Spring always makes me think of bowfishing

I get a little nostalgic for the cold waters of the Wind River this time of year. Every spring, I start thinking I need to get out on the river and try to find a carp or two.

Most people wait until later in the summer to go bowfishing, when the water’s lower, hotter, and less muddy, and the fish are snagging cottonwood seeds off the surface. But when I was a kid, I couldn’t wait that long.

There was a deep trough in the Wind River behind my parents’ house, and it tapered to a wide, shallow riffle on both the upriver and downriver ends. During the runoff, the riffles were deep enough for fish to get through pretty easily, but if you caught it on a lower flow, there’d be plenty of carp in that trough. And they couldn’t get out.

My buddies Josh and Blaine were always game for some bowfishing, too. Early in the spring, that water was darn cold. But to get the carp out of the deep stretch, we had to wade. We usually took turns spooking ‘em out, but we all had blue legs from about April 20th through the end of May.

I haven’t found such a foolproof carp trap since those days. But I’ll keep looking. However, now that I’m older, I may wait until the water’s a little warmer.

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