A couple of days before my fishin’ buddy, Sean and his bride were set to go on a missions trip to Indonesia, he called me up and asked me if I wanted to squeeze in an afternoon of fly rodding for Carp at Craig Park.
Naturally, I asked him how soon he could get to my house.
On the way over to Fullerton, he regaled me with tales of the massive, hard-hitting, head-shaking fish he had battled just days before. The more he talked, the higher the probability rose that I might have actually broken a couple of traffic laws – hypothetically speaking.
Anyway, when we arrived at the park, the attendant at the entrance gate, upon spotting our rods in the back seat, eagerly informed us that some 480 pounds of catfish had been planted earlier in the week and that he had witnessed several anglers catching decent amounts of fish.
We thanked him for the info, paid the parking fee, drove down to the lake and began fishing hard with our eight-weights in anticipation of the ensuing man vs. fish battles that lie ahead.
Forty minutes later we were still fishing hard but had not managed to entice a single bite.
We each ran through several colors of wooly buggers, a couple of crawdad patterns and a few leech imitations yet we both remained fishless.
Sean, worried that I might be growing suspicious of his earlier stories, suggested…well, quite a few things that, while imaginative, proved ultimately fruitless and thus, fishless.
Finally, after an hour and a half of some serious skunking, we opted to switch out gear to the shorter, 5-weights we normally use up in the San Gabriels and attack the small stream that runs off the west end of the lake.
I switched over to a 8x tippet and a size 22 nymph and we began working the stream, determined to make the most of an incredibly beautiful afternoon.
Sean almost immediately locked into a small pool that held a surprising number of small Bluegill.
I also began to pull in tiny little ‘Gills as we worked the little rivulet. After the frustrations of no fish, even these little guys were enough to change the mood and lighten the spirits.
Sure, I lost a few too many flies to the overhanging branches and sure bait-sized bluegills were not quite the same as junk-food gorged urban carp but the weather, the darting hummingbirds, the songbirds and the fact that we were catching fish all came together to make it a great way to send my buddy off on his trip to the other side of the world.
In fact, it was such a pleasant little urban fly venture that I thought about it for most of the rest of the week…that is until my other fishin’ buddy, Ray texted me with a picture from his day at Santa Ana River Lakes.
Ray. You gotta watch that guy.
Turns out that he hooked onto a 23 Lb. 8 oz. trout and was now in the running for the monthly thousand-dollar prize money for the biggest fish caught at the lake.
Also turns out that he was using his skanky, little back-up pole with three-pound test on it.
However, unlike Sean, Ray’s got the pictures to prove it. Check him out at the SARL.com website. Ray’s the guy with a smile as blinding as his shaved head. Like I said, you gotta watch that guy. Sometimes I think God has a great sense of humor.
I love this addiction called urban fly-fishin’
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