Yesterday I became the proud new owner of some SIMMS headwater waders. I have been putting it off, but my old ones are 7 years old and leak in the crotch. Which isn't a big deal until you get in over your crotch and then you are cold in areas that just should NOT get cold. What carp fears a man with shrinkage?
At any rate that had me itching to try them out. Yesterday was a no-go, Zack and I had more important things to do with the rapidly receding snow but Sunday worked out nicely.
Today we had a family gathering planned at 1:00. When the Tanners all get together you just don't want to miss that, it is always a blast. With a little much appreciated help from my wife Kim (AKA Mommasita) and Grandma (AKA G-ma) there was just enough time for a short morning session.
I arrived at 9:15. It was still pretty chilly out. It was supposed to be a miracle day with temps getting to the mid 50's. It stayed over-cast all morning and I am guessing it never broke 44. Nevertheless as I came onto the spot I was able to get some elevation and immediately saw a pod of 6 pretty happy looking fish holding in a slow waste-deep run. Believe me, I have seen my fair share of ultra depressed carp this winter...you can tell the difference immediately. I was not going to be able to sight cast them so I moved down into position and proceeded to slow-swing an olive Primordial Carp-Stew across the bottom. After working from the top to the bottom of the run over about a 30 minute span I was getting nowhere.
So I switched to a tan / grey carp-stew and moved on to the other side of the current in a slack water eddy. The lack of sunlight made it tough but eventually I decide there were fish holding tight to a concrete structure. I hooked one fish but snapped the line (operator error) and immediately afterward hooked a nice 29" fish....in the tail :(. There goes 15 minutes of my life I will never get back. I am sure he felt the same.
I do not know why, but I was still optimistic about this section. The last fish should have blown it up but I had a good feeling. So I got back into position and tried again with an orange / brown Carp-Stew. On the second light strip of the second cast I was firmly attached to a 23" carp. Remember the fish last week with no fore-head and almost no lips? Same area, similar results. This one actually had a fore-head and some lips (Angelina Joline sized) but you could tell they were related.
Enough time had passed that the original run should have settled down if it was going to. I went back but this time I spend a little more time studying the run from elevation. I had entered the river too far down-stream the first time. This time I went to the right spot and was getting a very nice drift with a slightly more down-river cast. A nice straight line with good contact to the fly and no belly. Small subtle strips just to add a tiny bit of life. After about 5 minutes I hooked one fish but lost it pretty quickly. Another 5 minutes and I stuck another. This one (A nice chunky and spunky 25incher) would not be so lucky: