Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Monday, May 30, 2011

Socrates, Fly-Fishing, And Sitting

Socrates said, "I know that I know nothing."  Socrates didn't mean he didn't know anything, but rather that he didn't know anything with an absolute certainty.

After 45 years of fishing, I believe I can say the same as Socrates when it comes to this art - "I know that I know nothing." 

I believe that the trout will favor a Hare's Ear or Pheasant Tail Nymph offering.  But, whether they will indeed eat it, I often find that I know that I know nothing. 

I also believe when there is a strong wind to my back I can make a circle cast and my line and fly will go easily forward.  But, whether the fly lands on spot-on target, I know that I know nothing. 

Today on the creek I believed I could take a fly designed to capture the grand golden ones, and thus capture perch and bass.  The perch came forward, but, the bass did not - therefore I know that I know nothing.

Knowing I know that I know nothing is part of the lure and mystique of fly-fishing.  It is what keeps me returning to the water time after time.  It has become the most passionate part of a varied outdoor life, and quite honestly the one thing that keeps me from deteriorating into an enthusiastic-void piece of flesh and bones.

Sometimes just sitting on a rock by the creek is nice.  Sometimes sitting on a sandy shoal by the creek is nice.  It gives us a chance to soak up a panoramic frame of nature's view. 

Sometimes just sitting on a rock or sandy shoal gives us a chance to meet some of nature's children and marvel in the way they live.

Sometimes it nice to just let the rod rest while sitting on that rock or sandy shoal; look to the left or right and discover the vibrantly colored flower of a wild weed.

Sometimes it nice to just sit on a rock or sandy shoal and drink a cold beer, which I indeed did today. 

And, sometimes it's just nice to sit on a rock or sandy shoal and take that drink of beer and look up.  As you look up and the beer slides down you discover a baby blue sky with stretched cotton clouds - a sky void of utility lines, poles, or towers.  Just pure sky.

And as we sit on that rock or sandy shoal and slowly lower the cold beer from our lips as our eyes are fixed on the pure sky above... we realize that it's not important that we know that we know nothing.  It's not important because we will continue this quest called fly-fishing, on a continued discovery of closer connection with the outdoor world.

The grand golden ones swam by today, time after time, as I sit on the sandy shoal. 

What a blessed life I live.  


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Carp Redux 2011 - Carp On Glass

It's hard to recall another time that it's taken the creek so long to start clearing.  Here we are, almost a week after the much needed rain and the creek is still quite dingy.  By no means am I saying the creek is beyond fishing, however, it's a difficult situation when sight fishing for carp.

We are quite thankful for the rain we received, but, this spring season has been a strange one indeed.  The wind has become absolutely ridiculous and if it's a result of La Nina, El Nino, La El Nina Nino or whatever, I wish they would get gone for a good, good while.

Although it's difficult for the angler to see the carp in these conditions, the carp seem quite able to see us.  When it comes to the seeing game, the carp certainly seem to have an advantage.  So even with the water being quite off, we still need to make use of the tools nature offers, such as native grasses, and use them as camouflage. 

I believe Saturday could have been a good carp by fly day even with the off water conditions, if the wind hadn't shown up.  When we have off water and add wind strong enough to create an almost constant riffle, it adds up to a very long day trying to capture carp by fly.

Saturday I carried an Eagle Claw Featherlight.  I don't fish the Featherlight often, or any glass rod as a matter of fact, and for the life of me I do not know why I don't.  Glass is wonderfully sweet.  It would be quite easy for me to forever fall in love with the feel of glass rods and I may just migrate to that discipline... sooner rather than later.  Probably, like many, I've grown accustomed to the lighter graphite rods and how their lighter weights keep from wearing me out. But, glass is indeed sublime. 

My timing was a fortunate situation Saturday, getting on the creek about an hour after sunrise and half hour before the tormenting wind showed up.  With the Crazy Charlie I roped a carp in fairly shallow water.  This youngster carp put a good bend in the glass and brought a smile to this old wrinkled face.  But, the relentless wind wouldn't stop and my smile soon flip-flopped as I give in to the blowhard gods of nature's breath. 

Older guys like me, quite often enjoy taking siestas and after having a rather good one I decide to return to the creek to further pursue the carp. 

With the same Crazy Charlie, the second carp of the day was lassoed by waiting the fish out until he came to the shallows.   


