Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rescue And Recovery


My morning on Rock Creek would start early and what a pretty morning it was.  I come to the creek today with three things in mind.  First, I must rescue two of my flies from a fate that is not theirs to be.  Secondly, I want to recover that chair I've been slowly carrying down the creek, and lastly, I'm looking for carp number 100.

First order of business are the two Carpola Charlies.  Above a bank on Rock Creek, dangling and glistening in the sun, are two Carpola Charlies just a matter of inches apart.  With two flies hanging in such close proximity to one another reveals that this fly fisher doesn't always remember prior or past mistakes.  You would think when I hung the first fly I would have made a mental note.  I did not evidently. 

I must free my flies, for their destiny is not to serve as a garnish or embellishment for a twisted, gnarly grapevine that has ensnared itself around a tree limb. 

The problem is the flies are about twenty feet in the air so a plan has to be hatched.  As any good cowboy would do, I grab my lariat - a hand-made lariat I've had for about fifteen years.  Next, I fetch one of Miss Carol's garden utensils that will make a dandy grappling hook.  Then, I create the handy dandy extended pruners to cut the flies loose if need be.  My plan is to grapple-hook the tree limb pulling it down as far as possible, tie off the rope, and then with the extended pruner, cut the vine freeing my flies from the manacles of these tentacles that currently have the Carpola Charlies incarcerated.


It took at least ten tries, but finally the grappling hook captured the Carpola Charlies black and olive and it came tumbling to the ground with a small limb attached.  Now, it was time to go after the remaining man.


Another twenty or so tries and finally the grasp of the hooks found the tree limb and the rope wrapped around.  There would be no escaping for the vine or limb and with a hard tug the olive and orange was freed.
Intimate Rock Creek

Rescue complete, it was time to go into recovery mode.  Going downstream a good ways, I walked up to the last point I carried that chair.  Slowly I've been carrying it downstream and only have about two-hundred yards left before I can carry it out at Well Springs.  With an early start and somewhat cool weather, I saw no better time than this morning to complete the task.  On my way back downstream I encountered another chair stuck in the mud, plus remnants of yet another chair.  I grabbed the remnants, but will have to make plans to get the other chair out.  Carrying the chair up the hill at Well Springs, the recovery was complete. 


Carp number 100 escaped me the other day and this morning I am looking for redemption. I'll be honest with you, the carp that would take me to triple digits did not come easily.  I snuck-up on carp, stalked carp, and stealth was the keyword of the day.  I fished carp that weren't interested, mildly interested and a couple I would've bet my last dollar were genuinely interested.  I showed them the Backstabber, but they just looked at it and swam away.  It was the same with the olive and black Carpola, and the black and orange Carpola.  At the Courtyard there weren't a whole lot of carp to stalk, but the ones I did... eluded me.

I sit down on a rock to ask myself what I was doing wrong?  But, perhaps it wasn't a case of what I was doing wrong, but rather a case of what would Charlie do?  Knowing Charlie well enough, I'm certain he would go to a white pattern or the San Juan Worm, and so this would be my next plan of action.  However, I wanted to try the olive and orange Carpola first, and the only one I had was the one just rescued from that grapevine ensnared tree limb.  I tied it on and go downstream.

At Mother Hole the water was completely milky or muddy, but I could see some shadows and therefore I cast to shadows.  Suddenly something caught my eye upstream.  I could tell it was a carp feeding in the shallows, but the problem was all the trees next to the water.  There were several trees and the limbs were only five feet above the surface.  I pursued this fish anyhow, and when I arrived at his grazing spot I knew this was going to be difficult.  A forward roll or flip cast was out of the question.  The only way to cast to this fish was with a back-handed side arm flip cast.  I took the rod in my left hand and worked it around the tree trunk where I took it with my right hand.  Dropping the fly in the water I made my first attempt at this difficult cast and blew it big time.  My second attempt was much better and the fly landed behind the carp's shoulder.  The plop of the fly was enough to make him turn and when he saw the fly he was on it.  Carp number 100 was a fascinating looking Mirror.   


Getting back to the subject of recovery, I was telling my boss the other day that I thought when I caught carp number 101, I would quit fly fishing for carp for the rest of this year.  As he laughed, I looked at him with a raised eyebrow and my own amusement as to his lack of confidence in my self-control.  Then he said, "You won't quit Shrader... I'll bet you two cases of beer that you won't quit."  Again, with the same raised eyebrow, I replied, "Why would you make a bet that is so easy for me to win - I just won't fish anymore after 101."  With an even louder laugh and more confident air about him, he countered with, "That's just it Shrader, you won't quit because you can't quit.  I know you too well!"  Then he extended his hand to seal the bet, and for the life of me I could not make that bet.  I knew he was right.

Early into the carp crusades I knew I was addicted.  Undoubtedly, I've been addicted to the Rainbow's and Blue River for years, but this addiction to carp on the fly is much more powerful.  I guess there could come the day that I can quit, but at best I will still be an addict - living my life in recovery. 

My goodness - I couldn't make that bet, and I could really use two cases of beer.

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1 comment:

Shiloh said...

I plan on being up there this week end maybe i will see ya on rock creek.