Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Charlie On The South Platte And Big Morning Carp

Charlie is probably landing in Denver about now.  He'll be there a few days visiting family and this time he took his fly rod.  Early this morning he told me he plans on exploring the South Platte in search of the carp we hear so much about.  I imagine the South Platte will be big water compared to our little carp creek, so I hope Charlie has fun and does well.

This morning, conditions were as poor as I've ever seen on the carp creek.  There wasn't an ounce of sunshine getting through the completely overcast sky.  Of course there was daylight, but there is something about the glare of daylight on water that will drive a man insane.  It's tough seeing anything.

At the edge of the creek a brown body, yellow wing with olive and black barred legs Creek Critter went on the tippet.  The dark outline of a carp was about twenty feet out and the Critter went his way.  Maybe five seconds passed before the tell-tale twitch in the leader came.  With a side-sweep hook set the beginning of a fifteen minute battle commenced.  About ten minutes into it I was wishing I had brought a net.

I pretty much had to gas this carp to get a hand on him.  Gently lifting him out of the creek, I laid him at the edge of the bank to hopefully get a decent picture.  However, the bank here is quite steep and I had to use my knees to keep the fish from sliding back into the water.  The carp simply folded around my knees and finally I said the heck with it and snapped the picture so I could get the fish back into the water. 
This was one of the prettier carp I've landed this season.  Beautiful colors and markings along with being a brawny fish.  Next to the carp taken at Veterans Lake, this is one of the larger carp taken this season also. 
Leaving the creek fairly early, another outing was planned this afternoon with my daughter's husband Van.  Van is a life long angler, but new to fly fishing.  He's been at fly fishing for about three weeks now and is dying to capture a carp by fur and feather.  He'll have to wait for another day however, because it's been raining for about five hours now. 
The rain has been substantial at times and looks to continue for a good bit.  Maybe this rain event is that burn-ban lifting and drought busting rain we've been praying for.  Hopefully it is. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another After Rain Shower Carp

I guess Charlie couldn't keep from going out after this afternoon's rain showers.  He went out much later than I did today not getting to the creek until day's end. 

It didn't take long for Charlie and a black body yellow leg Creek Critter to find and land a dandy carp.

An Afternoon After Rain Shower Carp Named Fat Ass

I knew if I went to pursue the carp by fly this afternoon it would be a brief outing.  In the refrigerator a pork roast was marinating and scheduled for a stop at the dinner table this evening.  With the two hour cooking time required, this would certainly make a fishing trip short. 

But, I just couldn't resist rushing to the creek because it had come the most wonderful rain shower a couple of hours earlier.  Normally after a rain shower, Charlie or me can almost always count on the carp being in the shallows foraging. 

Today that wasn't the case.  At the upper shallows of the pasture Honey Hole there wasn't a single carp.  The water here was remarkably clear, which I don't know if that's such a good thing or not.  Sure, it's perfect for sight fishing, but not so perfect from trying to stay undetected from the carp. 

Downstream there was another set of shallows that were totally different.  In this small section of the larger pasture, a canopy of trees shades the water all day long.  Hardly any direct sunlight gets to the water.  The water here today was dingy... quite dingy.  I knew I was left to blind casting and hope. 

At this place I tie on one of Charlie's worm patterns.  This would be the first time to use this pattern after Charlie give it to me almost two months ago.  The worm went out into the dingy deep and the hope begin.

Employing a excruciatingly slow strip there was a tug followed by that now natural instinct of rod tip up and stripping hand down and back.  The hook set felt solid and the battle begin. 

This carp peeled line off with ease.  Twice I brought him back downstream only to have the fish fight off my effort and peel more line going back upstream.  With the ease this fish was peeling line and the hard time I was having in managing the fish, I honestly thought I'd foul hooked this fish, which is always a crappy feeling.

Finally I was able to work the fish into water that was about eight inches deep and I could see that the hook was undoubtedly in his mouth.  As a matter of fact it was deeper in his mouth than I like.

