THERE ARE MANY SLIMY and unappealing things in Washington, D.C.—politicians, attorneys, lobbyists—but flyfisher Austin Murphy is interested in just one: the northern snakehead, also known as the Potomac Pike or the fearsome-sounding Frankenfish, named for its seemingly unnatural ability to move on land, live for days out of water breathing air, secrete mucus from its thick skin, and eat just about anything it can fit in its mouth.
“I’m obsessed with them,” Murphy says. It’s true, even his Twitter handle is Snakehead Slayer. Murphy works the weedy, shallow tidal waters of the Potomac River and its tributary creeks, poling a skiff and sight-fishing with an 8- or 9-weight. He compares catching snakeheads on the fly to taking a permit or musky, in terms of difficulty and approach.Read More