After two nights of Neosporin and Vaseline laden hands encased in surgical gloves, the hands felt good enough today to continue the Carp Crusades.
Today, the water directly below the Vendome Wellspring was selected. As the last outing would so prove, I would once again arrive at a creek serving as a vessel for an armada of tassels, being quite off-colored and blurred, and suddenly the sun would decide to step aside to mostly cloudy skies. None of these factors are good for carp crusading.
If we fast forward to the ending of the hour long trip I can tell you that two more carp were battled today. However, this report should also disclose that it was the carp of this prairie ocean current known as Rock Creek that actually won the day's overall field of battle.
For the most part, fly-fishing for carp still remains ambiguous to me. So many unanswered or understood questions remain. But like today... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure most things out.
The fly that captured both carp warriors battled today was a chartreuse and white Clouser with a red throat. But... I must tell you that both carp were captured with a plop and drop presentation and within ten seconds both had taken notice and were on the fly. The reason I'm pointing this out... is why the rest of the afternoon went as it did.
It would be easy to say with the recent success of the Clouser that this is indeed the fly to use in battling carp. But once again remember... the two carp were taken by surprise or as I would like to think attraction. But it was the two dozen or so refusals with the Clouser that was so very perplexing. And, it was within the refusals that the answer lied. My casts would be, for the most part, two feet or better, in front of the targeted carp. Letting the fly sink, a twitch would be employed to position said fly and then allowed to settle to the bottom. Time after time, I watched carp slowly nose to the fly and within an inch... maybe two... suddenly jolt and turn away. This became a significant note to record.
The carp whipped my ass today... and that's all there is to it.
Leaving the water in defeat I found the events of the afternoon playing over and over in my head... and that's when it came to me.
Before leaving the bunkhouse today, I sprayed my neck and hands with insect repellent. With my hands I wiped my face thoroughly because those bull gnats encountered on Saturday were simply too much. Bull gnats are some mean little s.o.b.'s! Indeed I did wash my hands at the bunkhouse before leaving but there still existed a noticeable scent.
At the current, I took off the crawdad pattern I had tied on from a previous outing and out of the fly box plucked the Clouser with scented hand; tied it on with scented hand; and presented it with scented hand.
Could've, would've, should've. Yep... I could've washed my hands in creek mud, along with the selected Clouser, upon arriving at the bank. I would've done exactly so... if the head wasn't up the ass. And lastly, I should've... end of story.
So far in the early learning stages of battling carp with fur and feather, there have been a number of articles read that mention the innate ability of the carp's olfactory senses.
After today... I believe this incredible sense of the carp has to be so true. Use what nature offers you at hand. Wash your hands and flies in the skin of the waterway you're fishing.