Thursday, 24 May 2018

Bigmouth Buffalo

My first year living on the La Salle was a mixed bag with many fish caught but desired fish missing. I was determined to unlock the secrets to large rock bass and bluegills which the river holds but apparently determination just isn't enough. Bluegills were entirely elusive and rock bass catches were sporadic and the fish small. Success came unexpectedly from crappie and carp with many crappie over 12" and carp up to 28". Other species caught were walleye, sauger, pike, perch, drum, channel cats, mooneye and several species of sucker.

Fast forward to my second year and the news is disastrous. The river winter killed and dead fish littered the banks and eddies. Most of the floaters were carp with the odd channel cat, walleye and crappie in the mix. In normal years, river reaches between dams and weirs can be replenished when spring flows allow fish to move upstream from the Red River but with the low flows of this spring that recovery is unlikely.

Yesterday I drove down to fish near the confluence of the Red and La Salle rivers and hooked two fish. One, a pike, bit me off almost immediately and this bigmouth buffalo. The buffalo is only the second I've caught on a fly and the first on the La Salle.

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