Carp Ballet

With the ranger on full patrol, you pass up the manicured state park experience. Sleeping in a dirt lot on the side of a quiet county road is more attractive. You don’t need sites #14-27 or the neighbors’ campfire smoke or weekend park smells. You find the hobo camp, the unpaid fringes. You don’t need much, just a place to try and sleep through the dark.

The longest days make for the shortest nights. Does anyone sleep well before the first day of fishing, or are you the only insomniac? Keep putting back cool summer beers? Twist up more tobacco? Peck at a blue light, triple-checking flows and incurring more data-overage charges? You cannot sleep, not because of things bumping in the night, but because the sky is so big, and you have days ahead in this desert with a truck full of supplies and a few carp to find. The carp are out there doing carp things and they’ll be there doing the same carp things when you find them.

It’s 8:04 a.m. and a 45-minute desert bushwhack finds no fish. Carping at its finest. Sometimes the best fishing is just throwing rocks in the water. Maybe they’ve all died of radiation poisoning. Maybe you should have brought a Geiger counter…

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