Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Sinner's Lament

I owe Charlie a huge apology.  You see... about ten days ago Charlie trotted down to the creek and caught a couple of carp.  I was too quick to announce what Charlie had did and stated that he had faltered in his resolve and made this great transgression since it wasn't anywhere near spring - the time the next carp adventure was scheduled to begin.

Today... I sinned also, and I would be such the hypocrite if I fail to first admit my own transgression and say to my friend Charlie, "I'm sorry ol' buddy, my response was a knee-jerk reaction."

Now if I was looking for an excuse or a reason as to why I fell so hard into this depth of sin I committed, then the fault would end up squarely in the lap of Mother Nature.  You see, it was seventy degrees today, a temperature more associated with the spring season rather than winter, and quite simply... I was fooled. 

Today I found a very thin creek - very thin.  The afternoon glare was difficult at best and in some places impossible to get any kind of visual on a carp.  I finally could see the outline of a carp and blind casted to him with the orange and olive Carpola Charlie.  This first carp picked the fly up and ran with it.

Few other carp were being spotted so I move upstream and find a carp I can sight fish.  Carpola Charlie in front of his face and he came to it right away.  The first Mirror Carp of the 2011 season.

The weather that is coming our way will put the 2011 campaign back to the wait list for awhile, but tomorrow is predicted to be near seventy degrees once again.  What is a fly fishing, sinful, low-down
carper suppose to do?

First carp of the 2011 season.


Second carp of 2011 was a Mirror Carp.
The 2010 carp adventure was known as the Carp Crusades and our adventures were chronicled.  Charlie suggested that 2011 should be known as the Carp Chronicles Redux.  Let the redux begin.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quick Fishing Report

I was certain that Dean from Wichita Falls was coming to the river this morning - at least that's what his last dispatch said.  So... my plan was to get to the river early and lay in ambush for him.  Three hours later, and no Dean, told me that evidently his plans had changed.

At 7:30 this morning it was down right cold on the river.  The thermometer read twenty-two degrees, but to me it felt much colder.

Of course, when you're fishing in weather as cold as this morning, guides, line, and reels icing up is always a big problem.  We just have to keep dipping the rod and guides in the water and keep on keepin' on. 

The fishing was okay today - not remarkable or hot and heavy, but simply steady.  The color of the day was brown.  Usually I go with olive, but at the vise last night I tied a brown bug and decided to give it a test run today.  Olive was the first color presented today, but attracted little interest.  Brown was so good that it would take seventeen of the nineteen trout met today. 

Ended up losing the brown bug to a damn rock and tied on a fluro bug.  The fluro bug was non-weighted so added split shot was required to get it down to the fish.  The fluro bug took two and it was about that time the wind got up and I called it a day. 

It may be my imagination, but the trout this season seem easily stressed.  We can land them quickly, get the hook our promptly and upon release the trout seem extremely lethargic.  I've even had a good number try and belly-up on me.  Why the trout would be more stressed this season is beyond me.  I have to wonder if it's because the flow is down and there is maybe less oxygen in the water.  Honestly, I don't know.  I still say the river is different this year.  Perhaps not a lot different, but still something is not right.

This area is already down two inches of rain for the year, and I pray we get some soon - not just for the river... but for the dry parched prairie land.  Wildfires are ravaging beasts. 

Spent the budgeted amount of pony feed today, so guess it will be close to home for me for the remainders of the week. 

Fluro bug took this pretty trout.
Brown patterns ruled today.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Will The Price Of Petrol Put The Pinch On Pursuing The Pisces Species

When preparing for a fishing trip, the feed bag has to go on the prairie ponies and pony feed continues to go up.  Yesterday afternoon, pony feed was $3.04 for a gallon bucket and predicted to go up.  The rising cost of petrol may very well have an overall effect on fly fishing in general.  With increased costs associated in just "getting there", some of us less affluent anglers may have to curtail our activities. 

