Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Time To Renew

Well fellow casters of fur and feather...another year is said and done and tonight we ring in the coming year. With 2010 arriving many of us will find ourselves renewing our fishing licenses and sometimes it's an innocent thing to forget to do.

Unless we have a lifetime licenses or otherwise exempt we need to have our current year licenses on us next time we fish.

For those of you that live long distances or out of state you can renew on-line through the Wildlife Departments website. Just follow the instructions for on-line renewal.

However if you are planning your next fishing trip at Blue then you might want to consider renewing your license at Scotty's. You might not know it but for a number of years, Scotty and his little store was the number two seller of fishing license in the state of Oklahoma. I don't know if that still remains true or not but I figure he's still up near the top. I think it would be neat if Scotty could take over first place at least for a while.

So...if you can wait to renew your license then please consider doing so and get it done at Scotty's Blue River One Stop.

Of course this is the time we make our New Year's resolutions and this year I have picked two that I'm serious about. First...I am really serious about giving up the cigarettes. Either I'm going to give them up or they're going to give me up. Secondly, I resolve to fly-fish more and work less in the coming year.

Actually there are a number of resolutions I could make but think I will concentrate on these two. Hope everyone else gets to fly-fish more and work less if they want to.

Happy New Year's everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fly Of The Week

Olive Damsel Marabou

Back around 1999 and 2000, I fished this fly a lot on Blue River and always had good results. Why I've strayed away from this pattern is a mystery to me.

This pattern found itself in the vise quite regularly back then and yes...there were some alterations. When fished, it was always fished with action and motion.

The movement of this fly seems to trigger the reaction of the fish and the fly has to have a good deal of fluidity to it. In other words the fibers need to pulsate.

For a tail, olive mottled turkey marabou was used if available but dyed marabou will also work. The eyes are glass beads that are threaded together with tying thread or monofilament - and mono holds up much better.

For sure it is a more time consuming tie, but once you're finished... there seems to come a special sense of satisfaction with the end result.

Materials needed in tying this pattern include:

Olive mottled turkey marabou
Size 10 -13 long shank streamer hook
Fine gold wire for ribbing
Olive mottled marabou for body dubbing or palmering
Olive mottled marabou fibers for legs and wings
Glass beads for eyes, emerald best color, red and black also work
Olive yarn for thorax
Olive thread

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Short....but oh so sweet.

I knew my time would be short but I didn't care...I wanted to simply fish. Also I wanted to see for myself just how dingy or off-colored the river is, not to mention finding out if Blue is fishing or not.

Arriving sometime after the noon hour I parked in the main parking area since time was of the essence. Besides that, after reading about Harley's fate on Sunday when he took the big dive into the open icy arms of this lady, and having to walk back in twenty-five degree ambient temperature weather...I was rather cautious today. I, like so many of us have found our way in that "been there - done that club", and I have to tell you...a little bit of that crap goes a long way. It also has the tendency of sticking with you and making you righteous... at least for awhile.

I knew I would fish the upstream side of the crossing and when I got there a fly angler was in the middle of the crossing casting upstream. He looked familiar to me...a man named Ken but I can't be for certain. Shortly, he went to the opposite side of the river and sit on a rock to fly-fish.

Today I decided to fish the olive bugger with olive/yellow split tail with a friend trailing. As that friend I chose my little friend Zug Bug as the first tandem rigging.

I was there thirty-five minutes...I brought sixteen bows to hand...and missed at least a dozen more.

Although the Zugger didn't do quite as well as the bugger he held his own and battled several bows. After bow fourteen I lost Zug and tied on a Mademoiselle. With the first cast with the Mademoiselle as a trailer there was a strike, my reaction, and the loss of the Mademoiselle - bad tie I guess.

I searched for another Zug and indeed I did find one more and tied him on. Two additional casts and two more bows. I was done.

It was thirty-five degrees today while I was fishing but there wasn't a whisper of wind. With the exception of my hands I never felt cold or uncomfortable at all. Have to get something done about my hands...they are in bad shape.

So the story is right now that yes the river is slightly off-colored but trying to clear quickly. Do the trout care if the river is slightly off-colored? I don't think so.

The fly-angler across from me was also battling bows at a fair clip and he was still there when I left. If, staying through the afternoon was in his plans...I'm sure he had a grand day of catching.

I left the river to go back to work. Yeah...had to go back to the darn workplace after a thirty-five minute enjoyable and refreshing reprieve.

Right now I hate my job.

Monday, December 28, 2009

If I Get To Go

Hands and fingertips... so weather-cracked they bleed... and it's difficult to button my shirt. But... I wish these hands were in the river Blue releasing a bow.

