Martyn White | Saturday, 30 March 2019
Now that spring is in full swing, the cherry blossoms are opening all over Tokyo and the carp are mostly finished spawning it's time for me to start hitting the rivers in search of mud bones. So yesterday I went to a river near my apartment to see what I could find.
This place is where I caught my first carp on fly about 10 years ago, starting my obsession with the species and my 60 day a year carp habit that lasted till some time in 2017. Since then I barely fished for carp and I definitely lost my edge.
Last year my return to carp was a humbling experience and it felt like 2 or 3 fish days were an impossible task, let alone the 6-10 I had become accustomed to expect. So the question is why?.... Well I lost my sharpness; being stealthy, getting close, reading fish and hitting eats had all - predictably - deteriorated.
The last few months have been an interesting time as I've been re-honing my skills and questioning things I thought I knew, and probably becoming a better angler in the process. Yesterday I really felt like things were starting to come together properly. The creepyuppness is again where it needs to be and I was able to surprise not only a few carp grubbing on my near bank, but also almost gave an old guy a heart attack as I set the hook and popped up from behind a bush after a lengthy sneak. The ninja stealth is back!
The main lesson for me though is how important it is to maintain the skills, they'll not just stay there and in future I won't be giving the carp such a long reprieve.