I wanted to get a good picture with him and the fish, so I said, “Hold it up so I can see it”, but right at mid-sentence, the fish flopped out of Bryan’s grasp and splashed, unceremoniously, back into the water.
“Oh, you dropped it!” I yelled.
“Ohhh.” Bryan whimpered.
“Time to let him go.” Bryan said, as if he had planned it. We laughed it off and went back to fishing.
“Get your fly rod.” Bryan said, because I had yet to pull mine out.
“I wanted to be sure you got a fish first.” I said, before I grabbed my rod to start fishing.
Bryan and I had split up, but we could still easily see each other amongst the trees. Now that I was in the thick of it all I could tell that casting a fly rod was not going to happen.
Armed with my 4wt. fly rod, I had on a small brown leech that I would slingshot-cast in and around bushes and tree stumps. The wind was starting to pick up, but the trees and bushes acted like a jetty to keep the water calm where we were. Some movement in the water caught my eye, and I pulled back and let my fly soar in front of the fish’s path.
I watched my brown bugger swimming in the water and something was following it. With the shade, it was hard to make out the type of fish, but when I saw the flash of a take, I set the hook on a nice bass.
“How are you casting in here?” Bryan asked.
“Ah, Slingshot-cast...” Bryan said, and I showed him how it was done.
Just as suspected, the wind was creating quite the disturbance on the water. Bryan was not terribly familiar kicking around in a float tube, but he got the hang of it. He switched to a perch pattern, but was getting no love.
I too was not having much luck, so I kicked a bit closer to the bushes, casted further into them, and saw a school of carp. I quickly presented my brown bugger, but the carp wanted nothing to do with it. I saw that there was a midge hatch coming off the water, so I quickly clipped off the bugger and replaced it with a chironomid.
Carp are spooky and a poorly presented fly can spook the entire school. I aimed for the school, thinking that one should take, and started to cast. After I got my distance down I presented a very delicate cast right in the middle of the school of carp. Oh no, I thought after my fly wrapped around a twig that I had failed to see. The leader wrapped around the twig one entire turn, before the fly hit a larger twig, causing it to recoil and unwrap from the original twig. The fly came loose and fell like a raindrop in the middle of the school of carp. That couldn’t have happened any better, I thought and made one strip before a carp ate my fly.
I had absolutely no control of this carp. As soon as it felt the pressure of the hook set, it bolted and there was no stopping it.
“I got a carp!” I yelled over to Bryan, “and it’s hooked on a 4wt fly rod!”
“I don’t know what that means!” Bryan yelled back.
“I don’t know if I can bring it in.” I said back, as the 4wt arched further than it ever has. I could feel that the carp was tiring. I may be able to land it yet!
“It’s coming up!” I yelled happily.
“I can’t see it!” Bryan yelled back, but then its head popped up, tired from the fight.
“Yuck!” Bryan said at first glance at the carp.
“I’m not sure I want to touch it.” I said.
“Go ahead, Erik, stick your thumb in there!” Bryan said with a laugh.
“This is gross.” I said, as I picked up the carp, “Look at this gross.” I said to Bryan who was ready with the camera.
The carp slowly swam away after placing it back in the water, and I did my best to scrub the slime off my hands.
“That will be a fun fish to put on Dad’s father’s day video.” I said, as Bryan turned off the video camera.
“Yeah.” He said, and with the wind picking up, we decided to end our day on Lake Lowell.
“Fun day today.” I said.
“Yeah, I just wish I had brought my camera. It looks cool when you are in the trees.” Bryan said, “And let me know when you make the video, I want to see it.”
“I will!” I said, and we drove home so that I could sterilize my hands after touching the carp.