Thursday, May 16, 2013

Big C @ Full tilt

We edged through the Big C's equivalent of mangroves, as John explained our situation.  The river had blown up!  Water levels were high and fast.  Cloud cover was unrelenting. The winds pushed a steady chop.
John casually informed, while pointing out targets with his rod.
We snaked our way through the braided mangroves, pushing against the current.  A sucker yielded to our presence with only a small amount of disdain.
We waked out of a final cut onto the upriver edge of the mangroves.  We turned to our right where a shallow mud bay was expecting us.  At the back of the bay a small cut creek had formed. Peering up the cut creek, an unmistakable shadow lazily labored with the current.  It's dark serpentine back effortlessly slipping through the current.  Soft, subtle caudal kicks positioned the fish. Right, then left, thrusting forward then drifting back.  The current, the cloud, the vegetation; the fish wholly comfortable in it's perceived  fortress.
I shot presentation after presentation to this fish.  Some were noticed and investigated, then all were noticed and avoided. The fish resigned deep into it's battlements.
We continued to cover water and had difficult shots at fish that were difficult to spot before they spotted us.  We found one large female in the shallows, rolling and flashing her gold side at us.  She seemed to pause where the fly was located, I set the hook, we found a scale on the point. Too early, to late or not at all, it was not meant to be.
We turned back from this point.  I was thinking about revisiting that mind blowing scenario at the cut creek.  John had the same idea!  This time we were greeted by two lazy shadows, washing to and fro in the current.  Again presentation after presentation was sent forth and investigated, then avoided.  They again resigned to the battlements.
A few steps further to be certain the waters were desolate and we saw a methodically feeding individual cocooned beneath a debris jam. Just the front portion of it's head was visible.  Flies were presented.  I lost track of the rear running Hybrid and began to lift the rod while watching the front running San Juan.
Casually the fish slipped from beneath the debris.  It was almost as if he had agreed to battle on even ground.    He continued his swim out of the cut creek and into the mud bay, where he bulldogged me.  The net then dipped into the water and we gained control.  Had the fish included the mangroves in his arsenal the battle would have been over in a moment.
Smiles, high fives, photographs, memories, Check!

We continued to fish and hook.  I had two on that took me straight to my backing.  Both came unbuttoned.  Must have been a bit early or late on the hook set.
Hooked and landed another that ran straight towards me and likely between my legs had I not pinned them together!
Smiles, high fives, photographs, memories, Check!

It was only fitting that we reciprocate the pounding we were receiving at the hands of Mother Nature and the Big C!
John stalked and closed on a bubbler!  It was marvelous watching the angle he put on this fish.  All while I berated him with questions.
Focused, he lifted his rod!
Big fish!
We oogled this gal for a bit while snapping shots and filing memories.

Next we found another fish in some pretty turbid water, only a shadow was visible.  I cast perpendicular to the fish and watched as it approach the tandem Juan/Hybid rig.  Slight pause in the fish's swim and I struck.  Chaos!  It was like I tied into a piling.  I don't know what happened first, my top three sections separating from my butt section or the line breaking!  I definitely know the elation I found in setting into the fish when the take was imperceptible and the simultaneous low in realizing that my rod had separated and the fish broke me off!
Thanks John! It was a pleasure and a privilege! Beautiful water and Beautiful fish!
Find John, his awesomeness, and all things Carp here, As well as a trip report.
Photographs by: John

 By: Targhee Boss
Utah Pike Guide


  1. Very nice report! Too bad about the rod, and the line? breaking, odd but terrible. Sounds like you guys persevered, good job!


    1. Thanks Gregg. Definitely a haunting scenario.

  2. The man, Mr. Montana, is a champ. Good writing, nice work fishing. get some!

  3. Mangroves is really a great analogy for it. Very mangrove-ish. Nice work man, believe me, I have been hit with similar conditions there, it is HARD!

    1. Thanks Trevor. It was rough but John made fish happen! It is killing me that it is so far away!

    2. No doubt, I want to go there every weekend but will have to settle for once every couple of years probably.

  4. Good stuff Targee...thanks for coming out!