Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

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.

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