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A carpy day of fishing

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POSTED April 20, 2011 12:43 a.m.
There was nothing particularly interesting or noteworthy about the creek my buddy Chris and I fished, and I do use the word “creek” very loosely, because from Google Earth this system looks like an infected wound lathered in mud as if someone actually believed that rubbing dirt on it would make it better.

How it got this way is fairly clear. Water flows where it wants to, but that’s not always where we want it.

Efficient digging is a good way to influence the path, and if the intent is to grow crops with the diverted water, muddy or not, it’s now there.

How the quarry Chris and I chased ended up in this water-filled ditch that usually offers only a few stagnant pools that aren’t even connected isn’t as clear.

While parts of Europe and Asia consider carp a symbol of strength along with a full stomach, that’s probably due to the fact that they are raised in cold, clean water, unlike just about every filthy, superfund-type habitat the suckers call home in the States.

Stories like colonial settlers skewering Atlantic salmon with pitch forks to make room for carp may or may not be true, but would certainly be ironic given the recent desire to eradicate carp in many river systems.

There are documented reports on government websites that prove there were earnest attempts to cultivate hearty carp, naturally leading to the inevitable encroachment on native species, but messing with natural order trying to make it better, sums up much of the 19th and 20th centuries.

So Chris and I wanted to catch carp because if you start pointing your nose in the air too often, you might end up an elitist that no one wants to fish with, and we chose that particular spot because we saw a few carp (or maybe just one) out there after torrential rain evicted them from their habitats up river.

So the following Friday, he came over and we prepped. I had seen crawfish in the ditch, so I took a reddish minnow fly pattern and added body until it might be mistaken for something edible, especially in dark water.

I had just finished it when Chris came by with printed recipes for carp bait, and the notion that carp love corn. I wondered how exactly carp would come to love single kernels of corn. Of course a carp might ask me how we came up with hot dogs.

I’d see its point.

We justified our fishing approaches based on Internet research. He’d go with his corn and was going to cook up some homemade power-bait while I rigged my eight-weight rod for tossing flies that worked for some dudes in Wyoming.

I was excited that night, if only because I had never fished for carp, and I knew that even if it was a disaster, at least Chris has a similar sense of humor.

He rolled into the driveway at 5:30, and before the sun was up we were caffeinated and fighting the cold out by the creek. We casted into the brown trickle for fish we weren’t sure were worth touching, let alone keeping.

The sun rose slowly, as we worked up and down the current, Chris throwing his corn and corn meal loaf, and me losing nappy flies on whatever was washed into the creek bed. After four hours, we left without a bite, or verified sighting.

After a nap and shower, more research uncovered that carp are difficult to catch, a fact that can make any fisherman feel a little better after getting skunked.



To contact Jeff Lund, e-mail aklund21@gmail.com.
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