Chest deep each breath rattles and is labored. But... the steely breath of the wind Gods channeling down the middle of the river where I stand would be a welcomed reprieve. precious, so demanded and required by other things. Meaningful things no doubt...but meaningless in the scope - time spent on things to get by. But time is what I seek to exhaust on the river Blue.

Scotty reports the roads are navigable...the river is fish-able, but off-colored.

If I get to go tomorrow it will be a resting bird on a perch.

If I get to go tomorrow it will have to be familiar - no time to explore.

If I get to go tomorrow it will have to be near - no time to hike.

If I get to go tomorrow and the water is off-colored I will choose the color brown...maybe.

If I get to go tomorrow.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

No Fly - Just Tie

I knew that Harley was going to be on the water today and that knowledge made me really ache to go a-fishing. However a phone call and the time and temperature lady announcing it was twenty-one degrees gave me much pause for thought. Her revelation of the rather cool temperatures caused me to admit that I'm too old for that kind of cold.

Besides, Miss Carol, even though most of the snow had melted on the roads, refused to ride the brown pony to work which required me to hitch up the prairie schooner and deliver her to the salt mine. In addition this pretty well locked me in at the bunk house since I'd have to fetch her around one 'clock.

Back at the bunk house I found myself pretty well bored in the absence of Miss Carol. I felt almost like a shut-in and I know very well I do not do well in such a situation. Heaven forbid I ever really get to such a point in life - I won't last long.

Tying flies has always been a big part of my life on the water and since I couldn't go to the river today I took to the vise.

I started out with midge patterns and tied a variety including some adults, tricos, spent wings, and quill midges. Midges have been good producers on Blue for me over the years and they often prove to be the go-to fly when the risers are on.

After the midge setting, I decided to tackle the soft hackles again. Soft hackles have always proven to be a challenge for me and I think it's because there are several different methods to tying the hackle. Today I decided to take one method of tying the hackle and stick to it. This decision worked much better for me today and I produced four or five new trout warriors and I'll have to say the soft hackle is quickly becoming one of my favorite soldiers.

After a round of soft hackles I decided to play and try and create something. For some reason a split parasol midge emerger came to mind. The end result was a little less than desired but it was my first attempt. I asked myself if this fly would fish but the answer to that question lies somewhere in the river. Time will certainly tell.

By now it was time to fetch Miss Carol and I rode through the park and had a look at little Rock Creek. She was flowing quite well through her snow covered banks. Seeing Rock Creek made we want to see Blue even more but it wasn't to be today. Maybe later this week.

I hope Harley slayed em today.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Christmas Morning Message

Many said that we didn't have an official white Christmas because it didn't snow on Christmas day here on the prairie ocean. However it seemed quite close enough for us to qualify as a white Christmas.

As the snow blew in on Thursday covering everything here on our spread, Miss Carol and I made plans for how we would spend Christmas morning and the rest of the day.

On Christmas morning, being the early risers we are, we both found ourselves awake and sharing coffee at 4 a.m. We simply wanted to lounge around with one another, open our gifts to each other, and then wait for our scattered chicks to arrive as their schedules would allow.

But shortly before six a phone call would come from the local sheriff's department. The dispatcher would report that the alarm at my workplace was blaring and deputies had found footprints in the snow on the roof. For a minute I thought about telling the dispatcher that the footprints were easily explained - Santa Claus left them...but sensing the urgency I knew my levity wouldn't be likely appreciated.

I dug the prairie schooner out from the drifts and made it to the workplace about fifteen minutes later where an officer awaited. He instructed me to open the door and lock it behind him. It was gun drawn, shouted instructions, and then a chase. It seems three young men had made their way into the store through a rooftop hatch that hadn't been secured. Two of then got out of the store with one being caught in the alley. One made a clean break and was still missing when all was said and done. The third was still in the store and cornered. The officer had been joined by fellow officers and they came running back to the door telling me to let them out and then came back to get back in. This time I stayed in the store also. A short time later they brought the young man that was cornered to the front of the store, handcuffed, roughed up some, and placed him on the ground in front of me.

I couldn't help from notice how young he was - probably a little over twenty. He was a good looking kid, clean cut, and here he was about to go to jail on Christmas day and most likely a lot longer. He and his two accomplices had in their possession around $60,000.00 worth of Loratabs stolen from our pharmacy.

Three hours later it was all said and done but I couldn't get the image of that kid out of my mind. I kept wondering what would bring him to such a choice? Was it environment, circumstance, or just plain mischief and no matter what the reason...what was the root cause?

Some may call me just a silly old man...but I still question. I ask myself what if that kid would have been introduced, taught, and encouraged to learn the art of fly-fishing, would he be in the predicament he is today? I truly believe that time on the water, and time in the outdoors in general, is a wonderful alternative to time idly spent which can lead to poor choices in friends, boredom, and seeking a thrill. Fly-fishing can be that thrill in itself.