Being a fly fisher, that is barely keeping his neck above that drowning line and sinking into the depths of the classification of "welfare-class angler", the price of petrol does alter the destiny I know is mine to own.  To fly fish is the path I was born to travel and why the oil barons, giants, and market manipulators have chosen to target me and thousands of other similar-fate fly anglers is beyond any common sense reasoning.

The rising cost of petrol doesn't only effect us at the pump.  A perfect example is at the grocery store checkout lane.  All that wonderful produce that is grown in the San Joaquin Valley doesn't suddenly appear on display at your local grocery store.  Transporting food from the field to the packer/shipper to the distribution center to the wholesaler to the retailer adds up rather quickly.  The higher petrol... the higher the cost of food.

Most likely, you and several ten-million other people weren't thinking about petrol while smearing the toothpaste on the toothbrush this morning.  But... as you, and the other ten-million or so brushed up and down, back and forth, oil royalty owners everywhere were smiling like the Cheshire Cat, because toothpaste is one of the many products that contains petroleum.

I'd almost bet good money, if I had any, that the price of petrol has an immediate correlation with the number of fly fishing trips anglers make during any given year.  You can probably graph it out. 

Of course there are great and grand plans for the future... to free us of the can't-live-without pacifier known as oil  We have become addicted to oil as any poor soul that made the mistake of smoking crack at some point in his or her life.  However, the grand future plans to free us of our dependency doesn't solve the immediate problem which is getting to the water without having to eventually file bankruptcy. 

The sad part is this. The only way America is going to avoid higher petrol prices... is for all of us to drive less.

For a fly fishing addict... this may be a painful thing to do.  Painful indeed, but a selfless thing at the same time... as the price of petrol puts the pinch on piscatorial pursuit.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Sustainable Fly Fisher - Recycled Microtrash Collection Container

Come join the sustainable fly fisher as he
recycles and tromps through trash
trying to make something out of nothing,

At work today, I found a discarded cashew can - the kind that has one of those resealable or reusable plastic lids.  Looking at this piece of someones trash I immediately saw the great potential in this refuse particularly since I had lost my store bought micro-trash/discarded tippet collection container.  So I fetched the can out of the trash bin and headed to the prairie home to begin trying to make something out of nothing.

At the bunkhouse I assembled everything I thought I would need in order to turn this spurned object, that once held someones delight, into a workable solution in protecting the environment and saving rivers everywhere!  Sounds kind of grand doesn't it, but the fact is discarded tippet, and mono-filament can stay in the environment for hundreds and hundreds of years.  Besides, fish are attractive to these bright shiny morsels of poly-something and once they eat these micro disasters the chemicals start to break down in their system.   If this happens again and again, then someday we will start to see problems in our fish population.
Saved from the grave of some landfill somewhere.
The first order of business was to take a box blade and cut an X in the plastic lid.  The X serves as a tippet collection portal and after you insert your finger and tippet the tippet is captured upon removing your finger.
See how easily Mr. Happy Finger slides through.

Now, I don't really want to be seen on the river with a cashew can peeking out of my vest pocket, so I decided to gus the can up a little.  I just happen to remember that there is some trout themed wall border around the house somewhere.  Knowing how orderly Miss Carol is, it didn't take me long to find it.  Taking the border trim, I sized it, cut it, and pasted it on the can.
All dressed up and ready to go.

Since I'd lost my store-bought micro-trash collection container out of my vest pocket, I decided to make a fail-safe or safety harness system for this newest recycled environmentally friendly micro-trash collection container - whew, that's a mouthful!

Early today, I found an old bead chain I use to wear around my neck that held Smokey's dog tags - dog tags that are now on my lanyard.  This chain would be a perfect safety harness.  Punching a hole in each side of the can, the chain was threaded through and secured. 
The safety net.

And here we have the recycled environmentally friendly, possibly river saving, micro-trash/discarded tippet collection container.  It's resting in the vest pocket firmly attached to the chain attached to the vest.

