The Mulberry Hatch!
Kerplunk!!! Kerplunk!!! If I didn’t know any better I would have thought I was standing in the middle of a faux water hazard at a city park driving range…. golf balls making pronounced splashes as they descended into the water with force. (9.8 meters per second squared for all you physics buffs)
Thankfully, I was not on a driving range but rather a beautiful Michigan river watching golf ball sized berries plunk the water at 9.8 as 10-15 lb river carp gobbled them up as they bobbed in the current. As luck and poor planning would have it, I did not have any mulberry flies so I made do with what I had. I found some pink over sized egg patterns and drowned the suckers in floatant and plunked them down hard!
With only an hour to fish I was extremely luck that the good folks at Schultz Outfitters (www.schultzoutfitters.com) put me on some great spots in a hurry. I could see the storm clouds beginning to roll in and knew I was on the clock. The water was a bit high and moving quickly so getting a good drift was a challenge but after toying around with a few different angles a pair of yellow purple stained lips broke the surface and it was on. Hook set… came tight…. and off to the races. Before I could blink a good sized carp was in the fast current and the line was zipping off of my reel. She was heading straight for a huge brush pile and I knew I was in trouble. As I tried to chase her down I knew it was over. I put the wood to her and tried to turn her but between the girthy fish and the fast current the only thing I felt was my 3x popping as I grinned knowing that round 1 went to the fish.
I tied on a new fly and plunked it down under the tree. Mend.. mend… mend… bang! This time the fat fish bolted for open water and downstream. I chased her down and side pressured her into some slack water and I knew I had the advantage at that point. Five minutes later I was bank side with my prize. For a fish that I chase on the bottom 95% of the time, seeing them eat on the top for berries or cottonwood just lights me up.
After releasing the fish, I could hear the the thunder heads getting closer and as I peered over the trees, things went black. I high tailed it to the car as a the lightning began and stripped my waders off as the hail stones bounced around me. Needless to say, I grinned the whole way home!
Carping is no longer the other white meat. You don’t carp fish to prep for a bonefish trip…. you bonefish to prep for carping. If you are not ready for the coming carpocalypse you might want to go out and purchase a reel with a respectable drag, check your backing, put on a stripping guard, and go tell all the dudes you hang with at TU that you just followed Darth Vader to the dark side.