Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 61 - Trout Season

Autopsy On Mercurio's Mystery Montana Fly

He didn't know the name of the fly.  He did know that it would catch trout though.  He went as far as proving it yesterday afternoon while we were fishing the Ancient Boulders.

After he got through showing off, Merc cut the fly loose and handed it to me and asked me to see if I could duplicate the pattern.  At that time, all I had was my regular glasses on and I couldn't really tell much about the fly.  The fly went on the patch to be carried home to the deep dark laboratory of fly tying madness.

This morning I put the fly in the vise and turned on every light in the room, including all the lamps around the desk.  The reading glasses went on because they work like miniature magnifying glasses on me, but, still I really couldn't tell what I needed to know about this fly. 

The scalpel came out and the autopsy of this mystery fly from Montana begin.  It's my understanding that Merc acquired this particular fly from the Bear Tooth Fly Shop on the Madison river.  Yesterday, I don't know exactly how many fish he caught with it because I got rather bored watching him lift his rod tip time and time again.  However, the fish he did catch did some damage to the fly and this is one reason it was hard to tell what materials went into the making of this fly.

So with the scalpel in hand I begin dissecting the fly just like we dissected frogs in high school biology.  I always wondered where those frogs came from we were slicing open from bottom to throat.  At any given time when someone in my biology class was dissecting a frog there were probably two million other kids across the nation doing the same thing.  That's a lot of friggin' frogs!

Running the scalpel along the body, I discover the red material that made up the body was red flat tinsel.  There was flash pulled over the thorax as a wingcase.  Then in dismantling the thorax I discover a really neat colored dubbing - like a UV ice-sparkle-purplish colored dubbing.  At first I thought it was purple, but, then it looked like it could be an ice blue.  Still not for sure about the color. 

Three strands of flash was pulled to each side and then came the... uh, wings... maybe legs... maybe shuck.  This material had me puzzled yesterday on the river and although I'm still not absolutely certain what the exact material is... cdc will darn sure work.  Cdc is some darn buggy stuff. 

Here's what Merc's battle worn fly looked liked when he give it to me.

Deciding to duplicate Merc's mystery fly I quickly took stock of material I had on hand and discovered I was missing most of the required materials.  I had no red flat tinsel, no UV ice-sparkle dub in purple or ice blue, no micro flash, and no gray feather material.  What I did have was red flash, the ability to make some flash dubbing, regular flash for the sides, and olive cdc. 

I put it together to see how it would tie.  Here's my attempt using what I had.  If I was a fish I would eat it.

In using what was on hand it was easy for me to see how having the correct materials will make all the difference.  Flat red tinsel will lay out much better than the bou I used and having the right kind of dubbing will make all the difference too. 

What remains the big mystery is the name of this fly.  Merc can't remember, and I don't know.

Do you?  If so, please leave a comment and enlighten us. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 60 - Trout Season

Long But Fulfilling Day

Eight hours on the river is about four hours past this anglers limit anymore.  At the end of the day that tired feeling had definitely set in - but it was a good kind of tired. 

Early this morning, upon pulling into Scotty's, I finally got to meet Wyatt.  Wyatt was headed to the south wilderness.  I wished him luck and told him he might run into John Haney up there. 

From Scotty's I went to see if I could find Charlie at his campsite... but, Charlie was already in the river catching trout.  I snuck up behind Charlie and took a couple of pictures of him capturing trout fishing off the sandbar and then I slid into the drink myself. 

Charlie had made a good choice in selecting the sandbar because the fishing was very good this morning.  I don't know what Charlie was using, but for me it was the brown bugger early, then switching to an olive bugger. 

About an hour later, Merc shows up and he slides into the drink also armed with one of his ugly flies - a soft hackle pheasant tail and he begins to capture trout.  Charlie and I both have to get out of the water to relieve the numbness for a bit and while on the bank surface activity begins off the sandbar.  On the bank I rig the three midge offering and go back to the water.  The three midge rig captures one trout on the middle fly - a midge pupa.  Not long will pass until I completely destroy the rigging with a terrible cast, which I am prone to do.

Texasflycaster and a friend of his join us on the sandbar.  Once again, numbness begins to set in and I leave these two to the sandbar while Merc goes downstream. 

After warming I fish Ted's Pool and capture four trout here with the brown bugger, olive bugger, and that ugly Bird's Nest I tied last night. 

By now it's time for lunch and we meet at Scotty's.  It's during lunch we meet John Haney.  John had fished the south wilderness early and done well and was going back after lunch.  So...  we all went to the south wilderness.

I don't know how John did, but, for Charlie, Merc, and myself... it was nothing for the first hour.  Then Charlie gathers some intel and we head for the Ancient Boulders.  It is here that we finally capture some trout, especially Merc with a magic fly of which he does not know the name.  He gave me one and I'm going to try and duplicate it.  The fly that brought me best results at the Ancient Boulders was a Disco Midge.  This pattern had to be presented with little or no drag however, or the trout weren't going to eat it.

We walk out and discover John has already called it a day.  Charlie breaks out the Belgian beer and all of us have a swig or two.  Chimay was the name of this beer and it is definitely distinct. 

In our conversations today the One Fly Event was covered and we made some good progress I think.  Hopefully, more solid details will come in the next several days. 

Here's some pictures of the guys from today.

Charlie with morning glory trout.
Merc fishing ugly pheasant tail soft hackle
Charlie's kickback campsite.
Charlie's hammock was mighty tempting after lunch at Scotty's.
Charlie searching for trout in south wilderness.
Merc fishing some usually trout rich water.
John Haney in the south wilderness.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 59 - Trout Season

Sometimes Ugly Is Better

Over the years I've met some talented and quite gifted fly tyers.  Their skills are such they can tie articulated flies - flies that look almost real.  Upon looking at their creations it is hard to deny that a fish would not eat the offering. 

There are times, however, that ugly flies seem to work best.  On some patterns, rough texture or the disheveled look is what triggers the fish we seek to strike. 

One example is the Bird's Nest. 

I quickly tied this interpretation of a Bird's Nest this afternoon and as you can see there is nothing pretty about it and there shouldn't be.  Although, not articulated in anyway, I'll bet you a six-pack of anything you desire to drink this fly will capture trout. 

