The bonefishing has steadily improved with the onset of summer in Hawaii. Two weeks ago Ed picked me up before sunrise and we headed out to look for tailing fish. We found those, and a bunch more. The conditions were almost perfect and we had the flats almost completely to ourselves. I hooked seven bonefish that day, and Ed must have hooked eight or nine.

Despite the fishing excitement close to home, the real perk for me recently was sneaking away one afternoon during a work trip in Texas to look for carp.

I actually tried to fish the first afternoon I arrived, too. I caught a rideshare to an urban reservoir that Google had indicated might hold carp. Eventually I found them, and it would have been some super fun fishing, but all of the fish were stacked up inside a huge spillway below the dam, and there were a lot of signs that very clearly forbade entering into the spillway area.

On the last day of the trip, I consulted the Google again and chose another spot to try, a bit farther from town. I rode the green line train from downtown to the last stop and then caught another rideshare to a small river below another reservoir. There were some people fishing for bass or catfish, and I spotted some buffalo holding in the current. I was a little worried because the dam was releasing about three times as much water as the previous several days. Instead of a languid, wadable river, there was a lot of water and a substantial current. Wading from one side to the other wasn’t a possibility, but the river still looked fishable, so I set out to look for carp.

Much of the bank was steep and high, but at the mouth of a small feeder creek, I found some carp and buffalo mudding together in a small school. I managed to hook one of the carp, which seemed more confused than frightened at being attached to my line. Clearly these fish did not get a lot of fishing pressure. That fish came unhooked just as I brought it to the bank, so I moved on in search of more.

The higher water level had flooded some of the lower areas, turning them into small flats, and I discovered that the carp were coming into these areas to feed. In one bay I found half a dozen small carp clooping cottonwood seeds off the surface. I watched them for a bit, but moved on without disturbing their meal.

I spotted some gar gulping air and a few freshwater drum cruising. There were also a surprising number of snakes swimming in the river, which I just assumed were venomous by default, so I moved slowly and stepped carefully. The carp I found were willing to take a rubber-legged nymph, but seemed more interested when I switched to a small, bead-chain hybrid fly. I walked about four miles of riverbank and hooked seven carp before I finally succumbed to sunburn and bug bites and hiked back to the road.

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