This may very well be my last posting regarding carping by fly.  I have reason to believe the killers have found our precious carp water.  Killers do what they do for the joy they find in simply killing.  They kill not to harvest, but, kill just to be killing.  I guess somehow it makes them feel mighty, tough, superior, and they actually get some kind of rush from their senseless acts.  I don't like killers and I figure they don't like me, so that makes us even.  But, I'll be damned if I give them any information that will help them pursue their wanton taking of life.

It saddens me that sharing the joy carping by fly brings to me along with my friend Charlie with others who share the same passion will come to an end.  No, I won't stop pursuing these wonderful creatures and I'll continue to keep a close eye on the creek. 

A really close eye on the creek.   

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Prairie Ocean - Currents 5-22-11


Carp by fly will be on hold for the next several days it looks like, and this is perfectly fine with me.  Over the last two days this prairie ocean has received four inches of much needed rain.  The rain indeed can be considered a drought-buster and it came just in time for our precious little carp creek that was nearing that dire straits status.
Even though fly-fishing for carp or any other species will be out of the question for the next three or four days, the rain will make fly-fishing overall better.  The rise in creek level offers new and exciting table fare for the carp in the form of fresh green vegetation that was out of their reach before. 

It is possible to capture carp by fly when the creek is chocolate milk colored, but, it requires tremendous patience waiting for the figure of a carp to come to the fringes.

The rain brought with it some wild weather also.  For the second time this spring a tornado came quite close to the prairie home Carol and I call our bunkhouse.  Fortunately the twister that touched the ground Saturday was slightly north and east of our home. 

Little did Carol or I know that friend and fellow flinger of fur and feather, Donny Carter, was right behind the wall clouds and rotation, chasing the dipping and dancing twisters as they tracked northeast.  Donny is the finest flinger of dry flies I know and evidently he's one heck-of-a storm tracker also.
Photo courtesy of Donny Carter of the Blue River Fly-fishers.

I too wanted to chase this storm on Saturday, but was over-ruled by the lass with the big brown eyes and those eyes were just a bit excitable as the winds and hail came through on Saturday. 

About an hour earlier I acquired a new camera to replace the poor little Sony I finally killed.  The Sony took four different plunges either in Rock Creek or Blue River before finally giving up the ghost. 

I happy about the new Fuji because it's a step up for me.  However, a more functional camera makes not a photographer and this is so particularly true in my case.  I take some crap pictures for sure, and hopefully I will get better over time.


There is little doubt as far as who will be the latest recipient (or recipients in this case) of the Prairie Ocean Butthead Award. 

It seems two Washington state men thought they had outsmarted law and game officials in what was an easy money-making plan they had launched. 

This dumb and dumber, Beavis and Butthead duo were caught with 305 pounds of paddlefish eggs which is 100 times more than the allowed amount. 

Now, paddlefish may very well have not a thing to do with fly-fishing, but this is a case of outdoor ethics and one of the core values of fly-fishing is that ethic. 

Here's the full story from the press service of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.

Two men have been charged with three counts each relating to paddlefish possession violations following a traffic stop near Blackwell in April.

Anatoly Natekin, 36, and Fedor Natekin, 27, both of Kent, Wash., have been charged with three counts each, including illegally transporting paddlefish eggs with the intent to leave the state, unlawful possession of more than three pounds of processed paddlefish eggs, and conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor.

A rental vehicle occupied by the two men was pulled over by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on I-35 April 23. Inside the vehicle were 305 pounds of caviar packaged in unmarked jars and several pounds of fish fillets, all believed to be harvested from paddlefish. The charges for possessing more than three pounds of paddlefish eggs and transporting them with intent to leave the state each carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $10,000 in fines. In addition to fines and possible jail time, courts are required to order violators to pay restitution payments in all fish and wildlife cases.

Native to Oklahoma, paddlefish swim upstream in rivers and tributaries each spring to spawn, particularly in those rivers that empty into lakes in northeast Oklahoma where most paddlefish angling activity takes place. Anglers who flock to northeast Oklahoma each spring to fish for the spawning paddlefish are legally allowed to possess no more than three pounds of paddlefish eggs - which can be used as the primary ingredient for caviar products - and crossing state lines in possession of paddlefish eggs also is illegal.

Game wardens with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation were called to the scene, and the two men were taken to the Kay County Jail in Newkirk. They were released April 26 after posting bond of $5,000 each. Their next court appearance date is set in September, and the evidence was cataloged and is being stored until the trial.

