Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

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.