Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Fisher For President

I use to catch trout here quite regularly but haven't battled one in this particular spot for six years now. You see, for the last six years this particular part of Blue River has been void of water. Void of water due to increasing demand by humankind resulting in more withdrawal from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, along with a prolonged drought.

Our waters are truly diminishing. And, they are most likely diminishing quicker than we realize or want to acknowledge. The reason I am mentioning water in this post is because this is a Presidential election year.

For the most part I have a genuine distaste for politics. However, I do love the politics during a Presidential election. For me it's the best programming on the boob tube. Presidential politics is better than the greatest soap opera of all time and prove to be one grand circus act. But, with having said that, I honestly do pay close attention to what the candidates have to say.

In this Presidential election there are only three possible people that would be king...or queen as it is - Obama, Clinton, and McCain. So far in listening to all three they pretty much sound "samey". In other words they are telling us, the constituents, basically the same thing. All three seem to have a platform of the economy, national health care, national defense (or the war in Iraq), and energy independence. How disappointing! With all of those things I could include the word "stupid". It's the economy...stupid! It's national health care...stupid! It's national defense...stupid! It's energy independence (and I damn tired of paying through the nose for gasoline)...stupid!

So far I have yet to hear one of these candidates barely or perhaps not at all address the environment, natural resources, and then there is the subject of water.

I really don't get it - the fact that water, it's future use and management is so ignored, and hardly ever mentioned in the debates of these candidates in their seeking of such a prestiged and highly held office. I mean my goodness, don't they realize what an important role water plays in shaping of our economy? Health care? What the hell are we going to need national health care for if we all end up dying of thirst? National defense? I would think any country without water would certainly have the weakest national defense. Energy independence? We won't need it! Energy independence may very well fill our gas tanks but the last time I checked you can't drink, shower, or fish in gasoline!

I want to vote for someone for President this year so I decided to check out all three candidates in hopes of finding the slightest glimmer that one of them likes water or something associated with water. So I decided to go to Facebook and see what they listed as their interests.

On Facebook I checked Obama first. Now Obama lists his interests as basketball, writing, and loafing with his kids. Certainly nothing wrong with any of those things but I would hope to think a guy who has set fires in countless hearts across the nation...would be a little-bit more interesting. And...his interests didn't mention water so I take it he doesn't like to fish.

Now Hillary, in listing her interests on Facebook, includes going to movies, reading, and crosswords. Again, nothing at all wrong with those interests but no mention of water and she probably doesn't even know what a fish looks like.

So, that brought me to McCain and his profile on Facebook. Now, we all know that McCain has been labeled a "Maverick" and he seems to be a "Man's man". Under his interests he starts off with sports, hiking, fishing, and then boxing...wait a minute! What was that? Did McCain say fishing! He did, he did! John McCain, under his interests, listed fishing!

Glory be, shut my mouth, slap my grandma...we have a Presidential contender that likes to fish and I figure anyone that likes to fish has to like water or at least have a little concern for it.

I really wish McCain would have expounded on his interest in fishing. Hopefully he is not one of those "Buster wants to fish" type of know the kind that shows up with a coffee can full of worms with ole Rawhide in tow. The best case scenario would be that John McCain likes to fly-fish. My gosh...wouldn't it be a wonderful world then?

I going to vote for the next President and maybe it is for lack of a better reason but I'm voting for someone who likes to fish.

After John McCain is sworn into office I guess Obama can go back to playing basketball, writing, and loafing with his kids and Hillary can catch a movie, read a little, and do some crosswords.

And then...maybe President McCain will decide he wants to fish and show up at our little Blue River to angle.

Now won't that be a most welcomed and sweet kick in the ass?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Oklahoma's Lake Record Recognition Program

When the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife announced it's Lake Record Recognition Program, I greeted it with great excitement and enthusiasm. In my mind it was sheer genius! What angler wouldn't want their favored water or their own fishing ability to be recognized by the state wildlife agency?

Shortly after learning about the program I fired off an email suggesting the wildlife department consider expanding their program to cover rivers, streams, creeks, and small waterways.

I have yet to get a response.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a Rainbow from the Illinois River recognized or a Brown from the Lower Mountain Fork showcased. And about Lady Blue showing off a dan dan dandy Small mouth or Spotted Bass. Personally, I would like to see someone recognized for catching a two hand sized Sunfish from Rock Creek, the Glover River or some other small waterway.

I mean...wouldn't an overall fishery recognition program encourage us who already angle to angle somewhat more? And...wouldn't the fact of being recognized create a whole new generation of anglers when angling is on the decline?

I know very well that the Wildlife Departments program is in the pilot stage. My goodness, less than a month into it they had to place a lake into their "pilot" program, a lake not originally consider, because someone almost broke a state record by fishing this lake. In other words I know the Wildlife Department needs time to expand the program. But, if it's help they need...I figure it's readily available.

There are two main reasons for this writing. The first is that I truly believe our smaller waterways should be recognized and in doing so we will create more anglers. Secondly, I fully expected at least a courtesy response in reply to my email suggestion to the Wildlife Department.

I didn't get that, and thus I am making this post in hopes that anyone that feels the same will copy the link of this post and send it to the Wildlife Department. Perhaps, in the text box you can add, "Guys, you might really should consider this, since it might just help fishing overall".

My main argument is this. Oklahoma is very proud of it's lake fisheries and rightfully so. However, if our rivers, creeks, streams, and small waterways didn't exist...then neither would these lakes.

I'd like to see someone argue that point.