I know we can't save the world through fly-fishing, but on this Christmas morning there seemed to be a message, at least for me, to try and teach and share this wonderful gift of fly-fishing that so many of us have come to love and use in creating positive lives.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tis The Season

For a number of years now I have broke this piece out around the arrival of Christmas. Since losing my companion dog Smokey it has been even more special to me. Hope you enjoy... and may the blessings of Christmas find each of you and your loved ones.

Blue Christmas

Twas the day of the night before Christmas, the season of cheer,
Me and friend Smokey was on the Blue, cause trout season was here,
Then there came a sudden blizzard, we found ourselves snowed in,
We knew that on the Blue, Christmas Day we would surely spend,

So we pitched a tent, made us a fire, made the best of the situation,
Then came the dusk and with it, the night of Christmas celebration,
Smokey and I walked to the river to gaze at the stars of the sky,
And that’s when Smokey saw it...and then it caught my eye,

It was a bright burning red glow, that seemed to be way afar,
We knew it wasn't an airplane, or even a bright burning star,
The red glow came straight at us and then I heard that jingle bell,
I thought, "Is this jolly old St. Nick, Mr. Santa Claus pray tell?"

Smokey let out a big bark, and I said, "No my little friend!"
A less than warming welcome, we certainly should not send,
The sleigh came hovering over the crossing, slowing to a stop,
The sleigh was full of toys and presents, from bottom to the top,

Santa said, "Whoa Dancer, slow down Prancer, and you too Blitzen."
"Santa hears those trout a calling, so Santa is going fishin'!"
Santa stepped from the sleigh and put on his waders and creel,
Then he reached into the sleigh and produce a fly rod and reel,

His face was full of content, as he tied a bugger on his line,
Then he cast his fly into the water with a snap of thrice time,
A trout came up and took the bug and Santa gave a "Whoa!"
He landed the trout, looked him in the face and cheerfully said...."Ho Ho Ho!"

Santa gently removed the hook and said "My friend, you're free to go."
Smokey and I could see so plainly by the light of Rudolph's red nose glow,
And the trout slipped back in the stream in the Blue's beautiful pool,
Santa put up his gear because he knew having fun was the Blue rule,

By now a large crowd had gathered on the banks of the river,
And a message Santa had for all, Santa would now deliver,
Santa said, "So-long Mr. Coyote, Mr. Owl, Miss Trout,
So-long to your sir, and Smokey the trout scout with a snout."

Santa continued. "For you my friends, my present is so very clear."
"It's a present for all and each of you, a present to your hearts dear."
"May the sun shine ever so brightly, may these waters forever flow."
"May these trees always blossom, and these grasses forever grow."

Santa got back in the sleigh and it slowly ascended in the air,
Me and old Smokey were silent....all we could do was stare,
The sleigh went in front of the moon and it's glowing golden light,
We heard Santa say, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fly Of The Week

The Flashback Pheasant Tail

Without a doubt this is a favorite pattern of the fly-angler on Blue River. Personally, it is one of my top five flies to use in battling bows.

It's an easy tie consisting of pheasant tail fibers, fine copper wire ribbing, peachock herl, and flashback material, along with black thread.

The Flashback is a variation on the classic pattern and the only thing different is the flashback material itself. Pearl is best because it simulates trapped air or gas bubbles but I've had good success using green flashback material.

It's best fished drifted either alone or as a trailer. Beadhead offerings in this pattern have become quite popular to get the fly down in water column. Often it is also necessary to add split to get the fly down quickly.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Fly-Fishers Warming Scarf

It seems that when it comes to fly-fishing in cold bitter weather I have more than one Achilles heel. Most notably, one of my vulnerabilities is the cold wind blowing on and down the back of my neck. Here of late I've been giving much thought as to a remedy of this particular sensitivity that I seem to own.

This past Saturday, Miss Carol and I found ourselves simply milling around the bunkhouse. There came a point that she would find her way to her beloved sewing machine. Miss Carol came by this stitcher just about a year ago - as matter of fact it was a Christmas present, and she has spent many an hour creating works of fabric for friends and her loved ones.

I guess the cog-wheels of my mind never cease churning and Saturday as I found myself becoming mesmerized by the whir of Miss Carols machine...I had one of those moments when I knew I had found a solution for my issue with the cold wind on my neck.

All I had to do now is approach Miss Carol and believe me friends I gave that approach careful thought and planned words. I decided to engage her in complimentary conversation.

"Miss Carol, you are a wonderful seamstress and I would greatly appreciate a fly-fishing scarf for my neck. Do you think you can create me one?" I asked.

"Barry, I think you have finally gone mad over fly-fishing." she replied.

