dapper chap

Tara and I went fishing yesterday. Well, I went fishing. Tara sat on the bow and read celebrity gossip magazines…Anyway, with the water still murky, the best carping strategy at this point is still ‘dapping,’ that is, trying to wade close enough to the fish that you can drop your fly right on their heads. Being this close is the only way you’ll have a chance to actually see if they take the fly. The only other option is blind-casting, but that is low percentage method with carp.
I anchored the boat in the shade and slipped into the water. I hadn’t taken two steps when I saw a big tail moving towards me along the bank. I half hid behind a flooded tree, and as soon as the fish came near I dropped my nymph in the water. The carp immediately turned, inhaled, and the fight was on:
It was a big fish. I turned it’s head towards open water and watched my fly line disappear off the reel. When the initial run ended I was a few turns from my backing. The fish cruised heavily back and forth while I struggled to regain some line. And then gently, like a sigh of disappointment, the hook came free.
Disappointed I was, but not discouraged. There were fish in the area and I could catch them.
Peering into the murk, I caught sight of another tail. As I got closer I could make out two fish, one significantly larger than the other. This is always a delicate situation. I wanted the bigger fish, but I had to be careful not to spook the smaller one or the game would be up. Ever so slowly I moved into position. When the fish looked up from feeding and began to move, I dropped my fly on the larger one which sucked it up agreeably.
This was a good sized fish and it fought that way. I did see my backing this time, and when I finally pulled the fish to hand I had a large red imprint on my stomach where I had braced my rod. Well worth the pain though…

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