Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Personal Trails - A Dog Named Drift

It's been over seven years since I lost my good friend and trout scout Smokey.  All this time I have resisted the idea of taking another furry friend as a companion dog and perhaps it's been out of the fear of another potential loss.  However, we must continue on and take what life gives us and recently life gave me another opportunity to share my everyday with a sweet little pooch.

I named him Drift.  Drift seemed to fit for a couple of reasons.  One reason is that drift is a well known, and used, fly fishing term and without doubt fly fishing is a large part of my life.  Also, drift seemed to fit what I knew about this little dog. 

He is a vagabond type of dog and through his travels he came to take up temporary residence at the home of my young boss.  Drift seemed to be just fine staying outside my bosses home, but with the harshness of winter coming about, the boss was concerned that this small breed and short-haired dog would not fare well. 

So Drift has now traded his free-ranging ways to a warm place on the living room sofa or love seat.  It's been a hard adjustment for him and I can tell he longs for the hobo life.

I will have to admit he is a dedicated dog and when I am home he's not more than two feet from me.  It's been not only an adjustment for him but yours truly also, because morning, noon, and night now I find myself dedicating a good amount of time taking Drift to the outdoors that he so loves.  An outdoors that I share a love for.

Of course all good things are worth working for and it will take some time for Drift to learn to respect the command of my voice.  I noticed right away that Drift owns what I call a running bone and therefore a leash will be necessary until we build up time and trust together.  I think the biggest obstacle to achieving this goal is the fact that Drift didn't come to me as a young dog - he has a few years on him and is set in his ways.  The trust factor will be vital.
Of course it's my hope that the day will come that Drift and I can explore the Blue River together and for me not to worry about him going Houdini. 
He's a smart dog - extremely smart.  I think he's going to make a wonderful fly-fishing friend. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Conversations With Carp - A December To Remember

An Arctic front was scheduled to hit this part of the prairie ocean at nine o'clock this morning.  This frigid train was being pushed by thirty-five mile per hour winds and promised to make it's presence known. 

At 8:30 I decided to take my dog Drift for a walk along Rock Creek.  We could feel the edge of the front already announcing itself.  As Drift made notes of every tree along the creek, I looked down and to my amazement saw two carp actively feeding. 

I let Drift finish his walk and then we hurried home where I slapped on the waders and grabbed the rod and one Creek Critter - nothing else would be required because this was going to be a short trip.  I arrived at the pasture known as the upper shallows of Honey Hole about five minutes before nine.  The temperature had already dropped another five or ten degrees in just thirty minutes. 

The water was crystal clear at this carp pasture and as I let my eyes adjust I saw a really nice carp - one of the nicest I've seen this year.  I rolled the Creek Critter out to the fish, but my first cast was off mark going downstream and beyond the fish.  The second try was an on-the-money shot landing about four inches in front of this large carp.  The carp slowly inched to the fly and sucked.

I planted the hook hard, but there was no reaction from the carp - no panic, no run, no turn, nothing.  This carp acted like it didn't know it was hooked.  Then I put pressure on the fish and instead of blowing up the carp started a methodical, and extremely heavy tug headed downstream. 

The best way I can describe this fish is that it felt like someone had tied a 15 lb. bag of potatoes on the end of my leader.  It took me a long time to land the creature, but to my delight this fish turned out to be the largest carp I've caught this season.  It seems rather ironic that my largest carp of 2012 would come in the month of December as an Arctic front was arriving. The fish came to hand at 9:03 a.m.

After releasing this dandy fish, I headed back to the prairie schooner thinking I would go back to the bunkhouse.  However, I decided to check one more pasture - the one known as Lower Well Springs. 
At Lower Well Springs there was a solitude carp feeding in shallow water.  The Creek Critter found his upper lip also.  The second, and also last, carp of 2012 came to hand.
As I was spooling and lining up my rod, I notice a funny looking black mark on my fly line.  Guess the carp of 2012 have put some burn on the ol' fly line. 
Lovin' it.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Scraped, Bloodied, No Camera

That dang Charlie.  Charlie gets me all excited with his scouting reports and then I get myself into predicaments like today.

Last night, Charlie sent me a report of how he could stand high on a bank above the shallows at the pasture that bears his name.  He could stand there totally undetected by the carp below foraging in the shallow drink.  And... he reported that there was some carp activity taking place.

