Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Mini-Museum Grows

Over the years the spare bedroom in my prairie home has become a mini-museum dedicated to the fly-fishing world. This past week another friend of mine named Melissa brought me yet another addition to my museum. Her gift came in the form of a tin of Cortland 333 fly-line cleaner. I sent out some feelers to see if other fly-fishers could help me date this piece and I did find out that Cortland started selling their 333 fly-line in 1953. Anyhow I'm posting the following picture in hopes that others can add more input in answering the question on my mind about this latest museum piece.

In my prairie home museum I have more than I know what to do with. On the wall is a dollar bill in a zip-loc bag. It was a dollar bill I found floating in Rock Creek while fly-fishing for smallmouth. Over at the fly-tying tool bench there is a set of Rainbow trout coasters. Leaning up against the north wall is an Eagle Claw Trailmaster ZLII 600 Travel Pack Rod that has never been out of it's case. Over on the old television that is of no use these days are sets of flies given to me by friends such as Michael Mercurio, Ralph James, Chris Adams, and Chuck Kaminski.

I guess it would be safe to say that someone that didn't fly-fish would say that my museum is just a "junk" room. But to's priceless treasure.

Maybe someday I can have a building built to display all my treasure for the rest of the world to enjoy.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Fine Day...Almost

Near my prairie home is a small store and each morning I travel there to get a morning cup of hot chocolate. Most mornings there is a certain lady working there and over the many cups of hot chocolate she and I developed a daily conversation and friendship. It was through the conversations that I learned that Karen loves to fish and the more hot chocolate I drank the more I learned and eventually there was one fact that came to bear. You see...Karen has never trout fished and never heard of Blue River.

Well now, no respected Blue River fan or fly-fisher for that fact could let this little problem go unresolved so Karen and I made a date to explore Lady Blue and today we did just that.

Now, I knew going into this that Karen didn't fly-fish and that was okay with me because in my master-plan I would have her fly-fishing before our day was through and it would be one fine day. However, nature had other plans and my plans for one fine day included the word almost.

Karen and I thought we were getting a really early start arriving at the parking lot of the south wilderness about ten minutes after seven. But when we roll in and hitched the ponies we found four other adventurers had beat us there.

Fishing for the first hour was slow for us and only produced one nice fat Kentucky bass. We realized we were fishing behind the other anglers because we could see them making their way upstream from pool to pool.

At our third pool I put Karen on a certain stretch of water but within two minutes she was looking upstream. She asked me if she could go upstream and I told her fine as long as she was careful. A minute after Karen left I landed the nicest bow I've battled so far this season - a beautifully colored two and half pound warrior. It was a terrific fight.

The skies had darkened and become threatening and that's when the thunder started to roll. Shortly thereafter the lightning started to flash and streak so I went to find Karen. I found her a short way upstream and she was excited telling me "there here!" "Who's here?", I asked. Karen promptly told me she had found a honey hole just tossing a small trout back and losing a sixteen incher at the bank. I took position behind Karen to watch her fish and on her next cast I got to see a bow attack her offering with extreme malicious intent. Then that bow came out of the water and did her version of River Dance. It was a beautiful sight to watch. And, let me say this about Karen...she knows how to fight a fish. Karen down and dirtied that bow into submission.

It was about that time the lightning got worse and I shared with Karen my concerns but she wanted to make just a few more casts. Turns out we would wait about fifteen minutes too long and that was just enough time for the rains to arrive.

We were two miles upstream and had to walk back in a drenching rain.

We finally made it to the prairie schooner and decided to try and wait the rain out while enjoying a beer with one another but the rain couldn't make up it's mind. Finally, we decided to go to Scotty's and order a burger to go and have lunch on Blue. After lunch there was a lull in the rain so we tried to fish Glory Hole but five minutes into it the rain came again and it was heavier.

Needless to say I didn't get an opportunity to make Karen a fly-fisher today. But she enjoyed her outing so much, as I did, we're going a-fishin' again and when we do, fly-fishing class will be in session.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I figured my morning of fishing at Blue today would be my typical morning but at the end of day it proved to be anything but typical.

I hit the trail leaving my prairie home about the break of day. On the trail down I was privileged to see an abundance of wildlife busy being wild. I saw rabbits scurrying across the road and coyotes no doubt giving chase, red tail hawks perched on high lines reconnoitering the landscape, and a rather large family of deer leaping a fence line one after another with the precision, beauty, and grace of a synchronized swim team. It was a good trail drive down this morning.

Arriving at Scotty's, I took in the morning announcing itself in full bright color through the huge orange orb in the sky.

I decided to fish the south wilderness area today better known as the Landrum Wilderness Area. My first stop was Coyote Pass Falls and here I plopped an olive wooly bugger into a pocket and soon a bow would take my offering. It was at this moment my amazing fishing day would begin.

The next ten bows that I captured all would go two pounds or better and I captured them all from the same pocket of water. Never, in my almost thirty years of fishing have I ever had trout to fight like these chaps. They were magnificent!

I put all the fish back and it wasn't long until two bait casting anglers came to the pool I was fishing and these boys looked hungry so I gave them the water. They quickly took four nice bows from the pocket. I moved upstream to the Cove.

At the cove I took two bows in rather fast fashion and hooked one I never turned but then the action just died. It wasn't long until I saw four other casters of fur and feather and they also were getting into fish here and there. Here and there was where the bows were...they were positioned, lying in wait in the countless pockets of the south wilderness.

David with the wildlife department drove up performing part of his daily duties so I quit fishing to chat with him. David has been with the department a long time and is a fixture at Blue River.

I continued on after talking with David and each placed I fished thereafter I would connect with a quality two pound bow. Of all the fish I caught today only four would measure less than fifteen inches. It was an amazing thing. These bows were fat, had shoulders and were beautifully colored plus battle worthy.

About mid-morning I quit fishing for bows and started searching for bass to see if the bass activity is coming on. It a degree. I captured three small spotted bass but no smallies. I think perhaps in three weeks or so we should see some good bass action, particularly if this warm weather continues.

I ventured out into the Scatters to the big falls in search of the bass and the flow of water over Big Falls was still pretty good. But, there are a lot of braids and forks that have no flow at all right now. We really need some rain.

On my way out I noticed that Desperado Springs is bone dry and probably has been for sometime and this fact is quite disheartening. Desperado Springs is one of the more prolific springs on Blue River.

I carried a trash bag today as part of my "spring cleaning" effort on Blue. I kind of like picking up trash for some reason. Really wish I didn't have to pick up trash, but figure it's always going to be there. Studying trash can tell you a lot about humankind. Here I can see there has been some spin fishermen, bait casters, harvesters of fish, someone that needed an energy boost, someone that snuck a beer into the walk-in and someone that was just simply thirsty. I recently said I don't discriminate against any fishing discipline and I don't, but I can certainly chastise all disciplines for trashing the river. If your an angler that trashes the river then I'd hate to see your home.

If I were to measure the quality of a fishing day by the quality of trout caught, their size and fight, then today's fishing was my best day ever fishing for the bows of Blue. If I'd had a stringer and strung six bows...then that stringer would've weighed twelve least. It was remarkable.

Right now, the south wilderness is producing larger trout than the catch & release area.