Saturday was the hardest day of this two day event... at least for me. I got to the river extra early hoping to claim a spot down at the Island. However, as I drove past the Island it was lit up like a Christmas tree. So, I kept moving trying to find some room to fish. I would end up catching my six, but due to the fact I started slipping fish back in after I'd bagged number five, number six suddenly became hard to find. Finally, I slipped up to Area 2 and sight fished a group of four or five trout and number six would come to be.
After facing the crowds on Saturday, I decided to take the road less traveled and the waters less fished. I arrived at the south wilderness around 7:30. The morning air certainly had a bite to it, and as a matter of fact I had a little icing in my guides early only. However, the south wilderness was so very peaceful. I was totally relaxed, but also in a hurry. I really wish I wasn't geared the way creation made me. I knew getting the fishing done early was a must, because I had something else very important to do this Sunday.
I fished one stretch of water only - Coyote Pass Falls. At first it looked like the trout were going to turn me away empty handed, but soon I would find one of those magical pockets. There are some many of these magical treasure chests in the south wilderness. They are countless I think, and can be anywhere or everywhere. We just have to find them and once we do, the reward is tremendous.
Drifting the bugger was the first disciplined attempted this morning and it worked well with strike after strike and fish after fish. Then the trout tired of the bugger so I went tandem with a flashback pheasant tail and the bows loved the flashback. Again they grew tired and I changed to a San Juan Worm of a different color and the bows went wild over this new look.
I was done fishing by nine o'clock, but decided to linger a little before leaving for another special date. Around 10:30 I met up with Ted Meador who weighed in the heaviest stringer on Saturday. Ted and I had a personal chat and he mentioned Susie's memorial award and asked what took her life. I found it heart-tugging that Ted was about to win Susie's memorial award as he shared with me a loved one of his just found out she is battling cancer also. It was even more heart-searching that today was the seventh anniversary of Susie's passing and thus my hurry. I left Blue River to carry Susie flowers in Tishomingo.
Prayers will go up for Ted and his loved one.
Now to my bonehead blunder. After talking with Ted, I deadheaded back to the Prairie Schooner so I could get to Tishomingo. At the schooner I put my rod on the trunk carriage on top so I could open the rear hatch and get everything stowed. Everything stowed, in the schooner, and on my way to Tishomingo. Thirty minutes later I slam on the brakes suddenly noticing my rod is missing.
My rod is still missing. Left it on top of the schooner and drove away. Pretty sick about the whole thing. Oh well... worse things can happen.
Here's how the fly fishing community fared at this Veterans Day Trout Derby.
First of all, my sincere apology to Blue River Fly Fishers member Donn Riss for not getting his picture.
On Saturday, Donn would weigh in on the heavy trout category and walk away with that prize. Ted Meador would win the heavy stringer category on Saturday.
On Sunday, Blue River Fly Fishers member Jamie Webster would claim the prize in the heavy trout category, and yours truly was lucky enough to win the heavy stringer category for Sunday. However, Ted had built a good enough lead on Saturday to win by about a pound, over the rest of the pack, to win Susie's memorial award.
Congratulations to Ted, Donn, Jamie and all the other fly fishers and trout anglers who attended the derby.
Here are a few pictures of the derby this weekend.
|Derby had a big crowd.|
|Jamie Webster wins heavy trout category on Sunday.|
|Ted Meador wins the Susie Latham Shrader Memorial award for best two day total.|