On my lunch hour today I had to go see for myself.  Upon looking over the bank I see two rather good-size carp about fifteen feet upstream and they are indeed foraging.  In the prairie schooner is the rod already assembled with a Creek Critter tied on.  I trot back to the schooner and fetch the rod and sunglasses. 

In order to cast to the carp I could see best I would have to lean out and up against a tree that was about 40 to 50 inches in circumference.  Shaking line out of the end of the rod I threw out the amount I thought it would take to roll cast the Critter to the carp. 

I made the roll cast and the fly landed about a foot directly in front of the carp.  I watched the fly fall quickly in the column and it turns out I wasn't the only one watching.  The carp rushed to the fly and I planted the hook firmly in his upper lip. 

The carp took off like a rocket straight upstream and this is when I realized I was in a heck of a predicament.  I hooked the carp with the rod being on the left side of the tree I was propped up against.  In order to land the carp I would have to try and pass the rod to my right hand by passing the rod in front of the tree that was in front of me.  Being 40 to 50 inches in circumference it was going to be a stretch under perfect conditions.  The problem was the fish was on a hard run and I couldn't bend the rod enough to grab it with my right hand.

Three different times I almost had the rod when the carp would make another run.  When the carp got into the backing I didn't know what to do except hold on.  Finally, I felt some slack and I once again tried to pass the rod.  I got enough bend in the rod to grab the rod at it's mid-length, (which is probably a terrible idea - if the carp would have run then I would have carried a broken rod home), and now had the rod in my right hand.

Now, I could step down the tree root staircase to the edge of the creek.  The last step of this tree root system puts the angler about six inches above the creek.  I didn't want to get in the creek because I had work shoes, khaki work pants and white shirt on.  But, it worked out well.  I simply spooled up enough line and got the leader inside the guides and then gently reached down and backed the fly out of the mouth of the carp.  He quickly left the scene.

When I gathered myself I saw blood dripping and what I didn't know was all that reaching around the tree had scraped the skin off my hands and I was now bleeding from both hands.

Sad part of today was I was on my lunch hour and the camera was back at the bunkhouse... so no picture.  It was a very nice carp though - one of the largest for me this year at about 12 pounds or so. 

I left the creek to go the house and wash up before returning to work.  At the house I decided to take a picture of my scraped hands and bloody khaki pants just to document what some of us who fly fish for carp will do to land a fish. 

At least I didn't get the Khakis wet.  Hope the blood comes out.
I have no idea of what a passerby must have thought when they seen me with my arms wrapped around that tree.  Probably thought I was some kind of weirdo tree hugger or worse.
The lengths we who fly fish for carp will go to in order to land a carp.  We are a sad and hopeless lot. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Instinct

I guess after today, December 1st, 2012 will forever be etched in my memory.  After catching my first ever carp by fly in the month of December this morning, I went back to the creek this afternoon and introduced myself to two more December carp. 

Who amongst us can explain instinct?  It's an ability to have capacity or know when to act.  That's what it was all about this afternoon on the creek.

Conditions as far as wind, riffling, and glare could not have been more demanding.  There was a southerly wind clipping at 25 miles per hour and I was fishing east to west across the creek.  About twenty-five feet out, near the far side of the bank, I could see the shadow of a good size carp.  Thank goodness I brought the six weight with the Rio line this afternoon because I would be roll casting across the current of the wind. 

Somehow, I managed a good roll and the fly landed slightly to the left of the carp.  I watched the carp slowly turn to his right and then somehow I just knew she was on the fly.  It was time to go for a hook-set and as I did I felt a solid connection followed by a sudden burst of power.

The carp of this morning had no fight, but this carp did because it was a decent sized beeve.  It took me a long time to bring it to hand.  The Creek Critter was the candy.

It was time to visit another pasture and at the pasture known as Big Well Springs, I fixed a target on another nice sized carp. 
The Creek Critter came through once more.
How's that for a crotch shot?  Well... the fish was near my crotch, but kind of.... slid down you know. 
With carp slime all over my waders I carried the fish upstream about fifteen feet to clear water to let the creature return to life. 
The fish said goodbye with one big swirl.  Carp by fly in December in Oklahoma.  There's something quite right about that, but something quite wrong.

Trout, Carp, Addiction And Simplicity

They say the heroine addict continues to use in  flawed and failing attempts to duplicate that magical moment in the addicts life when he or she used heroine for the first time.  That initial high, to the addict, must be pure euphoria - a feeling unlike any other. 

