Not catching carp and other cool stuff.

Just so there aren’t any misunderstandings, let me begin by saying that carp have been caught.
But they came later, after an extended period of exploring new water which in this case became a lengthy exercise in not catching, or even seeing, a carp. This fishless period eventually reached critical mass and I returned to a more familiar environment to re-convince myself that this thing was still possible. It was:

But new water. An interesting offshoot of scouting unfamiliar rivers or stillwaters and the inevitable fishless days is that the mind tends to seek out other diversions to pass the time. One minute you’re zig-zagging a flat, intently scanning the whole silty mess for mud plumes and flashes of gold, and the next you find yourself trying to figure out what that patch of wildflowers is on the far bank over there, or maybe playing a game wherein you try to ID the birds around you solely by their calls.

In any event you realize that you’ve been considering those flowers or birds for sometime and couldn’t say when exactly when your brain made the jump from fish to, well, not fish.  Doesn't matter. You’re already reeled up and paddling over to get a closer look at the flora. Or maybe you've put the rod down and anchored near a grove of sweetgums to see if it's a mockingbird or a brown thrasher that comes peeling out of there. Those damn birds can sound so similar.

You discover a certain amount of charm in these pursuits and before you know it you’re packing an Audubon field guide alongside your fly boxes and spending more than a little time on these trips with the canoe beached while you prowl waterside meadows and fields. Speaking of which, here is a Moth Mullein I found on a stretch of the Tennessee River a couple of weeks ago.

My photo was crappy...

So I took one from Wikipedia to take up my slack...

The name of this flower comes from the fact that the stamens resemble the antennae of a moth.