That Was Bigger Than Expected

Orvis will never let you down.
     Opening weekend came in like a lion here in Madison, WI.  I was busy with a few guided trips, getting the kayak out on the water, and catching up with some old friends.  However the one thing I had been wanting to do was fish a little pond full of carp I found last fall.  It was full of smaller 3-5 pound carp and I thought it had a lot of potential as a spot to take first time fly carpers.  The location is free of overhead obstructions so casting is much easier than some of the other urban fishing spots I frequent.  Plus the fish in this pond don't seem to be as bothered by my presence.  You very rarely see wakes when you screw up a cast making it an ideal spot for a newbie.
     As I said in the beginning most of these carp run a little on the small side.  Nice thing about carp is that size doesn't really matter. They all run like freight trains.  It didn't take to long and I had my first common on the bank.  After the release I noticed that all the activity just stopped.  No mud trails, no tails, no bubbles, just a whole lot of nothing.  I lit a cigarette and sat down on the bank scanning the water.  Normally this pond keeps producing, but for a good 10 minutes or so the water was just lifeless.  Then I noticed some bubbles slowly breaking the surface.  The issue was that they were way out in the pond.  Probably a good 40 feet or so from were I was sitting.  It's pretty well known that I'm not the best distance caster.  Most of my casts are only accurate if the distance is less than 30 feet.  Carp fishing is an accuracy game.  You have such a small area to drop that fly.  The fly needs to land within inches of the carps head to even have a chance of getting noticed, especially in muddy water.  Stripping some line off the reel I took a deep breath, made a few false casts, and let that Jan's Carp Tickler Fly loose towards the middle of the pond.  To be honest it was probably the prettiest cast I've ever made.  The line laid out straight and the fly barely made a ripple as it hit the water.  "Impressive" I thought to myself, "All that practice in the backyard is finally paying off."  That's when I felt the bump.
Fish On!
     Strip setting woke her up and almost instantly I was in the backing.  Saying I was surprised would be an understatement.  The fish in this pond just don't fight this hard.  I tried to keep the heat on, but the fish wouldn't surrender.  She walked me up and down the bank for what seemed like forever.  Finally, I started to make up some ground and was relieved to see my fly line starting to make an appearance on the reel.  Once she was close I pulled my net free of the backpack.  This fish was bigger than the normal pickings and I was happy to have brought the net along.  Still this carp just wouldn't relent.  Every time I got it's head close to the bag it would just dig a little deeper and bulldog itself out into the deeper water.  Luckily my knots and tippet held up and after a lot of scrambling along the steep bank she was mine.  The big girl barely fit in the net!  I fired off a few quick pictures and returned her to the water.  Making my way back up to the truck a jogger stopped to congratulate me on my catch.  "Thanks" I said, "That was bigger than expected!"
     Tight Lines.

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