You know... I shouldn't be like that, about the perch I mean. I... love... the perch. Yet, as beautiful and delightful as they are, they, at times, can be the most aggravating creatures on the face of the earth. And, today they were.
It's been twelve days since a carp has come to my hand, and honestly I am beginning to feel a little like Santiago.
No, I'm not blaming the perch for all the failure, even though they were responsible today. It's been the weather for the most part and even that has an ironic twist. This time last year we were praying for rain. This year, we are still praying - giving thanks for the bountiful rain we've had, and at the same time praying our little carp creek will finally clear.
It's been eight days now since the rain sent the creek into a rage and as of today our favored carp current is still struggling in regaining some normalcy. But today, the carp could clearly be seen feeding on blossoms at the surface.
Seeing what was taking place I quickly change to a size 10 Elk Hair Caddis - the same fly used last year to lasso these Longhorns of the water. Getting this pattern to the carp was the biggest challenge. The carp were sipping blossoms directly underneath two to three overhanging tree limbs. A sidearm cast was the only choice and the cast would be across a strong current - a recipe for producing a lot of foul language from the angler.
As soon as the fly would hit the surface I would roll mend the line to the far side followed by an immediate high stick hoping I could avoid the current and the fly would drift into the feeding lane of the carp. It seemed to be working and with the fly well on it's way to the open mouth of a carp, a perch decided to join the conversation by party line.
Upon releasing the perch back to the water, I totally forgot about the necessity of making a side arm cast and as the fly line went up in the air I suddenly knew how screwed I was soon to be. There in the clutches of the outstretched arms of a tree, dangled the Elk Hair Caddis swinging high on the gallows. I considered it a case of the fly giving his life at sea.
With the Elk Hair Caddis lost, Charlie's creation the Thistle Missile was called to action. On the very first cast, as the fly drifted into the lane intended, another perch interrupted.
Not once, not twice, three times, but four, would the perch interrupt a possible conversation between angler and carp. Each time they would, the surface feeding carp would be "put down" for ten or fifteen minutes.
It wasn't long until I was out of time and the beer I had brought was ancient history.
The rain always washes stuff downstream and in the middle of the creek was this dandy that made be wonder if someone upstream was still clueless they were shoeless. Said item was retrieved and deposited in the handy trash can Charlie fished out of the creek not so long ago.
The thin and shallow parts of the creek are clearing and hopefully by Wednesday the rest of the creek will be much better and that will improve chances of connecting with a carp. What do to about the perch is another question.