Today was the first day of the trout derby. Things were so tough, many participants had given up and left the river by noon. At 12:30 I had to quit fishing because of my nagging back. I had managed four trout, one perch, and one smallmouth... and I worked hard for all of them.
The derby organizers put some really large trout in the river and some will go eight or nine pounds. At the weigh-in today I saw only four trout weighed in that would go three pounds or better. So... there is going to be a lot of large trout left in the river after this derby weekend.
As far as fly fishers weighing in there were few that had fish to weigh in. The young lad I speak so much of, Kody Young, weighed in a stringer one pound more than mine and that puts young Kody in the lead. Kody is long overdue for this award and I think he has an excellent shot. Other fly fishers were a pound or better behind my stringer, so tomorrow is really anybodies game. Hopefully in the morning my body will tell me I can return, but, if it doesn't... then it doesn't.
Everything I caught today came on buggers. Use dark color buggers in dark color water. May not make any sense... but, it works.
It was good to see an extra fly fishing presence at this year's trout derby. Jerry Hammon with the Red River Fly Fishers set up an information booth about his group and Jerry also had a fly tying station going on.
The river, besides being muddy, became severely choked with leaves today. Rather brisk winds arrived about mid-morn and when they did they dislodged the golden and brown hues of nature's wonderment.
One notable fly fisher was absent today. Chris Adams is always a heck of a competitor and he is the one that makes the trout derby competitions always interesting. And... Chris is my friend.
Today, I missed my friend.