"My dear, I went mad over fly-fishing many years ago. You are witnessing now... the madness simply grow."

Of course Miss Carol agreed to make me a scarf but little did she know I had more detail for her. I told her it wasn't just an ordinary scarf but one that would have a pocket. And naturally that would prompt the question from her why would one want a pocket on a scarf?

Also, I told her the pocket needed to be in the middle of the length of the scarf, about the width of a credit card, and made of mesh material. That prompted even more questions from this fabricator of fabric.

I explained to my love that I planned on taking an air-activate hand warmer and inserting it into the mesh pocket. The mesh would allow the heat from the warmer to move by convection and since the pocket was in the middle of the scarf the back of my neck not only would stay warm but be free of the wind.

Now...Miss Carol didn't have the proper material to make me my choice of a scarf. I wanted a color of forest green or autumn brown - something that would blend in with nature and she doesn't readily keep mesh material on hand. However...within two hours she had come up with a proto-type.

She took some "flying eagle patterned" material to make this scarf (that was as nature friendly as she had) and then instead of mesh she used lace. For a proto-type it looked good to me.

On my trip to river Sunday, I decided to give the warmer scarf a test run.

Here's a picture of Miss Carol's creation and you can see the pocket positioned directly in the middle of the length of the scarf.

She went as far as getting some of the hand warmers so she could make the pocket the correct size.

All I had to do was open the package and insert the warmer into the lace material and wrap it around my neck...which I did. I stayed warm and toasty all the time I was at the river Blue on Sunday.

This proto-type worked so well we've already made plans for a pure version. We'll be leaving the bunkhouse here to make a ride to a big city somewhere and once there we will certainly visit the General Store and their sewing and notions section.

Those cog-wheels are churning again and I'm currently wondering about pockets on my long-Johns.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Into The Kingdom

Trout Season 2009/2010 Fishing Day Fifteen

Charlie's accounts of recent explorations into the south wilderness became simply too much for me to bear. Like Charlie, I too have a particular fondness for this special area. For me, it's a fondness that had led me to look at the south wilderness as a kingdom. For Charlie and I both it's probably safe to say that our fondness for the south wilderness comes from the knowledge that we know an angler, if so chooses, can fish alone...without experiencing a single second of loneliness.

In the south wilderness we each can find ourselves surrounded by the mystique of the natural world. It's time worn and sculpted by nature herself.

Today, I arrived in the south wilderness shortly before noon and walked directly to Coyote Pass - a pool that usually rewards me. I stood on the bank awhile studying the water to see if anything remarkable was happening...however it wasn't so I stepped into the drink to quench my thirst. The catching was tough at first fishing downstream, so I turn and fish upstream and find a pocket with bows awaiting.

Using an olive yellow split-tail bugger with a Crackleback trailer I started battling bows. On my last outing the Crackleback performed as well as the bugger but today the bugger was putting on a show out-performing his rival for attention by at least five to one.

Although the bows were standard stocker size they were full of spunk and all gave good fights. These bows today were also brightly colored and healthy. The Crackleback would take two bows on it's own before I lost it on a rock.

I replaced the Crackleback with a scud pattern that I tied for a fly swap with Michael Mercurio. On it's maiden voyage the scud would prove itself by capturing a bow. The scud would end up capturing three more bows before one of their tribe decided he liked it so well he'd keep it.

The fishing at Coyote Pass wasn't hot and heavy...just steady and expected. I would pick up a bow or two...sometimes three in each pocket I would fish. There was a bait fisher fishing near me and he wasn't having any luck so I left the pool to let him have a chance at it. I went to the far side of Coyote Pass to see if any bows await there... but found none.

On the far side however I did find a rather gregarious turtle that seemed to just want to hang out with me and turtle-around my wading boots. He seemed like a rather nice chap so I took a picture of him.

I left Coyote Pass and walked up to the Cove and started fishing below the falls. Casting upstream toward the falls and letting the bugger drift I took a fair number of bows. I then decided to strip the bugger which is something I haven't done in quite sometime. This seem to pick up the action quite a bit.

From the downstream side of the Cove I proceeded upstream to the flat pool above the falls of the Cove and it was here my day would be made. It was a bow with every single cast. Seriously...every single cast. I still had that bugger on when the risers started but why in the world would I change I asked myself. Sticking with the bugger I kept on catching fish after fish.

I didn't get an exact count of the bows battled today...but it had to be forty or better. And this was in a two hour time-frame. It was most awesome.

I tired out rather quickly today. I wore a brand new pair of wading boots and that would prove to be a big mistake. Recently I found a brand new (never out of the box) pair of Simm's wading boots that were exactly my size at a garage sale. The folks wanted ten bucks so naturally I swooped them up. The folks at Simm's deserve to be complimented because they certainly put the material in their boots. However for me they were extremely heavy and since they'd never been worn they were stiff as boards. I had a terrible time trying to wade today.

