leader shy

Finally some action! I have been so close to successful the last few times I’ve gone carping – the fish would show interest by approaching my flies, but then at the last second, with no regard for my feelings, they would just pass up my offering. Thinking it might be leader shyness, I decided to tie on a 6X tippet for my next attempt. For you non-fishing folks, the tippet is the very end of the line, onto which I tie my fly, and 6X means that the tippet is very very thin and nearly invisible, but also not very strong, so one must be gentle when playing fish. The change seemed to work. I caught this nice drum chillin’ by the bank. If you look closely, you can see my little pink worm fly stuck in it’s upper lip.
Tradition dictates that when releasing fish into a current, they should be held gently, facing upstream. That way, water flows over the gills which helps the fish to recover. In low current or stillwater, I recommend gently rocking the fish forward and backwards. Though apparently some fish gills use a countercurrent exchange which means that backwards motion is not particularly efficient, the gills are essentially a passive membrane so any motion of water over gills should help the fish recover faster.

Drumming up some Action

I have been going back to the spot I mentioned in my last post. No carp landed yet, but I’ve seen dozens of big ones and had quite a few takes. I did catch a small drum on the fly though – a nice change of pace from bluegills.
This is only the second drum I have ever caught. The first was also on Percy Priest Lake, almost a year ago. I was fishing squid strips with a light tackle spinning rod, casting into a deep hole and retrieving slowly along the bottom.
That drum is probably the biggest fish I have caught on that rod. At the time I wasn’t sure what species it was. It’s amazing how many fish are out there, and how much one can learn in the course of one year.