For a carp this length, I was surprised at how hard this guy fought.  At best this carp measured maybe 22 inches.  But, was he ever a chunk!  I mean this fish was thick, with broad shoulders.  I decided to name this carp Fat Ass.  He just seemed to fit.
At my workplace I lift poundage all day and have been doing so for twenty-five years now.  I have a pretty good sense for how much something weighs.  As I carried the carp back upstream to deeper water to let him return to his deeper dominion, the fish felt remarkably like a 10 pound bag of potatoes.  He wasn't a big or heavy fish by carp means, but he was a heavy fish for no longer than he was. 
I knelt and let Fat Ass gently sway back and forth from my grip and then he slowly returned home.
The pork roast at home was requiring my attention, so I left the banks of the creek. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Trashing Of Rock Creek - What A Shame

For a good number of years now I've been picking up trash out of Rock Creek while pursuing my beloved carp by way of fur and feather.  I don't mind picking the trash up, but I do realize my effort is not the solution to the problem. 

The area of Rock Creek most affected is the length of the creek that is parallel to Sulphur school system property.  The worst area in this length of creek is directly behind the football bleachers.  It is a place that students gather mainly during football games and sometimes after school.  It is here, and during those times, some of these kids decide to throw their trash into the creek. 

School starts in mid-August and around the the first week of September when football season kicks off, I can expect to be greeted with piles of hand trash - plastics bottles, aluminum cans, Styrofoam cups, used papers plates, plastics cutlery, and things so disgusting I won't mention them. 

Unfortunately, this trash that accumulates in this area is subject to ending up downstream within the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.  Normally during October we receive significant rain and this rain washes the trash downstream to the park.  As all of us who live around here know, ten's of thousands of outdoor visitors come to our park each year and they shouldn't be subjected to a trashed out creek.

Below is a picture of some of the trash behind the football bleachers.  Please note that I took this picture two weeks ago and I purposely left the garbage where it was to see how it would grow over the coming weeks.  This past Saturday I went to collect the trash and found that it had grown three-fold.

This past Saturday there was some sort of sporting activity taking place at the football field.  The bleachers were full and there were kids behind the bleachers behaving as kids.  As I stood in the creek with a 80 gallon trash bag, bent over and picking up the litter, a couple of kids above me were throwing plastic drinking bottles into the creek. 
Yes, of course I said something to them and with my gruff and graveled voice my words caught their ear right away and they skedaddled.  Their quick departure is not what I wanted - I wanted to talk with them about their action. 
It wasn't long until seven or eight other kids had gathered above me and one young man asked if I was fishing.  I told him no, I was picking up trash.  I thought this might be a good opportunity to explain the problem with littering.  I asked him if he knew how this trash came to be in the creek.  He replied, "I don't know."  I then asked if he thought this was the place for trash and again he replied, "I don't know."  At that point I knew I was wasting my time.
The bag filled up in less than ten minutes and was to the point it was too heavy to manage so I discarded the bag and returned home.
Back at my home I asked myself who should I be the most disappointed in - the school system, the students doing the trashing, the parents of the students doing the trashing, or... myself?
I think the ultimate responsibility lies with the school system.  School officials could easily put the area behind the football bleaches and bank that runs along the football field off limits.  Or, they could cordon of these areas.  And, I want to point out there is even more reason to put the area behind the football bleachers and football field off limits.  The bank of Rock Creek along this area has suffered from severe erosion over the years and is now nothing less than a sheer cliff.  If a student or kid loses their footing and falls, there is going to be an injury - possibly a life changing injury.  At the bottom of this cliff and on the sheer are large rocks that can cause injury.  So, with this post being made pointing out the possibility of an accident, I hope to place notice that there is a safety issue involved.
Should I be the most disappointed in the students doing the trashing?  I am disappointed.  After all, they are the ones doing the actual trashing.  However, I also realize that kids nine or ten, eleven and twelve years old have yet to reach the degree of maturity to have self-discipline.  If one of their buddies throws trash in the creek, they will most likely follow suit. 
Should I be the most disappointed in the parents of the students doing the trashing.  I've always believed that we as parents are our children's true educators.  It would be nice to think that parents today teach their children the importance of stewardship in our wild and wooded areas.  I had my children in the wild early in their lives and tried to instill in them the importance of taking care of our environment.  My children are well into life now, but if we were together somewhere and one of them trashed, I would forthright get their attention and there would no doubt as to why.
Should I be the most disappointed in myself.  Yes.  I have the ability to ask for an audience with students if the school system would allow.  Admittedly, I am not all that comfortable in giving presentations, but have done a good number in my life.  If the school system would allow such a meeting I know exactly what I would say to the students and it would go like this.
In a calm setting I would ask the students to imagine they are at home and it is time for dinner.  They are sitting at the supper table with their family enjoying the evening meal.  Suddenly the door opens and a stranger walks in carrying a large black plastic bag.  The stranger walks up to the supper table and turns the bag upside down emptying plastic bottles, aluminum cans, discarded potato chip bags, syrupy Styrofoam cups, dirty socks, a mud laden back pack, and paper plates smeared with food residue. 
Then, I would ask the students three questions.  I would ask if this happened at their home would they (1)  Feel disgusted?  (2) Feel shocked? (3) Feel violated?  Then I would ask how they think the fish and other life that live in the creek and along the banks feel when we trash their homes? 
I hope this post will make it's way to someone who has influence with the school system and that person can grab an ear and have an audience, and therefore advocate action to solving the trashing of Rock Creek.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Man's Best Friend Blow Up Carp

