Doing it in the Rain

The storm came down in a torrential downpour as I set off to meet Edgar. Cars pulling off the side of the road, puddles on the shoulder turning into ponds in seconds. The average person would probably call it, and forget the idea of fishing today, but not Edgar and I. We had an itch that needed to be scratched and only one day to scratch it.

As we met in the parking lot of the gas station where we would leave from, the storm let up a bit, and we consulted the radar app on my phone. The cell looked like it was going to pass over us, so we saddled up and headed out. As we pulled up to the ranger station at Reimer’s Ranch the old hippie-looking ranger said “So, you boys are gonna do it in the rain?” I chuckled and said “Yes sir!” I caught the Beatles reference right away. Edgar pulled his truck into the parking lot and we started to gear up. That’s when it hit me, I’d forgotten my rod! I guess in the hustle of changing vehicles I hadn’t even thought about it. I grabbed my pack and net but totally forgot my rod. As frustrating as situations like this can be, its still great to be outside hiking on the water. I take opportunities like these to really appreciate my surroundings and because I am not spending a lot of time fishing one hole, it allows me to survey more of the river and lead me to some more productive fishing. We both laughed at my mistake and decided that we would just share Edgar’s rod and switch off every other fish, as we were certain we would get several, wink, wink…

The rain was still coming down in a drizzle as we headed down the path to the Pedernales River. As we arrived at the water’s edge we noticed that it had come up a lot. The water was slightly stained The river bottom is primarily made up of sand and gravel. This keeps the water semitransparent in shallow water.  We figured that our targets would still be visible, as they usually liked to feed in these shallower spots on the flooded banks of the river. Now we just needed to find some good slack water where the unassuming beasts may be. We set out to a spot where we had seen activity before, but the water was too swift and the fish, if there, were going to be almost impossible to see, let alone get a proper drift to. We decided to cross the river and put our ninja skills to the test. We silently crept along the shore looking and listening for any sign of a tailing fin or thrashing water. We found an open back pond that had filled in and was cut back away from the faster water. We slowly scanned and stalked the clearish, calm pool but again, nothing. Our chances were looking pretty bleak…

Edgar and I took a chance and crossed the river again. We were up to our waists as we crossed in the heavy current and could not quite make out the bottom. One step into the wrong hole and we would have been swimming possibly losing some gear and our dignity. Edgar made a comment after this point that “You know, after what we have been through, if we catch something it would make a pretty epic story.” We made it across and immediately spotted some slack water. I made a few blind casts in to the slower water, and then Edgar tried. The thing about blind casting is that you won’t see the take, and with the soft mouths that carp are known for, you won’t feel the tension enough to set the hook properly.

Just then, as Edgar was blind casting in the slower current, I saw it: the flash of a dark red tail waving in the grass by the bank. I waved my arms at Edgar to get his attention, and quietly yelled “Tail, Tail.” I pointed in the direction of where I saw the fish slowly break the surface of the water. There was some underbrush sweeping just over the water and the fish was hard to see, let alone cast to. Both Edgar and I saw it again, and Edgar made a dabbing cast just outside of the underbrush about a foot left of where the river pig was feeding. The fish turned, Edgar counted to two, and then he set the hook! There was an explosion of water and the fish darted for cover under the overhanging tree, but Edgar kept him on a short leash. He was able to coax the fish out of the brush and I swooped in with my net. The fight lasted all of but 30 seconds. We looked at each other and gave out a big HELL YEAH! I can’t help but think that the ranger probably heard us all the way back at the ranger station about two miles away and was thinking, well, I guess they did it in the rain…Kasper, (my Heartwood Trading Co. net) not only nabbed the fish but he also provided the celebratory libations.

I may have forgotten the rod, but I never forget the whiskey…

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2 Comments

  1. I still have yet to catch a carp on the fly. Really want to at some point! Maybe the key is more rain and whiskey. Might need to get myself one of those nets, haha!

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    1. Sorry for the late response. Still trying to figure this technology thing out. Funny thing is, I also still need to catch a carp on the fly. I have guided people to them but have not had as much success with it that my clients/ friends have.

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