Saturday, June 8, 2013

Success is spelled C-A-R-P

NPR let me know at 6:30 AM that chances of rain today in the area were at 70% after 1 PM. It was fishing day for lunch. I made a mental note that I would need to go early.

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. 

Tight lines.


  1. Anthony
    It seems this fish just doesn't get enough respect even if it is one of the ugliest fish on the planet--congrats on the catch, they are a hoot on the fly rod. thanks for sharing

  2. alright!!!! Congrats, Anthony!

  3. Great job. Carp are an awesome fish! Such a rewarding challenge.

  4. Nice carp, man! The fight must have been great! those carps are beasts! they always put up a nice fight!

    1. And they are such a challenge to stalk. Thanks for the comment! I'm following you now, J.

  5. I know this is an old(er) post but I started fly fishing a little over a year ago and when I first started, I dug around the internet searching every single thing known to man about fly fishing for carp. Since then I've landed 6 and have hooked 9 or so. This is not including the goldfish and koi iv'e caught either! There is hope! It is a wonderful experience and I hope you catch many more! I've learned a lot about patience and fly fishing in general which has made me a better fisherman very fast. Like the blog. Keep up the good work.