U Boats

The carp have seemed scarce ever since my return from Oregon this summer. I hated to consider the possibility that “carp season” had ended here. Besides, all the evidence pointed to the contrary, there should be lots of hungry carp around. The water is warm and shallow, resulting in more plant growth which is habitat for all kinds of aquatic bugs that carp like to eat. Yesterday I hit the water just after sunrise, thinking maybe time of day was the issue. I had a little luck, spotting some fish feeding in a couple feet of water but I was unable to hook up. On my second pass over the flat, the fish were gone, but I kept looking.
My perseverance finally paid off. I came upon a fat fish feeding at the edge of a deep pool which attacked my nymph ferociously.

One fat fish!

With one fish in my net, and renewed confidence, I struck out again. This time I found what I was really looking for. On a muddy flat which is only accessible by foot when the water is low like it is now, I discovered lots of fish. They were all feeding intently, and they were in super shallow water. This was the “freshwater bonefishing” scenario I had been searching for! Right off I had one good strike, but the hook didn’t set and the fish scattered. A little farther along I spotted a cloud of mud leading towards shore. Looking intently for the fish that made it, a nervous ripple or a tail slicing the surface, I followed the trail. I finally spotted the culprit under some overhanging branches, feeding noisily in water that couldn’t have been more than three inches deep – the entire back of the fish was in the air and shining in the sun. I made two casts which fell short. As the fish turned back towards me I made a third cast, maybe 25 feet, tucking it in under the branches. My fly plopped down right in front of the fish who responded by darting forward greedily. I set the hook and watched with satisfaction as my second carp of the day made waves towards deeper water and my reel buzzed with success.
Freshwater “Bonefish.”

The U Boat returns to the deep.

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