Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In The Last Week Or So...


There's a big golden trout down in Area 1.  Well... at least he was as of yesterday, and as far as I know he still was as of eleven o'clock this morning. 

I had reservations about even going to the river yesterday.  It seems that since last Thursday I've come to own some kind of palpitations in the chest area.  At times they can be quite unsettling.  Guess my reasoning on Saturday was I could either deal with the thumps in my chest at the bunkhouse or on the river... provided they didn't get any worse. 

Walked into Scotty's around 9 o'clock and his store was quite busy.  Made chat with several fly anglers that I'd never met before and suggested to a couple of them they explore the south wilderness.  Of course my intentions were good, but today I find out the south wilderness had quite the crowd yesterday and there wasn't any parking spaces available in the parking lot.  So... if you are the two guys I told to go there and it didn't work out for you, let me say how sorry I am for giving you some ill advice. 

I knew very well I wouldn't be taking the hike into the south wilderness yesterday because of the thumps in my chest, and therefore elected to go downstream in Area 1. 

At the river I crossed a branch and climbed onto an island going toward a point.  At the point I slide into the river and wade out about fifteen feet.  While rigging up, a rather large golden idol submerged in about four foot of water catches my eye.  No doubt, this big boy is one of the leftover derby trout.

I make about four casts at him, and with each one he simply moves to one side or the other.  After the fourth cast, this golden icon of wall hanging excellence disappears like a fart in the wind.  It isn't long after his departure that I also disappear in the same fashion.  It seems the short wade and climb on the island had compounded the palpitations.  Not being one who cares to share a near-death experience on one of those satellite stations, I packed ass and headed for the prairie home.

At the prairie home I quickly took to the bunk.  After a couple of hours I rise to find myself still uneasy and bored out of my mind.  So... I decide to go to the creek and see what the carp are up to. 

We received rain late in the week and it was enough to have most of the creek blurred.  I did see carp at Charlie's Pasture, but they were all sticking to the far side near the undercut bank.  Now... Charlie ran down there the other day and was able to coax one to take his offering, but on Saturday I would have no such luck. 

Saturday was mostly a wash.


Sunday morning begin pretty much the same with the dominating thumps riding me like fly paper.  Again, I had reservations about even going to the river and it was only when I reminded myself of how many times I've said I wanted to be standing in the river when my good lord and master calls me yonder.  Besides... I figure I've already written a epitaph and it pretty much says to the letter and word, "I've enjoyed all the women I've known, the fish I've caught, and the beer I've drank.  Adios."  With this Sunday morning revelation in hand... I head to the river.

There were two goals on Sunday.  One was to try and locate ol' golden boy again and after giving that effort about a half hour I turned attention to the second goal, which was fishing small flies to rising trout.

Seven or eight years ago, I received the most delightful book from fellow fly-fisher Graham Jones.  This book written by Darrel Martin is not one that can be digested in one setting, or even in a number of successive settings.  It is acutely detailed and technical and gives a lot of attention to the virtues of CDC as a tying material.  I've often wondered which is the buggier material - CDC or peacock herl.  Over time I've digested this book in servings, and it has been a wonderful eye-opener to the beauty of microsized flies.

Seventeen hasn't fished well most of the season.  However, with the way Seventeen is we can usually always count on her to provide a little rising action.  Today was no different. 

I'm not a real good dry fly fisherman... wish I was better.  On Blue... dry fly fishing can be really tough unless we find exactly what the trout are keying on.  On the water today were the same small black flies that Chris, Donny, and myself saw last weekend, but today they seemed much smaller.  I was convinced that the trout were keying on midges today and therefore I fished four or five different variations of the midge.  The midge did seem to be what held interesting to the trout with a number of trout missing my offering or my offering missing them.  I did bring one trout to hand on a black midge pattern.  The only other dry pattern I offered was Ralph's Ol' Gray and sure enough this pattern took a trout.  I think the poor trout came up on the fly so fast he didn't realize what he had until it was too late.

I stay at the river for only an hour and then the driving winds send me packing.  Sunday was much better than Saturday... from a fishing standpoint.


Back at the prairie home, I do some chores around the bunkhouse until it comes time to go to the mercantile store for some staples.  On the way to the general store I decide to stop by Rock Creek for a look-see.  Standing high on a bluff looking down I see two carp feeding in the shallows.  The problem is I'm on the wrong side of the creek with no waders or wading boots.  To get to the carp requires me to drive around to the other side of the creek, which I promptly do.  I have no waders, boots, camera, but... but, I do have a makeshift carp rod with a fly attached.

I say makeshift carp rod because the rod I broke during the trout derby was my fly rod for carp.  Instead of sacrificing another "good" rod, I decide to place into employemnt an old Shakespeare rod that has been sitting idle for a dozen or better years.  The Shakespeare is a stick... and, of course there are concerns if it will permit an accurate enough cast to place a fly in front of a carp, exactly where the fly needs to be.  Either I got extremely lucky today, or the question was answered with the first cast.  On the end of the tippet was a well worn and used Carp Carrot.  The Carrot landed about six inches in front of a carp and quickly disappeared from my sight in the off colored water.  Although I couldn't see the fly, I could see the carp and once his gills flared I went for the hook-set.  Indeed, the fly was in his mouth. 

Since the camera was left at the bunkhouse, I must tell you that this was a young carp... only about sixteen inches.  However, he owned the most beautifully red-orange colored tail.  Simply a beautiful creature.


If you are looking to get into some Blue River bass action, then your best chances of doing so are from now to the end of March.  With the warming temperatures and with the water warming up significantly, I suggest we are already seeing the pre-spawn at Blue.  It's during this time the bass feed in frenzy as they get ready to make love.  In April they will go into the spawn and late May or June they go post-spawn.

Now is a good time to carry slightly larger buggers in all colors.  White colored buggers or streamers seem to work quite well as does Clouser Minnows, and don't forget the crawdad patterns.  Crawdads have to be on top of the bass menu selection.
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