Rocks create a small band of rapids in the Kaskaskia River along the east edge of Carlyle, Ill., about a quarter-mile below Carlyle Lake. The Kaskaskia flows for 325 miles through central and southern Illinois until it empties into the Mississippi. My grandfather and I fished the Kaskaskia when I was a boy, but if Grandpa was alive today, he'd be disappointed to see how invasive Asian carp have moved into our old fishin' waters. Long before the arrival of the Asian carp, my grandfather and I caught plenty of channel catfish and drum. I witnessed my first flathead catfish, when Grandpa pulled a whopper flathead out of the Kaskaskia near Okawville. Now, when I walk along the river, I can picture my grandfather baiting his hook with a large shrimp or small sunfish in hopes of tempting a monster flathead.
T.E. Griggs is a writer, editor and photographer and a retired U.S. Marine.