Monday, August 17, 2015
A Common, a Koi Lost, and a Ghosty
I went carp hunting on the kayak again this morning. Walking along the shore I spotted a couple of fish, but not many. As soon as I got to the cove I started spotting fish. But the first catch of the day was not a carp. When I'm cruising around spotting fish I usually leave the fly in the water. Often it just skips along the surface. Sometimes a smallmouth will come up and smash it. Usually these are small, but today a pretty good one found the fly.
The further back I got in the bay the more carp I saw. There were lots here:
I had a lot of upturned noses on my first circuit. Desperate times call for desperate measures: I changed flies. A Black Ops was swapped out for a dragonfly nymph. On the next pass I spotted a pair of carp tailing aggressively in a patch of mud. I cast to the one I felt was most likely to eat. I made a cast a foot in front of it and let the fly sink. I didn't actually see it take, but I just had a feeling. When in doubt, set the hook. The fish was on and it was hooked well. While it made it's first run I got myself to shore. A good battle and I was holding a perfectly stunning common carp.
As I continued down the shore, I spotted a familiar face. Hello there Mr. Orange! There were also a few normally colored commons hanging around it to make things difficult. With shaking hands I managed to get the fly in front of the koi. It took. I set the hook and the fish went through the dock. I went into fast action. I jumped out of the kayak and swam through the dock to get the line free. I got the fish in check then went to get the kayak. The fish actually turned and ran straight at me. I got it around to the place I wanted to land it and was working it when suddenly I watched the koi and my line part ways without any change in tension. The fish had snagged the fly on a branch. I was absolutely crushed. I finally had my shot and I watched it slip through my fingers.
I had a hard time not giving up after that, but when I spotted some tailing fish it was impossible to resist. They were already on there way back to deeper water, but I got a very good shot at the little one in the back. The take was very aggressive and I so wish I could have taken video of it, but the fight was short. The fish was actually a nice young ghost carp ( a very pale colored common) with a crook back. It seems like quite a few carp have this problem. I suspect their shallow water feeding habit leaves them vulnerable to heron wounds. BIG fins on this one though. I bet it'll fight like crazy when it's a bit bigger.
I struck around until after 11:00, and actually spotted quite a few more fish. The sun was the problem. With it lighting up the shallows the carp were a lot more cautious.