Next time on The Sustainable Fly Fisher, we will visit the Seen A Better Day Fly Recycling And Rehab Center.  It is a place of great hope.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Good For Google Green

In the mail today, I received an offer from Google to sign up for one of their services.   Now, I doubt that I take part in their offer, but I did read the entire text and that's when I discovered something quite delightful.

In the very last paragraph, or sentence if you will, there is this text.
"PS:  This card was printed on 100% recycled paper embedded with wildflower seeds.  Plant it in a sunny spot with a thin layer of soil, add water, and watch it grow - while you watch your business grow with AdWords."

How cool an idea is that?  Sure, they could have left that last bit of pitch off, but overall what a grand idea!  No way is this thing going in the trash or shredder.  Nope.... I'm planting it!  And, I applaud Google's effort in being green, recycling, and their effort in increasing sustainability.  Soon as the weather warms up, it's going in the ground, where I will patiently await for the colors that will soothe my eyes, and the nectar that will flow providing a food source for insects and birds, and the seeds that will drop to the ground or scatter to other locations and possibly start over. 

What if hundreds of other companies did the same thing?  What if all paper grocery bags were embedded with seeds, like squash, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, and so on and on.  Instead of the paper bag going in the dog-gone dumpster, it could go in the ground and give us crops (maybe) back. 

I think the fly fishing industry needs to look at this also.  Anything they merchandise that has a paper card with it could be embedded with seeds.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hate Meeces To Pieces

I doubt that Mr. Jinx really hated meeces to pieces as he proclaimed for years.  He did like jacking with Pixie and Dixie though, like moving their mouse hole right before their arrival. 

Here we are in the middle of trout season and still a good two months away from the prime time of bass fishing on the prairie ocean, and I find myself fixated with a particular daydream. 

In this dream I see myself employing a fast or panic strip on a meece pattern across the glass-like surface of a lake, when suddenly a large bulge forms underneath the fly.  Then, just as suddenly, there's a huge explosion of water as the bass sky rockets through the surface with my meece pattern dangling in the corner of his jaw.  Rod hand goes up, line hand goes down, hook is firmly planted in the corner of the eight... no nine, maybe ten pound largemouth. 

I bet bass hate meeces to pieces. In my experience bass seem to be somewhat territorial and it would reason when they see a gray, somewhat furry, long-tailed creature meece-paddling across the top of their watery den...something primordial occurs... that basic instinct that says attack. Besides... a meece would certainly prove to be a welcomed and varied change to the mundane bass menu, plus offer up a healthy portion of protein.

Now, I don't hate meece, but I don't really like tying meece patterns.  Stacking, spinning, packing, trimming, shaping oodles and oodles of hair holds no fancy for me and there are many other ways I'd rather spin my time on the vise.  However, I have seen some wonderful fly tyers who create beautiful works of art spinning deer hair.  So, it would seem best for me to simply be charitable to these artisans and buy their works of arts.

Meece pattern by Chris Adams
I do have some meece patterns given to me from other fly anglers.  I don't always fish the flies given to me from my brothers of the angle, but rather I keep them as reminders of the person that gave... and the day it was given.

There is one particular meece pattern I own that has it's own story.  There was a day when Scotty opened his Blue River One Stop at six in the morning rather than seven.  On a particular Sunday, I arrived at Scotty's about ten minutes before opening and noticed a vehicle at the front door of the store. Before the morning was over I would come to learn the man behind the wheel went by the name of Randy.

It seemed that Randy had successfully closed one of the local drinking establishments about several hours prior.  Since helping turn out the lights at the dive he had been patiently waiting for some sign of humanity - which turned out to be me. 

