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Pitching, Plopping, And Dropping

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This has been such a different spring. There is a heck of a lot of water in the Columbia! Where the banks of the river are in some cases straight up and down, the river just moves (vertically) higher up the basalt cliffs. Where the bank is somewhat sloped in some cases the river moves up the bank more horizontally. It just gets a lot wider. Where the banks are flat or where the space between banks just can't hold all the water then the river just starts to spill all over everywhere.

This has created some real challenges to the wading, fly rod, Carp angler. Naively I have gone to some of my usual haunts thinking the water will be "just a bit higher". Dear God, the water is so high I can't even get in the river!

The name of the game has become adaptability. Yes, adaptability. I have to look for fish where I have never seen them before. The reason I have never seen Carp in some of the places I have been catching them is because I have never seen water there.

I am literally walking in submerged desert, sage brush, other brush, and trees. I am finding Carp in some of these places but often in tight quarters. By tight quarters I mean they are holding and cruising near, or even in, all kinds of hazards. I have chosen to ignore some of these fish because I don't want to play them where they can't run at least a little.

In many cases the Carp I have been catching are very close to me. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had the rod in my right hand and the fly in my left hand. A fish would come in to view so close to me that I just sort of pitched the fly (like a shovel pass) towards the fish. In other cases the fish is so close I just hold out the rod and drop the fly in front of the fish. I have caught some fish with legitimate casts but not the majority recently. In some cases I have made some very short casts to fish that are just of reach for a drop. I'm not sure if the fly seems to plop more because it is so near me and I can hear it better or because it is hitting the water harder. I have not had as much chance to cast to fish lately as I have had pitching, plopping, and dropping to them. It works so I'm not complaining. I am ready for the water level to go down though.

I pitched a strike to this Carp and he hit it!


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Me neither. One fish at about 30 feet, another at about 20. Otherwise it was the 6 to 15 foot underhand or overhead lob cast all the way. Pretty cool though, makes it really close and personal.

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