It wasn’t worth speeding and fishtailing treacherously down the dusty roads of Idaho like it was our first time fly fishing for huge carp. Today’s Blackfoot Reservoir trip wasn’t only my most humbling carp day ever but also the most strenuous hiking and fishing day of the year. That’s saying a lot after Tuesday.
Tim Brune and I read a rare forecast for the remote Blackfoot Reservoir region of hot, sunny and NO WIND. It turns out the weatherman was dead on. These conditions are so rare I’ve in fact never seen it on Blackfoot. The closest ever was when we had a light breeze last September for making the segment in the RA Beattie film, Carpland.
One would suspect superb fly fishing for carp in these conditions because it would be easy to see them tailing and waking. But the Blackfoot carp were so unfamiliar with the environment they were freaked out and seemed more focused on survival than eating.
We saw a lot of fish but only on two occasions. We each got numerous casts and refusals. I had two fish turn and follow my fly. I was nearly certain one ate some green crab concoction I tied for permit years ago (tells you how desperate I was!) but when I set the hook did nothing more than pluck a huge mirror carp scale.
Tough fishing leads to covering more water than normal. On Blackfoot that means walking long distances over sticky mud, in murky water, over loose rocks and through waist high sagebrush. Toss in the fact it was 85°s and we were in waders (you don’t wet wade Blackfoot because the mud can be gross), we took a beating. I even got charged by a mini bull sending me sliding down a rocky embankment!
Bottom line, we got skunked today and Tim and I are beat as heck. But guess what folks, it happens. Its days like today that remind me I’ll always have more to learn. It may sound crazy, but I’m very very very glad of that!