Another fly that comes to mind and is often tied too pretty is the Hare's Ear.  At fly shops I've purchased Hare's Ear patterns that are tied smooth and there is no spike to the fly.  In my opinion, a Hare's Ear needs to have a spikey body and thorax to fish well. 

There has been times a fly is being fished and without knowing or checking the fly it has come to unravel and fall apart, but is still catching trout and at times at a faster clip. 

There are some flies each of us have that we give a certain hierarchy in the way they produce for us.  The Hare's Ear has always been one fly that is at the top of the echelon of favorite flies for me.  However, the Hare's Ear is not so lofty that it can not share a spot in the same fly box along with the hoi polloi.  

And... it's most likely because I tie my Hare's Ear ugly and not common to so many beautiful patterns that exist these days.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 58 - Trout Season

It Only Hurts When I Don't Fly Fish

For the better part of a week, or perhaps a little more, I've had the darnedest pain in the pit of my stomach.  I figure it's from drinking too much hot chocolate or coffee.  The pain, although not debilitating, is most uncomfortable.  It's with me at work and with me at home.

I have noticed, however, that anytime I'm on the water... the discomfort in the ol' bread basket is not.  It's completely absent or at least it's not given any attention at the time.  I guess we could say it only hurts when I don't fly fish.

Having long believed there is a healing quality to being on a river with a stick in the hand, being void of ailments comes as no surprise to me.  No, there is no suggestion here that fly fishing has any kind of physiological  healing power to it... but, there is some kind of healing that goes along with slinging the fur and feather. 

Maybe, it's a mind thing.  You know... the metaphysical world.  I don't know... haven't given it that much thought.  Quite simply I accept it and believe in it. 

Today, was a no fishing today for me and of course with that being the situation... I was in terrible discomfort with the annoyance in my mid-section. 

Nonetheless, I did spend the day thinking about fly fishing and spending some sawbucks in acquiring some much needed stuff. 

After leaving the mercantile store today, there came a perfect opportunity to clean the fly line and add a little lubricant.  In performing the process and while running the slick pad down the line, it suddenly felt like driving down one of those rural washboard roads.  Closer inspection led to discovery of some severe damage on the last ten foot of floating line. 

We have a number of homeless cats here at the prairie home that have come to depend on us for substance and measures of companionship.  These wandering felines don't stay in the house, but, twice a day they are allowed to come in and partake of Atlantic salmon, free range chicken, and dairy- delight flavored cat food. 

I believe it was Monday I had the fly line draped over the kitchen table doing some leader to tippet work and I left the room for about five minutes.  Upon returning, one of the kittens was tangled in the line having herself one heck of a time.  No, I didn't inspect the line at the time, but, in examining the line today I would say there is probable cause to interrogate this particular kitten further. 

Stuff happens they say and indeed it does.  We can dwell on it or simply take action to fix it.  Today... I fixed the fly line dilemma by ordering not one, but two new packages of fly line.

Cabela's was still running their clearance on Sage Ultimate Performance fly lines.  Two packages cost just pennies less than $60.00 and I figure I made $100.00 in ordering these lines.  Regular price on one package was $79.99, so in doing the math... I made $100.00!

As the pain in my stomach worsened, I felt more need to make myself feel better so a trip to L L Bean's site was made and a new pair of wading boots is on the way.  Feeling much better now. 

Actually the wading boots was a necessity also.  The Simms I have are absolutely wonderful.  It seems though from last trout season to this, either the boots have shrunk or I've gained a half shoe size.  These boots kill me each and every time I put them on. 

I have tomorrow to get through in dealing with the stomach discomfort, but, come Friday I'm sure I'll be bouncing from boulder to boulder on Blue river fishing with good friends. 

And... there will be no hint of anything that makes we want to drink Pepto Bismol.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 57 - Trout Season

Tough Two Hours On The River

If it hadn't been for the red midge larva today, the skunk fairy would have had my butt. 

God save the red midge larva!  Hip hip hooray!

I got to the river about 1:15 p.m. today and nobody could have told me it was anything short of a perfect day.  The sun was shining ever so brightly; the temperature was rather mild.  The surprise, however, was the wind.  The wind was holding at a steady clip - staying constant and never letting up. 

At the stretch of water I chose, casting upstream was the only option and casting upstream meant trying to push the fly through the column of wind tunneling down the river.  At times my forward cast was on a horizontal plane. 

In the first forty or so minutes, five different patterns were tied on and nary a one of them had even so much as produced a bobble or bump. 

Across the bank were three spinner fishers arriving at the same time I did, and in watching them the entire time I never once saw a rod tip jerked or lifted.  That's when I said to myself, "Oooh boy, it's going to be one of those days."

Moving to the southwest bank I tie on the Prince Nymph and at least the Prince has two trout try and eat it, but, I miss both hooksets. 

Giving into the relentless wind, I decide to walk back up the hill and seek a windbreak further downstream.  On the way up the hill was possibly the highlight of the afternoon in finding only one piece of trash - a discarded Mountain Dew bottle.  Picking the bottle up I continue to the summit where the trash can waits.  Once there, Matt pulls in for a visit.

Matt and I begin a wonderful visit and it isn't long until Bud, one of the game rangers at Blue, joins in.  The exchange is nice and it's amazing what you can learn if you just listen. 

When the visit with Matt and Bud is over I almost decided to forfeit the day to the dreaded skunk fairy, but, there is a change of heart.  From here I go downstream to the boulder just upstream at 17. 

The wind is somewhat calmer here and seeing a still-water situation in front of me, the red midge larva goes on.  The red midge finds a beautifully colored bow while gently drifting down the river.  Deciding to not push my luck and subject myself to further torment, the hook is gently removed from the fishes mouth and quickly kept on a guide.  The leader is looped around the reel and I wade out of the river around 2:30 - thankful for the only trout I would catch today.

Skunk fairy... red midge larva says nanna nanna nan na!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 56 - Trout Season

Come Friday It's Fishing

On this southern sea of the prairie ocean today it seemed more like conditions one would find in Seattle.  It was damp, soggy, and somewhat cool.  Therefore I opted for a day away from the water and time on the vise. 

However, come this Friday, it's going to be a'fishing with a couple of buddies.  The plan is to hit the campground area then migrate our way up in the south wilderness. 

