Carpin Success

     After a few weeks of relentless pursuit I am happy to report that I have finally landed a carp on the fly.  That particular morning started like any other, with me just sitting at work patiently waiting to clock out and head to the water.
     I headed over to a local pond where I have had marginal success in the past.  Once on the shoreline I spent the first 10-15 minutes just scanning the water and observing what the fish were doing.  I decided to try my chances on a small pod of carp that were actively feeding just on the other side of the lily pads.  I tied a green carp tickler fly onto the tippet and settled in behind some cattails.  I made my first cast and BAM! the fly was stuck in the tree behind me (it happens all the time).  In the process of trying to free my fly, the line broke and I startled the fish.  I don't know why the green carp tickler flies get stuck in trees all the time, but they do.  I retied with a simple red San Juan worm and slowly worked my way around the far edge of the pond scanning for movement in the water.  Then I saw them, a nice group of fish blissfully feeding without a care in the world.
     With a little stalking to get into casting range I fired off a long cast and watched the worm sink into position.  The bottom of this pond has a lot of rotting vegetation so I lost track of the fly.  Then I noticed a slight twitch at the end of my fly line.  Was that a fish?  With a quick strip of line, off ran the carp.  I was shocked at how fast that carp peeled line off my reel.  Suddenly I found myself deep into the backing and a little concerned about whether or not I could actually stop it.
     Applying pressure to work the fish proved difficult with all the lilly pads at the waters edge.  Each time I got it back in, that damn fish took off on another run.  It was back and forth across the pond, bolting this way and that.  All I was able to really do was tuck the rod in close and then reel like hell when he slowed down.
     After 3 reel blistering runs he had finally ran out of steam and buried himself in the lilies.  I trudged out into the pond and felt around in the water looking for my prize.  As soon as I touched its back it tore off again freeing itself from the weeds and heading to open water.  Keeping tension in the rod I brought the carp in close to shore and reached down with my Lucid Fishing Grips.   I removed the fly and lifted the fish for a quick photo.
     As I released the fish back into the pond I noticed that my hands were shaking.  Truth be told I was a little shaken up.  All the hours of backyard casting and countless trips to get advice from the guys at Orvis of Madison had paid off.  Most of the guys that have I talked to both in person and on the blogs I follow mention that pursuing carp with a fly rod will make you a better angler.  Now I can honestly say, that I believe them.
     Tight Lines.

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