I had driven the little brown pony (S-10) on this Sunday morning, and before I could pull back on the reins and come to a complete stop, the fellow I would come to know as Randy was out of his car smiling, and staggering, and waving, and staggering some more.  He was still terribly polluted or maybe terribly hung-over.  He had somehow miraculously navigated the road from the Milburn Bar And No Grill to the front doorstep of Scotty's, and he was now acting like I was a long lost friend... when in fact we did not know one another.
Now I don't know if Randy was just an exceptional congenial type guy or if it was the fact his blood alcohol content was probably close to 2.6 or something like that, and his condition had his communication process in high gear. But whatever it was... Randy was quite the talker.  He quickly learned the reason for my arrival was due to my plans to fly fish, and upon learning this Randy became extremely excited and started staggering to the back of his car, beseeching me to quickly follow.

At the back of his car, Randy struggled to insert the key in the trunk latch, but once he did he revealed an absolute treasure trove of high end fly fishing stuff.  To me, it looked like Randy has just finished a shopping spree at an Orvis store somewhere.  He grabbed a rather large fly box that held nothing but well tyed hair flies - beautiful creations.  He started plucking flies and handing them to me saying, "Here, take this one... no take two, you may loose one.  Oh, take this one too, and here's another one you'll probably need."  Fly after fly came my way including a nicely done meece pattern pictured below.

I couldn't get a read on why Randy was being so benevolent to me - was he just a kind, giving person, or was it the fact that intoxicated people sometimes tend to be over-generous when they are under the influence?  Shortly, however, the real reason would reveal itself.  It seemed when Randy approached the little brown pony he noticed the ice chest in the back of my truck - an ice chest I had most assuredly stowed a six-pack of beer for use later in the day.  It didn't take long, after showering me with flies, for Randy to inquire whether said ice chest held cold beer?  Seeing that he was in need of emergency care and the correct prescription would be hair of the dog, I told Randy that indeed the chest held beer, and he was welcome to tip one, which he wasted no time in doing.

It was about that time Scotty showed up and I went inside to fix a pot of coffee.  I not only grabbed a cup for myself, but one for Randy too, who was still outside nursing that beer. Randy wasn't interested in the coffee, but feeling somewhat better now, he announced he would fly fish with me this morning - my lucky day I guess. 

Randy lasted a full thirty minutes on the river before coming to me to say he'd decided to go back to the parking lot.  He asked if I would mind if he sampled another beer and I told him that would be no problem.  I watched him waddle up the road, then reach in the back of the truck and snatch two Coors Lights. That was the last time I seen him.

I keep Randy's meece pattern in a small wooden boat on my fly tying table.  Every now and then I'll pick it up and remember the morning I made a two-hour new best friend and his name was Randy.

Now when it comes to meece and men we're in the same boat - which is exactly where we should stay.  Meece and men don't take naturally to water.  Oh sure, there are those that will argue that we, man, crawled out of the sea some millions of years ago.  If that is indeed true then we've certainly lost our ability, along the way, to breath under water.  And sure, we've learned how to swim and I've seen meece that can swim rather well, but the fact is if we stay on the water too long we will tire and we will drown!  The same is true for meece!

So, in the next several months, I'll gather some of my meece patterns and put them in a particular fly box preparing for the upcoming pre-spawn bass season of late March and April. 

Until then, I'll simply have some fun watching Mr. Jinx jack with those meeces Pixie and Dixie.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

This Sunday's Sight Cast

Each week I sail the sea lanes of the fly fishing blog world and look for some of the many outstanding posts.  This week I sight cast to Fishing Jones.  Really like what he has to say and it's easy to tell he's a good steward of our water and natural resources. 

Check out his article on Recycled Fish.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pawn Shop Pleasures

Is one man's trash truly another man's treasure?  I will have to say that indeed it is.  Here of late, fortune has come my way in visiting pawn shops, thrift stores, and garage sales.  Here are a few pictures of some of the "older" stuff I've come across recently.  One of these days I'll share the gest of the Billinghurst fly reel I once held in my hand and didn't know what I had. Oh.... how very sick I became upon learning of the treasure that slipped through my fingers.

