The Blue River Trout Derby is something Carol and I always look forward to and not just for the fishing but for the friendships we take part in while at the derby itself. Last trout derby in November we bummed off of Chris Adams in his fifth-wheel camper but this year we decided to bum off of Jonathan Boeck. Jonathan brought his high wall pop-up and it was a sweetie of a camping unit. He's a fantastic host and we had a high time of it tying flies, comparing gear, and sitting around the campfire. Thanks to the lifting of the burn ban we did have a campfire but we made sure it wasn't one of those big ass campfires that Ralph James is so well known for.
Jonathan is a long time member of the Blue River Fly Fishers and since moving to nearby Ada he is slowly getting back into his fly-fishing life.
Carol decided she was going to take the bank this time out and since she was I knew I wasn't going to get far from her. Jonathan and I decided to fish the close-by waters of Glory Hole. Saturday morning came and both Jonathan and myself thought we were getting an early start by leaving camp at 7 a.m. However, when we got to Glory Hole it was already covered by anglers. We went slightly upstream and fished the plunge pool and the action started right away. Jonathan kept getting strike after strike but couldn't get a hook-set. Jonathan probably had a little rust from not getting to fly-fish much over the last couple of year. By 7:30 I had five fish to hand but slipped three of them back in thinking I would catch bigger fish later in the day. Boy...was I wrong! After 7:30 Jonathan and yours truly would not get another strike. The fishing in Area 1 was simply tough. Even some of the best trout anglers like Roger and Shawn Flynn were having off days. Roger and Shawn have dominated the trout derby for the last several years but this derby was going to be different.
Meanwhile...that crafty craftsman aka The Master Chris Adams was carrying out his well-laid strategy. Chris decided to pass up the lunker derby trout and travel to the south wilderness. Chris in his thinking reasoned if he could catch six of the Missouri trout that are one pound or better he would be in the running. Chris was right. Come Saturday afternoon Chris weighed in five trout for heavy stringer and one for heavy trout and won both awards.
At the weigh-in Blue River Fly Fishers James Webster was in attendance and Donny and Linda Carter also made it. Donny got a really late start not arriving to the river until amost noon.
Of course part of the fun of the derby is seeing one another and Donny and Chris had to ham it up with each other.
Chris was all smiles winning both awards Saturday.
Carol and I went to our prairie home Saturday evening to check on our pets. We both pretty well died around 7 p.m. Sunday morning I woke up late and we arrived at the river late. Jonathan had already decided to follow Chris into the south wilderness so I went along. Fishing was much better there but it had slowed down from the previous two days. I guess I caught about twenty fish Sunday and I kept culling them thinking I would get one of those "big-uns." I didn't.
Now Saturday, Kody Young decided to use his spinning rod and Kody was totally disgusted with the fishing down where Jonathan and I was fishing. There was a lot of people scratching their heads in Area 1 on Saturday. On Sunday Kody decided to use his fly-rod and would end up winning the heavy stringer fly-fishing award on Sunday. Fly fisher Curt Warner would end up weighing in the heavy trout fly fishing on Sunday and Curt got away before I could get a picture.
One thing I really enjoy about the trout derby is watching the young anglers. I've watched Forrest Latham really come on the last several derbies and Forrest had a heck of an outing this derby. Forrest would end up weighing in over seventeen pounds of trout and win the overall award in the youth division.
Fishing for Chris was much slower on Sunday but he would still end up winning the overall fly-fishing two day total award winning the Susan Shrader Memorial Award. Chris accepted his award from Susie's brother James.