The Blue River Fly-Fishers gathered on November 1st, 2008 for a most delightful get-together along the banks of Lady Blue.
Actually, this meeting had been in plans for a couple of months and came to gain some reality last Tuesday when Ralph Fullenwider pulled the Ruff Diamond into the parking lot of Blue River. Ralph had come early to secure the group a spot and ole Ralph did just that by getting the beautiful camping area known as Area 2. Yours truly got to the river proper on Thursday pitching the tent and making a second run for more camping stuff. Chris Adams arrived soon afterwards but found himself having to return to Denison to take care of some business matters. Ralph F. held his post while everyone else was busy trying to get to the river.
On Friday, Chris returned to the river as I, and by that time Ralph James and Larry Simpson had arrived. At 2 p.m. on the dot, as he said he would, Vernon Forrester arrived with his vast array of Dutch Ovens. Later that afternoon David Dillow and his furry friend Bree sailed into the river with a pickup load of firewood that certainly proved to be the fodder for the forming of the Circle of Big Ass Campfire Bullshiters Conclave.
Now, this Circle of Brethen Bullshiters came about sometime in the Friday p.m. and if I remember correctly there was David Dillow, Larry Simpson, Chris Adams, Vernon Forrester, Ralph Fullenwider, Harold Beck, Carol Radford, myself, Bree, Blue, and then there was Ralph James who decided to hold high court in this Circle of stories from years past and unbelievable events. As the bullshit got thicker I kept watching for incoming vehicles because we were expecting Jeff Joseph to arrive from Prosper, Texas at 8 p.m. Turns out Jeff was running a little late and arrived at 9 p.m. with son Ben in tow. Hey...if you haven't met these two guys you are in for a treat. Jeff and Ben are two of the most delightful guys you'll ever meet on Blue River. And, with the arrival of Jeff and Ben the "Circle" grew and the bullshit got deeper. Soon thereafter, Laura Adams would arrive to join Chris and Laura was somewhat tired after putting in one of those long days at Mom's Bakery in Dension. Miss Carol was delighted to see Laura since she had been the only girl subject to the bullshiter's onslaught and being "just one of the guys". But, on a personal note Miss Carol sends a message to all the hairy leg guys of the conclave and Miss Carol loves spending time with all of you.
It must have been around midnight when the bullshit just got too deep and some of us found ourselves troubled in the wading so we started phasing the cirlce out and retiring to our campsites for the night. Now, I really know how it came about but somehow I seemed to be appointed "keeper" of the flame of the conclave of bullshiters and I tried to step up to that task dutifully by burning half that rick of wood David had delivered.
After about four hours of sleep I awoke to see the familar flickering of our Circle fire and my immediate thought was that David Dillow had arose early and had the fire continuing. It was four a.m. Saturday morning and I rolled my ole butt off the air mattress and donned by campfire perfumed jeans and shirt to join David. Well, David was still sound asleep...the campfire had continue to burn all night on it's own which seem to send some kind of almost divine message to me that said..."Keep the Circle of Bullshiter's Fire Going". So, I did...burning about another quarter of a rick of wood.
Daylight comes. With the announcement of opening day I am in my waders, rod in tow, headed for the crossing at Area 1. I am so rusty, not having made a cast in four months, I forget all kinds of essesntial things like tippet, but I am called by the flats below the island. I arrive at the stepping off point just above the island and find another angler in wait. I politely ask him if he prefers to fish the ledge and he quickly answers yes and I respond by telling him I will go downstream from him. He seems to indicate okay but doesn't move out of my way so I step around him and take one step into Lady Blue. Now, it's been several months since I've been to visit the Lady and she has reason to be mad at me...and I guess she was. With that first step, she trips me and I fall face first into her pleasures. I break my precious TFO. Pretty much that does my weekend as far as fly-fishing seriously and looking back at it now I think it was a good thing. Sometimes I think I put too much on fly-fishing itself and not enough on the overall fly-fishing experience such as friendship with my brethen and sisterhood of the angle. Well, I got a good good measure of that experience this weekend and it was fantastic.
Back at the meeting place it was time to break out the Dutch Ovens. I had planned on cooking along with several others. Vernon Forrester come prepared to really cook and Vernon had four or five Dutch Ovens going on at once which is a task for two people. But, Ralph Fullenwider came to the aid of Vernon and Ralph proved to be one heck of a campfire cook's helper. Speaking of Ralph, and you have yet to meet him, uh...one of the first things he'll tell you is that he's hard to get along with. I think this is one prime example of why he fit in so well in the Circle Of Big Ass Campfire Bullshiters Conclave. Ralph F....is a sweetheart of a guy.
Soon, other cooks started filing in like Donny and Linda Carter, Kent Wohler (wow...this guy's an artist with the Dutch), Kevin Harris, Harold Beck's lady friends, and on and on and on. Chris Adams had his smoker going all weekend and offered up pork loin on Friday night and brisket Saturday. Jeff Joseph brought chili, I fixed chili, and I think Kent made a chili dish...lots of dang chili. Harold Beck made appetizers with stuffed Jalapeno's, Vernon made some very special biscuits, cornbread was offered up and the rage I kept on hearing about was the oatmeal pie which I did not get to partake in...dog-gone it!
During lunch, we held the raffle and silent auctions and what a hoot that turned out to be. Our group is so giving it should speak volumes for the individuality that can exist as self but step up to a part of an overall greater effort. For offering we had Larry Horton's carving, Lane Kregel's handmade knife, Robert Murphy's pontoon boat, and Ralph James ole grey flies.
Folks, in less than two hours we raised $450.00 for the Wildlife Department and Blue River. After lunch, Matt Gambel was on stage in the woods and he ansered questions from a good number of the group. Matt also praised the group for being so active in the future of Blue River which should make us all feel pretty darn good.
Fishing for the most part started off slow but the ole seasoned veteran's got into their niche's later in the day. Donn "The Donn" Riss found his niche down at the ledge above the crossing catching untold numbers of bows. Chris Adams and Robert Murphy also found some honey-holes and had a ton of fun playing with the bows. And, then there was Cody.
Cody is the young fly-fisher on Blue River that everyone and their dogs, cats, and parakeet knows. He's a dandy shining example of a young man and evidently he is quite focused. Cody caught 118 bows on Saturday. Now...that should make a grown man cry...and it did. Haven't cried like that in years.
And in closing I'll say thank goodness for the Blue River Fly-Fishers. I know very well, without the wonderful friendships I have gained through this group, my life would be lacking. Lacking and wanting for what I have now...some delightful friendships with very good and caring people.
And besides that...I wouldn't be a part of the Circle Of The Brethen Of The Big Ass Campfire Bullshiters Conclave. I mean...that will look damn good on a resume'.