Monday, April 16, 2012

Striped Shiner, and other junk...

After spending a significant portion of the week at the vise I needed to get out and take a short break on Sunday to see about a fish. I knew there was a local river that was fishing good for smallies, but rather than spend an hour round trip on the road I decided to hit a closer watershed since I only had about two hours to spare. Nate came along with me and we found the smallie fishing awfully tough...likely a few weeks out still. Lucky for us there were caddis and Hennys coming off very regularly....and something was aggressively rising and taking the caddis. Never one to pass up an opportunity we clipped off the streamers, retied the leader, and rigged up a caddis dry with a beadhead dropper. A few casts in we landed to first of a handful of this prehistoric looking fish, the Striped Shiners! (Corrected per the below from JRenner, they were in fact not Hornyhead Chubs.

Until I saw the head I thought they were common creek chubs or maybe baby mirror carp, but the spikes around the top of the head gave them away. Evidently they are native to a few slow moving, small to mid-sized rivers with gravel and sand bottoms. I had seen them before and caught a few by accident, but never by intentionally casting dry flies to them. It was pretty cool!

I did get one little smallie to play nice. I will be back in a few weeks and expect to have a bit more action.

Early on in the week I knocked out eight dozen Shelbyville Specials. It is a neat little streamer that always seems to find fish.

Also knocked out some Red Rockets and Smoke Wagons to send east.

and what week is complete without spending some time tying Double Decievers...

Earlier in the week I got an email from Tyler Brown with a few pictures of a recent brown he brought to hand on a Mufasa. Great fish Tyler!

Also heard from good ACF friend, Mariano, down in Costa Rica. He made it out last week for some time chasing Machaca and connected with a few. The Machaca is reputed as one of the hardest pulling fish pound for pound and has a vicious take. They also feed at or near the surfcae so it is a very visual game...great fish on a fly!

Not one that you want to lip though...

-mike schmidt


  1. Cool pic above, but it is not a horny head chub. Instead it is a striped shiner or common shiner (protrusions on the head are breeding tubricles that males get), horny heads along with alot of other cyprinids get this when breeding.

  2. Good catch, you are absolutely correct! I went back and checked the pictures...thought I had at least one with a red spot that stood out, but nope. The above are definitely male Striped Shiners. Updated the post to reflect the correct name.

  3. Yeah the red spot is a good characteristic, horney heads look alot more like a creek chub (a bit smaller scales that Striped shiner).