Last weekend, I spent precious fishing time chasing the two most frustrating species in Oregon on the fly rod: Carp and surf perch. For whatever reason, I’m perfectly fine with a tough day on salmon or steelhead, but there’s something about these two that just drive me to drink.
Friday morning we woke before dawn to chase carp around Eugene’s finest slackwater. Mist on the water, carp on the move – big suckers, sticking their Wilfred Brimley-lookalike faces out of the water, launching themselves like humpback whales clear out of the pond, tailing in the shallows. Basically, there were carp everywhere and we couldn’t buy a bite.
We crept, we snuck, we crouched. Stripped slow. Tried San Juan worms, possie buggers, Jean-Paul’s specials.
It just galls me that these things are smarter than I am. And they’ll continue to be into the future. I’m never going to be John Montana, I’m too much of a hack. Give me dumb trout any day.
Then Saturday I fished from the beach for surf perch in Bandon – under what you could call ideal conditions. Small surf, manageable wind for the coast, 70 degrees. In fact, there were supposed to be so many perch in the surf, that there was a surf perch DERBY going on around town.
So there I am, wet-wading in the Pacific Ocean up to my waist, throwing my shoulder out casting a switch rod over the swells, using essentially a 9-weight rod for 2lb fish. I fished hard, with confidence (considering the derby and the fact that I thought my fly was pretty hot).
But it doesn’t take long for that sinking feeling to creep in when you’re casting on the beach, and your arm gets tired. You look at all that beach, and realize that if there isn’t a goddamn perch within 20 feet of where you’re standing, you’re pissing up a rope because your line is landing in a pile in front of you.
I quit after a wind-blasted backcast buried a stainless steel hook in my eyebrow.
I’m not saying I’m done fishing for these species. Just that I’m not going to spend any more marital goodwill chasing them right now.