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Smallmouth Buffalo

John Gillio

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I have been out a number of times fishing various streams from the shoreline this year with my spinning gear. I have yet to focus on smallies I was after white bass on today's outing. It was my first wade of the year, and my first flyrod outing of the year. I waded about a half mile stretch of river. The entire area was loaded with rough fish, none of which seemed to want a fly. They all had something else on their minds. There was a lot of splashing going on. The waves of rough fish would only part slightly as I waded along. The vast majority of fish were smallmouth buffalo. There were also small pods of redhorse suckers scattered throughout the buffalo. Here and there I would spot a solitary Asian carp. I couldn't see white bass in the mix but was able to hook into a couple dozen of them along with a nine inch smallie. I was on the water for three hours and amazingly only snagged one buffalo. I didn't expect to get to the river today, especially for my longest outing of the year, but I am glad I did. This portion of river is fished quite heavily, but today I ran into only two other anglers. The solitude and the distant hooting of owls helped make my day. The two other anglers were both toting flyrods.They seemed to be enjoying the river as much as I was. They focused their time on fishing one of the few deeper pools in this area and said they also were picking up a few whites . Pretty cool to see more native fish in the river than invasives for a change.

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