"If convicted, these wildlife violators could face significant consequences for their actions," said Bill Hale, assistant chief of law enforcement for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "This is an extreme case of violating our state's fish and wildlife laws, but this is a good time to remind our state's many law abiding anglers to read all regulations before going fishing this season. The Wildlife Department's 'Oklahoma Fishing Guide' tells you all you need to know, and it is available free anywhere that fishing licenses are sold and online at"

Oklahoma draws paddlefish anglers from across the nation. The sport has grown into a booming recreational pastime in northeast Oklahoma, and the Wildlife Department has found a way to manage the fish and learn about the anglers who catch them to sustain long-term angling opportunities through its Paddlefish Research and Processing Center. The center is a site where anglers can bring their paddlefish to be cleaned and processed for free in exchange for biological data from the fish. Fisheries personnel with the Wildlife Department use the data to help manage the state's unique paddlefish population, and eggs from female fish brought to the center are collected and sold worldwide as caviar, the proceeds of which are used by the Wildlife Department to fund the paddlefish program.

The Wildlife Department is the state agency charged with conserving Oklahoma's fish and wildlife and is responsible for enforcing laws related to hunting and fishing. More information about the Wildlife Department, including regulations for hunting and fishing in the state, is available at


Senate Bill 597 looked to place the mining industry under the same rules of water usage as all other significant users of water in Oklahoma. 

This past week SB597 passed the senate by a vote of 44-0 and proponents were confident the bill would be signed by Governor Mary Fallin.

Once signed into law, new mines will come under the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and existing mines will also be under jurisdiction as far as monitoring their pit water use.

CPASA (Citizens For The Protection Of The Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer) did an extraordinary job in educating the public at large about this issue.

The future of Oklahoma rivers, streams, and waterways looks a little brighter in light of this legislation.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Carp Redux 2011 - Just The Three Of Us

So there we were, just the three of us.  Me, a new variation of the Crazy Charlie, and a beautiful day upon the prairie ocean, a day given. 

It's hard to say whether it was the tug of nature or the possible tug of a carp on the line that called more today.  Perhaps both?  Regardless of which it was, it was enough to chance an extra early departure through the backdoor of the mercantile store on the way to the workshop for the soul

Leaving an hour earlier than normal, when there is no normal in my schedule, carried additional reward with it today in the form of time of day.  To understand how important time of day is, you have to try and imagine the water that Charlie (the fly-fisher) and I fish. 

Our carp water is an intimate creek that at points is as much as 35 or 40 feet wide, but, is only three or four feet wide in other areas.  Along the way both banks are lined by trees - trees that stretch their arms toward one another forming a canopy.  This canopy creates a great deal of shade on the water.  Sometimes shade works to our favor, but, more often than not, when sight fishing for the carp shade is a great hindrance.

It would reason as gorgeous a day as it was on the prairie ocean today, the carp would be on the move, frolicking in the beauty of the warming water that spring has delivered.  They were not.  However, it should be noted than our temperatures are running about ten degrees below normal, and this may very well have an effect on the carp movement. 

Starting at the pasture known as Shipwreck, there were few carp to be seen.  Ten minutes into the outing however, a rather good size and lone grazing beeve was spotted.  The new offering, that one mentioned as a variation... that variation being a single set of rubber legs dangling from the thorax area, was presented as a gift to this lone fish.  It must have been eye-candy to this beeve as he deliberately swam to it and sucked.

This carp was, without a doubt, the largest carp I've caught this season.  Even though we never weigh our carp, we have a good sense of what their weight is.   Looking at this beast, I dare say he would tip eight pounds.  The carp in our creek do not reach the size of the carp is some of the Colorado reservoirs or the water of Idaho, or a lot of other fisheries.  But, with that being said, these fish we fish for have tremendous heart and dogged determination to escape the clutches of our sharp-pointed hooks.

A lesson learned last season, a lesson learned through bad experiences, is to always re-tie the fly after battling a significant sized carp.  In battling a large and powerful carp the knot does become stressed, and far too often last season I would loose a fly on the next fish after roping a large beeve... because of not re-tying.

With that chore being done, a course upstream was struck.  A half mile of water was covered without a glimpse of a carp.  The poor performance of this fly fisher, on the stage of this great theater nature had given today, was rather... disappointing.