There exists tremendous numbers of bows in this river currently and the river is indeed as clear as I've ever seen her. Each pool will give you something different however. At Coyote Pass the bows weren't stacked up but spread out. At the Cove however, the bows were in packs.

The weather today was absolutely outstanding and the lone bait-fisher I met was the only other angler I saw in the kingdom today.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A New Blue River Big Time Fan

Next to catching bows on the river Blue myself, the greatest enjoyment I get is hearing of others that are new to discovering Blue experiencing the same joy.

I think it was several weeks ago when I had an exchange with a fly-fisher named Byron. I could tell through the communique that Byron wasn't new to fly-fishing but simply new to Blue. I gave him a couple of tips as to where to go and Byron surely took those tips to heart.

He has been to Blue twice since that initial dialogue and has had two great outings including this one today which is evidenced by the picture below.

Now, Byron would want me to tell you this fish was revived and safely returned to the water which is exactly what I am telling you. What Byron might not want me to share with you is the exact number of fish he caught today and exactly where he caught them.

However, I don't think he will mind me telling you that I love the system that he used which not only involved a tandem rig with two flies but rather three and an added twist. If you want to learn more about this system you might just have to ask Byron might just be patent worthy.

The river Blue needs all the excited and enthused fans she can get right now, so I for one appreciate this new fan of Blue...Byron Dowd.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Good Read

Just finishing Peter Kaminsky's "The Fly Fisherman's Guide To The Meaning Of Life", I must say it's a pretty good read.

I connected with the author and his words immediately and I think it's because of his appreciation for not just fly-fishing...but rather everything in nature.

Kaminsky takes us through the many fly-fishing outings of his life around the world, but never seems to loose touch with the natural world around him even though he is fishing famed and fabled places.

This book can easily be read in one sitting and once you start it you'll probably be like me and not want to put it down. It's well written...well done.

If you've yet to read this offering by Peter Kaminsky then you might want to put it on your Christmas wish list. It's certainly worthy of a read and a book-shelf.

Fly Of The Week

Although the Prince Nymph is not one of my favored flies, I have indeed caught a good deal of trout at Blue River with this pattern.

Having a body of peacock herl, in my mind, makes this fly an effective pattern. Peacock herl is simply buggy looking. Then there are the goose biots and they too are pretty buggy looking causing this fly to have the profile of a stonefly nymph.

Fly fisher Chris Adams loves the Prince Nymph and has caught all kinds of species at Blue with the Prince.

It's a fairly easy tie...just a little time consuming and placement of the biots can at times be a little trying.

Usually I fish this pattern with a gold beadhead to get it down in the column.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Awesome Fishing

Trout Season 2009/2010 Day Fourteen Fishing

There is something about standing in a river that always makes me feel better and today I felt great for maybe the first time this week.

My original plan was to go to the north wilderness area and try to catch a fly-fisher from Ft. Worth named Chris. However, getting a really late start I figured Chris would be far upstream and I just didn't have the legs today to make that haul. So, I settled for the easy way out and parked in the parking lot which put me about two-hundred feet from the water.

I chose Cottonwood Pool as my expectation of things that might be today and Cottonwood rewarded me quite handsomely. It was bow, after bow, after bow.

Today I fished my favored olive and yellow split-tail Bugger in tandem with a Crackleback as a dropper or trailer fly. The Crackleback would take as many bows as the Bugger would and in the end I think it was almost a dead heat as to which fly won the day.

In the river time seems to stand still somehow and all worries and concerns dissipate like vapor in the sky. I think that the success of a fly-fishing outing is decided before we ever get started on the trip. I say this because it is the expectation of what the day might bring us that makes each outing a success. If we indeed do battle fish then the outing is simply even more successful.

I wanted to stay all day but having a Christmas party to attend and having to prepare two Dutch Ovens to take I had to leave the river.

There were hardly any anglers on the river today. A fly-fisher could have had his choice of water which is quite rare anymore.

With Christmas coming up I think that if I could give a stranger a gift I would give him or her a day on the one I had today. It was awesome fishing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fly Fishing Instruction Offered

Orvis endoresed guides Steven Hollensed, Rob Woodruff, and Doc Thompson are offering instructional classes in "Becoming A Better Fly-Fisher."

I thought some of you might just be interested in these classes so here is the information on when and where these classes are available.

For more information contact Steve.

Steve Hollensed
Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide
FFF Master Casting Instructor

This informative class examines Ichthyology, Limnology, Physics, Meteorology and other sciences from a fly fishing point of view. The Black Bass (Micropterus spp.) and Striper/White Bass (Morone spp.) families will be covered.