A Martin Fly Reel 2 and it works great.  Mounted on a Wright and McGill Rod that came with it.
Eagle Claw Feather Light in really good shape.
Shakespeare Model EC Auto Retrieve
Another Shakespeare Auto Retrieve
Berkley Fly Rod
Lots of Eagle Claw products out there.
Martin Fly Reel
Eagle Claw combo fly/spin rod in original packaging and the packaging seal was intact. Probably from the 80's?
A little bamboo rod in much need of a bamboo doctor.  However, this rod along with a Martin Fly Reel 2, Berkley Fly Rod, and two rod cases were scarfed for a five dollar bill.  Sweet!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Will Work For Fish

Saturday morning I decided to go to the workshop for the soul on the river Blue.  The prairie schooner sailed under a grey billowy sky, a sky undulating with pewter colored pillows accented with soft white edges.  It was a completely overcast sky and usually I associate this with a good fly fishing day - at least that was my hope.

However, after an hour of arriving at the river, the overcast sky had give way to the sun, and a near bluebird day.  I think the sun breaking through was somehow symbolic since it shed light on the fact that I'd been in the river for an hour and hadn't even felt so much as a bump on the fly. 

Though I come to the workshop, that place of relaxation and reflection, it looked like the workshop was going to turn into a place of work.  Indeed it would, and at the end of the outing I knew I had worked for each trout that I battled. 

Probably most of us don't mind having to work in catching fish.  I sometimes expect it and think it's a good thing.  Having to work for trout reminds us of how quickly these pretty little fish can serve up a healthy slice of humble pie topped with a little extra humility.  Eating humble pie is sometimes a good thing. 

When we get into a situation where the fish are hard to come by we must be true believers.  In keeping the faith, the trout will likely, more than not, come to us eventually.  Saturday is a perfect illustration of this.  Six of the nine trout I captured came in the last thirty minutes of fishing as I was working my way back downstream having made the decision to pack it up. 

Yes, the fishing was slow and it seems there are few trout compared to weeks past.  I fished with three other anglers I didn't know.  We fished the same stretches of water the entire time.  Two of the anglers were fly fishermen and the third was armed with a spinning rod.  At the end of their outing they had only managed three trout amongst them.  That's pretty slow.

Fishing wasn't the only thing slow.  Interest in being on the river was really off also.  Very few people on the river Saturday morning and I estimate the crowd was maybe thirty percent of what it usually is.  That surprised me because the talk on the river has been the expected arrival of the Missouri trout and that usually means larger trout.  But, I don't think that happened this week and I'm not for sure it's going to happen at all since the wildlife department is mixing the sizes this season.  Time will tell us for sure, but all nine of the trout I battled were eight inch fish. 

I took a new pattern with me Saturday in hopes it would be a producing fly.  I did fish it for about twenty minutes, but it drew no interest from the trout.  I don't think this initial try was indicative of what the fly can possibly do, so another shot will be made.  The fly has a very sparse marabou tail with a couple strands of peacock colored flash.  The body is what is different.  I took gray bug fur and blended it with silver flash dubbing making a sparkle dub.  The fly was finished with a partridge soft hackle.  Haven't given it a name yet and if it fails on the next outing I'll name it Back To The Drawing Board, and if it works like I hope it will, then it will be named Second To None.  Wishful thinking, huh?

All nine trout battled on Saturday were called out by the olive Woolly Bugger.  What was interesting though, is the trout didn't want it on a strip and they didn't really want it on a drift.  And speaking of drift... the flow is so slow it gives a brand new meaning to the phrase "dead drift".  I finally tied the bugger under an indicator and cast it upstream.  After letting it sit and drift for twenty or so seconds, I would give it a twitch.  Usually on the third of fourth twitch, the strike would come.  

Giving thanks, I left the river a half hour before noon with the after-taste of humble pie in my mouth.

Oh, speaking of Humble Pie, here's a little of their music from 1971.

