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MajorGeek

Mulberry Hatch On The Mid-Columbia

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I went down to the mid Columbia last Saturday, June 25, to see how the mulberries were coming along. The water was still high but you could see a one foot ring around the shorelines. Some mulberry trees were almost dead from the root inundation, but the ones that were slightly damaged were squeezing out some ripe berries ahead of the trees on higher ground, and the carp were eagerly waiting for some fruit drop, delayed by this cool spring.

I positioned myself downwind of a tree hanging over the water, and after three or four casts, put my fly right into the branches, too far out to reach with my rod tip. Couldn't get a exact location of my fly because it was hanging there with thousands of other berries. I had to break it off, but the line wouldn't break. I grabbed the reel, pointed the rod right at the fly and backed down the shoreline. Wouldn't break, so I reeled in a little line as I walked back towards the fly, then tried it again, grabbed the reel and really leaned into it before the 10 lb. tippet finally broke off. The branch whipped back and hundreds of mulberries, ripe and green, scattered over the water. I hope the fish appreciated that.

I tied on a new tippet, then looked in my chest pack for another fly. Oh crap! What I had though were more mulberry imitations were some black bass flies or carp woollies. How the hell do you go fishing the mulberry hatch and not bring any flies? I had to trudge all the way back to the truck. Searched through my fly boxes to find just ONE mulberry imitation. I thought I was in good shape for flies for the mulberry hatch, but I could only find one.

I walked all the way back down to the pond with my one mulberry fly. I had made quite a commotion at my first fishing location, so I walked to the second mulberry tree overhanging the water. I quietly waited downwind until a fairly decent fish, about 12 lbs. came cruising by. I slapped the fly down out in front of him, and he immediately was attracted to the plop but seemed to have a hard time locating the fly. I picked the fly up gently and laid it back in front of him. This time he came right at it, lips above the water, and sucked it down. Fish on for a short while and then the tippet separated from the leader at the knot. Broke off. When just before I was nearly unable to break the leader when I was snagged up in the tree. My last fly! I again trudged back to the truck, a dejected failure.

This week I've been trying to catch up at my tying bench. Wednesday night I had a chance to kick out four copies. But what was totally weird was I found one mulberry fly in the kitchen sink back in Yakima.

I'll be back at it again this weekend, this time with flies.

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I always carry some floatant when I fish for carp. recently I caught a carp with an egg pattern fly after dousing it with water shed. the egg floated like a dry fly.

I've also used woolie buggers (non bead head) this way. even if the fly does not float after treating; it should cause your fly to sink slower, putting your fly in the

water column where carp can see it. I've only used this technique in brackish water and it works well in 3 feet of water or less.

015-7.jpg

taken on a slow sinking woolie bugger, Passaic River

Edited by Bill de Brooklyn

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I was back at it today, this time with more flies. There were lots of berries dropping, lots of fish. Caught lots of fish, including this big one. I didn't think he was ever going to give up:

IMGP1149.JPG

That's a solid 36 inches long. What would that weigh?

Had a huge grass carp notice my fly, and slide over to push it with his nose, but I couldn't get him to bite.

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Great fish MG! I would love to target some fish sometime when the berries are "hatching".

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