Get The Sink Tip Ready

On the Prairie Ocean not far from Blue is the Lake of the Arbuckles. Those who fish Arbuckle regularly believe that the next Oklahoma State Record Largemouth may very well come from the waters of Arbuckle. If any doubt ever persisted to this notion, angler Allen Gifford put all that doubt to rest this past week.

Gifford landed a 14 lb. 8 ounce largemouth while leisurely fishing on a Wednesday afternoon. His trophy was just three ounces short of the state record.

Gifford and his fish were the feature of Ed Godfrey's Outdoors Column in this weeks The Oklahoman.

So my fellow brothers and sisters of the angle, it might be worth our time to be thinking sink tip, Deceivers, Clousers, Crawdads, and larger bait imitations. Oh, a boat will be a big help too.
Photo by Ed Godfrey, The Oklahoman

Preparing For The Pre-Spawn

Although we are still chasing the Rainbows of Blue, Carol and I know that the pre-spawn of bass is just ahead of us so we are trying to get prepared now. Here are some of our favorite patterns we use on the river Blue in search of Smallmouth and Spotted Bass. From experience, I believe that a hook-up with a four or five pound smallie in the river's current is quite possible and wouldn't that be a hoot!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sailors On The Blue?

Now, these two kids are either planning on a career in the Navy or they just simply and quite badly wanted to fish for trout from a vessel at Blue River.

When Carol and I first saw this today we took pause and kind of looked at each other for a minute.

These guys were a mile and change up in the south wilderness area with this pond-hopping two man bass boat. They had to carry that contraption in which had to be quite a chore itself. But, to each his own and most certainly there are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Geezzz...they had to be tired.

Carol and I got on the water this morning a little before ten o'clock. We hiked straight to Coyote Pass Falls which is usually rich and fertile waters. However, this morning these waters seemed to be indifferent to our desire to pick fights with the bows. We both fished the area but all we got were nibbles for the most part. I say nibbles because the trout's interest was so shy it wouldn't qualify as a strike. But at about the time we decide to go upstream Carol pulls one bow out. She's one up one me.

We head toward the Cove trying to fish the pockets in between. We find few opportunities where we both can fish side by side which is a requirement right now with Carol still being new and tentative in wading. But, we do find pockets and they seem to be pockets of empty hope.

By now, I find myself scratching my head looking for answers. I do observe three things. Today, the river looks lower, at least to me, and she seems to be quite clear in a diminished way, and the sun is shining every so brightly. So, with my thinking cap on I come to the conclusion that the bows either want it lower and slower or in the shadows. So, I find a shadow and make a cast.

The shadow thing worked out quite well for me taking a number of bows. However there is simply not a lot of shadows available. We continue upstream.

We step up on the falls of the Cove and fish the water above. Carol takes three, almost in succession, and I get two ahead of her at this point. We continue on upstream.

As we make our way upstream we keeping looking for pockets that we both can fish side by side but this proves to be a challenge. But the pockets are where the bows are awaiting. Basically it is one fish per pocket and that is how we fish. There are no big concentrations of bows being stacked up or residing in communes...they are really dispersed.

We are headed for the Ancient Boulders, one of my favorite places in the south wilderness. When we get to the Ancient Boulders, Carol decides she will give it a shot knowing quite well that this is some tough wading. She makes it about half-way out and then decides she better head back to the bank. Unfortunately, Carol takes a dive on her way there.

I'm headed for a pocket that I know will produce but on the way see another pocket and plop a fly into it. From that pocket comes two bows but no more. I continue on to the favored water and once here I pluck four bows in short order. Then the winds come up and that seems to shut the fishing down for good.

Back on the bank we are comparing hunger pain growls so we decide to go get a Scotty Burger...and we do. We leave Scotty's with burger in hand and basically devour it before getting back to the river.

We stop at the crossing to fish another thirty minutes or so and take some pictures for a future post about the landmarks of Blue. We both fish the crossing area with no luck and I decide to go downstream to take pictures of the Island, Flats, and Riffles.

And it was at the Riffles I saw one lonely rising trout and I ask Carol if I could have ten more minutes. With Miss Carol's approval I tie on Ralph's Ole Gray pattern and fish that one lonely riser. After about five casts...we meet. It was a great way to end the day.

Carol and I together end up with an even twenty today. Not a stellar day, but my goodness the weather was beautiful.

One Mans Trash Not Another's Treasure

When Carol and I arrived in the parking lot of the south wilderness area this morning we were greeted with this unsightly mess.

Now, I don't know what Bozo would do this but I certainly hope he isn't planning on a career with the NBA. My God...if he can't hit a trash can from less than two feet away he will certainly never be able to dunk the round ball.

I took the time to pick the trash up and put it in the can and hopefully whoever lay behind this deed will read this post. And , if you you I say "Your trash is not treasure to any of the rest of us".

It's both amazing and puzzling to me why people lay their trash and refuse on our Mother Earth. However, with each passing year I seem to encounter more and more of it. It is found not only on the banks of the river, but in the river, along the trails, and in the campsites. Campsites that have readily available trash receptables are often littered with artifacts of modern man. Carol and I have made it a habit to carry small plastic bags to pick up what we can while fishing and here of late we both have realized that we need bigger bags.

I have often said that humankind is destructive. As a matter of fact I think the only thing in the world that is more destructive than a new puppy. And it just so happens I have one of those little son-a-bitches at the house now...courtesy of Miss Carol. I swear...I do believe this pup could chew a sixteen penny nail in half and I fully expect one day soon to come home and find most of the living room walls chewed down. But you know... I think that wouldn't bother me near as much as seeing our pretty little river trashed.

I can always remodeled my living room.