Just thinking about it makes be salivate.  Good fishing (hopefully), wonderful weather predicted, great fellowship, and a chance to finalize some things on the proposed One Fly Event at Blue River. 

Short Casts

Today was a good day to also check for some after Christmas fly fishing specials.  I didn't find a lot of great deals, but, did notice that Cabelas had a good offering of fly tying material at pretty good discounts. 

The one item that stuck out was there clearance on tying vises.  No, these are the creme de la creme of vises, but, they would make for good backup vises when we're in a pinch. 

Check out Cabelas after Christmas fly fishing stuff.

Another good site for after Christmas stuff if Red Truck Fly Fishing.

If you haven't noticed, the wildlife department has published the rest of the stocking dates for the remainder of trout season (January through March).  If you look closely you'll see all the stocking dates are on a Wednesday. 

Here's the dates.

2012: Jan. 4, 11, 16, 25; Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; March 7, 14, 21, 2   

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 55 - Trout Season

Merry Christmas From Blue River

Each Christmas since the year 2000 I have put up a whimsical story in poetic fashion titled Blue Christmas.

Sadly, I lost my companion dog and best friend Smokey in 2008, but, the wonderful memories remain.

There was not a place on Blue River he didn't follow me and oftentimes the current would be too much for him and I would turn around to fetch him up.  I do believe there wasn't a swift enough current anywhere in any river that would have kept Smokey from me... or I from him. 

So, with wonderful memories I once again post this Christmas time story of a wonderful friendship.

Blue Christmas

Twas the day of the night before Christmas, the season of cheer,
Me and 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 a fire, and the best of the situation,
Then came the dusk and with it, the night of Christmas celebration,
Me and Smokey walked to the river to gaze at the stars of the sky,
And thats 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 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."

Chapter 58 Day 54 - Trout Season

The Duke On Christmas Eve

I really had my doubts about using that brown bugger tagged as the Duke of Marabou Brown after looking at the river today.  The river, in the campground area, has made a dramatic return to clarity. 

However, the ol' chap deserved a chance to see if could stage a repeat performance of last week... and he did. 

My time on the river today was short, but, while there the fishing was absolutely insane.  The trout were evidently in hari kari mode today, because it was nothing short of an onslaught the Duke was delivering. 

It was easy to be impressed today by the quality of these trout.  With the exception of one fish, none of the fish to hand today measured less than twelve inches, owning remarkable colors, and fat! 

Getting to the stretch I wished to fish there was no one else around except a bait fisher on the east bank upstream.  Soon though, a young bait angler and another fly angler would join me.  The young bait angler was having all kinds of problems and not catching anything so I would end up giving him my water. 

The fly angler hollered at me and asked if I'd mind sharing information as to what fly I was using and of course the answer no... wouldn't mind at all.  Wading over to the fly angler to show him the Duke, we struck a conversation about the clarity of the river in the campground area.  The gentleman told me he had fished the northern wilderness yesterday and the river was still stained up there.  I don't understand what's going on in the northern part of this river - it doesn't make any sense.

After leaving this prime stretch of river, a downstream position was taken and the Duke went to work again, but, nowhere to the degree as the first place. 

It was still quite cold when I was on the river today, but, little wind, which made it tolerable.

River Report

Instead of me trying to give a narrative description of what the river looks like in the campground area, I decided to share a video.  Remember, this is a report for only the campground area, not the northern areas. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 53 - Trout Season

One Fly Contest Coming To Blue?

Will there be the first ever Blue River Fly Fishers One Fly Contest?  Probably... perhaps... most likely... looks promising. 

Certainly, enough interest has been shown by members of the fly fishing community at Blue. 

Secondly, the event has seemed to get the green light from the caretakers of this wonderful outdoor resource. 

There's a lot more than meets the eye in trying to get one of these type of events off the ground and make it successful enough that it will become something that fly anglers look forward to year after year. 

There is the issue of which pattern will be selected on the day of the event.  Then, how about the prize the winner will receive.  Date and time become all important because different anglers have different distances to travel. 

And then, what is the goal of the event.  This one seems pretty simple to me - it's actually a dual goal.  The goal of this first annual Blue River Fly Fishers One Fly Contest is to create a day of greater fellowship among the fly fishing community at Blue.  Many of us exchange notes and messages, but, meeting someone in person is something special in it's own. 

Secondly, the contest is to support this wonderful fishery and the Catch & Release section, which has been made possible by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife. 

Come this time next week, most details should be finalized and the countdown will begin in seeing which fly fisher can take a mystery fly and show the rest of the pack how to use it in capturing trout. 

Let the trash talking begin. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 52 - Trout Season

Longing For The Wilderness

Oh my goodness... today would have been a day to be on the river.  Sun shining every so brightly with mild temperatures and little wind... just one of those days.  Talk about a guy being absolutely livid having to be at the workplace today. 

If I could have snuck away from the mercantile store, I do believe a trip to the south wilderness would have been in order.  Last trout season I spent ninety percent of my time in the south wilderness, but, this season have only been twice - and there is a reason. 

I've been nursing a nagging hip joint, and by making shorter trips and spending less time on the river on each outing,I've improved the ailment.  Now that the ol' hip joint is feeling better I think I'm up for a hike into the south kingdom.

When we plan a trip into the south wilderness kingdom it's best to be able to dedicate the better part of any day.  The water in this wilderness is so braided, diverse, full of pocket after pocket, it's impossible to explore all of these pleasures in a short time let alone a day. 

Some of the best fly fishing I've experienced has come about in the south wilderness.  Among my favorite places are Coyote Pass, the Cove, the Ancient Boulders, and Dividing Line Falls. 

Although the fishing is usually good for me, the worse spanking I have ever received came about in the south wilderness this past season.  A day of fishing was planned with Michael Mercurio and Chris Adams, and it wasn't long into the day these two characters started spanking an older man's behind. 

And, they never let up. 

But, such things is the beauty of this area.  It was a wonderful day, in spite of the spanking, and a rare opportunity for friends to fish together. 

Right now I pretty miserable in not getting to fly fish much.  Have you seen that commercial where the guy turns into a diva because he's hungry and once they give him a Snickers he reverts to his usual self?  Well... that was me today, but, I wasn't hungry.  No, I turned into Lindsay Lohan today because I haven't been able to get to the dog-gone river this week and a friggin' Snickers isn't going to solve diva acting self!

