Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, November 30, 2008

How To Tie The Inebriated


Curved Caddis Hook Mustad 49CS (Any size you choose)
Black Thread
Chartruese Wire
White Antron or Icelandic Wool
Six Pack of Coors Light


Drink the six pack first. Start you thread behind the beadhead and wrap down to about two thirds of where the hook bends. Keep wrapping making a nice smooth body. This may be difficult since you are a six pack under by now. Tie in your wire behind the beadhead and wrap back and once again make a body over the wire. Finish your thread wraps behind the beadhead. Palmer your wire up to the beadhead in even smooth wraps, tie off wire. Take a small tuft of white antron or Icelandic wool and tie in behind beadhead. Cut off excess and then whip finish. Send wife to store for more beer and watch the football game because it's too dang cold and windy to fish (like today).

I've fished this creation on both the Blue and the Lower Mountain Fork and unbelievable as it may seem this fly captures bows.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Blue Friday

Today is better known as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that serves to be the busiest shopping day of the year. It's a time people go to spend the money they have and in many cases money they don't hoping for a better time up the road. It's also a day many people take off from work with big plans to do something but instead end up staying on the couch watching some lame ass football game. Black Friday is certainly not my cup of joe so several days ago I planned on having me a Blue Friday.

My plan was to spend most of today on Blue. I knew Lane Kregel from Denton and his crew were hitting the catch and release area. I also knew that Chris Adams and Ralph James would be on the Blue and I needed to see the both of them. Originally I was going to hit the catch and release first and fish with Lane and then trot down to the campground area to catch Chris and Ralph, but best laid plans go arwy. First, I had to hit the workplace which I hadn't really planned to do and secondly the chest cold I'd been fighting had only grown worse. After work I thought I could afford thirty minutes on the couch but that thirty minutes turned into two hours. I hate that feeling you have when you wake up know...confused, rattled, shaky all over. Yuck! But I got geared up and hit the road.

As I was passing Scotty's I noticed the familiar coffee colored Xeterra belonging to one Ralph James so I pull in the parking lot. Ralph and his son Brian were having their lunch and had some fish stories to tell. I came to see Ralph and Chris to give them their copy of the fly tying DVD we recently made and to visit with Ralph about a project he has in mind that will help the future of Blue River. We chatted for awhile and then Ralph and Brian were headed for the river. I visited with Scotty and he was in a good mood reporting that he had his best November on record and that's good news to me. What's good for Scotty is good for Blue River. Scotty also told me he had sold seventy fishing licenses so far on Blue Friday. A little known fact about Scotty's Blue River One Stop is that the store is the number two seller of fishing licenses in Oklahoma.

I got to the river and found Chris and chatted with him. For Chris I had his DVD and a small Blue River token from Miss Carol. Miss Carol also had one for Ralph. After leaving Chris I went to look for Ralph and found him below the crossing with his backside planted on a boulder so I wade out and plant my butt on a boulder by him. Out of the clear Blue, Ralph was plucking bows with one of his favorite flies and it wasn't even the Red Midge but he did tie that on later. I flung a booger downstream and started getting strikes but no hook-ups. Ralph suggested I shorten the tail and I did but again just strikes with no hook-ups. Then there came a rise downstream and I tie on the Adams I used yesterday. I really don't like casting a dry downstream but I did and the result was not even a look. So I spooled up and sit on the rock and visited with Ralph about his project. Eventually, I would tie on the Flashback Pheasant Tail and capture two small bows which was the extent of my catching today. My goodness, I have to say these early stockers are especially small this year and I certainly wish something could be done to increase their size by a couple of inches. These boys and girls are tiny.

The river was crowded today with anglers of all types up and down the river. Ralph's son Brian was on the sandbar and I guess I watched him catch twenty or thirty fish in the short time I was on the river. Ralph and I was taking incoming from both sides of the bank but it was all innocent with no ill intended. Just young over-excited young-uns wanting to catch a bow.

For most of the day the sun was being flirtatious...time from time peeking through the cracks of a heavily laden gray soupy sky. But, about an hour after I arrived at the river ole sol broke through that pewter colored barrier and warmed the surroundings up. The river was really pretty today and the water is gin clear.

I only stayed on the river for about an hour and a half today. Still feeling lousy I set course for my harbor to hit the rack once again.