The Creek Critter has been the bell cow of carp flies this season.  With the brown-winged, yellow body with orange legs tied on, I hit Charlie's Pasture around mid-morning to see if the carp were frisky.

No more than a minute had passed upon entering the creek when I heard a loud splash behind me.  In the creek had landed a rather good looking and nice marked dog making his way to the near island. 

I stopped where I was hoping this fellow would go downstream, but instead he circled around to the forward tip and fixed his eyes on me.  I didn't dare move in the hope he would again find his way downstream, but as soon as I flinched... here he come. 

With the intensity of a freight train he came barreling up the creek toward me.  Instead of stopping when he got to where I was standing, he ran straight past me only to circle back around and circle again, and again, and again.  I kind of felt like a passenger of a western bound wagon train of years ago. 

Soon he settled down and came to my side where I offered him a pat on the head.  Not knowing his name, I decided to call he Fido Funtimes.  Funtimes went ahead of me of course, which was exactly not what I wanted.

They say every dog has his day and today must have been this dog's day.  He was having the time of his life exploring every inch of the creek.  I made my way to the island that serves as a harbor for the community of carp at Charlie's Pasture.  Guess who also made it there? 

This dog left nothing unturned.  Up and down the creek, back and forth along the bank.  Near side, far side, it didn't matter.  This dog was on an adventure. 

It didn't take long for the dog to do exactly what I didn't want him to do.  Upon getting up on the island I spotted some rather favorable carp.  And... Funtimes spotted them too and wasted no time jumping in the creek to pursue them.  Of course, carp blew up everywhere and what was a fairly clear creek had suddenly become a mud bath.

At this point it would probably have been best just to call it a day of possibility that didn't go right, but since the carp and creek had been blown I decided to do some blind casting.  This is when I would discover how curious or how smart this dog really was.

I knew the carp held across at the far bank.  The dog was by my side with ears perked as I started stripping and shaking line out of the end of the rod to make a roll cast of close to thirty feet.  The line went out and as soon as it straightened out on the now muddy glass, the dog went in. 

This crazy canine was swimming parallel to the fly line and he was dead set on the end.  It didn't take long to realize he was going for the fly, which he couldn't see.  Flipping the line to the right in hopes of getting the fly out of his way, he turned right.  Then I started stripping like crazy and this persistent pooch turned toward the bank and followed.  As I lifted the fly up to the bank, this guy lunged at the dog-gone fly. 

