Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Close Encounters

As I stepped out of the truck I fully anticipated a reception of odd-ball stares from the dog walkers and joggers and half-baked hippies known to frequent this spot. Though I couldn't remember ever pulling into an empty parking lot here, I'd always felt like it was one of my spots, so their goofy glances and muffled giggles had never much bothered me. I grabbed the pre-rigged rod and box of flies from the bed of the truck and the pooch and I took to the trail, mission bound and with a bounce in our step.

Mojo building was the first order of business, so we did our due-diligence and wacked a picture-perfect bronzeback specimen in a likely-spot.

We made it a mixed-bag in short order with an unexpected but welcome river resident largemouth.

So we'd gotten the juices flowing and now it was time to conduct some real business. River bass are a fine quarry to be sure but they were low on my list this day. I'd had a chance encounter with a self-proclaimed carp addict a few days prior and it'd renewed my intrigue with these bath water brutes. He'd even given me a home-grown lure which, he asserted, had been known to turn cruising carp 90 degrees for a closer look. I intended to test that assertion and tied one on. Confidently I approached the long shale flat that I hoped would be hosting some targets...

Too confidently. I was right, the flat was holding feeding fish, but in my haste I'd waded with a little too much gusto and spooked them into deeper water. Dejected, I scuddled over to a make-shift carp blind to wait for another shot. 10 minutes went by and my mind started to wander. I watched some kids splashing around upstream of me and hoped they wouldn't get close enough to spook my fish. In retrospect they must have been watching me with similar angst, wondering what that creepy guy and his dog were doing hiding behind a log in the river...

And then there he was. Thought it was only a foot deep, at first all I could see through the stained water was a dark, arrow-shaped line about a foot long moving right at me. As it got closer a huge, ghostly grey submarine-shaped head took shape. Fly in hand, I crouched as low as possible so as not to spook the beast, who was still moving towards me. At about 12 feet, he turned sharply to my left, turning broadside to me. I flipped the fly ahead of him and watched it land. The moment it touched the bottom he was on it. With my leader inside the rod-tip all I could do was twitch the fly using the rod itself. On the third twitch the fish closed on the fly like a smallie and tilted down.

One one-thousand.... WHAM

The fight was a good one on a 6-weight, but I didn't even care about landing the fish at that point. I'd gotten what I'd come for, an eat that I won't forget for a long time. After that rush, I'm fully hooked on hoovers and pretty sure I'll be spending the rest of my free time this summer chasing backyard bones...

No comments:

Post a Comment