It was the damn shade I tell you.

It has come, however, as a part of frequent trips, to realize that when the shade hinders sight fishing for carp, it also affords opportunity to fish for the bass that have the tendency to favor the shaded water.  Two fat Kentucky bass, or spotted bass as another moniker owned, came to hand courtesy of the Crazy Charlie with legs.

Reaching the pasture known as the Courtyard, the nexus of carp social and necessary interaction was discovered in bountiful form.  Here the carp were grazing heavily, but here... throwing the rope around the beeves, is at times... insurmountable.

The bank at the Courtyard is a steep and sheer one.  It is a good eight to ten feet above the water.  On the fly anglers right and left, above and behind, is a thick blanket of nature's greenery.  The only option is roll casting and that in itself is often tough to accomplish.

After a number of attempts, a risk in spooking the lot was taken.  In one corner of this pasture a good roll cast can be made, but again, spooking the fish is highly probable.  Making my way to that corner, the one lone beeve detected my presence.  As the fish turned to swim away,  I sent the offering rolling anyway figuring there was nothing to lose. The Crazy Charlie caught his eye... and he sucked the fly mid-column.

The afternoon range ride had come to an end as I made my way back downstream and thankful for the beeves branded.

Charlie, the fly fisher, is one hell-ava scout.  Of all the pastures we have to fish, Charlie discovered the "Pasture", the "Courtyard", and "Dry Gulch".  Now it seems that he may have discovered a sea of it's own on the greater prairie ocean.  A sea that has the promise for leviathan sized carp.

Tomorrow, if the promised rain permits, a course for that sea, in a journey of discovery, will begin.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Carp Redux 2011 - Crazy Charlie Gone Wild

Usually on an afternoon outing, either Charlie or I can expect capturing a carp or two if we are lucky.  If we capture one then we consider it a good outing.  Two carp and it's a fantastic outing.  So, you can imagine my delight Thursday afternoon when six carp came to my lasso in less than two hours. 

For several weeks now I've been commenting to Charlie about my belief that the one thing that could improve our carp fishing would be rain.  Late Wednesday afternoon we did in fact receive the rain I've been wishing for.  It wasn't a long extended rain event, but goodness did it ever come down in buckets.  Charlie taught me sometime ago to go to the shallows after rain, but, there wasn't a chance to do that Wednesday since the creek immediately turned brown. 

Thursday morning, in taking an early break, I discovered the creek had already started to clear.  Also, Thursday was a completely overcast day which is my favorite fishing condition.  Even though a cloud laden overcast sky is good for me, I actually think it's to the advantage of the carp.  In my journal notes I have recorded a good number of times fishing on overcast days and in those accountings I have noted how it seems the carp see me much easier.  My theory is when the sun is shining brightly the rays somehow distort, diffuse, or impede the carps' vision when looking up.  I don't know if this is truly the case... it's just a theory.

All six carp came courtesy of the Crazy Charlie.  It was a case of Crazy Charlie gone wild.  The first five were taken on blind hook-sets - I couldn't see the fly, but, could tell the carp were on it and went for the set.  The last carp was on the alert and leaving the scene, but, the Crazy Charlie landed about a foot in front and to his side and the fish turned on it.  I easily could see the suck and the carp was roped. 

I dare say this has been the strangest spring I've seen in some time here on this prairie ocean.  Since the beginning of May we've had days flirting with record high temperatures.  Then, three or four days later we are flirting with record low temperatures.  This morning the wind chill is 36 degrees and the wind we usually get in March is still present.  It's crazy stuff. 

The next three or four days looks like a no-go for carping by fur and feather.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Carp Redux 2011 - Thoughts Under A Diamond Sky

There hasn't been much time, here of late, to go to the place of fly-fishing - the workshop for the soul.  In the last two outings, three beeves have come to carry my brand and all three came as a result for their affection for the Crazy Charlie. 

My friend Charlie has had fewer hours than I on the water, but, he is still managing to rope and brand a beeve here or there with the Carpolo Charlie pattern in olive and yellow. Yesterday he decided to check on the herd at the pasture that bears his name.  On the ride in he found a stray beeve and quickly roped it.

Charlies stray beeve taken on a Carpolo Charlie olive/yellow.

Several nights ago I was sitting in the prairie open under a diamond sky thinking about the recent chatter as to the demise of the local and small fly shops across the country. 

