Monday, September 10, 2012

TLTFF Trip Report: TLTFF Crew's Secret Carp Flats

The only difference between chasing unicorns and chasing carp is the fact that you may actually see a bunch of carp. But when it comes down to actually catching one or the other, your chances are just about the same. Such is the game of carp on the fly.

With the next few weeks being the last to actually catch a carp, the pressure is really on. I remember at the end of deer season last year sitting down and counting the days till the season opens back up again. After yesterday, I have begun the countdown till next Spring when the carp will be back tailing in the shadows, puffing up clouds of mud as the only indicator of where they may be.

Needless to say, yesterday we learned about the "Art of Skunk" (a term often and unfortunately used by Mr. Mota of Fishpanix Fly Fishing). With over 75 carp spotted, they were certainly there. The level of spookiness our carp have (I say our because I'm 99% sure nobody fishes our new hidden carp spot), its crazy that we even see any. When a fly lands 5-10ft in front of a cruising carp, you can expect one of two reactions:

1. The carp continues to your fly.

2. The carp leaves you with nothing but a cloud of mud.

Yesterday, the 2nd was all we got. Now, with feeding carp, if you place a fly that far in front of them, they typically keep going on their feeding line (sometimes making a slight unexpected turn) and your in the money (usually). With our carp, if they get near your fly and you give it a little movement in an attempt to get some attention...mud cloud, followed by the classic K├╝bler-Ross Model, otherwise know as the five stages of grief...

Denial- "He's not gone, just hit an especially muddy area."

Anger- "He is gone, that son of a bitch, mother fu******* piece of sh**." (que throwing of rod).

Bargaining- "Just turn around, please, come back, I'll be your best friend."

Depression- "I'll never catch one of these stupid creatures."

Acceptance- "Okay, theres another, I'm over that last one."

It a vicious cycle really, keeping you searching, casting, and praying all day long. We hunted carp (unicorns) from about 9am till around 2pm when we finally decided to give trout a run for their money in the nearby Gunpowder River with just as much luck as we had with the previous species.

Water levels in the GP are unbelievably low right now, running between 20 and 30 CFS making water clear, slow, and trout extremely spooky. Stealth is never on my side, I just haven't gotten good at it. Luis said yesterday that fishing with me is like "fishing with a buffalo", probably true, I try to stay quiet, its my ADHD that has that problem. I think we will give carp one more shot before they are back in the deep water. Not all will be lost, we learned a lot this season, found new water, and (I think) significantly increased our chances for a carp next year. We also had a great day yesterday with the whole TLTFF Crew together and amazing weather.

Once I got home, I got to soak up the fact that my 'Skins not only won, but beat the Saints, enjoy a Sam Adams Octoberfest, catch up on some reading, and smoke a little of my VA grown pipe tobacco. Next up, Striped Bass. Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year if not the most beautiful. I cannot wait to chuck flies at some blitzing fish with full focus on that species. Rocktober is right around the corner and I pulled out my binoculars yesterday. Can't wait to chase diving birds around the Bay like a maniac for some Stripers and Blues.


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