Keep the Snickers... give me the river.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 51 - Trout Season

This Year's Letter To Santa

Here it is only four days to Christmas and I finally got my letter off to Santa today, telling the big man exactly what I want this year. 

It's been many, many years since I've wanted something material for Christmas - throw a bottle of Old Spice and a year's subscription to a fly fishing magazine at me and I'm good. 

Still, there are things I wish for.  So, with that being said, here are the five things I've asked Santa for this Christmas season.

Dear Santa,

This year here are the things I hope you will bring and put under the Christmas tree while I'm sleeping off the volumes of egg-nog consumed in the spirit of the season. 

1.  More rain and less drought.  C'mon Santa, I know you follow the blog and know what happen to Charlie and me last spring and summer while trying to pursue the carp.  So... tie a big red ribbon around a whole bunch of rain clouds and send them over the prairie ocean this year. 

2.  Cleaner streams and less trash in our wild areas.  Santa, maybe you can dispatch one of those invisible elves you keep in check down to Blue River and arm him with a taser gun.  Everytime that elve sees someone throw trash on the river, he can zap them in the ass with 100,000 volts!  That ought to stop em' from sucking eggs.

3.  More fish and more fly anglers.  This one just makes sense Santa.  The more fish you can gift us, then the more fly anglers there will be, and as you know, being one yourself, fly anglers are pretty darn good stewards of our wild areas.  So... wrap up a couple of battleship-size portions of fish and send them down this way.

4.  Less time at work and more time on the water.  Let's face it Santa... work sucks.  I guess you wouldn't know much about that, only having to work one friggin' day of the year, but, I'm telling you... any bad day fly fishing beats a good day at work, which is an oxymoron to begin with!

5.  Less tailing loops and wind knots.  I know we've been over this before and don't you dare,  Ho, ho, ho me over this issue anymore.  Sure, I know you've told me the tailing loops comes from not drifting on the stop of the backstroke, and therefore the wind knots come from overpowering on the foward stroke, and yada, yada, yada.  Just fix it Santa and I'll be happy.

Oh, by the way, you throw a pretty ugly open loop you know.

Well Santa, gotta go and I hope you'll grant all my Christmas wishes this year.  If you find the time to stop playing with the elves, then let's get a day on the water together. 

See ya Santa.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 50 - Trout Season

Getting Buffed For Carp

Today is day number fifty in trout season at Blue River and that puts us one third of the way through the entire season. 

With each passing day, trout season at Blue gets shorter, but, at the same time... with each passing day, carp by fly season grows closer for Charlie and myself on our local carp creek.

This carp season, we will have more reason than ever to learn as much as we can about the grand and golden ones - what others simply call carp.  One thing we've learned for sure is the need to always conceal ourselves from the acute senses these creatures seem to own. 

Concealment translates to camouflage while we are pursuing the beeves that roam these local pastures.  I figure when it comes to camouflage, it's much easier for me to disguise myself than it is for Charlie to hide himself.  First of all, I'm about half the size of Charlie, or he's about twice as big as me... ever how you want to look at it.  What I'm trying to say is there's more to Charlie to hide rather than there is on me. 

Then, Charlie sports that long, white, flowing beard and it's a distinguishing feature about him.  The only way I can see camouflaging that beard is for Charlie to stick some twigs, sticks, and leaves in it and to tell you the truth... I just don't see Charlie doing that. 

So, since we have become dedicated carp by fly fanatics, it's time we step up our game and get buffed. 

A good way to camouflage at least our face, is the wearing of a buff.  A buff can be used to cover the forehead, or worn around the neck, or worn around the neck and pulled up over the back of the head, and more importantly pulled up over the front of the face. 

Now, with Charlie's beard, I'm not exactly how well this is going to work, or how comfortable it will be, but, nonetheless, I'm going to order him one along with one for myself.

The good folk at Buffwear make a large selection of buff wear including a pattern that showcases the scales of the grand and golden one.  Take a look.

I can't say with absolute certainty that wearing these buff's will make our carp by fly success any better, but, I'm willing to bet they will. 

And... we'll look rather dapper wearing them. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 49 - Trout Season

One More Big Ugly Hole In The Ground?

Each time the schooner is hitched and a course set for the river Blue, the sea lane taken goes past a group of big ugly holes in the ground. 

They're big ugly holes created by the significant mining industry that exists within this southern current of the greater prairie ocean. 

It's rather simple what they do.  They start digging, first downward, and then outward, and it isn't long until their efforts take the shape and form of a big ugly-ass hole in the ground. 

There's a bunch of them already, and now it appears they may be one more on the way.  Recently, application was made to create another big ugly hole in the ground.  How big and ugly?  Uh, about 575 acres of ugly. 

What do we get in return for all these deep holes in the ground here on the prairie ocean?   Well.... we do get some jobs - dirty jobs they are.  Then, there's most likely some ad valorem taxes floating around.  Big ugly holes result in less habitat for wildlife, and a whole lot of extra dust in the air.  The worst part of big ugly holes is they result in a sensitive sole-source aquifer being punctured time, after time, after time - where pristine water percolates upward, resulting in less streamflow for the local creeks, streams, and rivers.  Oh yeah, we get another hole in the ground too. 

Big holes in the ground result in the taking of the natural resources of this area.  There is mining of sand, along with dolomite, granite, and other rocks.  Basically, they take big rocks and pound the daylight out of them to make little rocks.  Then those little rocks are loaded onto train cars and a locomotive pulling a 100 car serpent heads south; on it's way with a payload of our natural resources to a destination where the resources will become road material.

Along the way, there are mesa's of rubble, waiting for transport in becoming a road, highway, or interstate somewhere.

It would reason that with all the stuff each and everyone of us throw away on a daily basis, there could be a process to reclaim all that stuff - stuff like plastic bottles, used tires, ripped-off shingles and roofing material and then smash, mash, slice and dice it, mix it all up with some kind of super binding agent and make road materials that will last 75 years or better.  Most likely this has already been thought of, but, most likely the process is cost prohibitive and it's easier and cheaper to simply dig big ugly holes in the ground. 

I don't like those big holes.  They have been, and will continue to rob this area of precious water.  Over the last forty years I've watched a good number of springs disappear.  Since 1981, I've watched Blue River grow slimmer, skinnier, and less vibrant.  It's to the point we could have a good number of wet years, instead of drought, and our streams and rivers would only recover to a mere shadow of what they once was.

