“You’ll see for yourself Fleche”, announced Sergio Bandeira the celebrated Master of Carp fly fishing; “I’m taking you somewhere that’s serious”. You want to see carps? Well, you’re really going to have Carps for your money.”

Sure… sure, I thought, talk, talk… with a name like Bandeira he’s not a liar from Marseille, but me, I wasn’t born yesterday. As the dear-departed someone or other once said: I’ll believe it when I see it. And ever then, not so sure!  These stories of mystical visions… I’m a specialist on that sort of thing.

But hot damn, Sergio wasn’t lying!  And this fishing spot will forever remain a secret (if I tell anyone, Sergio will cut off my balls… I don’t doubt it for one second!) I could never have imagined a spot with this kind of beauty, grandeur and savagery. In the middle of July, with 80 million tourists invading our dear hexagon (la France)… for kilometers and kilometers, there was not a rat, not a kayak or a canoe, just fish by the millions and Carps even bigger than the kayaks, bigger and more imposing than a russian submarine… and all of this in France! (My lips are sealed!)

“OK, this is the technique, whispered Sergio. Fly-fishing for Carp is madness and the only chance to take one is when they’re feeding, so the secret is: perfect presentation!”

And voila, my famous guide giving me a magisterial course on this kind of fly-fishing which he says is like fishing for the phantom among phantoms: the mysterious Permits.

And me, I’m not worth much, even when fishing for baby Chubs in Ardeche, so I know that I’m far from having it sewed up. After a good two hours of pursuit in a blistering heat wave, I finally spot a big fat Carp or rather, it’s more like Sergio who tells me: “look over there, about 5 meters away, she’s feeding. And she’s a beauty.”

I open my myopic eyes, stare hard and it takes ages to finally distinguish what I thought was the famous Carp.

“Go for it Fleche, place your fly right in front of her nose!”

Happily there isn’t a movie camera there to capture my calamatous casts; my ego couldn’t take it. Finally, by some kind of miracle, the carp moves toward my lure.

Now, if you permit me a little digression, a synopsis of the previous evening… it’s important in order to understand the unfolding of events.  One of my dear cousins (I have a ton of them!) telephoned me in the afternoon: “Fleche, can I invite myself to dinner tonight? I’m bringing a girlfriend. Is it alright?”

When he arrived with the girlfriend in question, I couldnt take my eyes off of her. It’s not possible that this distant cousin, who’s nothing to look at, could turn up with this ravashing, sexy and funny girl… and what’s more she had a little asian blood, well for me, yellows are irresistible! I was bowled over. Sometimes in the streets of New York, it happens that I follow one of these beauties, completely oblivious to everything, until I find myself in the back of beyond, without knowing how I got there.

And this one here, my god she was sumptuous, so sumptous that I had difficulty following the conversation; my eyes were devouring every inch of the satin skin, each lash of her almond eyes, each fold of her generous lips. In short, I was completely under the charm and passed the evening at the table stammering and blabbering things that were of absolutely no interest.

So it was the evening filled with the scent of the mysterious Orient that preoccupied me when I heard Sergio grumbling about why men are assassinated.

“Damn it Fleche… the carp had it’s mouth open, it was taking the fly… and you didn’t even set the hook!!! Chances like this don’t come along every day!”

I must confess that instead of hooking the monster, I was thinking that, after all, the lovely asian was far less beautiful than my adorable wife and, in the end, this joyful thought is worth more than the loss of a Carp, even one that weighs 1800 pounds.