Another addition to on-the-fly life list...
I've caught buffalo before, but only foul-hooked. This one was by the mouth, in cool fashion.
Story is like this: I stop to scout a spot and find a kid with two big walleyes on a stringer. I ask him if he's seen any carp, and he says "why, you gotta bow with ya?" I say no and look around - see about 20 carp klooping about where two rivers meet.
I come back later and find another guy fishing walleye - he tells me that a 5 lber broke his stringer, and he's really upset about it. He proceeds to explain that that is why he has so much beer with him - to drown his sorrows... as he points to some cheap ass can-beer sitting on top of a cooler that I presume to be full of the stuff, along with maybe some stolen drum and a few dozen crawlers.
This is all just to set the stage - to give you a feel for the type of folks fishing the area. I used to love rednecks, maybe even used to be one, in a way. I may still have a tinge to me, but the full-bred redneck is really starting to piss me off lately. They just do too much dumb, uncaring shit. It's a funny and romantic aura they throw out, but when you get right down to it, they are not components of a good and healthy community. Anyway - the carp were still there... I spotted them and started drooling, then this guy - true to form set by his mate I met earlier - asks me "do you have a spear with you?" I say no, and head out to string up my 4wt. Out of the corner of my eye, I see through the trees across the river, a beat up Plymouth Acclaim pull up and stop. "Oh shit," I think - another bleeping redneck coming. So I pick up the pace - run to the car - string up and dash across the river in my boots - no worries, even though just upstream is the wastewater outfall, and at this low flow it probably accounts for a big chunk of the water passing by this point. Screw the fecal pathogens and intense ammonia - I slosh across the water only to see NO CARP left on the far bank, and a guy in a wifebeater and a cockeyed baseball hat and gold chain slinging a 4 lb lure around. Here is the worst part: he throws about five casts and leaves. So after spooking out every carp, he dicks around for two minutes, then walks away. "You bleeping bleeper bleephead" is what I felt like saying to him.
So I walk over and look around - only a glance or two at fleeing carp is what I am allowed. I stalk around for a while, then finally figure - heck, they could only have fled to a few places. So I look in those places. "There are the carp," I say to myself - and there they were indeed. He had spooked them into the main flow, and I could see them feeding. So I start casting to them.... with a heavy fly though - not the right sink rate. Switch to a lighter fly - long story short is that I hooked a buffalo fish (that I thought was a carp until I saw him near the surface) and that's about it... Meaning that fish did not make a single run, or a single act of defiance. Not sure why - he just came in like a log, on a 4 wt no less. Hook was right in the corner of the mouth closest to me - like I pulled it while in his mouth and it set right where it should have. It was my first real success sight fishing in perpendicular fashion to fish in fast-moving current - pretty cool. Some carp were feeding just inches below the surface, and I was sure I could get them to eat a Chernobyl Ant... but floated right over them and they wouldn't take it.
Shortly after that another wifebeater dude comes and sloshes across the stream and I say "bleep it, and bleep you" and get the heck out of there. As I'm leaving the orginal wifebeater guy who spooked all the fish comes back (I was forewarned by the bass from the Acclaim) with two wifebeater wearing babes who were not older than 13. Apparently he had worked out a new approach to fishing.
I have to determine what specie of buffalo it was - I didn't have the camera with me, but the image is burned in my mind.
I'll probably return early AM when the slothful punkasses aren't around to foul the scene and litter the viewscape with anomalies.