A few weeks ago I had the privilege of doing a youth camp trip. We spent a week in the mountains and we had a blast. One of the days we decided to go spend a few hours swimming at a nearby reservoir, so we headed over to Flaming Gorge Reservoir. I was excited by this news. I had my 6wt, floating and sinking lines, and a box of flies for carp and smallmouth bass.
So we drove on over to the lake and we started playing in the water and having a ton of fun playing around, throwing rocks in the water, playing with kayaks, doing normal day at the lake type activities. It was a ton of fun.
After a couple of hours playing around I spotted a familiar dark shape in the water and ran back to the car to grab my 6wt, reel with floating line, and carp flies. I waded out to a spot where I could see a few carp slowly cruising and looking for food. As I prepared to make my cast a large wake surfing boat cruised by and the few carp that I could see all scattered in different directions. Slightly disappointed, because I wanted a good shot – but knowing that on a reservoir like this one that having unexpected boats ruin a shot a some fish was going to happen, I slowly waded back to shore with my eyes on the lookout for some fish.
I called out to a friend and invited them to walk around the small bay with me in search of other fish in the shallows. He came along. We talked a little life, walked, and kept our eyes peeled for fish. We did not see any fish on the way out – but we did see a tennis ball, a lighter, and a hat. He picked up the ball and the lighter and left the hat behind. On the way back, while still looking for fish, I asked him to grab the hat for me. I told him if he did I would clean it up and wear it.
On the way back around this small bay I spotted a nice sized carp cruising the bottom right next to a drop off, putting the fish in about 5-6 feet of water. I quickly threw in a cast and watched my crayfish pattern sink down to the bottom. The fish slowly cruised toward the fly. I gave it a small little bump, the fish turned hard and inhaled the fly! I gave a solid hookset and the fight was on! This fish pulled hard and put my 6wt through a tough test. After several minutes of fighting I was able to get the fish into the shallows and land it. It turns out it was a solid 29 -30 inch carp – not too shabby of a fish at all.
It was a blast!
I kept the hat, and cleaned it up. Here are a pair of pictures of the cleaning of this new (well new to me) hat that I most definitely will be wearing during an upcoming fishing trip! The hat definitely needed a super thorough cleaning.
Can’t wait to go out with this hat!!