On my way home I felt a cold one coming on so I pulled into the Middle Of Nowhere Market and had that cold one. The shelves in this store are pretty well empty these days because the owners have had some bad luck with health issues. The beer cooler was full though and a Coors Light, not a can of pork n'beans, was what I was after. I've always thought this little store would make a good store slash fly shop. About four years ago when it was up and running good I started to buy it but didn't. I still think it would make a good store slash fly shop but I'm getting kind of old to be buying anything these days.

So, even though my plans kind of fell apart today I still got to spend a couple of quality hours on the river Blue on this Blue Friday. I'll take two hours at Blue anytime compared to standing in line at Wal-Mart. I mean geeezzz.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Flash Backs, Adams, and The Hare's Ear

For the past eighteen years I've worked on Thanksgiving morning and this year was no exception. Miss Carol and all our children have come accustomed to this and they simply go ahead and plan their Thanksgiving festivities because they know that I will certainly head to the river Blue as soon as I hit the time clock. Going to Blue on Thanksgiving has become a turkey day tradition for me and I cannot think of a better place to give thanks to something that has given so much to me.

I did just that today.

Leaving the workplace and exiting town at around 11 a.m., I arrived at the Cow Pen around noon. Shortly thereafter I was on the trail headed for the Catch & Release area. On the trip up, I couldn't help from notice how busy the communities of the birds and squirrels were. Within both there was a frenzy of activity. The birds were busy gathering seeds and the squirrels were most certainly nuttin' up. I've come to learn over the years, that such activity with these critters usually signals a big change in the weather is coming. And...I believe that change is scheduled to arrive tonight or early tomorrow.

I could not have asked for a more beautiful day. The sun was shining, the temperature was promising mid-sixties and there was absolutely no wind.

Upon arriving at the Catch & Release I went to some favored water of mine and plopped down a bugger. But, after five or six plops it became apparent the bows weren't interested in the bugger. So...out came the Flash Back Pheasant Tail and immediately the action heated up. These bows are so magnificent! The strikes today were extremely subtle and hard to detect, however...once the bows tasted the hook they were simply tenacious! I believe I have never seen a faster fish than the Rainbow. There are quite simply swift and sleek and it's thrilling.

As I said, the strikes were really subtle and I was nymphing across a fast current which required me to really manipulate and mend the line and manage the fly. Michael Mercurio recently reported that the character of Blue is changing from visit to visit and Mercurio is right. I had to fish this particular spot differently from just a week ago. But the bows were there and we met.

One of the things I wanted to do today that I didn't get to do on my last outing was to explore a little. Exploring is fun but in the Catch & Release area it can wear one out rather quickly.

As I was having fun battling the bows with the Pheasant Tail I turned to look upstream and there it was...a rise. With that rise, my exploration began because I wanted to get to that pool quickly. I struck out on a course and to tell you the truth I think I took the long route but I got there none the less.

My problem was this was a wide pool, about 100 feet wide, and the risers were almost exactly in the middle which would require me to make a rather long cast with a dry. That's a pretty tall order, particularly in tight situations, but I gave it a shot anyhow. I tied on a size 20 Adams and gave her a sling.

Damn, did I have fun

There was one particular lane and if I placed my fly in that lane I would get a take each time. These bows were so excited when they'd strike they would absolutely go over the fly. Out of ten or more frenzied, hurried, excited strikes, I only took two bows but it was one hell'ava time!

Why I was dry flying I noticed a change in the air and it was about that time the risers quit so I stayed in this spot and tied on my ole friend the Hare's Ear. The Hare's Ear did okay for himself but not to the tune the Pheasant Tail did. The Pheasant Tail I used earlier was a size 18 and the Hare's Ear was a size 14. Pretty good range I would think. I carried the Hare's Ear back downstream to the spot I had good success with the Pheasant Tail earlier and the old boy proved himself in that water.

I'd been on the river about an hour and half then and knew I was fixing to call it a day so I tied on a bugger again to do some slow stripping. I cast to the exact same spot I did a week ago that captured bows. But this time all I captured was a submerged tree or something. I lost two buggers in a matter of twice that many casts and this should exemplify the changing character of the river.

I guess there is a lot of upstream trash that washes downstream and becomes lodged in the Catch & Release area such as this washing machine casing. The upstream part of Blue River is populated toward the Connerville area and it's sad to me such things end up in a pristine and special part of the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area.