The really sad part is the caretakers, those who own these big holes, will someday abandoned them.  And once that happens, we who harbor in this southern current of the greater prairie ocean will find fewer jobs, less ad valorem taxes, less wildlife habitat, dried-up springs and streams.... and be left with a lot of big ugly holes in the ground. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 48 - Trout Season

They Cared Not To Look My Way

Today was kind of a cut-up or diced day.  Usually on Sunday morning it's work for me and today was no exception.  After about four hours I was pretty well done at work sitting at my desk finishing some papers.  Looking at the calendar there, I realized there is only six more days to that big day that takes many of us months to pay for. 

Owning a disposition of putting things off and being a charter member of the procrastinator's club, I forced myself today to get that one special gift I had yet to buy. 

A southerly course was plotted that would require about a thirty-five minute voyage.  Throwing anchor at the brick and mortar storefront, I soon entered Eskimo Joe's and quickly acquired the object that had become the latest fancy of Miss Carol's affection. 

Back at the prairie home, the overcast sky had given way to the warming sun.  There was no chance of making Blue River today, so the waders went on, camera was grabbed, rod stowed in the cargo hull, and it was off to see what the carp of our local creek were doing. 

I would visit three different pastures at the creek - the Courtyard, Honey Hole, and Worm Pool, and nary a carp would I see.  Actually, not seeing any carp at any of these pastures told me exactly where the carp would be.  They would be at the pasture known as Well Springs - a deeper pasture with undercut banks. 

It was back to the prairie schooner and off to Well Springs where, upon arriving, find the carp waiting... just as thought.  There was a good community of carp - all suspended, none grazing. 

Oh, they're there... suspended... just sitting pretty.  
I tie on a worm pattern called San Juan Sweetheart's, which is basically two San Juan worms tied on one hook.  Time after time I offer the Sweethearts to the carp putting the fly right in front of their face, but, they cared not to look my way.  I know these beeves have to graze sometime, but, that sometime wasn't the time I was there today.

Carp by fly this winter is most likely going to be a crap shoot.  I figure it will be mid or late March until they get really interested in grazing the pastures again.

In the short time on the creek today, I did discover that the nine inch rain we received in one night washed a bunch of trash into the creek.  Trash like the piece of PVC below.

PVC can probably stay in the environment for like a gillion years or something and it has no place in a creek.  I grab onto the junk and drag it up the hill to the trash container maintained by the city.  The city guys are pretty good about picking stuff up there, so I figure they'll take care of it. 

The further downstream I go, the more trash I find.  Trash like plastic bags hanging everywhere. 

I hate plastic bags.  You see them hanging on barbed wire fencing, cyclone fencing, trapped in underbrush, captured by greenbriar, hanging in tree limbs, and submerged in our streams. 

Plastic bags should be abolished.  Now, this is coming from a guy who works at a mercantile store that dispenses probably close to a half a million of these things a year.  At the mercantile store, I've pushed earth-friendly reusable shopping bags for years now and we've sold a ton of these things.  However, the problem seems to be that people simply can't remember to bring their reusable bags and they end up getting more plastic bags.  All those darn bags end up somewhere you know. 

I've never been much for mandates, but, do think I would support a mandate to not use plastic shopping bags.

Yep, upstream is downstream and all the junk we find upstream will end up downstream unless we get rid of it. 

So, I saw a lot of trash today, and saw a community of carp, but, the carp were not interested. 

Thank goodness for those pretty little Rainbow trout.  Will hit Blue at the next chance.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 47 - Trout Season

The Duke Of Marabou Brown

This morning, still not knowing exactly how clear some parts of the river was, I sit down at the tying vise and churned out a couple of brown buggers.  I like brown in off-colored water. 

Everything stowed in the schooner I shove off at around 9:30 this morning and take my time in getting to the river.  Back roads are in order today and even a couple of stops to take some pictures including one of a coyote. 

The coyote seems like a lonely creature.  As to why, I do not know.  I do know farmers and ranchers care not for the coyote.  I like them though - figure they're just struggling through life like so much of our wildlife does. 

Upon arriving at the river, it's easy to see the river is clearing quickly, but, this is mainly in the shallow runs.  Today I wanted to fish the deeper pools and in the wide, deeper stretches there was still some problems with clarity. 

Seeing the foggy conditions of Ted's Pool, the brown bugger goes on the tippet and with a cast he sails through the air.  Almost as soon as he lands a bow takes a fancy to the bug and the first trout comes to hand. 

Within ten minutes I know it's going to be a good day on the water. 

Within thirty minutes, I realize it may be one of those rare days - the kind of day that doesn't come around as often as it once did for this fly fisher.  The kind of day you'll end with triple digits, flirting with fifty fish or so. 

The bows couldn't seem to get enough of the brown bug.  Many of the strikes were so subtle these old reflexes didn't work well and half as many fish were missed as were caught. 

The bugger kept taking the hits and soon one bow delivered a debilitating blow as the bugger came unravelled. 

The bugger is retired from the field of battle and another brown bugger, similar in size, is selected.  The second bugger is different with it's dubbed marabou body and coined as the Duke of Marabou Brown.  A fitting name it would seem because this bugger, the second one, is even more favorable to the trout.

The onslaught continues.  A few short minutes later, the cup of coffee consumed on the trail down seems to hit bottom and it's time to head for the bank and take care of that business.  While there, I decide to go on downstream instead of just wearing-out this particular fishing hole. 

Next stop is Glory Hole and here I decide to tie on a red San Juan to the butt of the Duke of Marabou Brown.  The worm is to see if these trout are just really active or they simply like the color brown in off-colored water.  The duo are sent sailing, but, it isn't long until the worm is retired, receiving no action at all.  The worm cannot compete with the popularity of the brown bugger. 

The first three casts at Glory Hole are straight upstream at a distance of twenty-five feet.  Only one tiny strike is the result.  Then, I remind myself to always fish the water directly in front or to the sides and with an eight foot cast to my right, the bugger finds an additional plethora of trout.

Again, not wanting to wear the fishing hole out, I move once more and it's downstream to Seventeen.  Poor little Seventeen is still not fishing well and hasn't been for several years now.  What the problem is, I have no idea.  But, the trout seem to have forsaken this sweet little shallow. 