So, the addict uses again in hopes of achieving the same feeling the first use brought them, but that feeling falls short on the second attempt, and the third, fourth, and forever thereafter.

Impossible to duplicate that initial high, each high afterwards results in disappointment so the addict begins to increase the dose and the frequency of using.  It's called the chase and it's futile.

I think the fly fisher can be like the heroine addict.  I very well remember the joy and jubilation I felt when I caught my first Rainbow trout on a fly.  It was cold November morning and I was standing thigh deep in that sweet pool on Blue river we call Seventeen.  Someone had give me a size 14 cone head olive mini-leech and I was fishing it down and across when I seen the fly line surge forward.  When that trout came to my hand I felt total happiness. 

Like the heroine addict, I have continued to try and duplicate that feeling that came on that cold November morning many years ago.  And, just like the heroine addict I continue to fall short.  Also, just like the heroine addict I found myself increasing the dosages of outings, the frequency in my trips, hoping to achieve once found euphoria.  I continue to fail.

It seems like each trout season, as the crowds at Blue river continue to grow, I find myself migrating further and further north in hopes of more solitude.  But, the truth is the crowds are growing and the river is not.  I continue to go north however.

Two weeks ago, up north, it was all buggers.  Only changed color on the buggers once.  Buggers seemed to be the favor of the trout that day.  Big numbers of trout didn't come to hand, but a dozen or so did and that seemed to be enough.

Last week, I decided to go north again and on this outing I wanted to concentrate on simplicity.  There is something about simplicity that appeals to me.  I do not own a cell phone - have never had an Ipod, Ipad, Nook, Kindle or one of those devices that lets you record television programs.  I do have a laptop - a streamlined laptop that does allow me to record my fishing memories via this journal.  I thrive on simplicity.
I think at times fish like simplicity also.  And, I think those of us who tie flies tend to over-tie much of the time. 

On this outing I took a fly that screams simplicity.  This fly consists of two body materials.  The tailing is sparse rabbit strip fur and the body is chenille.  That's it - no hackle, no collar, no flash, no wing, nothing else. 
This simple fly found the favor of trout also.  All I had to do is drop it in pockets or pull it off a ledge and let it fall.  The trout would come out from their lies and eat it. 
Yesterday up north, it was all nymphs.  Size 18 Hare's Ear and Pheasant Tails were the favored children of the trout.  The action was agonizingly slow and the drift had to be long with the angler patient. 
Only seven trout would come to hand in two hours.  The wind out of the south continued to rise and numbness set in the legs and hands.  When I got to this stretch of water yesterday morning I was the only soul there, but within fifteen minutes of my arrival eight other anglers had also showed eagerly wanting trout.  Few of them caught any.  Just one of those days I guess.
I speak of my addiction to trout that came over me many years ago.  But now, I have a even more severe addiction.  I brought this addiction on myself when Charlie and I agreed to fly fish for carp and on a late in day in March of 2010, I caught my first carp using a Backstabber.  My addiction to trout pales in comparison to the addiction I have for carp.
Yesterday, I was talking to Charlie and pointed to out that if we catch a carp in December we will have caught carp by fly every month of 2012. 
Today is December and this morning I went to the carp creek and this morning a Mirror carp smiled favorably on the Creek Critter pattern. 
I look at this morning's carp as an early Christmas present.  Charlie and me can now say that we have a creek that carp can be caught every month of year by way of fly.  Now I don't know exactly how Charlie how feels about that, but I'm not sure I real happy about it because I think it speaks of the unusual weather we are having.  Weather unseasonably warm that is prolonging the continuing severe drought we are having.  Of course, Charlie and me both are more interested in the long term health of this creek and the fish that live there. 
However, if I am truthful to you all, my addiction to these fish makes me want to catch carp every month of the year.  Fly fishing for carp is nourishing to me - like the teat to a baby calf. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Personal Trails - A Blue Kind Of Thanksgiving

For the last twelve or so years, I have spent some part of Thanksgiving day on Blue River.  This year would prove no different.  Usually I am alone, but this year my daughter and her husband decided they too would like to have a Thanksgiving meal at this wonderful little river.

Kempy is still yet to pick up fishing, but she loves hitting the trails with Van and me as we continue to learn about the rainbow trout and fly fishing as a whole.