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Good Kind Of Tired

Yesterday around three-thirty in the afternoon, I commented to Mercurio my lack of need to water the Lillie's all day long, which is really weird for me.  He asked if I'd drank any water and the answer was no.  I wasn't feeling bad, but admittedly I was dog tired.  It was a good kind of tired though, because it was fishing with friends.

However, this morning I pretty much felt like hammered dog poop that had been baked at 350 degrees for a couple of hours.  Every orifice of my body was bone dry; eyes felt like I relived the Dust Bowl - I was purely and totally dehydrated. 

Along with Chris Adams and Mercurio we spent almost eight hours on the river yesterday, which is four hours longer than normal for me, and four hours longer than my body tells me I should try and stay.  However, when fishing with friends I like to try and "hang". 

Blue River coffee shop.

Arriving at the Ruff Diamond at 7 a.m., Ralph already had the best darn coffee on the river ready to go.  Chris arrived about five minutes later and the two of us visited with Ralph for a few minutes.  Ralph shared with us a neat project he has underway that will help many a fly fisher on Blue River once he gets it done. 

Today would be the first trip of this trout season for Chris and he was excited, anxious, and ready to get on the water.  I suggested he go ahead and get us a hole in the south wilderness before the crowds arrived.  Of course, Chris was happy to oblige and off he went.  Merc arrived about a half hour later and after meeting Ralph, Merc and I shoved off to catch up with Chris. 

It was rather cold early, but a brisk walk into the wilderness warmed us up and we caught up with Chris at Coyote Pass.  About a minute after arriving we watched Chris hook up with a bow.  Merc and Chris took the upstream side of Coyote and I went downstream.  The two of them were plucking a few bows from the water they were fishing while I was still searching.  The first bow I'd catch was a mess.  Poor fellow had a hook down his throat with the line and large split shot hanging out his mouth.  Of course all that crap became bird-nested around my tippet.  I managed to free the fish of the line and split and let him go thinking the hook will pass. 

If you ever want to see some meticulous work, then ask Chris if you can have a look at one of his fly boxes.  There you will find some imaginary and creative flies; full of vivid color, form, and fashion.  He is a gifted and artful artisan and his creations seem to catch fish.

It wasn't long until Chris found one of those magical, mystical pools of water that yield bow after bow.  Chris said it was a "trout hotel" and if that was the case the hotel was at full occupancy.  To me, it looked more like a trout party and Chris was the party crasher!  Merc and I stood by and watched Chris plucked bow after bow from this rather small pool of water.  I would've sworn he pulled twenty or more trout from this pool, but I believe he told Merc it was only seventeen.  Only seventeen?  Geeezzz Chris!

Chris has a pattern he ties using a Bubba Jig, that was surely created by some good ol' boy down south.  He gave me one of his creations, but I didn't fish it wanting to save it for later.  Looking at the Bubba Jig, the shape looks remarkably like the shape of a fish head... so it's reasonable to think that maybe this imitates a small bait fish.  But, I think the pattern is actually considered a nymph.  Wapsi has Bubba Jig's available.

Now Merc is hard to keep track of.  He seems to like to explore a pocket, pool, or run, plucking a few bows and then moving on upstream.  At Coyote Pass he plucked three bows and then headed upstream, where he would pluck a couple of more bows and so on and so on.

There were some nice size bows yesterday, but most of mine were standard stockers.

I wasn't having quite the success my two amigos were having in catching trout.  Two hours into it, I only had four trout to my credit.  It wouldn't be until I reached the Ancient Boulders that the fish would come my way.  The Ancient Boulders is pure pocket fishing and it was one or maybe two bows per pocket, and there are quite a few pockets.  However, the wading here is treacherous - the toughest wading on the river.  If you fish the Ancient Boulders please take a wading staff. 

Merc got on my case about not having studs on my wading boots and I know he's right - I'm just an accident waiting to happen, and I can't afford any accidents. 

Chris and Merc went on up to Dividing Line Falls and got out on the sandbar.  However, there was a huge crowd at Dividing Line and this water would yield no fish for the two of them. 

