Today I decided to fish the flood plains of one of our local reservoirs. The first issue was that spawn was in full force. That doesn't help but I can work with it - and I actually managed to hook (not catch!!) 9 carp. Quite respectable.
The bigger issue was that I was fishing in a beaver infested flooded forest. LOTS of lumber. My shins are bruised and bloody just from wading through it.
You hook a carp in that and you are pretty much out of luck. Immediately. One carp wrapped me around the tree in the middle of the picture above three times. In about 1 second!
After the first carp destroyed me I knew had to resort to desperate measures. I cut my leader back to 3' (Guessing 35lb test?), torqued down my reel, pinched the line to my grip and resolved that from there on out I was either winning or losing - immediately. Every time I hooked a carp I put on the maximum pressure as fast and as hard I could. To hell with my rod, it was me versus the forest versus the carp. Mono E Pesco.
It didn't always work. Actually it wasn't working out that well at all and by the time I was 0 for 4 I almost gave up. I am glad I didn't because the one I finally landed will go down as one of my most memorable carp ever. The take was awesome, the fish was big, the fish was hot and I gave it 0.0" of line. Zero. Nada. Nilch. I can't believe my fly-rod survived to tell the tale. Going lock-down toe-to-toe on a hot 15lb carp is a shockingly violent experience.
I have caught allot of carp on the fly in my time. Many hundreds. After you have caught enough carp you don't scream and shout and make an ass out of yourself every-time you catch one. Most of the time you move on to the next one with a pleasant feeling and that is about it. On this carp I bent my head back and howled to the carp spirits.