In local waters, Big and Smallmouth Buffalo feed on many of the same flats we target more sought after species. At a distance, these fish look and behave exactly like a tailing common or drum but never eat anything, spook, or even really acknowledge the fact that you're chucking bugs at them until you basically poke them with your rod. This makes for some pretty frustrating days, especially when the Buffs are the only fish up on the flats. I have heard of people getting them to eat stuff by simply throwing something that sits on the bottom in their feeding path, but never reports of them actively chasing a fly down. In fact, I usually don't even take the time to cast to them. Today was different though!
I rolled up on one of our local spillways, strung up my newly returned Redington Predator, and made my way downstream to a 100 yard shallow area with current on either side. This area almost always holds something that will tug... Gar, Drum, Carp, and even some pretty decent Bass. Today though... Nothing. Nothing but a shitload of Grassies and an equal abundance of Buffs. I tied on a Tomelleri egg (A giant craft fur ball Zap-a-Gapped to a hook) and attempted to get some of the Grass Carp's attention to no avail. In fact, after only a few casts the entire school of them moved on leaving nothing but countless Buffalo lazily flicking their tails upward and kicking up clouds of deceiving mud. I tied on an olive variation of Barry's Carp Bitters and dropped it within 10 or so inches of a smaller ones face. Surprisingly, the fish darted over, picked up my bug, and continued feeding. My hookset was extremely delayed due to my temporary state of shock and I ended up hooking the fish deeper than I ever have before. The fly was buried in the abysmal reaches of the Buffs crushers. He didn't run too hard until he saw my feet. After that, it was game on! After about 10 minutes I managed to bank him, cut the line, grab my camera, and snap a few cruddy pictures before he flopped back into the water.
I was pretty stoked to say the least. The pics suck, but they show that it is a buff indeed! It's pretty cool catching fish that are thought to be somewhat uncatchable on the fly!