Saturday, July 3, 2010
The greatest fish story I have ever told…thus far.
On a brisk summer morning I rolled up to the scrap of dirt used as a parking lot of sorts by Don and myself. Don was already there and nearly done with his gearing up. For fishaholics the gear up routine is a true test of patience and self-reserve. Don is the least tolerant angler I know in many aspects and offers no mercy or quarter for late comers and those unprepared to tackle the water. It is rare that I show up earlier to the water than Don, even if I leave the house two days early.
Patience is becoming an endangered species within the realms of my own mind so the next few minutes were a flurry of gear grabbing and mutters of “what am I forgetting?” Just as I am stuffing pliers into my pocket and grabbing the rods, a yellow Honda civic pulls into the school parking lot across the street. Don’s GMC goes “beep-beep” signaling the electronic vehicle lockdown and his heading to the water. My brain fumbles through a last minute checklist as a woman gets out of the Honda Civic and approaches us with the most feared question an innocent bystander can speak during the early morning gear up ritual.
“Where are you guys fishing?” she asks inquisitively. “I didn’t think there was any fishing around here? Me and my husband love to fish.”
Now this may sound a bit selfish and slightly deranged but good fishing spots are more sacred to me than any religious artifact known to man. This spot in particular is not listed in most fishing resources and contains bass in the +18-inch range. I would just as soon cut a finger off than tell this lady (and apparently her husband) where this place was. But her interest was peaked as she started following us from the vehicle to the trail that ran along the ditch a mile or so past the small pond. Without skipping a beat I came up with what may be my most brilliant load of B.S. yet.
“We are fishing for carp in this ditch here.” My brain on only three cups of coffee replied. (Normally a story like this would require 5 cups of coffee and more than a mere four hours of sleep).
“What?” She scoffed in disbelief yet with curious intent. “Are you serious?” She can tell simply by the three or four rods and tackle bags that we mean business. She probably thought we were actually lost.
“I know it sounds crazy.” I said reaching deep down for my best poker face and biting down on my cheek. “Most people don’t give a @#$$%^ about carp.”
“What? This ditch right here?” She still contemplated and questioned with interrogation skills that could only be a result of the constant barrage of CSI episodes on TV. “Do you eat them?”
“Naw…just for sport.” I reply casually. “Sometimes it’s fun just hooking into something big. Did you know that carp are the second most popular freshwater sport fish in the world?”
As she follows us over the bridge that spans the ditch (that now sports only an inch or two of water) I realize my story could quickly fall apart depending how far she follows us along the trail. If she realizes my deception, she will become even more intent on ferreting the truth for her and her husband’s future fishing adventures. Visions of bass after bass being strung up for freezer storage assaulted my sanity. I have lost so many good fishing spots already. Not this one. Not now and not to this no-name dame and her husband. She was still following us down the trail as I talked.
“So what brings you down this way?” I asked starting to gauge her original reason she was there for. This one item could be crucial to the next stage of my story.
“Oh me and a girlfriend are going up to Central City. We are taking her car and meeting here.” Her words were music to my ears. Don and I stopped walking and puzzle pieces of subsequent chapters of my story fell together in my mind.
“Ok, I am going to tell you a secret but please don’t share this with anyone else.” I spoke looking one way and then the other like some stolen watch salesman. “You see every year they flood this canal with irrigation water and carp get pooled up at this large hole a few miles down the trail.” This is actually a true occurrence but not why we were there. Yet I was fully prepared to lead her to a pool of water and feign interest as we cast for no reason other than supporting our ruse.
“You catch them with that?” the woman said pointing to Don’s tied on Mepps and my 6” senko rig.
“Oh this is just what I have tied on right now. But what Don has on here is pure money!” I nonchalantly wiped away more of her inquisition. “Really it is like shooting fish in a barrel but some of these fish can get up to 5 and 10-pounds.” (The art of the ruse is not to oversell it with 15 and 20-pound fish…they may explore the area for carp if they are truly monstrous or at least that was my fear.)
“Wow. I have never heard of anyone fishing here. That is crazy.” Her curiosity pacified she reached for one least question. “Is that all you guys get in there? Any trout? My husband and I fish 11-Mile for trout…good eating.”
“Oh no…and I would not eat anything out of here. You know with all the cow poop, fertilizer and all…it would make anyone sick as a dog.” This was my piece of de resistance. The line of questioning ended. If she could not table the fish, there was no point whatsoever to all of the effort.
“Oh…(short pause while the images of eating carp soaked in cow poop soaked in)…well good luck to you both.” And she turned back to her vehicle of waiting.
Don and I looked at each other breathing a huge sigh of relief.
“Dude…” Don muttered in the few words he spoke on rare moments when fishing. “That was amazing.”
“How the @#$%%^ did I pull that story off?” I exclaimed in disbelief myself. “When she started following us…I thought this pond was done for.”
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic. Coloradocasters 2010
Posted by Coloradocasters