As I was walking across the small falls on my way to the bank to make the trip back, I sat down on one of the falls and smoked a cigarette. While there I listened to the voice of Blue and I was totally at ease. It's amazing what good medicine the outdoors and a river can be. I've been under the weather for the last three days but today I couldn't tell it at all. I felt good!

Today I fully realized what a special and unique place the Catch & Release area is. The Catch & Release area is quickly becoming the shining beacon of Blue River.

I am so very proud of the Catch & Release area and so very proud of the Blue River Fly Fishers that made it possible.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Crushing Cans For Catch & Release

When Miss Carol and I arrived home today from Blue we decided to stomp a few cans. Actually we are way behind in our can stomping duties having about eight large bags of cans stashed behind our garage.

Can stomping isn't terribly fun but if you take a boom box or roll down the window on your vehicle and turn the radio up you can have a little music to motivate you. Heck, I'm thinking about calling all the kids and see if they want to have a can-stomping party. We can stomp cans, roast some weinies and marshmallows and have our own backyard shindig. It's a means to an end.

I've said before it takes a lot of dadgum cans to equal any real money. However, if I stay on top of my Recycling For Rainbows program I can get about four to five hundred dollars a year for the Wildlife Department. I think the way one has to look at it is if I didn't collect and crunch these cans then that money would be out the window...because I can guarantee you those cans would end up in a landfill.

Right now, the price of aluminum is down so we are sitting on all our cans waiting for the market to rise.

I have a friend at work and this young lad is really mechanically inclined so I'm going to hit him up to build me a can crushing machine.

All this stomping is giving me the shin splits.

If you don't currently recycle...then think about it. It's a good thing to do for Mother Earth.

Casting For Miss Carol

Miss Carol began her fly-fishing life late last season at Blue River. She started off like gang busters capturing trout on her first three trips. However, Carol was drifting all three times having to make quite short up and down casts. There came a point I wanted to put her on the long cast and that's when things kind of got messy. You see, I appointed myself as her casting instructor. Sweethearts shouldn't try and instruct anything to each other and when it came to me teaching Miss Carol the long cast it was evident there was an insurmountable wall between the two of us.

So, I decided to contact Steve Hollensed of Tom Beane, Texas and see if Steve would help me out and Steve said "Absolutely"! Steve is a certified flycasting instructor and Orvis Endorsed Fishing Guide. He owns and operates and does a lot of guiding on Lake Texoma and Lake Ray Roberts. Steve also guides for trout.

Steve worked with Miss Carol about forty-five minutes and it was amazing how much he helped her in that short time. It was truly a remarkable job Steve done. Now Steve doesn't know it but not only was he giving Miss Carol a much needed casting lesson he was also probably saving my life. You see, me serving as a casting instructor to Miss Carol gave her more than probable cause to slit my throat on more than one occasion.

So, if any of you guys have a sweetheart that's thinking about taking up fly-fishing then do yourself a favor and hire a casting instructor for your sweetie.

Carol and I got to Blue earlier than Steve and while we was waiting his arrival we traveled down to 17 and lo and behold there stood Donn Riss in the water with a contingency of his family. All of them was fly-fishing so we jumped out with our camera to get some pics. As I approached the water with my camera Donn pointed and said, "There he is." In the water in front of Donn was a big trout...about four pounds or so. Donn then said, "I've had him on once but he took off and snapped that 6X." I said, "Well, get em on again, because I need a picture." With his next cast Donn hooked up with the bow again and I wanted a picture of the bow in hand but the best I could do was to get the swirl. Donn communicated with the bow for a couple of minutes but then the fly pulled smooth out of the trout's mouth. Donn just laughed about it.

Donn casting a SWAPF which I believe means Single Wing All Purpose Fly. Evidently, it works quite well.

We left Donn and his family to 17 and went back upstream. The river was clear as a bell today and still quite low. Carol and I drove back to the parking lot and while we were waiting for Steve I went to the crossing and got on the upstream rock on the east side and made a couple of drifts but didn't get a single bite. While I was standing there I saw a familiar red pickup and it was Harold Beck from Gainesville. Harold hollered, "Quite a crowd, huh?" "Lots of folks", I replied. Harold said he didn't know whether to fish or just go back home.

Before leaving the rock I picked up some trash some bozo had left at the river's edge. There was a can, a couple of plastic spinner bait packages, cigarette butt, and big mess of discarded line. I just don't get some people.

