|My New Sage One Rod and Lampson Lightspeed Reel Get Stankified!|
Trout's doesn't open until 11:00AM so I had a little bit of time to hit the river prior to picking up the rod. I arrived at the river at 9:00AM anxious and in a hurry. In my rush I immediately walked right in and right through a small pod carp feeding in 8" of water. I did manage to hook and land a decent carp an hour later so all was not lost but those would have been the easiest shots of the day by a large margin.
LESSON 1: Fly fishing for carp and being in a hurry just don't mix!
Upon arriving at Trouts I received my new rod and also had them switch the Lamson reel to right hand retrieve. They seem to be good guys there and I could have probably gotten them to put on the Scientic Anglers Shark-Skin line and adjust the amount of backing but once again I was in a hurry. I made a bee-line to the river and threw on the super-cheap (15 dollar cheap!) shortened 7 weight line I had on my cheapo backup rod. I guess they didn't spend much time developing the 800 plus dollar Sage One to cast 15 dollar lines and the line and rod really did not work well together.
LESSON 2: Your new super spiffy and super expensive (well, free for me) rod deserves at least a decent line to go with it. Skip this step and you risk disappointment. Footnote: I rigged and tried out the Scientific Anglers Sharkskin today. That's more like it!
Upon arriving my favorite section of river gifted me with the most amazing sight of five large (all high teen!) carp tailing in plain view. Based on the lack of cover and some very complicated currents they were actually very difficult shots but based on their body language I fully expected to hook up. Until I started casting. These fish were amazingly tolerant and I had shot after shot after shot. I was a frazzled mess and blew shot after shot after shot. Bottom line, I needed at least a little bit of practice with the new rod before facing such a high pressure situation.
LESSON 3: Upon receipt of your super spiffy and super expensive rod the very first cast you make with it should NOT be to a 15+lb carp!
After flailing that pod of fish into hiding things got tough. The day was getting late, the sun was getting high and the carp were getting sulky. I kept at it though and eventually got just one more shot. No worrying about the cast. No stressing about the presentation. My mind finally shut the heck up and let my body do what it has done hundreds of times this year. I threw a perfect lob-drag-drop and had the fishes attention. One small strip and it charged. I threw the 4" strip set too early but it was OK because the fish really wanted that Trouser Worm and charged again. A slight pause on the second strip-set and minutes later the rod and reel were broken in on a nice strong carp.
LESSON 4: All it takes is one truly incredibly awesome visual take and all else is forgiven.