Kempy enjoys taking in the braided streams and forks this river takes, along with burnt orange, gold, and yellow tint of the leaves this time of year.
The wind was rather brutal on Thanksgiving day, so we drove across the river because we knew that is where we would find natural wind breaks.  Van got out his grill and went to work preparing some rather tasty burgers for lunch.  Now, he may not want me to share the secret to his burgers, but they are so good I think it would be a injustice to the rest of the burger loving world if I failed to mention he uses Head Country seasoning.  Yum. 
After lunch, we decided to take a picture to preserve the occasion and it's something we can look back on years later.
It was time for fishing for Van and I and Kempy was up for a good hike.  What she didn't know was the trail we would take today is a really rough-going haul. 
Today's personal trail is one that not many choose to take.  To find the trout by way of this trail requires a lengthy walk through some rough country.  However, if you're up to a three-quarters of a mile hike through green briar, overgrowth, and thickets, the fishing can at times be rewarding.
The fishing wasn't spectacular today, but some bows did come to hand.  As soon as we started fishing it begin to sprinkle rain and the small shower lasted a good hour or so.  Once the rain stopped the fish seemed to loose interest also. 
Buggers and pheasant tails were the trout pleasing flies today, but again, once they went off the bite they were off.
Van is an avid hunter in addition to being an angler, so after fishing he wanted to scout the woods and look for a place for a deer stand.  He has already harvested two deer this season and I believe he told me he can harvest a couple of more.
It was time for me to head back because the mercantile store needed to be checked.  On my way back home I thought about all that I have to be thankful for.  I have the love of my family, can still get around the woods and on the water fairly well, and of course I have this wonderful river.
So much to be thankful for. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Just Couldn't Stand It

Dear Trout,

I'm sorry guys, but I just couldn't stand it any longer.  It's not my fault I tell you.  It's Charlie's fault.  You see since trout season opened at Blue River, Charlie has never stopped scouting for the carp of Rock Creek.  And, I should point out, he has tormented and teased me with his reports, and some quite recent, of great carp activity in a month that they are usually wintered up. 

So today, with the temperatures being in the low sixties, I hurriedly rigged up a carp rod and grabbed one fly - the Creek Critter.  On Rock Creek with the Creek Critter ready to go the carp were hiding under a cover or blanket of leaves.  However, there were openings in this weave and with just a little luck the fly could be rolled into those clear spots. 

It didn't take long for the Creek Critter to find a carp.  The conversation begin and it was a chore getting the carp through the weave, but he finally came to hand.
On the next cast things went south really quick.  A pesky little perch swallowed the Critter and again this was the only carp fly I brought.  It was just rod and fly on the creek today and the forceps were still in the prairie schooner.  The choice was to kill the perch and retrieve the fly or break off and let the perch do his best to survive and they often will.  So, the Critter was sacrificed and the perch went back in the drink.
Back at the prairie schooner I searched in what I thought was vain for a carp fly, but knew full well they were all back at the bunkhouse.  But suddenly a fly caught my eye - a fairly large (a little big for trout if you'll beg my pardon guys) olive, long hackled soft hackle pattern.  It is similar to a fly the boys in Colorado and Oregon and that part of the country use on carp with great success.  I was back in action.
At the creek again, the soft hackle went out and a carp sucked it right away.  Good fighting carp and good sized for this creek.  This fish took me downstream to more clear water and was much easier to land.
I know, I know... this is November and November is trout season, not carp season.  Never have I caught carp this late in the year and to tell you the truth these carp fellows probably need a rest from Charlie and me.  We've wore them out over the last ten months or so.
So, that's the story guys and I'll probably see you this coming weekend sometime.  I'll be bringing the pheasant tails, hare's ear, copper john's and such.  If you want to be pissed at me you have ever right. 
I just couldn't stand it any longer.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Personal Trails - Personal And Pleasurable

On Sunday, I took one of my favorite personal trails on Blue River and ventured into the downstream wilderness area.  It is here... in this seemingly perfect place, I can become free of all that restrains me in living everyday life. 

On this Sunday, the trail I would take would become even more personal and rather pleasurable because I was joined by my daughter Kempy and her husband Van. 

I arrived about an hour before Kempy and Van did, and that gave me time to lounge, if you will, and get a good look at how the river was feeling.  The river is low in flow and level, but clear as a bell.  If there is something, or things, I would like to see take place on Blue River it would be an end to a prolonged drought and a good flushing of this waterway.  The sediment-laden algae has built quite a substantial footing and now needs to be rinsed away. 