The objective of the class is to teach fly fishers to know their target species, to analyze the natural variables presented during a typical day on the water and to adjust fly selection, presentation and tactics in order to maximize success.
Lantana Resort- Lake Ray Roberts, TX
March 6
Tuition- $200.00
Presenters: Rob & Steve

Designed for the beginning fly fisher, or the more experienced trout fisher who wants to expand the scope of their fly fishing. Covers equipment, flies, techniques, biology and strategies for Black Bass, Bream, Striped Bass and Chain Pickerel in both stillwater and stream environments.
Lantana Resort- Lake Ray Roberts, TX
April 10
Tuition- $200.00
Presenters: Rob & Steve

NEW CLASS- LOOP LAB 101, "Foundations in Fly Casting"
Designed to assist fly anglers in developing effective and efficient techniques in casting. Provides the framework for improvement in distance, accuracy, and efficiency. Beginning to advanced casters will benefit.
Lantana Resort-Lake Ray Roberts, TX
May 1
Tuition- $200.00
Presenters: Rob & Steve

NEW CLASS- LOOP LAB 201, "Advanced Casting and Presentation"
Provides in depth understanding and skill development of advanced and specialized fly casts and presentations for both lotic and lentic environments. Loop Lab 101 or equivalent skills required.
Lantana Resort-Lake Ray Roberts, TX
September 25
Tuition- $200.00
Presenters: Rob & Steve

This unique class examines Trout Physiology, Meteorology, Fluviology, Entomology and other natural sciences from a fly fishing point of view.

The objective of the class is to teach fly fishers to analyze the natural variables presented in the course of a typical day on the water and to adjust fly selection, presentation and tactics in order to maximize success.

The Cimarron River and the towering Sangre de Christo Mountains provide the perfect venue for this class.
Ute Park, NM
June 5/6
Tuition- $225.00
Presenters: Rob & Doc

A course designed for all fly fishermen, gives an overview of the invertebrates, both aquatic and terrestrial, that are of importance to the fly angler. Warm-water and cold-water environments are included.

Topics covered include sampling techniques, identification of both larval and adult stages and simple biology of the species. The ultimate goal of the class is for the angler to develop the ability to equate in-the-field observation to fly selection and construction in order to achieve success.

Mountain Fork River, OK, in conjunction with Three Rivers Fly Shop.
January 30/31
May 15/16
November 13/14
Tuition- $65.00
Presenter: Rob

Guadalupe River, TX, in conjunction with GRTU.
December 4/5
Tuition- $65:
Presenter: Rob

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fly Of The Week

Next to the venerable Wooly Bugger, the Hare's Ear has been my personal best producing fly on the river Blue.

Normally I fish it with a beadhead but I also carry a varied selection of non-beadhead sizes for fishing the middle and upper columns.

This fly is one of the classics and can simulate many manners of aquatic larvae or crustaceans.

It can be tied as large as size 8 or as small as size 20.

With the primary material being the fur of a hare, the fly can be manipulated into a number of different presentations. It's a dandy for sure.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Flashes Were Few

I've grown quite tired of my hurried trips to the river Blue and my short time each trip. But when that is all you have then praise that time for what it is.

Today was much different from two days ago on Sunday. I arrived at Blue shortly after one o'clock. The sky was much like Sunday being gray and overcast but there was hardly any wind.

At the river's edge I studied the water at least for a few minutes and what I saw was an absence of vigor. The water was simply running the course. There were no dry rises, no noses coming up, and no back's slicing the surface film...just water running by.

After ten minutes of presenting I thought for sure the skunk fairy had dialed my number today. On this Tuesday, I found myself not playing with Seventeen...but Seventeen playing with me. She was playing the ole hard to get trick, refusing kiss, after kiss, after kiss. But...I finally snuck one in on her and once I did she delivered a blush in the form of the flash of a bow - a bow that came to my hand. The skunk fairy packed bags and went elsewhere, waiting for another day with me.

However, Seventeen would remain stubborn and only show me two more flashes. Always a faithful sweetheart, but sometimes an obstinate she-beast.. that's just how she is.

I love her both ways.

My day would soon end with a flawed attempt at a side-arm roll cast with the flies being downstream. The end result was the damnest birds nest anyone would ever see.

I spent ten frickin' minutes standing in the river picking out those tangles just to win that small victory and save a little leader. Hell'va thing this fly-fishing.

My thinking today was that I was fishing in front of a front but I could have been very well fishing "at" the front. The weather is changing lads and lassies and if anyone is coming to visit Lady Blue tomorrow or Thursday be sure and have all your cold weather gear on hand. It's going to be bitter.

On the way out I noticed a lot of foam floating down the river. Also the back eddies are starting to film and scum-up. When the back eddies scum it is sometimes worthwhile dropping a fly in the scum just to see if there is a gathering of bows trying to commune.