Moving upstream to the boulder above Seventeen, more trout are found.  Off the boulder is a felled seaside alder.  The branches of this tree penetrate the soup and two trout are taken off of that tree.  Pushing my luck I keep casting a few feet to the left of the down tree and I gamble one time to many.  One of the submerged limbs grabs the Duke of Marabou Brown and he gives his life at sea.

Going to the fly box, I find a brown bugger pattern Chuck Kaminski gave to me years ago.  Chuck's pattern is the same color brown I'd been using, but, he added a little flash in the tail.  This bugger goes on and the trout begin their jousting once again. 

It's now almost 1 o'clock and I've been in the river for about three hours.  The back is nagging and it's time for me to go. 

I did not have a fifty fish day in the time I was there, but, I was just a few fish short of forty.  That's a good morning for this fly fisher. 

Stopping at Scotty's, a Gloria burger and Coors Light to go is ordered. 

The weather was absolutely beautiful today... as was the fishing.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 46 - Trout Season

My Sincere Apology

Yesterday, after going to the river, I posted that I thought weekend fishing at Blue River would be "iffy" at best.  My reasoning for making that post was not only the condition of the river upon seeing it myself, but, also because of the possibility of more rain to come later yesterday. 

The rain did not come.

However, while I was at the river yesterday looking at her condition, I had this gut feeling that the river was going to clear quickly.  My problem was, I didn't have the balls to say so.  I didn't have those gonads to say weekend fishing will be possible because I know of how many of you drive hundreds of miles to get here.  And, if you did make such a trip this weekend based on my gut feeling, but, then found a river less than desirable... you would've been terribly upset with me.  I  can't handle that.

It's a funny thing about free-flowing rivers - they can trick you sometimes.  Yesterday however, there was just something about the color and texture of the water that said, "This isn't going to be bad." 

This morning Matt Gamble, Blue River area manager, made a post saying the river had cleared dramatically.  This afternoon, Scotty of Blue River One Stop called me and said he had been to the river and along with Matt they couldn't believe how quickly it had cleared. He asked me to let people know right away.

So, I immediately made changes to Scotty's website and then to his Facebook account to let people know the river will fish good this weekend. 

Again, I offer apology for not going with my gut feeling - a feeling I have honed over thirty years of watching this river. 

I hope nobody cancelled plans to come to the river Blue this weekend.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 45 - Trout Season

Update On Blue Brown River

Matt, area manager of Blue River pretty much hit the nail on the head with his river report of 8:30 this morning. 

The river is not chocolate milk, but, it is a watered down version of beef broth.  Having to go to Tishomingo today I decided to swing my Blue and have a look-see for myself.  The question for many of you wanting to come is the simple asking, "Is the river fly fish-able?"  It wasn't today, well.. I mean to say it could have been fly fished, but, capturing fish would have been a huge challenge. 

The bad news is it's probably not going to be fish-able any this weekend with more rain predicted for tonight. 

I've seen the river much worse, and today you could still see rock structure in the middle of some wide stretches.  The fringes are somewhat clear and shallow areas could be fished.  By simply listening to the river today it was easy to sense the river's flow was up significantly. 

On the trip down to the river, it became quite evident that the river area received a much harder rain than we did here near my prairie home.  Checking Rock Creek before I left, I found that this little creek is still fairly clear.  Not the case for Blue River however. 

Sorry to be the messenger of such disappointing news for those of you that live a good distance from the river.  But, I rather see you not make a trip than make it to find a stew, soup, cocktail of nature's doing. 

Here's the pictures from today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 44 - Trout Season

Fishing A Trio Of Midge Patterns

A couple of posts ago I mentioned fishing different colors and stages of life in the midge world. 

Although, fishing more than one fly on a rigging can be quite rewarding, it has it's problems also.  Problems such as the secondary tippets (the ones you add to carry the additional flies) fouling the primary tippet or leader. 

To combat this, I started tying an overhand knot in the added tippet after the added tippet was secured with a surgeon's knot.  Clipping the short tag end of the added tippet, I simply take the fly carrying end and make an overhand knot around the primary tippet.  This seems to hold the added tippet perpendicular, or at a right or left angle to the primary tippet. 

Another thing to consider in saving yourself a lot of grief when fishing more than one fly is the cast you make.  If you are proud of that tight narrow loop you can cast, then you might as well leave it at home when fishing tandem rigs - it's only going to cause you trouble.

When fishing multiple flies you need to throw those big ol' ugly open loops.  Yes, they're big, ugly, slow, and lazy, but, they will keep your added tippets or flies from fouling each other.  My friend, Bruce Dixon use to call these casts loopy-loops or circle casts. 

And then there is the distance you are casting.  When fishing multiple flies I have never found a reason to make a cast beyond twenty feet.  I'm fishing the water near me because something I've seen has told me there is evidence of midge activity there. 

When fishing a trio of the midge world I tie the weighted fly on the bottom or the deep column fly, let's say a beadhead Zebra.  Judging the depth of the water and the speed of the flow, I may or may not add split shot about eight inches up.

For the second or mid column fly, I'll choose a midge with a more pronounced thorax which simulates the pupa stage. 

And finally, as the top column fly, that is set quite shallow below the indicator, I choose a midge pattern that simulates a shucking or escaping midge.

One thing for certain is that the way I choose to present multiple flies is not perfect.  I mix, match, don't mix or match, present one color in contrast with another color in the different columns.  Some will argue what I do is plum silly... and that's okay.  For me, it's all on the pathway of discovering all there is about fly fishing and particularly fly fishing using the maddening world of the midge. 

Good luck to all of you in pursuit of trout by way of the midge. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 43 - Trout Season

Oh, Those Old Cold Bones

In the moment the great creator decided to give my mother the only child she would ever have, there evidently was a shortage of construction materials.  This shortage I speak of surely explains why little material was used in the creation of yours truly. 

I'm skinny - there's no other way to say it. 

I don't know if I mind being skinny.  If I really try, I can see some advantages of being thin, skinny, skinrod built, sparse or whatever adjective one might come forth with. 

In being skinny, never have I had to worry about the scales, or going on a diet... watching the waist-line, or going to the gym and sweating my arse off several days a week in order to keep the current wardrobe owned. 