When Kempy and Van arrived, us guys begin to fish while Kempy simply took in the surroundings of her first outing in this wonderful and peaceful place. 

Van and I were looking for trout of course, but we would soon learn that was going to be a chore on this day.  Unlike the main campground area that received a magnitude stocking, the downstream wilderness evidently received a light stocking.  I've been fishing this area for many years and when the fish are simply not there it doesn't take me long to realize that. 
We begin just upstream from the place known as the Cove.  After ten minutes are so, a bow came to my hand.  Then just a couple of minutes later a bow would come to Van.  Van missed one or two more and I would bring one more to hand.  This took the better part of an hour. 
We decided to walk all the way to the end of wilderness because my thinking was this would be the logical place for the stocking team to dump their tanks. 
I was wrong. 
At the upper end of the downstream wilderness area we caught a lot of fish... but not the fish we were looking for.  Never have I seen catfish take a fancy to the Copper John I was using, and the Black Bugger that Van was using.  At the end of our day we had caught three more catfish than the five trout we landed.  And then... there were the bass.  We caught one more bass than the trout we were hoping for. 
No... that's not a trout he's releasing... it's a darn catfish.
As far as catching fish... we caught.  It just wasn't the fish we were looking for.  During our outing we fished through two seasons - it was autumn-like in the morning hours, but it felt like the spring season in the afternoon. 
Sunday, was in one way weird.  Never have I had catfish go after a trout pattern like they did on this outing.  In one way it was disappointing because the trout were few and far between.
It will take some time for the inventories of trout to build in the downstream wilderness.  This area of river is so very braided, with fork after fork, and the area known as the "Scatters", which speaks for itself, it's impossible for a body to explore every run, pocket and pool in one outing.  It's impossible to explore it all in a good number of outings and that is what makes this area so intriguing.  
We spent five hours or better on the river.  It was tiring for me, but like Kempy said... "It's a good tired." 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Personal Trails - The Gathering At Blue River

Saturday, the fly fishing community gathered near the banks of Blue River in celebration of the arrival of trout season.  It was food, fun, and fellowship. 

Around two dozen attended the gathering and at noon we sit down together to break bread.

The food this year was absolutely outstanding.  Cooks included, Donny and Linda Carter, Charlie Wright, Harold and Eva Beck, Ralph and Charlotte Fullenwider, Vernon Forrester, yours truly, and these are just the ones I can remember. 

Most definitely cooking is a wheelhouse for some of these folks such as Vernon Forrester and Ralph and Charlotte.  Vernon's stuffed pork loin was so tender it just fell apart.  Ralph and Charlotte surprised us all with a delicious buffalo meat stew, cheese bread, and cinnamon rolls prepared in the Dutch oven.  Donny and Linda fixed Mexican casserole and apple cobbler.  There was southwest Swiss steak, tamales, baked beans, cowboy Kenny potatoes, pecan cobbler and more. 

Ralph and Charlotte once again served as the perfect host and hostess to the fly fishing community.  They are always willing to open their home away from home, the Ruff Diamond, and make it the home away from home for the fly fisher. 

The fly fishing community has been having these first of the season gatherings for a decade now, and this past one is one of the better events over the years.
Here's some pictures from Saturday.
And, of course there was fly fishing on the prettiest little river in Oklahoma. 


Friday, November 2, 2012

Personal Trails - Round Two On Day Two

Since the brown bugger was so very kind to me yesterday, I decided to keep him on this morning.  I would arrive at the river Blue thirty minutes later than Thursday, but the timing seemed just about right. 

Standing on a ledge, the bugger flew through the air via an upstream cast.  Trout on.  Another cast - trout on.  The first fourteen casts would produce trout.  The brown bugger was once again in favor. 

Action slowed for a bit, but then picked up again.  I worked this stretch of water from the right to the left and their seemed to be bows everywhere. 

