Last month I got an email from Kevin Morlock. He was having a computer problem so I called him to try and help him through it. In the process of trying to get him fixed up we were talking about fishing and he invited me to come up and go fish with him. Deal. I also had an invite from Matt Dunn from last year. Let’s do this. I took four days off work and pointed the Chevy north. Took off Tuesday morning and after an uneventful five hours of staring at the windshield watching bugs turn to paste, I arrived at my little hotel right on Lake Michigan. It was nice to get out of the truck to hear the waves.
I met Matt and his friend Fred at 4pm and we shot into Baldwin. I knocked two things off my bucket list on this trip. The first was changing into waders in the back seat of a Subaru Forester while driving through the Manistee Forest. The second was a twenty pound carp. The carp came later. We got to the Pere Marquette river just ahead of a storm. There were also seven boats of photographers that had put in just ahead of us. Yay. We took our sweet time so we didn’t catch up with the photo group. Matt caught a fresh steelhead, Fred and I each caught browns. I like trout but I don’t get the chance to fish for them much so I’m not well versed on them. Releasing my better brown from the net was about as clumsy as it gets. We had each caught a fish or two before the bad lightning started and we had to drop rods and get down to the take out. Storms like that don’t bother me but damned if that wasn’t more lightning that I like seeing when I’m surrounded by trees and sitting in water. We never did see the photography group. I’m guessing their guides hauled ass and got them off the water before someone got zapped.
The next day I met Kevin at his place and we headed to Traverse City for carp. There was no guarantee the carp would be where we were headed but there was a good chance and that was enough for us. We got on the water and motored over to a spot Kevin knew. We saw carp. Lots of carp. It was promising as hell. All we had to to was get them to eat. Right away I hooked into a decent carp. Turned out to be foul hooked. Not the greatest start but I swore I’d seen him turn and eat the fly. I turned a few more, spooked more than I turned, and finally got one to eat. It’d been so long since I’d had a big carp on a fly that I forgot how strong they are. It’d been at least a year since the last big one I’d hooked into straightened the hook after a long fight. That was the only image in my head. A straight hook that had popped out of a carp. I must have had some luck on my side because I landed the carp and after a few pics he went back into the lake. Not long after I landed a smallie that looked like he’d been in some scraps and another carp. We moved spots and Kevin landed a nice carp to end a perfect day on the water.
After dinner at a pretty cool brewery over in Traverse City, we trekked back to Walhalla, and I headed back to my hotel in Ludington. I fell asleep to images of carp running through my head. Their faces only a mother could love.
Big thanks to Matt and Kevin. I had a blast coming up to Michigan. You guys were great to fish with and have some laughs. Can’t wait to get back there next month when I head over to Beaver Island to fish for more carp.