Friday, January 7, 2011

Freakish Beaver, Construction Blues and a Mutant Winter Carp

It was a crazy day fishing the Denver Urban South Platte.  I started too early so I went to check out a new spot.  As I was creeping down the bank looking for signs of life the world exploded behind me.  I nearly fell in I was so startled.  Out of the underbrush lumbered a HUGE beaver with about a quarter of his fur looking ready to fall out.  In downtown Denver!  We are talking at least 30lb.  The tail was about a foot wide and two feet long.

This is the second beaver I have seen on the S.Platte.  The other one was a couple miles upstream and about half his size. 

A couple years back somebody found one dead that they claimed had to be upwards of 80lbs.  After seeing this guy it doesn't sound like such a stretch.


After a couple of hours of fruitless winter flailing I suddenly noticed that the water was getting darker...much darker.  I glance upriver and about a quarter mile upstream they had just started construction.  Certain doom.  From clear to chocolate milk in under 5 minutes.  I wasn't catching jack diddly there but it still pissed me off.

I moved on to a spot a couple miles downriver that I had only scouted once and never fished.  I was walking slowly upriver on a sand-flat when I almost tripped over a carp tailing in the shadow of a bridge.  By the time I had backed off a couple of feet and lobbed a cast he was wise to me and bolted.  He must have been going to town because there was a fresh divot the size of a Frisbee.  At least I knew they were there and active!

I made my way across the river to check out a couple of backwaters created by a bridge abutment.  As I came around a corner of the abutment there one was...in a tight eddy, in a freakish window of sunlight, tail-haloed like a carp-angel!  He was really getting it on with something tasty.  I nailed the first cast with a Primordial Carp-Stew and he immediately jumped it.  With the weird lighting and the glare it was really hard to tell where he is relative to the fly and I think I set too early.  Unfortuntately he drifted a foot to the left and into shadow.  Was he still there...was he still active?  Suddenly I glimpsed a tail, then a SECOND one.  So I split the difference and put a cast right where I think I need to be (two in a row?  I aint buyin it either).  I Let it drop the gave one small strip.  Somehow I knew and set the hook.  A hint of motion?  A twitch of the line?  I am not sure, but there he was. 

Now the day gets weirder!  After a brief but spastic battle I realized something is very wrong.  As I removed the fly I noticed he has NO LIPS.  His lips did not exist, just a ring around his mouth less than the diameter of a pencil framed by two downward pointing barbells.  A carp without lips is a very odd thing.  There is just a hole where a mouth should be.  I thought maybe it was a buffalo, but after some research it looks to be a mutant carp.   

Mutant Carp....does that count as a new species? 

   

1 comment:

  1. Mutant or no mutant, it is a carp in the winter. Good stuff.

    I have caught some goofy looking bastards out here as well...scrunched up faces, etc. A couple of years ago I caught this weird looking bugger with a smushed face that weighed 21 lbs. I released the fish and kept fishing...toward the end of the day and about a half mile away I caught another smushed face fish...21 lbs. Same fish twice in a day, at least a half mile apart on the river. Weird. Check it out on the June 7th entry...

    http://carponthefly.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html

    I swear that is the same fish.

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