It was time to head back downstream and Chris went up ahead.  I walked back with Merc, but he spotted a place he could roll cast off the bank, so I left him to the water and headed to Coyote Pass to take a rest and wait on him.  He shows up about thirty minutes later having landed eight more trout rolling off that bank. 
Chris Adams
Michael Mercurio

Back at the parking area, we broke out the beer and visited with Matt, the area manager, for a bit.  It was a darn good day.  Truthfully however, Merc and Chris gave my old ass a pretty good spanking in catching trout, but they did it diplomatically.  And, if you're going to get an ass spanking... a little diplomacy sure does help. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Good And Not So Good

Partridge and Orange Soft-hackle flyImage via Wikipedia
Today was a good day of fishing for sure.  The catching wasn't too bad also, but there won't be any pictures posted and that's the not-so-good part of the day's adventure. 

The camera took the plunge just like it did this past spring in Rock Creek.  Somehow, this little camera survived that incident, but I have my doubts whether this latest act of carelessness is survivable.  Ehhh... I sucked at taking pictures anyhow.

Main reason for fishing on the river Blue today was to launch the Bubble Boy soft hackle on his maiden voyage.  He did okay!   Bubble Boy caught the first four trout... but that would be all he would catch, losing his life at sea.

After the departure of the young lad, the brown body soft hackle that did so well last week was employed solo.  And, this soft hackle pattern did well until giving his life to a tree limb.

The bugger was put into action, but would only find two trout.  Shortly thereafter a partridge and orange was enlisted to help the bugger and once again the soft hackles attracted fish. 

It was a pretty day even though it was a little cold this morning.  To me, the river looked a little off-color, kind of blurred, or fuzzy looking, but that could very well just be me.  The fishing wasn't hot and heavy at all.  Actually it seemed slow and the whole river seems to be off as far as fishing.  The river's level is lower than last week and good flows are hard to find in some areas.

I guess dropping the camera in the river deflated things a bit... you know kind of dampened the whole outing.  Didn't catch a fish after that incident.  Decided to just call it a day and head for my prairie home.

On the way out I met Scott Spradling and that indeed was a pleasure.  It seems Scott has quite the fishing story to tell... so let's let him tell it.  I know one fly-fisher who will really like this story.

I left the river having met twelve rainbow trout.  Ten shook hands with one form of soft hackle or the other, and the other two met the bugger.

Stopped by Ralph Fullenwinder's Ruff Diamond to visit and get a cup of coffee.  I still don't know what Ralph's secret is to making coffee, but without a doubt it's the best coffee I've ever had.

When I left my prairie home this morning, pony feed was $3.01 for a gallon bucket which makes pushing the ponies rather expensive these days.  My goodness, the price of petro could very well put the screws to fly fishing, with any regularity, on the river Blue. 
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Bubble Boy Soft Hackle

Sometimes when I get to drinking beer... I come up with some strange ideas.  Last night between tilts of pilsner, I decided to create another beadhead soft hackle, but this time only smaller - in size 16 to be exact.  Not only did I use a metal beadhead, a glass bead was also employed. 

Now exactly what I expected of the glass bead I don't know.  Like I said, I was drinking beer.  But, perhaps my thinking was it would simulate a trapped air bubble or maybe just add a little flash to the fly.  Of course this is a weighted fly, as it's intended to be, and this will allow us to get it a little down in the column., Of course, we can control just how far or deep we want it with a strike indicator which is the beauty of this fly.  It is meant to imitate an emerging insect and thus the air bubble makes a little sense.

Plan on taking it to Blue on the next outing and put it to the test.  If it's a success I'll quickly share the information with everyone.  If it's a great failure then it's back to the tying desk and pilsner.

Rear view of the bubble boy soft hackle
Glass bead is directly behind beadhead.  Click on image for a better view.
The beginning stage of the bubble boy partridge and orange soft hackle.