Although, I've never been privy to the pleasures of having a nearby fly shop, I can certainly understand and see myself visiting quite often, only if one was near.  I would think there is something personal about a fly shop to a fly fisher in the same locale... such as good solid information on the water and the fish, and friendships formed.

As to why the small fly shop industry is in such a nosedive, there are most likely a number of factors. One factor most certainly is the sluggish economy we all have been wading through for the last several years.  Another reason may very well be the decline of interest in fly fishing altogether.  And lastly, there is the increase of on-line marketing by Internet fly shops. 

The Internet fly shop has become the convenience store for the fly angler and fly tyer. With just a couple of clicks, Metz or Hoffman, Sage or Winston, or Ross and Abel can be on their way to our doorstep.  Although Internet fly shops are convenient, they leave much to be desired - I, for one,  really like to look at hackles and capes before buying. 

There was a surge in fly fishing interest during the mid 1990's and as it is with most surges there comes a peak or leveling-off that is sometimes followed by a marked decline.  It appears fly fishing as a whole is in this declining stage. 

The economy is slowly recovering, but, unfortunately when there are monthly overhead costs the small fly shop owner can only hold out for so long.  Sad, but brutally true.

By and by the fly fishing genius will look for an answer to stop the decline of fly fishing.  Failing to do so may very well result in a continuum of the art much like the demise of local fly shops.

Already we are hearing that the answer that will remedy the decline is introducing more youth to our sport, and why would any of us argue this point - it simply makes sense.

I would hope however, while we concentrate on bringing more young people to this fine and noble art, we fail not in rememering that they, the young ones today, will need adequate water to fish... in their future.

We are not exactly growing new fishing waters and do well to hold on to the existing waters we have.  With the way it is with water currently, and the competition for the resource from agriculture, municipalities, business and industry, water for recreational purposes (i.e. we who fly fish) gets the short end of a very short stick far too often.

There are water wars being waged in some states with California being one of the most notable.  Here on the prairie ocean, Oklahoma is currently undergoing a statewide water plan and hopefully the planners will have the same insight that Robert S. Kerr owned, making sure we have enough water, whereas our fisheries will not be threatened.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Carp Redux 2011 - Thinning Pastures

Like yesterday, today seem like a good day to ride the range in pursuit of carp.  Today is the 5th of May and it's more like the typical spring day we are accustomed to on this prairie ocean.  The wind is present of course, but, somewhat mild compared to the last month or so.  The sun is in full bloom tracking on a south by southwest plane. 

Slipping out the backdoor of the mercantile store, only the essential gear is once again stowed.  There is the rod, lanyard, and possibles pouch. 

Arriving at the pasture known as Shipwreck, I perch upon a large boulder overlooking a deeper pool.  Within is three carp, and they have stirred the bottom.  With the same carrot on the stick, the fly plunges deep into the pool and I await.  Soon there is a slight tug on the leader and the hook set brings in a youngster carp.  He becomes number twenty-seven this season.  This year, there is not near as much time to spare compared to last carp season.  Hopefully, more time will come this anglers way in the near future.  

The memory recorder did come back alive this morning after taking the plunge into the stew yesterday.  However, when the forever button is pushed... no memory results.  I'll give the machine a couple of more days to dissipate the moisture hidden within it's nooks and crannies.

From Shipwreck, a trail is blazed to the pasture called Courtyard.  There is only an hour, or little over, to spare today, so the search for carp is somewhat rushed.  However, it's not so rushed that movement will alert any carp that lie in waiting.  Sadly, only two images of carp are seen in this entire stretch. 

The Carp Carrot has retired and a spawning shrimp pattern is placed into employment.  Since the carp, as a lot, are not visible, blind casting is pursued.  No carp come, but a smallmouth, spotted bass, redbreast and green sunfish come to hand. 
Our pastures are thinning by the day.  It's not hard to recognize the lowering of the creek and when it progresses more each day it is a certainly concerning to the angler.  From what I am seeing in the upstream section of this creek, I fear this little stream will run dry within two weeks... unless we receive rain.  The lack of rain this season will have a profound effect on the whole of this prairie ocean.

It comes time to go as thanks is given and I leave the creek.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Carp Redux 2011 - Branding Time

During this month of May, there seems to be a sense of excitement... a feeling of good times to come,  a feeling wrapped in the warming weather of the spring season.  Although that great mother known as nature has tended to try and take the wind from the sail, our vessel of pursuit of the grand ones continue. 

