Planned early with the team, volunteering to go to lunch break at 10 AM.
The conversation continued after that with my co-worker Tim when he asked if I was going fishing. Turns out he used to do laps around Cunningham - all the way around - and he pointed out a spot on the West side that "nobody ever goes to." He showed me where. I got directions, and decided to check it out.
Work was hectic for a while. Didn't make it out until about 10:15. It was raining lightly.
"No sweat! I've got a rain coat in the trunk!"
I drove off. Got to the lake, parked in the indicated area and got out to check my trunk.
No rain coat.
I had a nagging feeling this was going to be epic, so I did what all crazy sport-fishermen tend to do... I found a plastic baggy for my phone and my keys, then saddled up.
Two hundred yards of waist-high, wet grasses were ahead of me. It ran along the side of old tire-tracks. Birds were singing and the rain came straight down. It was emerald and quiet. I smiled to myself as I felt a bump on the pole as I walked. A robin had popped it while flying off. I apologized to it and continued on.
I hesitated on the edge of the grass with the water in sight. Paranoid of ticks, I tentatively walked sideways, pressing the grass down. It was a short trip to the water.
Dual fly rig on, line wet, first fish was a green sunfish. Unhooked.
Heard a sucking sound, and almost a groaning about 8 feet down the shore. Shore was tall grass, mud overhangs and root-shelves over about 6 inches of water. I thought, "Well, that's a strange sounding duck." Splashes and churning accompanied the noises. Dolphins rose and fell out in the pond. I looked 50 yards down the shore near an inlet and BINGO.
I immediately started dropping along the shore near the splashing. It was obviously single fish feeding. Nothing at first. Roll-casted back to and area I had been before. Felt two very light bumps and lifted.
The drag sounded and I looked at the sky and whooped like a madman!
Tried to snap a picture of my bent pole, but the bag made it blurry. It wasn't a MONSTER, but it took off like one! Sadly, ended up running under debris. Had to break off the leader completely.
Hands shaking, excitement up, I re-rigged and set off east along the shore. I cast to activity, nothing. Alarm started going off on the phone. Waited till the last minute. I picked up my rod and let a length of line drag along the water near the shore while I moved to better casting position. Went to lift the rod to backcast, and had a fight on my hands.
Ladies and gentlemen, success is spelled C-A-R-P.
I felt really good on a lot of levels after this, but the biggest thing that stuck out was something I will privately cherish.
Others may laugh. Finding carp flats is something I've dedicated to those side-"you might think it's silly" prayers. It has been a personal quest and desire of mine for nearly two years. Today just happened to be the day that my co-worker tells me about "this one place", and that it just feels right to visit. To me, it was more than a simple rainy fishing trip. This was God saying something to me as a child.