Good fishing everyone.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blue River Quickie

Trout Season 2009/2010 Day Twelve Fishing

This Sunday started much like most for me finding myself at work early and being there until mid-morning. At home there was even more work in the form of moving furniture with Miss Carol. About half past noon all the chores seemed to be done and I was wondering what I would do the rest of the afternoon.

It was thirty-nine degrees outside with a completely gray sky. Looked like trout weather to me. By one o'clock I was out the bunkhouse door and loaded in the Prairie Schooner headed for the river Blue.

About half way down the trail, a fine mist developed which made me believe the trout fishing would even be better than expected. There was just enough wind to heighten the senses and prove aggravating combined with the low temps but still it was good trout weather.

When I hit the bump just before the headquarters at Blue the fine mist had stopped. I drove straight to Seventeen.

Seventeen has rarely ever failed me and today this sweetest of pools would prove to be as faithful to me as ever. With my very first cast I brought a dandy little bow to hand.

Within the next two minutes I would meet bows number two, three, and four but then the action would stop. I must have made twenty more casts with no more bows to hand but five or six misses. When bow number five came I realized that these bows were wanting one thing and one thing only. All five bows had come on an almost near-perfect dead drift with absolutely no drag in line or leader.

Upon releasing bow number five I sensed a presence and as I turned there were two bait anglers, a man and woman, and they looked like they wanted to fish. Moreover, they looked like they wanted to fill their supper plates with trout so I wasn't about to stand in their way. Besides, even though I wore gloves today but fingertips has already started burning and I've been battling some problems with my hands here of late. Also, the fine mist had come back and thickened in volume. In addition, Miss Carol requested home-made potato soup tonight so I had to get back to the bunkhouse to get that on. I gave the Seventeen to these two.

The couple also brought a friend - a beautiful golden dog and he was quite the friendly chap. I visited with him awhile on my way up the bank.

I was in the river less than twenty minutes today but completely satisfied upon leaving when I did. It was an awesome Blue River quickie.

Today three things were accomplished. Reports had been coming in that the river was stained and off-colored so today I was able to get a visual and I have to tell you...the river is clear and quite fish-able.

Secondly, reports have been that fishing is slow and I won't argue that point. However I say the bows are more than willing to play if you give them exactly what they want and exactly the way they want it. Today, everything came on the dead drift which I think adds substance to the theory that when water temps drop the bows want little or no action.

Lastly, I got myself a trout fix in the form of a Blue River quickie and quickie's can sometimes be awesome.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It Will Do For Now

Gracefulness has never been a semblance of just being me. I stagger, swagger, stumble, and wade around the river Blue these days with almost clown-like antics. As the years have added up and the joints grown stiffer I find myself even more clumsy as ever before.

It's difficult for a man who at one time boasted he had cat-like reflexes to admit that he is indeed in need of a wading staff...but I am.

Since it doesn't look like I'm going to get said wading staff for Christmas I decided to make my own.

A couple of weeks ago I was piddling around in the garage and I noticed how Miss Carol and I had accumulated a collection of mop handles. They're the kind that has the interchangeable feature you know - simply unscrew the ole mop head and put a new one on. I found seven of these mop handles tucked in a corner of the garage which seemed rather bizarre to me. But of course Miss Carol may very well know something the rest of us do not... such as there's going to a nationwide shortage on mop handles in the coming year. Anyhow...

Being the kind of guy that always tries to take something worthless and turn it into something worthwhile I brainstormed on what I could do with these mop handles. I don't believe in throwing anything away without giving it a chance and I also believe the two greatest inventions of the twentieth century are duct tape and J B Weld.

Picking up one of the mop handles in my right hand I automatically realized I had myself a wading staff. It was lightweight, water proof, and almost nature friendly. I say almost nature friendly because it was the color blue. However I also spotted a half full can of forest green spray paint (that was sure to go to waste) so a marriage was made between useless paint and mop handle and I now had me a nature friendly wading staff.

I gave my new wading staff a test run recently and it works amazingly well. A staff acts like a third leg when navigating the river and also can serve as a gauge for your next steps. My mop handle wading staff is extremely light-weight and the only down sides I have found is that it's not collapsible and secondly it has to be tied on the body.

My make-shift staff is not perfect, but it will do for now.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Nastier The Weather - The Better The Fishing

Although the weather at Blue right now is rather cool and close to being bitter at times, it's still not in the category of being nasty which for me brings really good catching opportunities in the pursuit of the bows.

My description of nasty weather at Blue can best be illustrated by the picture below.

This picture comes courtesy of Donny Carter whom I consider the king of dry fly fishers at Blue and the subject fly fisher is Mark Webster. Mark and his dad Jamie are familiar faces on and long time friends of Blue River.

