December 24, 2009


shorthead redhorse
Couldn't get enough from the last outing, as I was not satisfied to end my season that way. Redhorse are nice, but Christmas carp are dandy. I set out for the river for one last time in 2009. It would be a doozy.

silver redhorse
shorthead redhorse
Conditions were cold, but a bit warmer as temps rose up into the 20s. Wind was a bit heavier, blowing in from the southeast at about 10-15 mph. The ice shelves had receded enough for better access along this stretch of river. Unfortunately, this was not due to the warmer temps, but rather the fact that flows were bumped by the Corps of Engineers to 850 cfs, well above the 80th percentile and at record flows for this time of year. That concludes a solid year for the river at spring level flows or higher. Fucked up.

bigmouth buffalo
The redhorse were bumping again. They must exploit this time of year feeding on macroinvertebrates, as competition is down due to the migration of gamefish to their wintering holes. I took advantage of the situation and threw my Green Apple, Copperhead, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious patterns at them. I'm finding that the suckers seem to like this pattern as much as I do. Bonus.

shorthead redhorse
shorthead redhorse
I could not for the life of me locate any carp. I traversed up and down the banks in search of some cyprinids to no avail. I even tried to spook some free by lobbing a few big rocks on an ice shelf I was certain they were seeking refuge under. No dice. I did, however, spot several greater redhorse holding in a few lies. They were unwilling to even look at my flies, but I took a good mental note of were they were holding, and what stream conditions they prefer. I'll have to revisit this in the future and try to crack that code.

And now for an utterly ridiculous shot of a slob, fish porn at it's finest;

A solid way to end the season. I bid farewell to 2009 and welcome 2010 with open arms. Cheers!

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