carp rod for awhile.