While we've been waiting on the creek to settle down, we've been exploring other pastures. You remember the big pasture I spoke of recently - a pasture that seemed to hold all kind of carp possibilities? Well, that big pasture just got bigger. The rain has raised the level of this lake by about three feet and where we once could wade, we cannot now.
This week Charlie and me have spent a fair amount of time pursuing the blossom sipping carp with dry patterns. I'm not for sure how much time Charlie has invested, but I have probably a good six or eight hours spent trying to get a carp to hand by way of a dry pattern.
We have zero results to show for our effort.
But, there was some of those heart-pounding, exciting "this is it" moments that unfortunately turned into those "could have been" realities.
Around 5 p.m. today I missed carp number five (by way of dry pattern) on a size 14 yellow Stimulator pattern. Earlier today I missed carp number four on that same pattern and once that happen I returned to my prairie home and contacted Charlie. I asked Charlie his thoughts of whether I'm trying to set the hook too quickly and too hard. We're so use to sight fishing for grazing or tailing carp, and when they eat we really set the hook, it's easy to carry that habit over to other methods of fly fishing - in this case fishing a dry pattern.
With carp number five I decided to wait before setting the hook and set it easier with a more gentle rod tip lift. The carp was upstream and I watched him sipping the blossoms. Deciding to cast the fly to this fish, the fly lands about a foot to his right side. As soon as it lands the current catches it, but this fish turns, chases, catches up, and then eats the fly. I wait. A lift of the rod tip and there was nothing but air.
I swear I don't know what I'm doing wrong. It's beginning to eat on me mentally.
Problem is right now that the majority of the carp are gorging on the surface and that's the best chance of capturing one of these beeves. Guess I could just blindly blind cast and hope my fly crosses path with a carp.
We're facing a good number of obstacles right now. We've had two weeks to do a survey of the carp population in this little creek. It looks like we have about half the carp we had last year or the year prior. Over the last two years we had probably close to 250 carp in about two and a half miles of creek that we could fish. This year, we have less than half that many. The big flood of November certainly carried carp downstream to the big lake.
The creek is just now clearing, but more rain is predicted for Monday and Tuesday. If the rain comes then we could be back to square one.
Then, there is the unseasonably warm temperatures. Sunday is April 1st and the temperature will reach 90 degrees on Sunday - a temperature more associated with June rather than April.
If we have a repeat of last summer, then it's going to be another long, record-setting hot, and not very productive carp season. Hopefully, something will give.