I switched flies and waded out on Chuck's Ledge and ended up battling three small bows before Carol and I left to see if Steve arrived. While standing on Chuck's Ledge I saw a fly-fisher on the sandbar take a very nice bow and that fly-fisher turned out to be the son of Ralph James. And Ralph James showed up while Miss Carol was getting her instruction from Steve.

All in all it was a great afternoon on Blue and we got to see some of our dearest buddies on the river Blue. You can't beat that.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Casting And Cast Iron

In keeping with my philosophy that the fly fishing experience is more than just fishing and good campfire cooking is at the top of that list, I recently decided to fix Dutch Oven stuffed bell peppers.

I love stuffed bell peppers! Stuffed bell peppers hate me! I guess it's one of those love/hate relationships and even though I know the partaking in the stuffed peppers will result in me taking massive amounts of acid reducer...I slay them anyway and live to suffer the consequences.

To make matters worse, when I cook stuffed bell peppers I grace them with a little Ranch dressing during the cooking process and that only compounds my suffering.

The truth is my plumbing and innards simply don't tolerate what they use to. So many of the things I love to cook in a Dutch have become quite detrimental to my overall well-being, but continue to cook I do.

It's terribly hard to concentrate on getting that good drift when your stomach is hurting. It's tough stripping that bugger when your gall bladder is screaming. And, it's almost impossible to get that perfect dry fly presentation, while wondering if your life insurance is squared away, because the certainty in your mind at that moment is that those stuffed bell peppers are going to get the best of you this time.

Maybe I've reached the point I have to decide whether to cast or cook and that's going to be really hard for me.

Bologna sandwiches will simply not suffice.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Peddlin' To Pleasure

Well...that was my plan anyhow but things didn't quite work out for this cowboy. I arrived at the cow pen at about 7:10 a.m. Thursday. My plan was to ride the ole prairie glider to the catch and release, fish for about four hours, and then head to the workplace.

It was forty-three degrees this morning...not bad at all, but there was a straight line north wind holding steady at twenty-five miles per hour with the promise of gusts to thirty-five. I mounted the glider and started riding and after about an eighth of a mile I started to feel the burn due to trying to peddle against that wind. I went to switch gears and that's when I discovered my gear selector was completely stoved up. I kept trying to peddle in that one gear but it was futile for sure. I simply don't have the horsepower compared to some like Merc who take their bikes to the C&R. I ditched the bike in the bushes. I still think the bike was a good idea if the gears had been working and the friggin' wind hadn't been howling like a pack of coyotes

You's not a bad walk at all. Twenty minutes or less and your there. Just look at it as a good cardio-vascular workout and it was for me because I was huffing and puffing walking against the wind.

One of my goals today was to move around and explore other pools within the C&R but I didn't get to do that. The wind picked up within thirty minutes after I got to the water so I stayed in one area. My other goal was to make it a fly day and really didn't get to do that either because the numbness in my hands eventually made it virtually impossible to tie on any more flies. I should have known, after that third time I chased my damn hat down the road, that the God of the north winds intended on me having a miserable morning and the blowhard got his way today.

But, in the hour and a half I spent on the water I caught bows and they were very rewarding.

I started off with a tandem rig. I chose a size 16 pheasant tail soft hackle for a upper column fly and then for the lower column a size 18 beadhead flashback pheasant tail. A number 4 split shot went in between the two and a strike indicator on top. There was quite a competition between the two flies seeing which one could capture more bows and the flashback won out but only by one fish. Now...this competition became a lot of fun for me. I would suggest that both these flies work quite well in the C&R waters. Trout number seven would end the fun by fubaring my tippet to the point I couldn't untangle it so I had to cut the rigging off. No problem right? Just tie the rigging back on. Yeah...that would've been the thing to do if some dumb butt hadn't left his lanyard with all the tippet he owns in the world dangling around the rear view mirror. You know...that's the second time I've done that this season. I got to get a new system.

Next came an orange and grizzled Crackleback and it would end up producing two fat little bows, but the action with this fly was quite slow compared to the nymphs. The winds continued to howl and gain speed and my hands were in bad shape so I decided to try one more fly.

Out comes the ole olive wooly bugger size 12 beadhead. I slipped a number 4 split on above it for extra weight and that makes all the difference in the C&R area. You have to get that bugger down there. Cast your bugger, let it fall, and then slow strip it back. Bang, bang, bang!

