What can you really say about Lake MI? I love my home waters of the Columbia river, but every year I look forward to a few days on Lake MI with Justin. The big lake is unreal...just a treasure of a resource with clear water, firm flats, easy wading and big, meat eating carp. The window is narrow and the fish can dissapear on you in a hurry, but when the lake is on...it is ON.
Bad mama right here
This year was a perfect example of the glory and disaster that can be lake MI carp on the fly. Day one dawned cool, wet and with no sun in sight. Day two...ditto. We scraped and clawed our way to 4 total carp in two days and the only reason we weren't totally despondent and grumpy is we had each caught a couple of awe on fish. I lucked into a 34 lb catfish on day one; a lifetime fish for me that basically set me up for the entire trip, and Justin caught a 26 lb carp and a 10 lb freshwater drum. All were great catches, but none were on the flats we loved. Bottom line, with terrible weather the flats were empty and things looked bleak. Well...not that bad.
We woke day three and the sun was out. It was a bluebird day, perfect weather and a great wind. By late afternoon the water had warmed and fish were streaming into the shallows. We caught some fish, but really were just getting set up for what would be an absolute Mt. Rushmore day on day four. We sat in the hotel that night and tied flies like crazy people...we knew the fish were in, and we knew what they wanted.
Mt. Rushmore Indeed
By 930 on Day 4 I had two fish over 20 lbs to hand, and Justin had stuck some incredibly aggressive fish on the rock edges. All I can really say is we were glad we tied flies. We absolutely slayed carp. We found fish in every imaginable setting; cruising the rocks, laid up in the shallows, spawning, tailing (yes tailers on lake MI) and flat our marauding around like the Pirates of old. We fished all day, burned the sun into the water and walked out in a semi gloom and a rare silence between two old friends. We barely knew what to say. Once at the car, we looked at each other and went over a few numbers. Between the two of us, we had landed over 70 carp. I landed 8 fish over 20 lbs (my personal record) and Justin added two more to that for a total of 10. This day was easily on our Mt. Rushmore...and over the years J and I have had some days together on the water.
The next day I flew home...but not before we stuck a few more carp. When Lake MI is on...it really is on. All told for the trip we landed roughly 100 carp, 3 cats, a handful of bass and a bunch of freshwater drum (plus one lonely quill back carp sucker). It is always a gamble to fly across the country and wander around in giant water looking for a spooky fish that rides the waves and the temperature variance...sometimes we get it wrong and that can suck. But then occasionally...we nail it. Getting it right once in a while is all you really need. We'll be back next year. Thanks for a great trip J!