Sunday, August 23, 2009
Coloring books, the itch, and my Believer
I have been spending time with H these last couple weeks, weekends too. My wife printed off the Fishy-Kids coloring book and it has given us a few nights of trying to stay in the lines. Hudson started his first page by coloring with sidewalk chalk.
It didn’t take Addison long to crawl over and show interest too. Mom propped her up, and guided small hands holding crayons over a Bob White.
After a couple nights of art activity in the Otto house, the itch came back. Two weeks of family time, fishing limited to coloring at nights. I had promised Tara that I would take some time off. Canceling two trips I had sincerely been dreaming about all year. With a certain amount of house-arrest in effect, I wondered where I could go with Hudson close. We’ve done Bass. There really isn’t much for pan fish around. A couple stocked ponds with stunted trout. We needed something new, something Hudson hadn’t done. Scratching my balding head, I pondered how will I get Hudson into a Carp?
It’s not that he doesn’t have some of the skill sets necessary to catch a carp. The notion stuck me, “It maybe too early to introduce him to such a finicky fish.” “Will trying to catch a carp damage his love for fishing now?” I worried. Like many other species, carp are truly a Love them or Leave them, type of fin. “Could he handle the refusal?” Every ounce of me wanted to say, “Yes”.
At three he’s advanced, but by no means are Carp easy on the fly. Reasoning, his height would work to his advantage. On the other hand, he’s never lead a fish before. If you find fish slurping, a seed fly has worked really well for me and he can throw a dry. But, he hasn’t needed to gauge depth and distance in order to intersect the path of a feeding fish. Weighing my options, corn crossed my mind, but I had never had much luck myself with corn. I have tied corn flies, and even used frozen corn in attempts of making a chum ball to lure fish in. Neither approach has really worked for me. Catching them up top was an option.
Without a better plan I figured I would go find carp feeding close to shore and in the film. Put Hudson in a good shady ambush spot and see what happens. It really didn’t go as planned.
We showed up two days in a row to a complex of ponds I had fished over the years. Between joggers, and dog walkers, this place was packed. We saw one other guy fishing with a fly rod. The guest angler wasn’t very friendly and left after inspecting my gear lying down in the grass. I guess if I saw a three year old roll up and start fishing for Carp, I may leave too. Who wants to be shown up by a half pint?
Didn’t go down that way in the end, no fish were landed. Hudson had one honest to goodness look, but no takers. The biggest struggle for him was the lead. His casts were too close to the fish. Nine times out of ten he would throw a cast and fish would scatter.
Maybe another year or two from now will be better for him. He has the distance, just not the ability to be accurate and understand where to throw the fly to intercept the fish as they pod up and move through a flat. The one real look he got was great through. Hudson threw into the middle of a pod of seven fish. The first two fish spooked, but the remaining fish didn’t seem to take much notice to the leading carp taking off. As the pod moved up to where his fly was sitting on the muck floor, Hudson looked up at me. In a hushed voice, “Dad they’re going to eat it”
He’s a believer. You have to be a believer. “The fish will eat every time.”