Fringe Benefits.

11 07 2019

You never know when a fishing opportunity may present it self.  Because of this I pretty much have a fly rod in my car 24/7/365.  My Temple Fork Outfitters 6 wt BVK for the little fish, My Scott Flex 8 wt for the big fish and a switch rod for whatever season it is.  They spend more time in their cases then I would like but at least they are there when I need them.  Such was the case last night (7/10/19) as I was helping out at a local river clean-up.  Schultz Outfitters and the Huron River Watershed Council recently teamed up to sponsor river clean-ups every Wednesday evening along different sections of the Huron river.  It’s a good way for me to help out, get some exercise and find new fishing spots all at once.

Six people showed up for the evening so we split up into two groups to tackle both sides of the river.  Of course I was looking for fish whenever I wasn’t finding any garbage.  I saw a number of bass and a fair number of blue gills but no carp.  That was until I found a Mulberry tree.  I heard some splashing and saw the swirls of a few feeding carp near the waters edge.  I looked up and saw the tree and I started to grin.  There were about a dozen carp feeding in the area.  I seriously thought about going back to my car and getting my stuff but I figured they weren’t going anywhere.  The cover was thick in the area and the few fishermen around were casting for bass in more open waters.  I figured they were safe, for now.

Once we finished up I headed back to may car, assembled my Scott 8wt, tied on a Mulberry fly and headed back to the tree.  When I got there the fish were still feeding.  Now all I had to do was figure out a way to get to them.  There was a lot of overhanging branches so trying to feed a 9 foot long fly rod through them so I could drop a non weighted fly into the water was going to be difficult.  Also, because there was so much cover there was no way I was going to be able to land a fish without getting wet.  Fighting him was going to be a challenge as well.  If I was able to land one it was going to be a miracle.

While I was trying to figure this out a muskrat swam up to the bank and starting eating the berries as well.  Great, now what am I going to do?  As soon as I try to move down there the muskrat will spook and scare all the carp away.  I sat there for a few minutes and waited for him to leave.  While I did a berry dropped into the water right next to him and a carp came up to eat it.  That spooked the muskrat and the fish as well, or so I thought.  There was some splashing but the carp stuck around.  I waited a few more minutes to let them calm down and I slowly started to move into position.  5 seconds in and my rod already got stuck on a branch.  I managed to free it but did it again shortly afterwards.  Eventually I made it to the edge and tried to Bow and Arrow my fly into the water.  On my first attempt my fly caught a leaf.  Second attempt hit a branch.  Third attempt made it into the water and as soon as it hit a carp came up to suck it in.   I set the hook and missed the fish.  More splashing ensued and I figured I missed my chance.  I made another cast and out of nowhere a carp came up and took the fly.  This time I was able to drive the hook home and we were off to the races.  I stayed on shore at first and kept my rod parallel to the river.  Fortunately he took off for open water instead of the weeds and logs.  While he was running I started to clear branches away so I could have some room and hopefully stand up some.  Not that I need a lot but it would be nice to be able to life my rod up high when it came time to grab him.  This was not going to be easy.  I got him close but the cramped quarters made getting a hold of him problematic.  After a couple of attempts to get him close I just laid my fly rod down and pulled him in by the leader.  I got my hand around his tail, the fly out of his mouth and in position for a quick picture.

The fly that did the trick.

My first one for the year and my first one ever on a Mulberry fly.  I can see why Fly Carp Anglers love the Mulberry season so much.  These fish threw caution to the wind and still grabbed my fly even though I did just about everything wrong.  After this fight though the fish did scatter.  I sat around for a few more minutes just in case but nothing was happening.  The berries kept dropping and nothing was taking them.  That was my cue to head for home which I did.  I’ll come back another time.  There is another clean-up scheduled for next Wednesday.  Who knows, maybe I’ll find another one.  If so I can guarantee the fly rod will be ready.

 

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Huron River Trash Bash 2016

5 06 2016

Several months back a couple of trolls on the Michigan Sportsman website were giving the locals a hard time about how trashy the Huron River is.  They were saying that if we really cared about our home waters we would take the time to clean it up.  So some of us took them up on that and the Huron River Trash Bash was born.  Actually the first person to start the process was a local fisherman named Carl.  A few weeks later he and I and one other gentleman met and we picked 6/4 as the day to do it.  We got the word out the best we could and on Saturday morning we met at Huroc Park along with 8 other people and 2 boats.  From there we split up into 2 teams.  5 people with the boats and the other 5 on land working the shoreline of both Huroc Park and Dodge Park.  4 hours later and some dirty hands and muddy feet we were done.  Our pile didn’t look that impressive but in a way that is a good thing.  That section of the river wasn’t as dirty as we thought.  We did manage to recover what seemed to be several miles of fishing line though.  Some people hate seeing the plastic blue worm containers, discarded fishing line really bugs me.  That stuff never breaks down, gets wrapped up into everything and is a life threatening hazard to the local wildlife.  Anytime I can get it off the ground and out of harm’s way is a plus in my book.

It was a good thing we finished up when we did.  As we were piling up the garbage bags into the trash bins provided by the City of Rockwood it started to rain.  Not much at first but enough to motivate us to get the job done.  So after that was done the group loaded up, said our good byes and went home.  It was great to meet a few of the local fishermen who care about their home river as much as I do.  I’m sure this will become an annual thing and hopefully it will grow to cover more of the lower river.

On a side note.  One of the benefits about doing stuff like this is the knowledge you sometimes receive.  A participants was nice enough to tell me about some gravel beds and winter holding areas for steelhead on the river.  They are only accessible by boat, which I can arrange.  A couple of hours of manual labor and I learned a few new winter fishing spots.  Not a bad trade off if you ask me.

Trash Bash Trash Bash Trash