Meanwhile, standing at the edge of the bank, Ralph Fullenwider was experiencing the same as I was and for Ralph it was a bow with every cast.  Ralph gave it up when some claim jumpers came to his spot, but he had already landed 30 bows.  He seemed quite satisfied. 
Jeff Joseph came down to the river and on this outing he brought his son Doug.  It was good seeing Jeff on the river again - I've missed him the last couple of seasons it seems. 
Jeff and Doug took positions off an island and where a channel runs on one side.  It wasn't long until they were having their own trout rodeo.
Jeff and Doug
Leaving my original spot I decided to wade out to Chuck's Ledge, which is getting to be a more dicey type of thing to do as each year I get a little "less" agile.  However, I made it without busting the ol' arse and the bows were laying in wait just downstream. 
After battling the bows there, the sandbar seemed inviting and here were even more bows.  And, it was here there were some rather nice bows for this early in trout season at Blue.  Several bows came to hand that would go 15 inches, and they were beautifully colored. 
Over the last two days there have been a good number of hook-jaw trout that has found the brown bugger favorable and that seems a bit odd I would say. 
As I stood on the sandbar, a Texas fly fisher that was new to the Blue struck a conversation.  The gentleman was still looking for trout and not being familiar with the river a little bit of information would go a long way.  So, I invited him to take my spot and tie on a bugger. 
Unfortunately, for me, I had to be at the mercantile store at 11 a.m. and it was time for me to go.  I do not know how the Texas gentleman fared after I left, but it's my hope he got into some Blue River trout. 
I left the river with 56 trout to hand.  53 came on the brown bugger.  The other three came on a squirrel tail nymph.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Personal Trail - Opening Day

This morning I waded the river with a friend of mine - the brown bugger. 

Starting out upstream, the brown bugger soon found trout and the fishing was hot and heavy for a good hour.  The trout would grow pattern weary of the brown bugger so his cousin the black went on and the black produce four trout in a row.

But then, everything shut down. 

Stopping on the crossing to visit Ralph Fullenwider, we shared fishing stories and then it was time to head to Scotty's for a cup of Joe.  Upon returning to the river, downstream seemed desirable.

The trail that leads downstream was extremely overgrown from the summer's growth, but destination was finally made.  The brown bugger went back on and the onslaught of trout begin right away.  It was trout on every cast.

About mid-morning Scott Dittner joined me and Scott was still looking for trout.  I suggested he fish alongside me and tie on a black bugger.  It seemed like no time had passed until Scott was hauling in the trout. 

Scott Dittner

When I left Scott he had at least thirty trout to hand and was working on more. 

I left the river at noon with over 75 trout to hand.  A marvelous day.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Chase Continues

Old hunting dogs still want to hunt.  Things don't come quite so easy as they once did for old hunting dogs.  Leaping into the back of the truck now requires assistance.  Even getting out of the truck, once the field is reached, requires a loving and helpful hand.  Eyesight is not what it use to be.  Senses are beginning to falter.  Legs once agile, now somewhat stiff.  Legs that tire quicker than they use to. 

However, inside the old hunting dog is that heart... that harbor of the hunter's soul and within this safe place is the desire.  From desire comes hope.  Old hunting dogs have hope.  Hope, that the point will come.  Hope, that a bird will take flight.  Hope, for the retrieve.  None of these things may come for the old hunting dog, but still there is that hope.

I think fly anglers that are slowly growing old are like old hunting dogs.  No matter how old we get there is always going to be a desire to chase fish. 

Much like the old hunting dog, things don't come as easy as they once did.  Hikes are more tiring than they once was.  Weariness sets in sooner rather than later.  It takes longer to tie a fly on.  Trips, slips, and falls hurt more these days.  But, the older angler carries the same hope as the old hunting dog.

Hope, that the fly we choose will cause a fish to rise.  Hope, that the water we choose will be kind and favorable.  Hope, that the fish we battle, capture, and release, will live to fight another day.

Hope, is a primary color of fly fishing.

In a matter of days, trout season will begin at Blue River.  Sticks of graphite, glass, and bamboo will be waved in the air.  Flies... fashioned of fur, feather, tinsel, and synthetics, will fly through the air then gently hit the surface of the water. 

The trout will be waiting for the fly angler's offerings.  Some offerings will be taken below the surface, others will be taken on the surface.  The rising trout will be showing a number of forms.  Sipping trout will only reveal themselves by a subtle dimple in the water - evidence of midge sipping.  Slurping trout will show their beak through the surface, which reveals the fish are on a hatch.  Splashing trout will show us a sudden explosive pop with a splash - the fish are targeting skittering caddis flies. The boiling trout will reveal a dorsal fin and tail and cause disturbed patterns in the water - tell tale of emergers being picked.

Trout season at Blue River is always welcomed with great enthusiasm among the fly fishing community, and the expectation of capturing trout is already building. 

