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Cattails and Carp tails

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Three days of Carping left me a bit worse for wear but smiling nevertheless. I fished in Eastern Washington in what was largely perfect Carp weather. Perfect until the second day when the howling wind blew me off the lake. Fortunately the wind was blowing toward the truck so I didn't have to spend the night stuck in the cattails. It was 3:00 and I had already caught some nice fish so I called it a day. (Like I had a choice...)

I love fishing around weedy shorelines. The cattails, the tall grasses, the yellow headed blackbirds, and the red breasted blackbirds all help to make some magic moments. I love seeing Carp with their noses down and their tails swaying gently like some sultry Geisha’s fan. I like the cattails when I’m just looking at them. I like the cattails when I see fish tailing near them. I like the cattails when a Carp picks up my fly in the shallows and explodes when he feels the hook set. When the fish begins the fight I can grow to instantly hate the cattails. I start pleading with the fish to run for open water. Well sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.

On the first day I had a nice 12-13# fully scaled Mirror right up to the boat and then he made another run. He got in the cattails and broke off. That was the fifth fish in a row that I lost in the dang weeds. Now they are not cattails anymore, now they’re just stupid, dang, nasty, weeds.

At the end of the first day when the temperature was still well into the 90’s my prescription sunglasses were falling off each time I bent over to pick something up. I wrote it off to profuse sweating combined with the frames needing adjustment until I went to take the glasses off and they came apart in my hand. No screw missing, just a broken frame. On the one hand I could complain that I have a hard life because my sunglasses broke but they could have fallen in the darn weeds and that would have really been a drag.

The second day the Carp were nicer to me. Most of them ran for open water and the ones that ran for the weeds, didn’t go charging all the way in. I hooked all of my fish on different colors of Carp Woollies. Some were weighted and some weren’t.

I awoke the second night with some very minor pain on my ankle accompanied by some good serious itching. I had a spot the size of a quarter on my lower leg. I had no idea where it came from but it looked like I had been bitten at least twice by something. I was also very dizzy. I dislike being an alarmist about things but do wonder now if these things were connected.

The third day saw some clouds starting to move in. To enjoy the clouds I have to get my chin off my chest and look up. That’s a good thing. It’s a good thing for fishing and it’s a good thing for life. Like the cattails, I love looking at clouds. Like the cattails, they can be problematic. When I am Carp fishing I like the clouds as long as they stay away from the sun. When they block the sun, they’re just big, nasty, blobs of wet air that make it difficult to stalk fish. Like I mentioned, I have a hard life.

The frames of my sunglasses can’t be replaced; they’re no longer made. Grrrr… The spot on my leg is still there but now I’m only a little bit dizzy. Enough fish were fooled by my flies to make me happy. I kept some of them out of the plants and got them to hand.

Looking at the cattails I have memories of lost fish combined with memories of fish to hand and memories of the take. Good and bad, cattails and Carp tails, it all goes together.


Edited by MrP
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Very Nice MrP. I too really enjoyed your descriptions. Particularly how our feelings towards our environment can change quickly. Cattails are perfect habitat for blackbirds and the such, but hell on leaders. Eastern WA is calling.

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