I'd had enough by 9'o clock with introducing myself to about fifteen or so bows so I spooled up and started to head out. Three Texas fly anglers had made their way to the water and I briefly chatted with them a bit. Back on the trail I ran into Matt with the fisheries division and we talked fly fishing for a bit. Seems like Matt likes to drift those nymphs too.

It's 11 o'clock right now and I've been home long enough to upload pictures, finish this blog and do sorted other things. Guess I'll go to the workplace. Sure would like to have stayed at the C&R.

Damn blowhard wind Gods.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Earth Poem

They found Puff the Magic Dragon on the shore at Hon alee
covered with the oil from the Exxon Valdez
As “Little Jackie Paper” rained tears from up above
God sent down sympathy on the wings of the dove

They found poor old Smokey Bear, in a forest that turned pale green
all the tree-tops were naked from too much acid rain
Oh, how the Rangers did cry for the poor old bear
God sent down sadness in the song of the sparrow

They found the Lone Ranger in a river face down
toxic waste in the water had helped the Ranger drown
and oh how Tonto cried for his kemosabe friend
God sent down the great eagle to help his torn heart mend

Superman fell from the sky, his face was burned bright red
that hole up in the ozone had killed Clark Kent quite dead
and oh, how Lois cried for her man of steel
God sent down a loving touch to help her broke heart heal

“No Virginia, I’m sorry”, but there’s not a Santa Claus
he went down over L.A. while flying through the smog
Oh, how the children will cry when they hear about St. Nick
God just bows his head, the spirit so heartsick

That old Sinclair dinosaur reminds me of “Puff”
road-kill all along the road, damn!, I think I’ve seen enough
Oh, how I fret... for dolphins caught in tuna’s net
God sends me to my knees, makes my eyes grow wet
Barry Shrader

More About The Derby

Sunday morning came and instead of going to the derby at Blue River I found myself going to work. I was out of the workplace by 10:00 a.m. and my first thought was I could make it to the river and fish for an hour or so but then I thought phooey on that. I did make the weigh-in because I wanted to see Susie's memorial award presented, take some pictures, and say hello to some of the guy's. I arrived at the weigh-in at 12:30 and the weigh-in would be thirty minutes later.

On my way in I crossed a small creek, it's one of the feeder branches of Sandy Creek or the Sandy Creek system. Sandy Creek is one of two feeder streams that serve the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is not only a wonderful fishery but serves as a resting point for migatory fowl. As I crossed this creek something caught by eye. There were two small deer standing in the mostly dry creek trying to water from the last remaining stagnant pool. I stopped and backed up and took a picture of one of the deer. It saddened me to think how dry the prairie ocean has become and it drying up more each passing day. This small feeder creek is only a mile or so from Blue River and that is most concerning. Now...this little creek may be considered an annual waterway but it's a waterway no less. Our water is slowly going away.

Chris Adams had a good day Sunday weighing in and winning the heaviest stringer fly fishing. Now Chris is quite the angler and I don't now how many of these derby plaques he has on his wall now...probably ten or more. You can always count on Chris to make a showing for the fly fishing community at Blue River.

Now on the subject of anglers I don't know if there are any that compare to the Flynn brothers of Sherman, Texas. For the last several years running one or the other Flynn's have won the overall trout derby and this year it was Shawn with over seventeen pounds as a total stringer. And...his brother Roger weighed in the heaviest trout for the derby.

And then there is Mr. Cody and with Cody is Tyler McColloum another fine and disciplined outdoorsman. When I look at these two young men I know I'm looking at the future of Blue River. These boys know what the words outdoor ethics mean and they practice it with a fervor.

The next trout derby will be in February and yes I'll be there. I'll buy a ticket like I always do just to support the derby and hope I can contribute in some other ways. As far as competing in the future derbies...I'm certainly going to try but it's not getting any easier for some like me. Heck, like I said last year I reached my goal as far as the competing in the derby with my name on Susie's award just one time. However, there is another goal I would like to pursue. I would like to see a younger fly fishing crowd join in on the derby competitions. And when I say younger, that is probably anyone that is forty years old or younger. Now that leaves a lot of wiggle room, so all you guy's and gal's born in the seventies or later be thinking about it. Carry on the tradition for the fly fishing community.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Answer My Friend

For many fishing, the November 2008 trout derby on Saturday, the answer my friend was left blowing in the wind. However, there were a few that preservered the rough and raw conditions and made a good showing for the fly fishing community.

