Paul Christensen of Huron River Fly Fishing and I have been talking about getting together and fly fishing his home waters for the past several years on my yearly summer trip home to Michigan. Paul has been guiding in this area for over ten years and has become quite an expert on the local carp and smallmouth.
With early summer comes the mulberry trees dropping their fruit in the river and the carp key into this food source by concentrating tight along the banks beneath the trees. When a mulberry falls into the water it makes a noticeable splash and then rides on the surface of the river downstream. It's neat to see a carp rise off the river bottom and slurp the berry off the surface like a mayfly.
It's kind of a surprise that there is such a fishery exists in the
middle of several metro areas that this river flows through. Traffic
buzzing nearby and technicolor graffiti sprayed on the concrete bridges
is a good reminder of where you're at.
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
We had a beautiful day on the river and over the course of the morning and into the early afternoon both Paul and I caught a couple carp each. The first carp that I caught rose to the mulberry fly and plucked it off the top water while the second carp took it six inches under the surface on the dead drift.
An eight to ten pound carp in moving water puts up quite a fight and certainly put a bend in the Fenwick and McFarland fiberglass fly rods we were fishing. It was cool to hear the scream of the J.W. Young Landex fly reel a few times as well on the runs. Carp on glass and clicker fly reels is good times.
We spent the last hour or so of our day on the water beneath a large mulberry tree where a squirrel was lunching on the mulberries high up and dropping a fair number of the berries into the water. It didn't take to long for the ducks to show up for the free lunch followed by a half dozen bruiser carp. Paul hooked into several large carp that came unbuttoned before catching another carp pushing ten pounds.
All in all it was a very neat experience and a great way to start five days of fly fishing in Michigan. Carp on a dry fly isn't something that happens every day but can here on mulberry flies.
Paul can be contacted by email to schedule a trip and more information can be found on the Huron River Fly Fishing website as well.