Now as I look back at this spring and summer of the carp crusades, I realize that I had become much like John Bunyan’s character Muckrake in the work Pilgrim‘s Progress. I was so fixated with the riches that were at my feet, I couldn’t look up or beyond to see the real treasures that lay therein.
By looking beyond I could have easily seen the large number of carp on the far side of Rock Creek. By looking up, I could have easily realized that indeed there was enough room to make a back cast, even though it might not be a terribly long one. In my fly fishing for carp life, the world was at my feet and I resigned myself to short lob and roll casts.
These days, even though I’m not fishing much, I am finding that I have about as much luck making casts of thirty-five, forty, or fifty feet and fishing blind. It feels good to make those longer casts and to vigilantly watch for movement in the leader.
Alas, my poor friend Charlie. Charlie seems to be agonizing lately over the fear that he has forever lost his fine and graceful casting. On the pilgrimage that Charlie has taken, he too has been forced to settle for the toss, lob, or bow and arrow type cast. I can almost hear Charlie as he makes one of those lobs; under his breath he utters, “That was crap.” With carp fishing, Charlie had to give up the four, five, and six X leaders, although he was game enough to give these light lines a try. Quite simply, the carp were just too much for such fineness.
As far as Charlie’s casting never recovering from carp fishing, I am confident that once the season of rainbow’s arrives at Lady Blue, everything will return to normal for Charlie. There, he will once again make the graceful delicate casts with light leader. His offerings will be the wets, and nymphs he endears so. At Blue, Charlie will able to leave behind the heavy lines and those heavy metal flies; the ones so full of fur and feather; the aerodynamically incorrect creations that splash down like a 1960’s Russian spacecraft.
However in the mean time, Charlie will continue to have to throw the heavy stuff and to insure he does I’ve tied a fly in his honor.
With the Carpola Charlie fly, I tried to incorporate some of the things Charlie does indeed like in a fly. As a simple trailing apparatus I tied in a small long tuft of Icelandic Wool at the bend of the hook. My thinking on this was since carp feed not only by sight, and smell, but also touch, the Icelandic Wool will feel natural and increase the believability of this pattern. Next, I tied in rubber legs which Charlie really likes. The rubber is supple, pliant, and gives attraction to the fly with movement. Flash that matches the body color of the fly is used on the hook shank and the main part of the body is marabou. Marabou is fluid and moves so naturally in the water it not only serves as an attractor but also imitates a live creature.
I tied two color versions; one being brown and yellow and the other olive and white. The question became will these flies catch a carp.
I took the Carpola Charlie’s with me to Charlie’s Pasture this morning and give them both a try. The brown and yellow yielded absolutely nothing, but the olive and white did have one take but yours truly blew the hook-set. I left the Pasture empty handed and traveled to the Well Springs.
At Well Springs I tied the olive and white Carpola Charlie back on and targeted two carp feeding together. The fly landed about two feet downstream from them and they didn’t seem to notice. So, I gave a slight twitch… and there was no reaction, another twitch and the same results, but on the third twitch I enjoyed seeing the carp come to the fly and suck it in. I set that hook this time.
For a fish this size the fight wasn’t all that remarkable, which speaks for what I’ve been seeing in these fish of late. For the most part the carp have become somewhat lethargic and they tend to suspend and rest a lot.
The olive and white Carpola Charlie after the battle.
I did go to the Bend and here were five or six waking carp in the shallows. It would seem like easy picking but getting the fly to the carp was an insurmountable task. Oh, I could get the fly to them all right, placing it just inches in front of them, but there was so much moss and debris in the creek the fly simply was swallowed up in the stew.
The pilgrimage continues but not as much as earlier in the year. It’s become way too hot and the creek is in bad need of rain. I guess it’s all part of the carp-pilgrim progress.