You won't catch me in a grocery store turning containers around looking at the calorie content of anything.  If it looks good... it if sounds good... if it smells good... I'm gonna eat it!  In being skinny, there has never been those moments when I'd pass on a slice of Key lime or coconut creme pie, or tell the ice cream scooper to hold back on the chocolate syrup - no, no, no,... drown it please. 

However, there are some disadvantages in being thin also. 

They make some kind of device that measures body fat.  I figure if they put that device on me the response would be, "Mister.... your nothing but bone, blood, and sinew!"  And, this is where being skinny becomes a great disadvantage. 

Skinny people get cold faster when fly fishing during the winter.  It's not hard to figure out why - there is no fat on our bodies to protect us from the darn cold weather. 

Look at creatures in nature.  Creatures like sea lions, polar bears, and some whales, that live in cold environments have deep layers of fat on their bodies.  This fat insulates them from the cold temperatures.  Have you ever seen a skinny sea lion? 

One disadvantage is clothes.  You ever try to find a pair of 28 X 32 pair of jeans?  Oh, there are plenty of 30 X 32 pair of jeans available, but 28 waist size?  Only on very lucky days do I strike gold in my clothing shopping. 

Clothing problems I can live with, but the larger problem for me in being skinny is freezing my bo-hind off fly fishing during the winter.

During winter, I tend to layer clothng each time I go fly fishing, whether it be at Blue River or anywhere else.  However, there are only so many layers a fellow can put on before he gets to feeling "stoved up". 

After three or four long sleeved pull-over shirts, a guy can beomce cinched, or stiff, bound-up, and the elbows become locked up.  The elbows, I dare to say, in fly fishing are somewhat important.  Plus, with all those layers of clothing on, if you go into the soup they are gong to absorb a lot of water rather quickly.

Then, consider this.  If you have three or four long sleeved pull-over's on, either you'll wear them outside the pants or inside and either way the waders are going over.  As sure as the sun rises in the east, the urge to de-water the bladder will come about and it's tough trying to wade through four layer of shirts in opening the barn door.  For some of us, when we wait too long, trying to get through all those layers to opening said barn door can result in... disaster.  Enough said, huh? 

So... I've been shopping here of late looking for some of the new-age technology in cold weather clothing that will keep my little butt warm. 

Today, I looked at Under Armour products and so far I like what I read.  Price point is usually a deciding factor, but, sometimes the comfort factor will far outweigh the price of any product.  And, such is the case in my case. 

I looked at a couple of other cold season undergarment products, but, they mentioned wool.  Wool is warm no doubt, however, some of us who are of northern european descent tend to have problems wearing wool.  People of northern europen descent have a high tendency to understand what eczema is and eczema and wool is kind of like fire and petro.  For a person with eczema wearing wool is like asking for an invitation to the doctor's office and a big and painful steroid shot in the buttock.  Been there, done that, it sucks.

I'm going to keep shopping and find some cold weather fly fishing gear because I'm tired of freezing my little arse off.  I know there's not much to "freeze off", but the little I do have... I'd really like to keep.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 42 - Trout Season

The Madness And Mystery Of The Midge

It's safe to say that a fly angler could spend a lifetime trying to figure out everything there is to know about the midge and it would be the kind of thing that would lead some of us to drinking... more. 

After all, there are several thousand species in the midge world.  Then there are colors to consider, along with size, and different life stages of this insect. 

In short, a midge is a two wing fly, belonging to the classification of Diptera.  They are a quite small fly, but often thick in numbers.  Chironomids are most likely the predominate presence of midges and they thrive in cold water environments where trout also thrive. 

As far as colors to use, my experience, although limited, has been that black, olive, creme, and cinnamon will work at times on Blue River.  But, the guessing game is which color to choose.  Black is a difficult color to beat at most times I would suggest.  I've only seen a trout's stomach pumped one time in my fly fishing life.  As the gentleman who did the pumping emptied the deposits in the palm of his hand there was nothing but minute black midges.  After seeing these creatures it was easy for me to go to the fly box and match exactly what the fish were keying on - a size 22 - 26 black thread midge. 

I think that when we are tying our midge patterns we quite often tie them thicker than they should be.  Most things in nature, as far as trout food, are usually smaller than we envision. 

Size - oh how important is size?  Extremely important, but again, it is usually a mystery to us while we are standing in the river.  My approach these days, when strictly fishing midges, is to give the trout choices.  Choices by way of showing the pretty fish three different sizes and stages of the midge.  But again, the color is a guessing game. 

And, then there are the stages that range from larva to pupa to emerging (or what I call shucking) stage, to the adult.  Of these stages, I'm convinced that the shucking stage is the most important.  This is where the midge is desperately trying to escape the shuck, to fly away, and is the most attractive and opportune offering for the trout. 

Usually on Blue, when I get to the river early it's all streamers.  Come mid-morning if the streamers are faltering, a switch to nymphs will be made.  And in the afternoon, it's time to go to midges.  However, if at anytime, there is evidence the trout are keying on midges, it's time to rig up a three midge offering.   

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 41 - Trout Season

To The Woods And Water

Anytime I can get beyond the concrete, the asphalt, the pavement - I do.  Beyond these man-made things, and the brick and mortar, lies the excitement of the woods and the water. 

Today, was a no fishing day for me.  I couldn't possibly get to the river Blue for having to work at not one mercantile store, but, two. 

In between those two store shifts was a break and taking advantage of that break I escape briefly to the local creek for a little scouting. 

There is a section of the carp creek that Charlie and I so favor that we have yet to explore.  As a kid, I remember it quiet well and explored it often, but, that's been a long time ago. 

Our hopes is this stretch of water will hold carp and give us another avenue to pursue the grand and golden ones this coming spring and summer. 

This stretch of creek has the characteristics of much of the rest of the creek with sandbars or shoals, narrow areas that flow into wide flat pools.  The banks have been cleared at this place on the creek, probably the results of a local telecommunications company property being located here. 

There's an old dam just below this run of water and I remember it well from thirty years ago.  It had come a torrential rain in early October and my son and I decided to build a homemade raft and float the raging creek.  We put in about 300 yards above the dam, but,  our adventure would be short-lived.  When the raft went off the dam, with us on it, our not-so-safe ship sank and we became caught in the violent down flow coming off the dam.  The only thing that saved us that day was an inner tube we had tied on the back of the raft.  I was able to break the rope free and we hung onto the tube until we could get to a bank.