After that it was time to go, but this new furry friend of mine wasn't through frolicking.  Nope, not at all.  It's a dog's life and this dog was trying to live every minute of his to the fullest.

On the way back downstream, I saw a snake - the fourth of the short morning.  With the arrival of autumn and cooler temperatures that have come, the snakes are on the move.  Stopping to take a picture of the snake, ol' Funtimes decides he wants a closer look too.  He tracks right across the top of this snake and somehow pulls it off without getting bit or rousing the snake at all actually.

Making my way back to the prairie schooner I get in as Funtimes tries to climb in also.  I give him a pat on the head and wish him luck as I pull out of the harbor.  He follows at full throttle for about a quarter-of-a-mile and then he sees a family having a picnic so decides to join them. 

Guess I feel kind of bad not inviting him to the bunkhouse, but he looked to be well taken care of and I figure he was just out on an afternoon reprieve from his mundane life at home. 

Regardless of what his situation is, today he was just looking to make a new friend. 

Aren't we all at times? 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Easiest Carp In The World By Fly

Just recently I had a fellow fly fisher for carp suggest that the carp Charlie and I fly fish for must be the easiest carp in the world to catch by way of fly. 


Now, I don't know why a fellow that has never seen our creek firsthand would suggest such a thing.  If he was indeed here the first thing he might notice is the intense vegetation we have to deal with.  Both banks on this creek are littered with trees that form a canopy over the creek robbing us of that vital sunlight that is so important in seeing carp.  Also, since trees have limbs and many of these limbs are low and over-hanging along the creek that adds to the difficulty of getting a fly in position.  On our carp creek there are just a few places a back cast can be employed.  Most places, even when the carp or thirty, thirty-five, or forty feet away require a roll cast.  Oh, and then there's the Johnson grass, which during the summer months is taller than a man.  And, let me not forget the obstacles in the form of green briar and grapevine orchards that stand in our way getting to where the carp might be feeding. 


I also wonder why someone that has never watched the behavior of these carp would suggest that they are easy.  These carp are no different from carp anywhere - they are as wary, savvy, and smart as any carp anywhere.  Since this creek is an intimate and tight creek, I actually think these fish are even more alert.  At so many places there's not much distance between fly angler and carp and that often works to the angler's disadvantage. 

But, the fellow that suggested that these are the easiest carp in the world to catch with a fly is exactly right... and there's good reason. 

You see, Charlie and I have trained these carp.  Think of them as circus carp.  We've trained these carp so well they'll jump through a hoop to get to our flies.  And, that's what makes it so damn easy. 

This year, we changed our training program and taught the carp to concentrate on one fly - the Creek Critter.  Put a creek critter on the other side of that hoop I'm talking about, and watch the carp go airborne. 

With the easiest carp in the world to catch in mind, I set out this morning to catch some more of them.

With the Creek Critter tied on, I begin an easy day. My plans were to fish for a good amount of time, but on my way to one of our carp pastures I passed an event the federal park people had organized.  Today, was "pick up trash in the park day" and since this creek has been so good to me it was time to reciprocate.   Pulling into the station I explained I would wade the creek and collect trash and so the rangers gave me a trash bag and sent me on my way.  It certainly cut into the fishing time, but still I managed to catch a special kind of carp while collecting trash.  It's not often I encounter a carp on the prowl, but today I did.  Putting the Critter a little beyond the fish and then stripping, the carp was on the fly like a duck on a June bug.  Awesome.

