My day starts like this:
I’m motoring to the carp flats when I pass another boat that has apparently been in that area most of the morning. We wave and exchange pleasantries as we ease by each other.
“Any luck back there fellas?”
“Not a bite. Ain’t nothing back there but a bunch of %$%@* carp!!”
“Um, yeah, that’s, um, terrible. Well, gotta go! See you fellas later.”
Nearly fell out of the canoe trying to get it back up to speed.
Fish of the day was a grassie. Not especially big for a grass carp, 30+ inches or so. But he charged the fly, took aggressively, and then tail-walked like a tarpon across the flats when the hook sank home. He made several jumps and tore the flats to pieces, spooking so many carp that I could feel them banging against the bottom of my boat as they fled in panic. Apparently not satisfied with these efforts, he took off for open water with a series of long hard runs. It was nip and tuck all the way to the net. I tried to bring him aboard for photo, but he thrashed around so violently that I thought he might break everything in the boat and possibly the boat itself. He was pissed.
This was unusual for a couple of reasons. One, although I’ve seen grassies move to take a nymph, I’ve never seen one make an aggressive charge like this fish. I made a terrible cast and missed him by a good two feet. Didn’t matter. He turned hard and murdered the fly. I’ve read that grass carp are strict herbivores, but I know they’ll eat bugs if they’re in the mood. Not the kind of thing you want to make a living at – I’ve cast to a lot of grass carp this year and caught exactly three – but it does happen.
The other reason was the fight in this fish. A grass carp will typically give you a hard run or three, but then will often call it quits and let you drag him in like a wet log. Or at best he'll just start swimming, which, if it's a big one, can result in something like trying to land a steamroller in low gear. Not this dude. He had blood in his eye from get to go. He'll be the fish I remember from this year.
On a related note, the flats are absolutely loaded with carp. Hammered 'em pretty good yesterday. and will post some pics later. If this sunny weather holds, I may have some good carping for the next few weeks.