Monday, June 8, 2015

Mulberry Hatch

I fished the mulberry hatch with my friend Aaron yesterday on the C&O Canal right in Georgetown. It was my first time ever fishing that stretch of the canal, and the first time ever fishing the mulberries. What an experience! Of course, the fish weren't in thick under most of the trees, despite a steady drop of berries, but I still managed some success anyway. The total to the net in a half day was 3. I broke off one big boy that would have been a great fish. Aaron also broke off a fish after he set the hook so hard, I thought he was going to backcast it into the trees behind us.

The story of the day, though, was my last fish. I found a section where I saw a bunch of big fish feeding. I was fishing near the south side of the old boat (the "barge" which was tugged by donkeys in the old days) in the end of the canal, and didn't have a good game plan for landing a fish. I was about 12 feet off the water, with a narrow stretch of about 5 feet of water between me and the boat. I literally have no idea how I landed this fish, because nearly everything possible went wrong, but I still managed to get it to the net. Once I hooked it, it went on a hell of a run and of course made a sharp left around some bridge pilings. He had no thoughts about slowing down, and I started seeing my fly line getting low. I contemplated for a minute breaking him off on purpose because I was afraid he'd sever my backing and I'd lose the whole line, but I decided to press on and hope it held. I saw almost 100 feet of backing out of the rod tip before I stopped the fish, and luckily the backing held against the bridge. Just as luckily, the fish decided to come back around the correct side of the pilings to not completely wrap me up. But it wasn't over yet. Once I cleared him of the boat, the fish decided to swim around the other side of the boat, promptly getting the leader stuck on the boat itself. At that point, I had to do some passing the rod to myself around some trees, climb up on the bridge and walk across, and somehow popped the line free. At this point, there's a good 25 people watching this spectacle. Finally, the fish was getting tired, so I walked him down to the end of the lock where there was only a foot or two to reach into the water and was able to scoop him up to the cheers of the crowd. I felt the leader, and it felt like I was running my hand over sandpaper. I still have no idea how it held up.

Sucking a mulberry off the surface

This turtle was waiting for his chance too
So close to an eat... but he refused 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jeff, That was fun but next time I get to catch all he fish. Ok.