Since last Thursday, I've went on and come off of vacation three times now. It really sucks I have to tell you. Saturday, Miss Carol and I laid plans to be on Blue River this morning with a great degree of ease. You see Miss Carol knew that Laura Adams would be there and I knew that Chris would also be there. Since the girls only get to see each other several times a year, it was crucial (to Miss Carol) that we make this trip. Besides that, I wanted to fish with Chris since he and I have been fishing together at Blue since the year 2000.
But later yesterday afternoon another problem arose at my workplace and instead of sleeping in a little later I found myself having to get up at the standard time of 4:30 a.m. to go to the workplace. You know what...Miss Carol went with me to lend a hand so we could get done in short order and get to the river. What a girl.
At 10 a.m. I hopped out of the Prairie Schooner at the crossing and sent a message with Miss Carol telling Chris to come to the Flats below the Island. The message was delivered and as the girls started their friendship circle, Chris was gearing up to meet at the Flats.
Now, to the fishing part of this. I was most surprised that the river hadn't cleared more than it had on Monday morning. Don't get me wrong...Blue is trying to clear but still has a ways to go. At the Flats the fringes had a good ten inches or so of visibility, but five or six feet out into the pool the visibility dropped to just a couple of inches.
For my first fly I stuck with my now proven theory that brown patterns work in dingy brown water and I chose a size 12 conehead brown bugger with a slightly lighter brown hackle. On my third cast I had my first strike but no hook-set. I would get three more strikes without hook-sets before I finally would find a bow.
I learned two things quickly about these Monday morning bows. They wanted the color brown and they wouldn't accept anything less than an almost perfect dead drift...even though it was a bugger. On this morning, you could forget the down and across with a swing thing, and you could forget about all the combinations of strips that can be employed. The bows wanted a dead drift period. At first I started with a straight across cast and high-sticked that sucker and that presentation worked until I wore it out. Then it was time to cast across and slightly upstream and mend like crazy. I can't emphasize the mending part of this too much. It was mend, mend, mend, and get the drift where the bugger is going at the same speed of the water. Eleven trout later, I lost that bugger to a rock fish. Going to the fly box I saw I had only one more and decided to save that for another dingy day.
Next came a size 18 Flashback Pheasant Tail and yes I had to use a damn strike indicator with this little sucker. I'm still resisting strike indicators even though I know the dadgum things work and they worked today taking three more bows.
Meanwhile I noticed Chris changing flies a lot. Come to find out Chris decided to make this a pattern day. If he tied on a pattern and it didn't produce shortly he would change it. If he tied on a pattern and caught one bow...well he change to another pattern. In other words...Chris was having fun and he caught the bows today also.
The wading today was tough with the off-colored water and swifter current. Chris finally broke out his wading staff and I found myself wanting and wishing for one. I settled for a tree branch I found along the fringes. However, I want to point out for reference that once the sun was positioned overhead the visibility improved quite a bit. So, in future cases where the river is off-colored, the time of day and sun position is something we might want to consider.
Long story even shorter is that baring any rain, and none is expected, Lady Blue should be in excellent condition by this weekend for all you casters of fur and feather.
I'm back off vacation for two days it looks like. Hope to go "back on" vacation by Thursday.