I won't have to worry about such nonsense things anymore though - I simply fly fish for carp in this creek. 

The weather looks really iffy for this coming week and a fly fishing trip for the pretty fish at Blue may be hard to come by.  However, somehow a way to get to the woods and water must be found.  Such trips are salvation. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 40 - Trout Season

A Baker's Dozen

It's hard to believe that today day forty of trout season arrived.  It seems like the season just started yesterday.  At this clip, we will be half way through trout season at Blue river before we know it. 

It was a gorgeous day on the river today.  Not arriving until half past mid-morning, the weather was still crisp and somewhat nipply, if you will. 

Pushing the ponies across the river at Hughes Crossing we turn into the campsite overlooking Horseshoe Falls and Ted's Pool.  Once there, I didn't know whether to slap leather hard across the ponies backside or to pull up on the reigns and stomp the foot-brake.  Within the campsite were a lot of tents, vehicles, and people. 

Deciding to stake my claim in the water no matter what, the ponies were pulled back and hitched.  A trail was struck to the water and to my utter amazement there wasn't a soul on the river at Ted's Pool.  Either folk had fished early or not fished at all because of the cold morning temperatures. 

On the tying desk last night, I found a pink woolly bugger... yes pink.  Can't remember why I tied a pink bugger - probably to torment pan fish or something, but, I grabbed the fly because I wanted to see if a trout would bite this... uh, not your usual fly you want to wade around the river when others are watching. 

I tie it on and send it sailing into the stew.  Damn thing catches a trout.  Send it sailing again and there is a hard strike followed by a hard hook-set.  Trout gets flies, fly fisher gets empty tippet end. 

Then an olive bugger goes on and this boy goes to work right away.  Today, it was much of the same as it's been on the last several outings - deep in the column, slow to little action on the fly.  The action wasn't hot and heavy and the pool was worked from the right to the left.  Then however, I shortened the distance and about six feet off a ledge was a remarkable little pocket.  A pocket where the trout were waiting. 

After ten trout were brought to hand the bugger is cut off and retired.  Prince Nymph hasn't seen any action on the last several trips so he goes into the stew. 

Funny thing about the Prince today - the fly had to be fished deep and a dead drift by itself wasn't producing.  After a long dead drift a little twitch was needed to get the fish to react.  Prince didn't do nary as well as the bugger, but, the two fish the fly took were significantly larger than the fish the bugger took. 

Never again will I complain about my feet being numb while fly-fishing and here's why.  It wasn't long after the second trout was taken by Prince that I heard voices behind me on Horseshoe Falls.  The voices had distinct Hispanic flavorings and as I turn to look I see a family of four with pant legs rolled up and barefooted, wading across the falls.  Barefooted!  This had to be the toughest family of all time!  Here I was in waders with neoprene booties and heavy duty wading shoes and I was already going numb. 

Leaving Ted's Pool I go to Scotty's to get a beer and run into James Russell.  James has been gone from Blue River for about two and a half years and it was good to see him.  He had his friends Jack and Bruce with him and they had been fly fishing around the crossing early. 

After they had lunch we met up downstream at Glory Hole to fish again.  However, the afternoon was terribly off as far as fishing.  After about an hour I bid goodbye to James and friends and headed to the prairie home. 

I left the river with a baker's dozen of trout to hand. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 39 - Trout Season

Avoiding The Pattern Fatigue Trap

I admit it.  When it comes to my fly fishing life these days, I tend to be a little bit lazy.  Hasn't always been that way, and I'm not for certain it is all due to laziness.  Sometimes I look at it as a matter of voiding inconvenience.

Tying flies on the tippet these days is not as easy as it use to be.  If, by chance, the reading glasses are left behind at the bunk house, then I've pretty much screwed the pooch as far as changing flies a lot on that particular outing. 

So, my choices are to suffer from pattern fatigue or constantly keep moving. 

All of us has experienced this same thing.  We arrive at a particular stretch of water, a pocket, a run, a back eddy and we toss a fly into the punch and with the first cast bring a bow to hand.  Then on the next ten casts we bring anywhere from seven to ten more trout to hand.  But... then it all quits.  Another dozen casts and not nary a bite.  That's pattern fatigue.

Pattern fatigue is quite simple.  The fish in a certain structure of water you are fishing simply get wise to the pattern being used.  At that occurrence it's time for us to make a decision to change patterns or simply move to another body of water. 

I've been inclined, here of late, to move to another body of water rather than tie on a new pattern.  However, at times it is to wonder if I'm cheating myself.  The pattern doesn't actually have to change - the color can, and then if that doesn't work then it's time to completely change the pattern.  In other words, you started and did well with a streamer, then once that quit, changed color on that same streamer pattern and if there's still no improvement, it's time to consider a nymph or something else.

Of course if the trout are keying on midges let's say, there's probably no reason to move or often change patterns if you can find the right stage of midge life the trout are after.  In this case you'll not change patterns, but, rather life cycle. 

Pattern fatigue is easy to fall into, but, can easily be avoided by holding your spot (where you already know there are fish) and going into the fly box until you find what the fish want.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 38 - Trout Season

Good New For An Already Pretty River

It's always pleasing to hear some good news about one of our rivers.  Good news is something that seems to come rarely these days and times. 

Just last week, I shared not so good news about the Denver South Platte and how the concern and action of one man became infectious.  Through that process the news turned out on the good side for this Denver river that so many in that area hold good favor for.

On Monday, there was a news release from the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy announcing the purchase of almost 500 acres along Blue River. 

According to Mike Furh, state Director of the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy, the purchase of this tract of land is the first in a long time and unlike usual acquisitions, which are already in pristine shape, this particular purchase presents the challenge of rehabbing the land along the river. 

Furh stated, "This is a river project." 

When I read the words "river project" a smile came to my face.  Owning the philosophy that "upstream is downstream", I believe the efforts of the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy will lead to a better river overall. 

Furh went on to mention the issue of water quality, which is often overlooked in this time when quantities of water far overshadowed quality. 

The tract of land in question is somewhat north of land owned by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, but, not so far that the efforts of the Nature Conservancy will directly benefit the portion of river that serves as a fall and winter trout fishery and overall wonderful year round fishery.