Carp taken on a back-handed roll cast.
Also taken on a back-handed roll cast.
Yes... on a back handed roll cast.
They'll jump through hoops for this!
The divan cushion collected from the creek today took the prize for best piece of crap.
Gotta love those bait fishers with such keen stewardship.
Now, yesterday evening with only a short period of light left, Charlie goes to the creek and lands a wonderful Mirror carp.  Guess that Mirror was one of the easy one's too. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blue River Becoming Even More Special

There are few rivers, if any, in Oklahoma more loved that south-central Oklahoma's Blue River.  One of Oklahoma's few remaining free-flowing streams, Blue River will be dedicated as part of the America's Great Outdoors Rivers Initiative during ceremonies September 21st featuring Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, Anne Castle.

The Blue River project is part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative, which seeks to set a community-driven conservation and recreation agenda for the 21st century.  The initiative seeks to enhance waters for recreation and stream restoration with federal agency support of community conservation. 

Blue River that flows through wildlife department owned and operated land is a designated trout stream from November through March.  The river also serves as a wonderful warm water fishery, outdoor classroom, hunting area, and gathering place for the outdoor enthusiast. Many who visit Blue River for the first time say that it looks more like a river one would expect to find in Colorado flowing from mountains, rather than in Oklahoma.

The dedication will take place September 21st at 9 a.m. at the Nature Conservancy's Ok' Yanahli Blue River Preserve.  Other speakers will be on hand from the Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and The Nature Conservancy's Pontotoc Ridge Preserve.  The Blue River endeavor involves the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service (Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge) and U.S. Geological Survey (Oklahoma Water Science Center).

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend Journal Notes

With the long, hot, and dry summer we've been through, right now there is nothing prettier than the sound of rain.  It rained on both Thursday and Friday, and when I awoke Saturday morning there was the sound of rain finding ground as it fell from the eave of the bunkhouse. 

Shoving off from the home port, I sail to see what the working girls are doing where I get my morning cup of coffee.  After drinking the first cup and upon the return trip home, the scared eyes of a young deer become fixed with my eyes.  This young creature has been struck by a vehicle and is laying on the side of the road.  Pulling back hard on the ponies the schooner comes to a sudden stop and the fancy flashing lights are employed.  In the darkness I think the deer is a doe, but would later discover it's a buck.  My mere presence is enough to cause the deer to stand and struggle to the nearby lawn, which is exactly what I wanted. 

After examining the deer as best I could it was easy to see that both back legs are damaged with breaks - one being compound.  Back in the schooner, leather is slapped hard on the ponies backside as I hurry to the bunkhouse to call authorities.  The call is made and at this point I'm confident help will soon arrive.

Two hours later help has still not arrived except the kindness of two ladies that live next door to the scene of this sad event.  They are sitting with the deer to keep it from struggling and offering caressing hands.  People have went and got themselves in such a damn big hurry they can't even stop to see what they've done when they hit an animal.  Sad damn commentary on some members of humankind. These two ladies made me remind myself there is still a lot of goodness in the world.

Once again I leave to make another call and this time I reach the game warden.  As we are talking on the phone I hear a gunshot - the gunshot that ended the suffering.  Thanking the game warden for his time the conversation ends and the rest of the day begins.

After the events of early morning I bandy about the house doing this and doing that.  Forcing myself to the tying room a few flies are churned out, but most of the enthusiasm I usually have for tying was absent. 

I deem it best that I simply shut down and let the mind rest. 

Around mid-afternoon I decide to hit the creek to at least see what the fish are up to.  At the creek is my daughter and her husband Van and with them they have a young angler named Adam.  Adam is wreaking havoc and laying waste on the perch.  After watching Adam pluck perch left and right I decide to go upstream to see the other fish.  About that time a dozen or so youngsters show up and go upstream ahead of me.  They're eager to fish so the water is their water today as I go back to the prairie home.

