The gravel crunched beneath my tires as I pulled into the parking lot. I stepped out of the truck and felt the heat hanging in the air. Waiting only on myself, I quickly slipped on my wading boots and rigged my seven weight with the usual carp nymph. Tough fishing on previous outings had me second-guessing my methods. Was my fly the right color, weight, profile, etc. I proceeded down the trail as I buried these questions under some positive thinking. I made my way down to the banks of the French Broad. The water was cool and clear. I waded through the lush green aquatic vegetation and carefully advanced downstream. It didn’t take long for me to spot the first carp. An average sized fish cruising the edge of a thick grass bed came right for me. A heavy plop of the fly hitting the water sent him running. “Here we go again”, I thought.
Before I could complain about the spookiness of the first fish, another one came cruising out of a log jam and into casting range. A quick cast put my fly ahead of the curious carp. I gave a slow strip as I saw the carp turn towards the fly. Gills flared and those big yellow rubber lips inhaled my offering. The fight was quick and dirty. I could feel the sheer power of this solid sucker as it peeled drag attempting to bury itself in the thick grass. Finally, I got his head up and got him in the El Jefe. After weeks of frustration with finicky fish, I was beyond stoked to get a nice carp in the net. I went on to have the best day of carp fishing of my life. All in all, I landed four more commons, broke off two more and botched a handful of other opportunities. Banner days like this are what keep me coming back, despite the weeks of frustration that preceded this day.