SF Bones 6/21/2006

It started a few weeks ago while exploring some new waterways on my mountain bike. After about 15 miles of peddling along levees, through “Employee Only” parking lots and around saltwater marshes and brackish ponds, I finally saw what I was looking for. I was on my way back to the truck when a patch of weeds in the middle of the pond caught my attention when it appeared to move. As I came to a stop to improve my perspective I caught a glimpse of gold. Sure enough, carp!

I hung out for a few minutes to track his progress across the pond and kept a watchful eye for buddies. Sure enough, here came a few more, and more, and more, and more.
The following afternoon Dave and I headed down with rods in hand. As we came to the slough leading to the pond where I’d seen the fish the day before I pointed to the water and explained that they could be anywhere in here and before I could finish my sentence, we both spotted the 10 pound loner hovering a few inches below the surface. One cast, 12 inches to his right, the fish turns, picks it up, “see that Dave”, I set the hook, and we’re on!

It didn’t take us long to figure out it would be nearly impossible to land a fish from the levy we were on. Luckily the ticked off carp ran us down the slough a ways where there was enough knocked down brush for us to get to the water. Without a net, Dave kindly took my stripping basket, bravely scaled the slippery steep bank, took a dunking, scooped him up, stuck his thumb where I’d never go, and posed for the shot! (Thanks again Dave).

That was only the beginning. When we got to the pond, there were at least a dozen fish clearly milling and rooting in water no deeper than 18 inches. It didn’t take but a few casts for us to both hook up.

Since then, I’ve been back a half dozen times and though things like the water levels and weed growth have changed drastically over the past few weeks, I’ve still been able to locate the fish and put a fly in front of their face that they’d eat.

2 weeks ago I landed 6 in 2 hours, and a week ago I got 4 in an hour and a half. Today, it was tougher. Not that the fish were hard to find, they were podded thickly in clear view. They just wouldn’t eat.

I still managed 3 in 3 hours, but each one required experimentation with a unique presentation, and because they were in such a tight grouping, snagging was a real problem. There must be at least 25 carp swimming around tonight with one less scale than they’d started the day out with.