It was a pretty cool surprise when FlyfishMagazine.com's Editor of Rough Fish Captain Paul Rose called us and asked if the Editorial Offspring and myself wanted to come shoot some video and do a bit of flats fishing for Carp this weekend. We met up with him and his Hell's Bay Skiff early Sunday morning and headed out to one of his favorite secret fishing spots. We won't say where it is exactly, but let's just say one reason it is so special is that on a perfect weekend day we only shared the water with 10 or so other boats. Most were swimmers with the occasional trash (bass) fisher in the mix.
The Editorial Offspring (Jake) manned the bow for most of the day with Captain Rose and myself working in the occasional cast so as "to show him how it was done." Jake has fished with his Dad enough times to know that this is par for the course and he, like the dude, abides his old man a cast or two. Most of the time I manned the video camera filming and waiting for the elusive hook up.
Capt. Rose put us on the fish but they seemed to want nothing to do with us by the time the kinks were worked out of our trout fishermen's casting arms. Paul was kind and blamed the wind, the weather and everything but our semi adequate casting skills. He did a lot of pointing and gesturing and then even tried his own hand on the lockjawed fish. I continued filming.
The Captain had the same luck as Jake and I. He assured us that we were putting our flies in the zone (occasionally) but still the rubber lipped fish would have no part of our offerings. The person who said that carp on the fly were challenging gets absolutely no argument from me. I changed tapes and continued to film.
Most folks don't know that Captain Paul was a test pilot for NASA and after a horrific accident had to have his right eye replaced by a helmet camera. We got lots of "point of view" video of Paul helping us with our casting and spotting fish for us. In this photo we are talking about how great it would be to see some "point of view" video of me catching a big carp. At this point I wasn't filming so much and began wondering how a DVD would look with loud music, lots of casting, and no fish. It could be a whole new genre.
After a period of quiet desperation, I snuck into the Captain's fly box and snapped pictures for future reference. Still no hero shots or fish (larger than a bluegill) on video. I decided that filming was pretty much a bust and resorted to espionage.
Captain Paul decided to reward me for my efforts to snarf the contents of his fly box with a class in skiff poling. He said that I was a quick learner as I had mastered going in circles faster than any of his other pupils. He also applauded my excellent ability to get the boat right up into the trees and bushes lining the lake. He said it was normal to almost knock the angler off the bow and that on hot days like today he found the lake water to be quite refreshing.
After poling the boat around for a while in the 90 degree heat with near 100% humidity, I decided the best way to show my new found appreciation for fishing guides everywhere was to lie on the deck of the skiff while pouring cold water over my head and trying not to pass out. Just before my demise, Jake snapped what may be one of the coolest photos of me ever to inhabit my hard drive.
(Editor's note - Captain Paul Rose is FlyfishMagazine.com's Editor of Rough Fish. He has written many articles and teaches seminars on catching carp on the fly. Check out his site at http://www.carolinabonefishing.com/. When the cameras are off, we know first hand that he does a great job of teaching anglers how to catch elusive carp on the fly. (photos by Jake Murdock)