Sometimes there's plenty of room to make a long, beautiful fly cast and present to a visibly feeding fish. Those moments can be glorious. Oftentimes though, my fishing is more akin to gorilla warfare. I have to put on a stalk in heavy brush and make short, difficult casts in very tight quarters. This can be viewed in a few ways. Some may look at it as a strategically complex, skillful expression of angling prowess.
I look at it, at least when I do it, as a boneheaded refusal to let hard to reach, easy to spook fish go about feeding without being harassed. There are some fish I will happily let be. I'm happy to leave some brook trout alone, and schoolie stripers are allowed free passage more often than not. Shallow feeding carp though are fish I refuse to let rest. I either spook them or I jam a bit of metal into their mouth. Such was the case on a recent jaunt over in berryville. I had plenty of easy shots and many fish to hand already- in fact it was a phenomenal day of fishing.
|Huge tail on this one, and nearly flawless.|
Every fish was on the dry and every fish was a mirror. This is precisely what I've come to expect at this locale. But then I spotted this one fish, clearly a common, rooting vigorously in the gravel. She was a prime target... she was also behind a thick wall of Japanese knotweed. I'd have to insert myself into the weeds and present the fly at rod tip. When I say at rod tip, I mean exactly that- I couldn't cast at all, I'd have to present the fly with less than a foot of tippet outside the rod tip. More like 5 inches, honestly. Doing this sort of presentation was not remotely easy though, as there were loads of vegetation to catch up in. And of course as soon as the fish was on it would be pure chaos.
Until next time,