Sunday, July 20, 2014

I Regret The Neglect

No doubt about it... I have been terribly neglectful of this journal and my overall fly fishing life lately - a life that brings me tremendous joy. 

There are a number of factors involved as to why this neglect has come about.  But, I'll not bore anyone and mistakenly make anyone think I want to hold a pity party.  It's just life. 

This has been the strangest summer of my 55 or so years of remembering the summer season.  This past week we set, not only, a record low high for July, but also a record low low temperature for the month of July.  Since the month of May we have had a steady flow of rain events and one of the more significant events was this past week.  Even with all the rain events we've had come our way, the wonderful bounty has hardly made a dent in the level of our little carp creek or the large lake that it feeds.  I think this is a testament to Oklahoma being in a drought far too long. 

I did find a grand opportunity to visit the carp yesterday for a half hour and met two of the carp community citizens on back to back attempts with the Aftermath fly.  It was a good rush.  I need more waves of that kind of surge.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Out Of Desperation

This has been one of the most challenging carp by fly seasons Charlie or I have ever tried to deal with.  Challenging because of conditions, not lack of fish.  A little over a month ago, our little carp creek was in bad shape and deteriorating by the day due to the lack of rain. 

Then the rain began to fall and of course everyone that lives in this area was thankful and joyous.  For the last four weeks it has rained at least once during that week and it's been significant enough to keep the creek a brown blur. 

Sometimes those of us who angle get so desperate in our chase for a species of choice, we simply roll the dice and go for it.  Yesterday I was feeling quite desperate and decided to go to the creek.  Standing on the bank with fly rod and the Aftermath fly, I was staring at a dingy brown creek with no carp in sight.  Like I said, sometimes you just have to go for it.

I think the carp have been missing the Aftermath.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Celebrating Fish

Most of us who angle have our favorite species to fish for.  In my case it is trout and carp.  However, if it's in the water I wish to pursue it.  It's a celebration of fish. 

Here are a few pictures from yesterday. 

Sometimes the smaller the fish, the prettier the fish.

More World Fly Fishing Action

From the World Fly Fishing Championship.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Wishing To Be There

Although I would much rather be there, I am resigned to follow the World Fly Fishing Championship that is currently taking place in the Czech Republic.  Here is action from day 3.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Carp, Music, Art, And Brew

Most likely those that read my scribblings with some kind of frequent fashion have come to believe that I am one dimensional, with that dimension owned being catching carp and other species with the flies I tie. 

I will be the first to admit that I am far from being the most interesting man in the world, however I do have other interests besides fly fishing. 

When Saturday rolled around I will tell you that I had an itch to capture a carp by way of fly.  But, I also knew there was an event taking place on Saturday and this event held a number of things that draw and hold my interest.  Therefore, I decided to go to the carp creek and catch one carp and one carp only.

Before leaving the bunkhouse I decided to tie up another Aftermath carp fly.  On this fly though, I wanted to try something new by adding pink, more precisely cerise, to the pattern.  Cerise is the color that brought me hundreds of trout this past trout season using the Frenchie pattern.  Taking the cerise colored rabbit fur I gave the Aftermath a collar and off to the creek we went.

The pasture I chose to fish is called Big Well Springs.  The Johnson grass here is taller than I am and trying to wade through it is like being a jungle warfare combatant.  On the other hand, the tall Johnson grass gives the angler fantastic concealment and the carp can be approached undetected.  Upstream I saw movement in the water and it was telling me feeding carp in the shallows.

I saw a young carp and decided to target this lad.  The cast I made was less than spectacular with the fly going across the back end of the carp.  He immediately begin to move and I quickly pulled the fly past him and let it drop about a foot in front.  He swam straight to the fly and sucked it in. 

For a youngster he had a lot of fight. 

About the time I released the carp the event downtown was scheduled to begin, so fishing was done for me and it was back to the bunkhouse to get cleaned up.
The Artesian hotel, spa, and resort is one of Oklahoma's grandest destinations.  The Chickasaw Nation finished this recreation of the famous Artesian hotel about a year ago and since it's opening travelers have flocked to take in it's beauty.  On Saturday, the first Artesian Arts Festival was held. 
Native art has always been an attraction for me.  Perhaps it's because I'm an Oklahoman and Oklahoma is rich in may different native tribes.  Or maybe it was the time I spent on the artisan streets of Albuquerque and Santa Fe years ago.  For me there is something wholesome and spiritual about native American art.
The festival  was just art.  There was a lot of good food to be sampled and there was music.  I don't know the name of the band, but they were quite talented.  The music continue all day with different genres throughout the event. 
Festival activities were taking place downtown in historic Sulphur so I drifting that way to take in more.  First though I stopped at the reflection garden the Chickasaw nation has built.  The focal point of this garden is flowing water and of course that always catches the attention of an angler.

I continued to drift westward into downtown and then there it was... like a shining beacon in a dry desert.  It was a watering hole.
There went the rest of the day.  


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hola Carp

Charlie has returned from Mexico and wasted no time at all in saying hello to his favored carp.  Charlie tells me the Mirror actually chased down a red-tail Creek Critter.

My trips to the carp creek have been few and far between primarily due to the business of life and a struggling creek.  I did make a trip two days ago and found a carp that drew a fancy for the Aftermath.
Although things are quite bad as far as the creek, I hold great excitement for the next ten days where we stand a chance of receiving rain each day.  Then, Charlie and I can get after the carp on a more serious note.

Monday, May 5, 2014

All Important Observation

Quite often those that make the decision to pursue the art of fly fishing for carp are overflowing with excitement and exuberance.  Far too often this enthusiasm leads to not taking enough time studying the water before them.  First of all it should be suggested that the fly angler for carp should always give his or her eyes enough time to adjust to the water and surroundings.  Carp have a mystical way of blending in with the bottom of their watery abode and there are times they seem to appear like specters. 

Not all of us are eagle-eyed and thus it is even more important to take our time to observe and evaluate the water.  It is also important to not make a rash decision on fishing the first carp we see.  Too many times has an angler cast a gift to the first carp encountered and in doing so blown the whole community that was basically at the feet of the angler. 

In North Carolina guide Ken Hardwick with Davidson River Outfitters is as eagle-eyed as anyone that I've encountered while fishing.  Ken's ability could be God-given or he has simply trained himself over the years and knows what to look for within the riffles, seams, or in the pockets. 

Admittedly I have had to force myself to slow down, take time, carefully peruse every square foot of water before placing the fly in the drink.  In doing so, more carp have come to hand.