Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Catching Up - Some Short Casts

Sidetracked In More Ways Than One

When pony feed hit $3.42 for a gallon bucket, my inclination to hitch the ponies to the prairie schooner and head for the river Blue, at anytime I desired, pretty much came to a quietus. But, the price of petro isn't the only thing that has me, somewhat, sidetracked.

As of this past Monday, I took zero... that's like zilch, none, nada, medicines.  But... now I have my first one to take in what may very well be more and more to come.  It seems, upon feeling a little under the weather and out of my skin, a trip to the good doctor was in order and it was there while sitting on the examination table the good doctor expressed his concern for my ol' ticker. 

Now... somehow I've convinced myself that my ticker is just fine.  Sure... it's been fractured, cracked... even broken a couple of times.  However, in spite of these minor affairs of the heart, I think I good to go fly-fishing.  Although I keep telling myself everything is fine, I do plan on being a good patient and take to heart the good and thoughtful advice of some of my fly fishing friends that just happen to work in the medical field.  So... several tests are scheduled and they will be seen through in order to rule out the possibilities.

Besides, in a fly fishing sense, I would like to stick around a few more years to do what I love... because I love what I do.  And... I damn sure can't let Charlie down in our quest to learn more about the magnificent creatures, our friends, the carp.


It still seems a tad bit early for the carp in becoming active. There have been a few moving around, but for the most part the herds are staying close to the deep far banks.

Water conditions are making fly fishing for carp most difficult also. Lack of rain has caused most of the pastures Charlie and I fished last year unfish-able. The absence of stream flow has caused a build-up and blend of algae, moss, and fallen spring blossoms. This cocktail of nature makes sight fishing almost impossible at most of our pasture areas.

The only two pastures that are currently fish-able are Dry Gulch and Charlie's Pasture.  Speaking of Charlie... he saddles up from time to time and rides to the creek and captures a carp like the one below.  This time of year, Charlie calls his efforts the true March Madness.  That's crazy good stuff. 

Carp taken by Charlie.  His classy signature cap adds a nice touch.

Friday, after work, I stopped at one of the compromised pastures to discover the wind had changed and blown the stew somewhat upstream.  Seeing a few carp was actually a possibility, so a humble offering was sent into the mix in hopes of enticing the beasts.  The first two opportunities were blown.  Both carp went to the San Juan Worm, but, with the water being a bland green color, the relationship of the fly to the mouth of the carp was unattainable and both carp were missed on the hook-set.

The third carp was a different story because I could clearly see the carp suck the worm.  This particular carp went straight downstream and through a rather significant brush-pile.  How the tippet held out I'll never know.

Spring carp on San Juan Worm

The San Juan Worm didn't fare as well though.  The brush-pile acted as a barbwire fence and shredded the worm into retirement. Fortunately, there was another worm wishing for employment and said employment was granted.

It seems that young bass favor the San Juan also, as one intercepted the offering to the carp on the very next cast.  Although bass may very well like worms, I still believe their favorite menu choice is the crawdad like the one pictured below captured by a young explorer discovering the wonders of the creek nearby where I was fishing. 
The young explorer didn't call this a crawdad, but rather a blood pincher.  He must have had prior experience.

A Much Cleaner River

If you've followed these posts for anytime at all, you may have noticed one topic that has been absent from the posts of this trout season.

In years past, the subject of trash on Blue River has been addressed a good number of times.  However, if you look back to November, and the beginning of this trout season, you will not find one single mention of trash on Blue.  The reason is because the river is remarkably void of trash this season.

Granted I spent ninety-five percent of my time this season in the south wilderness area and it can be argued the south wilderness is not as heavily foot-printed by humankind.  But, even though I would agree to this argument in years gone by, this season there has been every bit as much traffic in the south wilderness as the main campground area.  The south wilderness has become quite the popular place to fish.  However, like noted, this area is well void of trash.

As to why the river Blue is a cleaner river is not quite clear to me.  I would love to think that the anglers and outdoor citizens that frequent the south wilderness simply have a keener awareness of the foot prints they can leave, along with a higher sense of stewardship.  Perhaps, it was a concerted effort by the wildlife department in doing a pre-season clean-up and then maintaining that effort during season.  Or perhaps, people just simply got tired of all my belly-aching.

I never enjoyed complaining, bitching, or bemoaning.  The tirades I posted about trash on the river are not indicative of what I like to share with others.  However, if all the groaning I can do at times truly makes a difference in ridding the river Blue of trash... I can serve up a couple more five course meals.

Truly, I believe the outdoor community has grown a greater stewardship, and in this case... a cowboy hat goes off to them.

But Then There's Rock Creek

A trash can creek.

Rock Creek, however, is a totally different story.  It's difficult for a man who basically cut his teeth on a waterway to accept the fact the stream has become little more than a trash can.  Three times last year, I cleaned Rock Creek and each time I did I very well knew that cleaning the creek wasn't the solution to the problem.  

The answer to the problem of trash on this creek rests in prevention.  With the exception of one other fine fly fisher, I just happen to know, it seems no one else gives a rat's behind about this little creek. 

The area that seems most affected is still the length of creek that runs along Sulphur Public School property.  I think the Sulphur Public School is missing out on a wonderful opportunity.  The school could adopt this part of the creek and take stewardship of it, making sure it is clean at all times.  In addition, they could then turn this section of creek into an outdoor classroom where students could explore the life of the creek and learn more about the relationship of humankind and creatures.

Perhaps a letter suggesting such is in order.
Easy to pick up, hard to prevent.
Too much trash on the creek.

A Brighter Picture For Future Water

Vendome Well at full flow.
Vendome Well at reduced flow.

It appears the National Park Service has placed their management plan for the Vendome Well into action.  The plan calls for reducing the well flow from midnight until four in the morning daily. This action is expected to save 108 million gallons of water annually.

Recently I was able to capture the reduced flow, evidently in a test run during daylight hours.  As you can see from the pictures above there is a significant difference.

The effort is a step in trying to reach a point of sustainability of the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer.

A cowboy hat off to the National Park Service people.

And More Good Eco News

The folks at Pepsico have been innovators in eco friendly products they produce.  They introduced the first compostable potato chip bag, and offer the Dream Machine which encourages local recycling efforts.

Now, Pepsico announces the world's first 100% plant based renewable plastic bottle. You can learn more by visiting their news release.

A cowboy hat off to Pepsico.

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