For Carol and I, our trip to the trout derby begin on Friday night to stay with Chris Adams in his camper located in Area 2. Chris is the most gracious host and a lot of fun to spend time with so we both were looking forward to our visit. As it turns out our stay with Chris, along with seeing some of the others like Ralph, Larry, Donn, Jamie and Mark would be the highlight of our weekend.

Of course we couldn't drive by Scotty's without stopping for a Scotty burger and as always Scotty's dog Dumbass was standing guard at the front door. Now, I don't know if Dumbass is one name or if Dumb is his first name and Ass his last. What I do know is that's what Scotty has always called him. Dumbass is a friendly sort and spends his days at Scotty's store or chasing cars. He seems intent on following Scotty to work everyday, chasing Scotty's truck when Scotty goes to get a visual at the river and then everyday when Scotty gets back from the golf course, Dumbass catches a ride in the back of Scotty's truck going home to await another day.

Scotty's dog isn't the only dog around Blue River. Lot's of folks bring their best friend.

After devouring our burgers we arrived at the campsite and Chris met us at the door where he properly announced that dinner was almost ready. And, the guys next door, whom Chris had met the night before were also cooking. Now the head cook of this clan was Raymond and Raymond was scurrying around the campsite like Ricochet Rabbit. I commented to Raymond about his busy-ness and cooking and he replied, "This is what I live for." In other words Raymond likes to cook and man can he ever. Two of his delights were campfire potatoes and fried catfish and then Chris brought over his game hens so we had us a dan dan dandy smorgasbord. Carol and I managed to woof this food down on top of the Scotty burger. We were tight as ticks.

Now, a lot of people come to Blue River for a lot of reasons. Like I said, some come just to camp and spend time with their furry friends. Other come to show their support for their favorite team, listening to the game on the radio or watching it on the boob tube. Then...there are some that get to Blue River is a different fashion. I've seen a lot of things on Blue River in the years past but I believe this is the first time I ever saw anyone go camping and bring their eighteen wheeler. Different strokes, right?

For Carol and I the derby was a short lived affair. The wind was really bitter and Carol's hand just simply couldn't take it. She would end up in the prairie schooner or next to a campfire most of the day and I pretty well stayed with her. I kept telling myself that Sunday would be a better day but Sunday would never come for me because of a phone call I received telling me to come to work Sunday morning. That's okay though, I'm thankful to have a job.

My litte buddy Cody did okay for himself and I got to watch him land this bow. As a matter of fact I was helping Cody scout three big bows in a particular stretch of water. Donn Rist and his grandson had also made it to this place and got to watch Cody battle the bow. I told Donn there were two more bows left and he decided to fish for them but another angler almost walked on top of Donn trying to get there first. This angler took the second bow and then I left to let Donn have his try. Donn got the third one!!! Donn's bow weighed four pounds four ounces and would win him the heavy trout fly fishing award for Saturday and was just four ounces shy of being the heaviest trout caught all weekend. Congrats Donn!

The sun popped out late Saturday afternoon but the north wind was still bitterly cold

The river was clear as a bell but quite low. I heard a large number of people comment on how low the river has become and this can effect your fishing if you're use to fishing a particular stretch a particular way.

Like I said, Carol and I had planned on fishing the flats but the flats were a very popular place all day long as you can see by this picture.

Donn Rist and his grandson started fishing at Seventeen and I checked Seventeen out where I saw the two of them. But, I do believe the wind was worse here compared to any other place on the river. It was whitecaps I tell you.

My rod stayed under the windshield wiper more than in my hand Saturday. That's fishing for you sometimes.

Chris Adams decided to fish below Chimney Falls on the far side and the fishing for Chris was quite slow. However, he did manage four bows for the day and that included stopping for breakfast and then taking a morning nap. Not bad Chris.

Larry and his running mate Ralph, both from Gainseville joined Chris at Chimney Falls and the fishing was slow for both of them also. I did see Larry take a bow on a sparkle pupa I believe.

No, that's not the Uni-bomber...that's Ralph James.