To me, this picture of Mark personifies the lengths some of us in the fly fishing community will go to to capture a trout and reminds me of days I've personally experienced on Blue.

For me there is something just absolutely refreshing and unique about standing in the river Blue as the snowflakes fall, surrounding all involved with a blanket of nature's cleansing.


There can be some problems when fishing in extreme cold weather and all of us should use our noggin's to make sure a good outing doesn't turn bad.

One rule is to never fish alone during extreme cold weather. One simple mis-step or catching the toe of your wading boots on a rock can land you in the frigid river and it is amazing how fast hypothermia can set in. So...buddy fish especially if you go into the remote areas such as the south or north wilderness areas and especially the Catch & Release area.

Dadgum guides freezing up again? Yeah, this is an age old problem with fly-fishing in cold, cold weather. There's been days on Blue when not only did my guides freeze up but my reel would freeze also. So...what to do? One answer is to stay in the cabin or campsite with a roaring campfire but if fish we must there are a couple of products that will help. One is called Ice Off and although I've never used it I've had friends tell me that it works fairly well. There is also a product called Reel Magic, and some of the ole salts recommend silicone sprays or Vaseline. Vaseline seems logical but kinda messy I would think and certainly will leave a film in the river as the silicone sprays. I tend just to tough it out continuously dipping my guides in the river and swishing. This practice temporarily gets rid of the ice long enough to capture a bow and if the fishing is hot enough then you don't have anything to worry about in the first place.

The cold and your body. Body parts...yeah that's the issue during extreme cold weather. Extremities such as your hands, ears, feet, face, and neck can take a real beating during nasty weather.

A good investment in good cold weather gear can make all the difference. Personally I have a problem with my hands being terribly cold or the wind blowing down my neck. Those two issues can send me packing faster than anything. To remedy my neck issue I started wearing a thick scarf years ago and that has made all the difference in the world. Unfortunately for my hands I've yet to find anything that works practically. I do have a good set of gloves but gloves are going to get wet sooner or later and they are cumbersome at best.

Indeed fly fishing in extreme cold weather brings a series of uncomfortable possibilities. However fishing the nasty weather is something that most of us will do sooner or later just so we can say we did. Just do yourself a favor and be as well prepared as you can for that nasty and frigid outing that you are destined to take.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

More Fly Fishing Christmas Deals

Looks like to me on most of these items Orvis has really cut some prices. may be worth checking this sale outlet promotion from the folks at Orvis.

Sale Outlet

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fly Of The Week

Whenever I see the bows rising at Blue River, this fly always comes to mind. And...this pattern has brought me countless moments of joy in trying to capture those sipping bows.

It's a very simple tie consisting of only a few materials. You can tie it in sizes ranging from 16 - 24 (if you're that good). Generally I fish small patterns size 20 or 22 and I always tie on an extra long length of light tippet to absorb the shock of the sudden takes.

When fishing this fly you'll have to keep constant eye contact with the end of your tippet or where you think the fly is. It's quite difficult to see unless you have very good eyesight. Of course, expect a strike during the drift but if none come your way don't be afraid to drown the fly in the swing and let set for few seconds. Quite often, the strike will come at the end.

I also tie this pattern in the colors red and olive and next to black, the color red has produced well.

The body is simple black antron dubbed on the hook. the hackle is black cock hackle, and the wing is either white antron or white siliconized poly-p yarn. Of course the thread is black and best size is 8/0.

Even though it's called a midge pattern it can simulate a black gnat also.

It's a killer pattern when the conditions are right.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Two Bows To Go

Trout Season 2009/2010 Day Eleven Fishing

My Tuesday fishing thing is going south really quick. Today it looked like there was no chance of me getting to the river Blue to fish at all even though I had to go to Tishomingo.

But...nothing chanced, nothing gained so I gave it a go anyhow. I knew full well that at the most I would have fifteen minutes to fish and no more even if I got that much in.

Now some would question the sanity of a man who would gear up to fish for fifteen minutes. To that I would simply say desperation does strange things to a man. Also, I was that badly in need of a trout fix.

So, I scream into campsite 17 and put all the gear on and trot to the river. Fishing the lower end of 17 I capture two bows and then it's time to go. The workplace is ever demanding these days and I'm sure my absence was noticed.

Not so long ago there was a sweet older gentleman that accommodated Scotty's quite a bit. His name was J.D., and one day when J.D. noticed by hurried rush to the river on a Tuesday afternoon he said, "'re going to loose the farm for fishing."

From what I'm hearing lately at work...J.D. may very well be right.

Was today worth it? Wouldn't trade today's minutes for gold.

Would I do it again. Absolutely...may do it tomorrow.