Reports of people catching Roanoke Bass or often called "Red Eye" started popping up. I thought it was a little too soon in the year to start seeing them. Then I saw a report with pictures. This was enough incentive to get me out to the river this morning. The water was higher than normal but running clear. My gut told me to go with a crawfish pattern. I tried that for awhile and I didn't get much action. As I moved downstream I found some deep holes lined with rocks.
I just knew there had to be a Roanoke here. I worked the water and had a few hits. I noticed some fish right in front of me so I cast just beyond them and watched as my fly was hit about 10 times before going near the bottom. I cast out again to watch the fish behavior. As I was letting my fly dive it was hit instantly. The fish wasn't big but it didn't have the orange hue that gives a sunfish away. When the fish came out of the water I knew right away it was a red eye.
A fish with red eyes sounds spooky. You can see from this fish the ruby red eyes are beautiful. I have a real fondness for these fish. I guess because they are so difficult to catch. Especially a good size one. I worked the rocks some more and I noticed I would have more action from fish if I did nothing at all. Just let the fly dive down to the bottom. When you think about it that is the least threatening behavior of prey. I cast near a rock and let the fly dive down right in front of it. I saw a gaping mouth come up from under the fly and inhale it. When the fish turned I could tell instantly it was a Roanoke and the biggest I've hooked yet. I was fishing off a log jam and had to work the fish around some limbs.
The fish was only 8inches but a trophy in my eyes. I look forward to hunting these guys in the future.
great little fighters. I've caught a few big ones. They taste any good? Around here, we call them an Ozark Bass or Calico Bass.ReplyDelete
Kev, we'll have to get together for a short fishing trip sometime. I know a great spot to float down on the Tar (Spring Hope to Rocky Mount) or even near Conetoe.ReplyDelete
If you can teach me how to pull in a rainbow or brownie in the mountains, we can arrange that too! Great stories!
Bill, I'd be happy to teach you to catch trout. Maybe we can get together this summer.ReplyDelete
If all these posts about bluegills and bass and whatnot don't stop, I'm going to give up the trout.ReplyDelete
Love the Redeye, for me (a coastal boy), it's synonymous with getting back to the mountains on bigger water.ReplyDelete
Nice! I was sitting on the fence about go for some this evening. I figured the rain would hav ethem moving and searching. I think you just push me off the couch! I can get a couple hours in before dark.......ReplyDelete
That is a trophy for sure. I remember when I first started following your blog you were determined to catch a Roanoke Bass so congrats and Tight Lines.ReplyDelete
Howard, I saw you finally got a trout.ReplyDelete
Rivermud, these fish are a little different then Red eye or rock bass that you find in the mountain.s
Trout MaGee, Thank you for following along.
One beautiful fish in a fantastic looking stream. Thanks for sharing
I am seeing a bit more of these lately. I got my first one last year while stalking trout in the Blue Ridge. I even got a request to paint one the other day. Nice looking fish.ReplyDelete
A local fish that proves unusual and difficult that you have come to adore, cool. They do look a bit like the rock bass I caught in SD, there are none closer to home. I hope a large invasive currently to your north and south doesn't make it to their home.ReplyDelete