This morning when I awoke there was once again the sound of rain.  This morning the working girls snuck me in the coffee store early.  Their kindness allowed me to get to the mercantile store an half hour early and therefore out of the store an half hour early. 
Two weeks ago I told myself that carp season for me was pretty well over due to water conditions and searing temperatures coming around a second time.  However, in the last week we've received four different rain events and it's been enough to increase flow and refresh the creek. 
The carp gear is brought back out and I head for the creek.  It's raining when I get to the edge of the creek and I should note for this journal that there are advantages to fly fishing for carp in the rain.  The rain seems to bring the carp to the shallows to feed and this morning was no exception.  The rain also seems to camouflage the angler by breaking up the clear, smooth surface of the creek. 
In less than two minutes on the creek the first carp of the morning comes to hand. In the next two hours five more carp would come to hand with three other great opportunities being blown due to me trying to see the hook too early.  The same fly, a Creek Critter, was used and it was the only pattern tried.  Of all the Creek Critter's I have, this is the one I consider the chi Critter.  Unfortunately, the fly is nearing retirement due to wear and tear.
Chi Creek Critter
It rained the entire time I was on the creek this morning.  I left the creek wet from head to toe, but happier than a puppy with two tails. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Essential For Fly Outing Gear List

A gear list is a good idea whenever we are planning an extended or all day fly fishing outing.  On the gear list I keep there is a section for food or snacks.  Fare is vital so we can refuel our body while wading and catching battalions of trout, carp, bass or other species. 

This past week I added a menu item on my essential gear list.  The addition comes in the form of Larry the Cable Guy Cheeseburger flavored potato chips.  I'm telling you boys and girls, cram a handful of these chips in your mouth and the flavor of a cheeseburger with pickle pops right away, sending your taste buds into overdrive sending signals to the brain for more, more, more.

Larry will tell us, "These flavors will knock out the snack cravin's like a cop kickin' down a trailer door." 
Now, I know I'm not an "ish" kind of guy, not trendy at all.  Many of the younger fly fishing crowd will carry organic trail mixes, wasabi, or dehydrated this dehydrated that.  But for me, I want the thin slices of starch, fried in grease, and showered with salt, artificial flavorings and preservatives. Of course my cardiologist will have his own coronary when he learns of my constant stuffing of these chips, and I'll simply have to say to him, "No knock it until you try it". 
When it comes to the true pleasures of life, I think the Larry the Cable Guy tater chips rank up there with trailer park speed dating. 
Git r' done!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Is Fly Fishing Better Off Than Four Years Ago

Here of late, I've been watching with great interest the political rattle between the Democratic and Republican parties. 

The question that is being raised by one side is the throwback question of years ago, "Are you better off now than four years ago?" 

I guess the voters will decide that question come November, but that similar question has come to mind about fly fishing.  "Is fly fishing better off now than four years ago?"

I have to say no.  No, I'm not saying that fly fishing is worse off than four years ago, but at best fly fishing has become stagnant and remained so in the last four years.