For me, this will be my 32nd year at Blue River.  I have been blessed with living in close proximity to the river for all these years.  Outings come easier for me than for most, and I am thankful for my good fortune. 

On Blue River, there are personal trails that I follow.  These trails are certainly not exclusive to me - many other anglers use the same trails.  But, somehow, I've found a way to personalize these trails.

I think the personal trails we take in life, lead to the personal tales we can tell in life. 

Therefore, during the upcoming season of the rainbow trout at Blue River, I will dedicate this journal to the experiences I find on my personal trails. 

The chase continues. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Sunny October Morning Carp

Saturday, I waded the creek on a cloudy day with wind that chopped the water.  This morning I waded a muddy creek on a bright sunlit day with wind that was blew only high up - only rustling the trees and not disturbing the creek. 

The sudden hard and driving rain we were promised showed up in the late afternoon, shortly before evening fell.  It was a blowing rain; the kind that somehow manages to get up under shingles on a house.  It was a significant enough rain to blur Rock Creek rather badly.

The thinking this morning was to concentrate on the creek edges, the fringes of the creek, in hopes of finding a foraging beeve to lasso with a fly. 

The first hour was a total bust.  Movement in the creek could be seen, but it was a "can't make heads or tails" situation.  The first pasture visited was the Upper Shallows, and I thought this would be my best opportunity, but again, it was mainly a crap shoot. 

Leaving the Upper Shallows, I set sail for the pasture known as Lower Well Springs.  Here, at the fringe of the near bank were two carp gently grazing.  Since the color of the creek was well off normal, I chose the Prizefighter Carpolo Charlie.  The Prizefighter is black, blue, and purple and it seemed to make sense these colors would work well in the off water. 

The Prizefighter was offered to the lead carp and he seemed to like what he was seeing.  With a simple lift of the rod tip, we began a quite pleasant conversation... at least for me. 
This one carp being branded seem to be enough to fix me - pull me out of the disrepair of everyday life. 
From the Lower Well Springs Pasture I set course back to the Upper Shallows to retrieve a school chair from the creek.  Sadly, the school system is still the prime trashing entity of this creek along the quarter-of-a-mile boundary the school shares with Rock Creek.
I took a picture of the chair in the creek and then one of the chair out of the creek.  I added today's pictures to the album of trash in Rock Creek and this afternoon I'll be at the local Radio Shack having them printed. 
Back at the bunkhouse, I will draft a letter to the president of the board of education and then mail the letter along with the pictures to him and the rest of the school board.
I will ask for just a little help in keeping Rock Creek clean.  It's with high hope the board will find my letter receptive. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October Carp

There seems to be something special about the October carp here on the prairie ocean.  It's almost like they take on their own fall colors along with a new energy that tells the onlooker that they know lean times are up ahead. 

Fly fishing for carp was rather doubtful today with the weather situation.  The pretty blond lady that gives the morning weather forecast told of severe spring-like storms today that would pound the whole of Oklahoma. 

I somehow knew Charlie would go out today, so I fulfilled a request from him for some smaller Carpolo Charlie patterns in orange and olive, and orange and brown.  Shortly, after that pretty blond weather forecaster had give her prediction, I delivered the flies to Charlie.

He took them to the creek today.  He caught carp today.  As Charlie was working one pasture, I worked another. 

October carp... how wonderful they are.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Short Afternoon Of Sailing The Prairie Ocean

I took the carp leader off my favorite rod yesterday and replaced it with a lighter leader more suited for the Rainbow trout that will be in season soon. 

A little over three weeks ago the high temperature here was 100 degrees.  Less than ten days ago the high temperature was in the mid-forties.  Today, the temperature was 77 degrees.  Confusing to the angler, confusing to the fish. 

This afternoon in a span of three hours I fished two different currents on this prairie ocean, sailing forty miles to fish both,  and had a multi-species day.  Fish caught today included the spotted bass, small mouth bass, bream, drum, and then... just one more carp.  Somehow, I just couldn't stay away from the carp even though that season is best over. 

The baby bream and baby smallmouth came from Pennington Creek - a pristine creek that is the little sister of Blue River in south central Oklahoma.  Pennington is quite low right now and clear as gin.  Hopefully, the October rain will soon arrive.
The drum and carp came from Rock Creek and this creek is also, once again, lowering. 
My afternoon was a flurry of sailing and fly fishing.  Quite enjoyable I must say.