Friday started well. Wait, backup. Friday started awfully. Any moment on your fishin day off spent in the Department Of Motor Vehicle is one less moment on the water and therefore shear tortue. After that is started well in that I landed a carp rather quickly on another iteration of my headstand fly that I have been working on for over a year now and just can't get right.
After that things slowed down considerably. I hooked and lost a couple more but mainly I got fixated on a couple of very large carp I found and wasted allot of time on a hope and a dream. It is pretty rare to find very very large (I am positive they were 30lb class) on my river in a fish-able situation. They were onto me almost immediately but I couldn't drag myself away and three hours later I emerged from a tunnel-vision state to discover that much of the day was gone. Worthy cause?
Things got extremely interesting when after a couple more stops I found a big pod (at least 15) tailing furiously in a 2 foot deep side-water with some slow cruisers and shallow snoozers on the side. I may stumble on a situation like this 2 or three times a year on my river and my hands were shaking as I tied on my first fly. And my second fly. And my third fly. Every presentation resulted in my target fleeing in absolute terror the second they saw the fly. I was ready to cry when eventually I stumbled upon the solution.
The first half of the solution was a very small very discrete un-weighted olive soft-hackle on a size 8 scorpion gaper. This gives you the body length of a size 12 or 14 nymph with a carp worthy gape and wire-gauge. Un-weighted soft-hackles have saved my butt so many times this year, I am not sure why it took me so long.
The second part of the solution was a presentation I call "On The Rise".
I learned this presentation last year in Oregon with John Montana and when it works it is by far and away my favorite take. To trigger a rising take you try and drop and draw a lightly weighted fly on a slow arc parallel and down past the side of a tailing or slow cruising carp's head. When the fly gets close to the mouth you slowly raise the rod and increase the draw so that it reverses course and arcs upward. Perhaps this mimics the action of a rising nymph. Perhaps it is just a trigger. Who cares. The sight of one (or two in this case) carp surging upward with mouth and gills pulsating furiously it is truly a sight to behold.