Tomorrow: Fishing Without Water

Yes, you’re reading it right. Fishing without water! As addicted as I am to all things fishing, especially fishing from my kayak, there is a season of the year when I have to make a choice. This season only lasts three to four weeks which is either lucky or not depending on how you look at it. As hard as it is to pull myself away from the water on a beautiful weekend, sometimes you just have to make a decision. The decision to go walking headlong deep into the woods.

For those who don’t know, there’s a fish that thrives deep in the woods.  It’s an illusive little thing, maybe among some of the all-time, least-often-seen species around. There are people who never see them, and there are others who see them and don’t recognize their value. But those of us who are in the know about such things, know all about Dryland Fish.

Hey, you can’t make this stuff up! Actually I guess you could, but I’m not. In the state of Kentucky they seem to go by a couple of different names.  People in the central and southeastern parts of the state refer to them as “Dry land fish“, while folks in the western part of the state prefer to call them “Hickory chickens“. Confusing huh? Is it a fish, is it chicken, is it a fish that tastes like chicken? There’s even people who call them merkles, which is actually “miracle” when spoken with a deep Appalachian accent.

If you haven’t guessed by now I’m talking about the Morchella, though hardly anyone uses that name, relying on the simpler form of the word “Morel”.

Around this part of Kentucky you can generally find them from the beginning of April till the end of the month give or take a week. This year they’ve arrived a bit early because of the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve had. Any way you slice it, there’s only a three to five-week window of time to find these beauties then they’re gone again for another year.

I included some pictures of dryland fish taken in their natural habitat, along with a song by the Kentucky Headhunters paying homage to our quarry.

With any luck I’ll be back Sunday with pictures of the mother load if we’re lucky enough to actually find it!

         Yellow Morel                      Grey Morel                        Black Morel

5 responses to “Tomorrow: Fishing Without Water

  1. I don’t blame you a bit. I always take time out to hunt wild asparagus. Ummm!

  2. Fifteen years of wandering through the woods this time of year going from fishing spot to fishing spot and I still haven’t found one. We did need the rain and finally got it this morning. Maybe this will be my year. I know the places to look, they just have to let me find them.

  3. Well, they haven’t “popped” here as much as we’d hoped. The plan is to go back Weds after work. We found about 30 between the four of us. Sure not like last year when I found 90 by myself! I’m going to have to check into this wild asparagus Howard’s talking about. Never heard of it, not of hunting it.

  4. Around here we have endless miles of flat land filled with corn and soybeans. Along the roads, in the buffer between the road and the field, is where I find the most wild asparagus. Take a look at pictures of what it looks like in the fall, much easier to spot. Then mark that spot on a map and go back in the spring. Works for me.

  5. Cool, thanks for the info! We’re going back tomorrow looking for the illusive morel. Hope I find a few more to go with the ones I have, at least enough to make a meal of!

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