I been carpin’ and carpin’s been good. After the carp opener I usually go balls-to for the “big” fish flats. But thanks to an exponentially-growing furor about local carp, I just can’t get up the interest to fight the crowds over there anymore. (So shut up everybody, for chrisakes, and forget about carp. You’ve proved your point and had your fun. You have your stories to tell the grandkids about your wild slumming days in the mud. Now it’s time to put this little phase behind you. Genuinely trashy anglers are being put out of work here. Ha ha, just kidding of course. How ironic would it be for me to complain about all the sudden pressure on my once oh-so-abandoned flats, when I’m at least partially to blame for hyping the local carp scene? Ha ha. But seriously, trout are so nice.) Being forced to the sidelines, though, has been good for me. Water levels have been perfect in the secondary locations and I’ve been catching the kind of numbers that make me feel like John Montana. Alas, these are small fish, but life, for our own good, can’t be perfect. (That’s a wise little life lesson and you should write it down.)
I’ve been accosted by reptiles, and I like that. I watched a big snapping turtle ease across the flats at me one afternoon, and we shared a vigorous work-out which ended with me dragging him carefully to the bank by the back legs. (Never lift a big turtle by the tail). He was a brute, battle-scarred and vicious, possessed of a single protuberant eye and dozens of leeches. I say “he” because I like to think he gained his scars in the bloody territorial disputes that males are known for.
I caught my first mirror carp. I’m embarrassed to admit that in years of carping, this was my first. It was followed on that same day by my second and third. From the online literature, I have learned that this June is the month of the mirror carp. Therefore I shouldn’t be surprised. But three in a day, at a location that has never yielded one before, made me giddy. They were identically-sized, suggesting that a cohort originating a few years past had a rich mix of the good German genes causing mirrorism.
I’ve continued on with the lowbrow beer, and that has eased my uneasiness about the level of snobbery that has crept into my drinking.
The longest days are here, and a summer of carp is yawning wide open.