We were fishing open public waters and doing well. I told my buddy Frank that the next stretch was private and I had permission. I told Frank about the hole before we got to it. I said: "This hole has some seriously large browns in it. Maybe some of the biggest in Crawford County. I let my friend lead. I warned Frank that the hole was treacherous. The photo is taken down stream. The left side of the hole has a rock ledge that sticks out in to the main hole. One bad step and it becomes eight feet quickly. The lower end of the hole is shallower and I have seen trout sun themselves in there in the past. The hole is about nine feet in its deepest area. There are two submerged trees at the bend of the hole.
Frank stopped and was pointing at a fish in the shallows. He had sun glasses on. He said I brought him to carp water. I grabbed his sun glasses and looked at the the " big old carp" his words in the shallows sunning itself. I slowly took off the sun glasses and told Frank to hold perfectly still. I wanted to try to cast to the "big old carp" but before I could get in a cast I spooked it. Frank asked me "Why were you dinking with that dumb old carp?" I told Frank: "Carp don't have spots."
I went back there a couple times and could not raise the monster. I assumed it was a night time feeder and a night time attack was in order. That big of a spotted carp was a meat eater. Big flies in the dark and deep water could spell disaster. The rock ledge and the big drop off put a damper on my night time enthusiasm and I put it on the back burner.
Just two weeks ago I was talking to a friend and he fished the hole and he spooked a huge fish out of the shallows. This piqued my curiosity . It has been raining non-stop since then and the water was too muddy and high to fish. It finally went down and started to clear. I thought a little bit of cloudy water would be good for a night time attack.
One of my friends from Chicago Dave Heyman told me about luck he had been having with mice and told me how to fish mice and when. I went to a local fly shop and got a couple Whitlock Mice. Dave told me to run the edges of the banks. Slow steady retrieve with a pause and twitch from time to time. The reason for working the edge was that this is where wayward mice might fall in and the HUGE night time predators were out hunting at night for this type of lost mouse.
I took my buddy Joe with me and we worked both sides of the hole. I was standing on the opposite side of the angler in the photo. Joe decided he was going to work the rock ledge drop off. It was 4am this morning. We were both casting. I was all decked out in waders and the appropriate attire and Joe was wet wading in sweat pants and a stripped short sleeved shirt. I could barely see Joe but I could hear him. The huge male hit like a freight train. The splash and roll was very loud and it sent shivers down the back of my neck. I didn't need to wait for him to yell..."Come HELP!" like he usually does. We both had the same rig. A 8'6" 5/6 rod with a 2x leader on. I told Joe to calm down and let the monster tire itself out. The hole was deep and I reminded him a couple of times when it made runs to give it side pressure so it would turn and stay out of the underwater trees. I looked at my watch when the battle started. It seemed like it took forever but the entire battle lasted 11 minutes. The spotted carp (Big Male Brown) came to my net and we snapped a couple photos and sent him on his way.