Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ingenuity Saves the Day

With the recent rains, every stream in the area is completely blown out. I haven't found a lake/pond/reservoir in the area yet with good wading or shore access to carp spots, so I'm "stuck" fishing the C&O Canal for now. Of course, the canal was chocolate milk. We're talking 6 inches of visibility or less. I could see obvious signs of the carp - silt plumes contrasting with the muddy water - but aside from the occasional fish surfacing for a few seconds, I couldn't see one to save my life. I realized if I wanted to catch a fish, I had to throw an indicator. Of course, I open up my fly box and remember I lost my last indicator in that box last time I was out, and I didn't bring the replacements. I also realize I don't even have so much as a popper or a dry fly to drop my nymph off. Bummed out that I probably wasted a trip, I got desperate and relied on some good old fashioned ingenuity to create a makeshift strike indicator. I grabbed a blade of grass and tied it in a knot above my tippet. I test cast, and it worked. First cast to a fish, I see the twitch of the grass, and boom! I'm on. I popped that one off, though, after a couple minutes. Next fish gets to the net - a nice 6.5 lb well colored fish. The following one breaks me off on a branch. My last fish of the day was a monster. I never saw his whole body - only his tail. This guy went off on a tear and I had no way to slow him down. He zigged around a branch almost immediately and kept pulling line. He zagged again around a second branch. My fly line is completely gone, and I'm dipping deep into my backing. I can see him splashing at the surface almost 100 yards down the canal, wrapping around at least a third branch. I've never had a carp take me that far into backing before. At this point, the fish must have wrapped himself enough times that he could put enough slack to throw the hook, leaving me with the slow, sad process of reeling in 100+ yards of slack backing and line.

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