I had a strange experience on the Wakarusa yesterday. So odd in fact that I hesitate to post it. I put my kayak in at one bridge to do a 3 mile float. I hit the water about 9:00 a.m. with all day to make it down so I decided to paddle up river first. I went up to the bottom of the first riffle. As I came around the last bend I saw something moving on the bank. It turned out to be a vulture that was feeding on a big fish. I beached the boat and went for a look. It turned out to be a flathead about 40 lbs. It was pretty fresh, still had most of the meat on the head but the vultures had pretty well stripped the rest. I would say it had not been dead for more than a day or so. This is the second big fish I have found dead in the Wakarusa this year. The first one was a 50 lb. plus flat that I found floating in a brush pile about 2 months ago downstream about 5 miles from this one. It made me wonder what had caused them to die. I left the boat where it was grabbed my rod and walked up through the riffle to see what the next hole up river looked like. When I got to the bottom of the next pool I walked out to the end of the gravel bar. This is where it gets strange. There was something lying in the water just in front of where I walked up. I was looking up river to see what the pool looked like and was not really paying attention. When I looked down I about freaked out, there was a 35-40 lb flathead in about 12inches of water about 6 feet in front of me. He was just starting to move off when I saw him. He moved to the head of the riffle in a little deeper water where I could only see his tail once in awhile. I had a bobber on so I took that off and put on 3 more worms and tossed out about a foot in front of him. He started to move about that time and so did my line. I never felt him bite but he was taking line. I let him go about 6 feet and set the hook. All hech broke loose. He splashed water all over me getting out of there. The bad thing is that it did not last long as I must have had my drag set a little too tight and the bobber had put a crimp in my line. He broke off pretty quick. I could see where he went just by the mud he churned up from the bottom. I just stood there shaking my head. Looking back I wonder about what really happened here. I have never seen or heard of a big flat feeding in the shallows in the middle of the day like this. After thinking about it, this is what I think. After just seeing a big dead fish just downstream I think this fish was sick and dying. I also think that he was not feeding and that he swam into my line and I snagged him (this was NOT my intention). I just wonder what could be causing these big fish to just die. There was very little sign of anyone running lines on this part of the river and I saw no other dead fish of any kind. Anyone have any ideas? If this was a healthy fish I blew the chance of a lifetime. It was a very exciting few minutes. I did have a great day and caught a bunch of fish including 2 big channels out of the same log jam. One went 10.3 and the other was 13.2 lbs.