Education of a Carp Angler

This weekend I fished with Max, who has yet to catch a carp on the fly but is determined. Conditions were admittedly not favorable. The fish were there, but the water severely stained so that they could not be seen. Few legitimate shots were available.

But this was one. The carp was cruising, not slowly and not fast either. Like maybe he had some place to be but could be persuaded to tarry given the proper incentive.

The cast was perfect. Max plips the small nymph into the water six, maybe eight, inches in front of the carp, who alters his path only slightly to intercept it.  This sneaky SOB, he cruises right over the fly, gives an imperceptible pause, and then keeps right on going. I mean it was downright subliminal, this tiny hesitation. I’m even thinking maybe it didn’t happen, maybe I imagined it, maybe just wanted it to happen.
I hiss “Setthehooksetthehooksetthehook”.  Which Max does but of course it’s too late and he only nicks the carp as it’s spitting the fly.  The fish disappears in a subsurface eruption of mud and goo.

Max’s shoulders slump a bit and an uneasy silence builds as we stare at the billowing mud that marks the fish’s flight.
“Trout are easy,” he says.