Although the fishing was slow for most there was one fly fisher that had a good day, a very good day. I saw this chap early in the morning standing chest deep in the river at the sandbar. I do believe he stood there all day until the weigh-in at 3:00 p.m. Ted Meador is from Denton, Texas and he weighed in the heaviest stringer fly fishing with five pounds and six ounces. Congratulations to Ted!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Call For Action

I want you to look at the pictures above. The top picture is the upper end of Seventeen down in Area 1 at Blue River. You see those protruding rocks?'re not suppose to see them. Normally there is water over those rocks sufficient enough to cover a fellow's ankle or higher while wading.

Now...take a look at the second picture...that's Horseshoe Falls. Notice anything strange about that "falls"? Yeah, you got it...there's no friggin' water comng over it.

In the last two weeks I have noticed some disturbing differences in our beloved little Blue, so once again I'm goin' to climb back on the soap box, dress in my drama queen fashion, piss a bunch of you off and if I do I don't really give a hoot, because I will fight for this river until my dying breath.

Blue, along with many of our natural streams, are in trouble.

Before I posted this blog, I checked the streamflow of Blue and currently she is running at 22 cubic feet per second. Over seventy-two years of record the normal streamflow is 59 cubic feet per second. If you check the mean the "mean" shows a factor of 302 but you can't check the record of the "mean", which I assure you has lowered over the years.

We're slowly losing our river and I will argue that fact with anyone, anyday, anytime. And why are we losing our river? Is it drought...yes. Is it demand...oh hell yeah? Do the two interact or have some relation in all of this. Well no shit Sherlock. And that is a big part of the problem.

Oklahoma is currently trying to come up with a statewide water plan for the next fifty years. Will they factor in the relationship between drought and demand, the needs of our natural environment to stay intact and healthy, or will we just sell out?

I'm not waiting on the water plan. I want something done now and this is why I call for action from our community of outdoorspeople. It's our to lose guys and gals! Let's don't lose it, let us all take the time to send a short concern via this electronic medium we have come to rely on. And let our message, although blended, come together as one great recipe that will solidify our resolve to save our natural areas.

Here are some contacts and I hope each of you will send a short concern for Blue River and the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer.

Oklahoma Water Resources Board

State Representative Paul Roan

State Senator J. Paul Gumm

State Representative Wes Hillard

Oklahoma Department Of Wildlife

Citizens For The Protection Of The Arbuckle Simpson



Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lights, Camera, Action!

Ralph James, Chris Adams, and yours truly met on the river Blue today to try our hands at pulling off a video performance tying flies and sharing our fondness for Blue River.

This project is a test project to see how things would go and if there is a potential in video production about fly-fishing Blue River that could prove as a way to raise money for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.

Videographer Gary Walker of Durant, Oklahoma was enlisted and met us at Scotty's at noon. Soon my daughter Mercy would arrive and Mercy's assignment was to take stills that we can use for the dvd jewel case.

Ralph started things off tying two of his favorite flies the red midge larva, and a fly he calls silverside. Soon after Ralph heard "we're rolling", it became obivious to all of us making the video it's not as easy as it looks. Lighting was a major concern as noise control and with the traffic on Blue River this weekend and the wind blowing at 10-15 mph the noise factor became a major obstacle. However, Ralph being the trooper he is got through his two flies in natural fashion. Ralph is a natural.

Then Chris was up and by the time it was Chris's time to tie the sun had changed and we had to move everything to do his shoot. Now Chris is a very technical and methodical tyer and he chose two nymph patterns to tie and he does a very good job on these patterns. And if we didn't have enough noise to deal with it seems Ralph scared up an armadillo from under his chair and the dillo started rustling through the leaves headed toward Chris and the tying table right in the middle of Chris's second pattern. It was a hoot to watch and Chris never realized what was going on.

Then it came my turn to tie and I planned ahead by selecting two simple and quick ties. One was the skinny bodied bugger that has blue lateral lines and the other being a simple size 20 black midge pattern. It was one, two, three, and I was pretty well done.

Next up was the up close and personal clips of the three of us telling about our fly fishing on Blue and sharing our love and concerns for this river.

Now with that done we simply needed some footage of the river itself so we could run opening and closing credits and you would think this would be a simple task wouldn't you. Well it wasn't because you can't have any other person in your video production without their consent and there was people all over the crossing but anyhow we figured it out.

Honestly I thought this whole project would take less than two hours but we ended up spending four hours plus trying to pull this thing off.

If it looks good on dvd there will be future projects.

This DVD will have the title of "On The River Blue" subtitle "Six Great Trout Flies".

We'll see how it goes.