In reading the yellowed and thinning page of fly fishing accounts, I note with great interest the words of Walton in describing the carp.  "Queen of Rivers" was his reference... a fitting one I would think, an entitlement also, and a point I would engage with anyone that looks at the carp as a worthless creature.

Today is the 4th of May and it seems like a good enough day to brand a couple of these beeves we tend in our watery pastures.  With the prairie schooner being out on loan, gear is packed to the mercantile store of which I labor.  Rod, lanyard, and of course the possibles pouch.  From the mercantile store I take the short walk to an overgrown trail that will lead me to the first pasture of the afternoon.

From the possibles pouch comes the Carp Carrot... a well worn Carp Carrot if you will.  At the pasture known as the Courtyard there is a carp about twenty-five feet out and the offering goes sailing toward him.  The fly disappears from sight, but there is a sense that the carp is on it and with rod tip lifted sharply the hook lassos the beast. 

Further upstream the second carp of the day is captured with the same carrot and as I'm trying to capture the memory of the fish on the line in the water, the memory recorder slips from my hand and takes the drink.  Today's trip to the bottom of the creek was trip number four for this memory recorder.  The machine has resurrected the previous three times and if a recovery is made this time then the machine will be known as "El Gato", for surely this thing has nine lives.  One memory was saved, one was not.

This event takes some of the steam out of the drive.  I leave the creek giving thanks.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Carp Redux 2011 - Charlie's Return Dispatch

Prologue:  Rest assured, Charlie and I are carp crazy..., but beautifully so.


Easy now you cow punched, mule dragged, sod worn, gun slinging, leathered old carpalo cowboy. I know these slow times are dang hard on a man. Why, I seen times like these drive a man to hard drinking, wild women and broken rods. Just remember the good times when you were in mud up to your ass, grass in your teeth, hooks in you body and a hog carp bending your rod so deep your balls started cramping. Yea it don't get any better than that.

Have a beer, have a Jack, wipe away those tears and strap on your carp spurs. Better days are just around the corner:  Why I bet that 35" bull carp is waiting for your best stuff. Go get'm you old crusty carper.


Epilogue:  Seems quite reminiscent of another time where Charlie is Gus.

Carp Redux 2011 - A Dispatch To Charlie

Charlie my friend, I ink this paper in a mood similar to that of the heavy gray slate sky that hovers over us today. 

For six days now, nary a carp have I touched with my fingertips.  The strange weather that has come our way has caused great difficulty on the pastures.  The spring rains were welcomed of course, but, they blur the currents keeping us from our pursuit.  When the rains subside, the winds come.   Not whispering or whistling winds, but rather screaming wind.  On this Friday that just passed, the settlements aqueduct failed sending a landslide of murky and muddy sediment-laden stew into our pastures complicating things more.  All of this, along with the beeves heavily grazing, with their mouths close to the pasture top, have turned our creek into a mere beef tea or loblolly.

Despite all these difficulties, I did have several chances of lassoing the carp last week.  I am in a difficulted state of being and have not the faintest notion of why these creatures now shun the grand offerings I bring to them.  Perhaps it is simply a case they have come to learn that the gifts of supple feather and shimmering flash have a hidden sting. 

The behaviour of the beeves we tend seems peculiar this drive compared to last season.  The beeves are staying collected in communal form in the deepest of the fertile pastures.  Few strays are being witnessed by these ever-searching eyes.

The beeves have me buffaloed Charlie.  We've known for some time now that they are a persnickety lot, but we have come to admire their wit.  And... it may be that sharpness they own that has me in a forlorn state. 

It has come to mind to search for greener pastures.  However this would require the prairie schooner and the price of pony feed reaches deep into the pocket.  The steeds are ready, but in feeding their extra hunger I would soon be down to the blanket.

It has also come to mind that herders like us do grow late in our season where the sharpness we own begins to dull.  I speak only of myself in this regard, because of the two of us you are the one that continues to hone your skills to a ever keener edge. 

My hope is to receive a dispatch from you - one that will tell a grand tale of a lassoed beeve that comes to your near, where you will make your brand with the simple touch of your hand, where after the beeve will go back to the pasture.

Until such dispatch comes my way, I will stay here at the bunk with my propensity to tilt a bottle, or two perhaps, or more, reaching a state of being jingled.