Google Trends shows there has been a steady decline in the search term "fly fishing" for a good number of years.  Looking at the last four years we can see that the decline has continued and looks to be dipping further to the south as time has gone by.  Fly fishing is not better off now than four years ago.
How about the price of gasoline?  In January 2009 the average price of a gallon of gas was $1.84.  Today, the average price of a gallon of gas is $3.84. 
I suggest that the price of gasoline has a direct effect on the number of planned fly fishing outings.  I'll bet my last dollar that it can be graphed and the results will show that as gas prices increase, fly fishing outings decrease. 
The price of gasoline also has an effect on the cost of FFGS (fly fishing goods sold).  Sure, I've seen all the offers from sellers of fly fishing gear for free shipping.  Trust me folk, there's no such thing as FREE shipping.  The cost of shipping is built in the price somewhere along the way.  I've been in retail for forty years now and there is no "free". 
Is fly fishing better off now than four years ago?  In 2010, we watched for 87 agonizing days as the Deepwater Horizon spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.  BP, after a terribly shaky start, has made a monumental effort to recover the area, but who among us really know the long term effect on fish and other marine life from this disaster.  The Gulf of Mexico fishery may never be what it once was.
What about Pebble?  The Pebble mine problem is still dangling over fishing heads like the sword of Damocles.  Under the leadership of the current President, the EPA has the power and authority to stop Pebble dead in it's track.  The state of Alaska's track record on permitting mines shows they've never been able to say "no".  However, Alaska state officials can't seem to make up their mind whether they want the EPA's help or not.  Alaska, I'm sorry, but you need to crap or get off the pot.  Bristol Bay may very well be your sovereignty, but what you have there is precious to the world.
In 2010, by executive order, the National Ocean Policy was enacted.  No, I'm not suggesting this policy is a bad thing, but it would have been nice to have included the angler's voice in the discussion.  As it stands, the angler's concerns were completely ignored.  Our fishing waters and opportunities continue to dwindle or become more regulated. 
Is fly fishing better off now than four years ago and will a change at the White House make a difference.  No, and most likely not. 
In researching the bios of Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney and looking at their lists of hobbies, neither listed fishing as a choice.  Granted, Mr. Obama did make a token fly fishing trip in 2009.  I'm sure it played well on camera. 
So, what is it going to take to make fly fishing better in the future?  Voices!  Fly fishing needs to add voices to the art we practice and the way to do that is do add to our ranks. 
Fly fishing can add to our numbers by doing several things.  First, the big dogs of the fly fishing gear suppliers need to let go of some of those mega dollars they're raking in each year and dedicate it to the cause of increasing interest in fly fishing. 
Fly fishing must find a way to make fly fishing cool or rad to the youth of today.  I think fly fishing is cool as it is, but my definiton of cool, awesome, rad, or wicked isn't the same as young people today. 
One thing that certainly could work is the introduction of fishing or fly fishing to the school curriculum.  Oklahoma is currently introducing an "Introduction to Fishing" course throughout the Oklahoma school system.
Then, we need another great and inspiring movie.  Nothing in the last twenty years has done more to spark interest in fly fishing as the movie "A River Runs Through It".  We need another epic story of fly fishing and life and how the two intertwine.
Maybe there's a chance that Eastwood could be talked into producing it.  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Carp Season Slowly Coming To An End

Each year as college football season kicks off, I realize that carp by fly season is coming to an end.  As teams like Bama, the Sooners, the Ducks and Spartans take to the gridiron, I also realize that trout season is just up ahead.  There is sixty days left until opening day of trout season on Blue River here on the prairie ocean.

As far as trout go I find myself in total disarray currently.  That's easy to understand though.  The passion that those of us own for carp by fly causes trout to be the furthest thing from our minds.  However, come mid-October the carp here will begin to winter-up.  It's almost like they suddenly disappear only to return the following March or April.  So come fall, my choice is to return to the pretty colored fish of Blue River.

I can't complain.  It's been an excellent carp by fly season for me.  Although I haven't kept an exact count I know that it's been a 100 carp season for me and that leaves me a very lucky man.  This season, like most, I certainly made my share of mistakes when it comes to carp, but without slight flaw there would be no art.

Sure, there will be chances between now and October to pursue the carp, if things get better that is.  Once again, our little carp creek is beginning to struggle.   On top of that, summer seems to have come back with a vengeance.  Two weeks ago there were signs of an early fall season, but today it is 102.  Then there is the West Nile virus outbreak.  The number of cases and related deaths continue to grow in this part of the country.  With this being Labor Day weekend and people trying to squeeze that last bit of summer fun in, I figure we'll be hearing of more illness and deaths from West Nile.  The skeeters on our carp creek are quite thick.

If I were a younger man I wouldn't be quite so concerned with getting skeeter bit, but the truth is I'm in that age range that the virus can do severe damage.  As I've grown older I am more reluctant to roll the dice these days, and would like to be around a little longer to fly fish.

So, for now I will hope for the rain to come and replenish the creek and cooler weather that might send the skeeters packing. 

With the downtime from carp by fly, an exercise routine will be employed in an attempt to build the stamina in the old legs for those long hikes into the wilderness during trout season. 

Think I'll call the routine Fishercise.