Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Friday, March 30, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Dry Conversation

It seems like it has taken forever for our little carp creek to clear.  Today is the eleventh day since the big rain came and it's just now that the creek is returning to what we consider normal.  Normal in how clear the creek is running, however the flow is still up more than we're use to.

While we've been waiting on the creek to settle down, we've been exploring other pastures.  You remember the big pasture I spoke of recently - a pasture that seemed to hold all kind of carp possibilities?  Well, that big pasture just got bigger.  The rain has raised the level of this lake by about three feet and where we once could wade, we cannot now. 

This week Charlie and me have spent a fair amount of time pursuing the blossom sipping carp with dry patterns.  I'm not for sure how much time Charlie has invested, but I have probably a good six or eight hours spent trying to get a carp to hand by way of a dry pattern. 

We have zero results to show for our effort. 

But, there was some of those heart-pounding, exciting "this is it" moments that unfortunately turned into those "could have been" realities. 

Around 5 p.m. today I missed carp number five (by way of dry pattern) on a size 14 yellow Stimulator pattern.  Earlier today I missed carp number four on that same pattern and once that happen I returned to my prairie home and contacted Charlie.  I asked Charlie his thoughts of whether I'm trying to set the hook too quickly and too hard.  We're so use to sight fishing for grazing or tailing carp, and when they eat we really set the hook, it's easy to carry that habit over to other methods of fly fishing - in this case fishing a dry pattern.

With carp number five I decided to wait before setting the hook and set it easier with a more gentle rod tip lift.  The carp was upstream and I watched him sipping the blossoms.  Deciding to cast the fly to this fish, the fly lands about a foot to his right side.  As soon as it lands the current catches it, but this fish turns, chases, catches up, and then eats the fly.  I wait.  A lift of the rod tip and there was nothing but air. 

I swear I don't know what I'm doing wrong.  It's beginning to eat on me mentally. 

Problem is right now that the majority of the carp are gorging on the surface and that's the best chance of capturing one of these beeves.  Guess I could just blindly blind cast and hope my fly crosses path with a carp. 

We're facing a good number of obstacles right now.  We've had two weeks to do a survey of the carp population in this little creek.  It looks like we have about half the carp we had last year or the year prior.  Over the last two years we had probably close to 250 carp in about two and a half miles of creek that we could fish.  This year, we have less than half that many.  The big flood of November certainly carried carp downstream to the big lake.

The creek is just now clearing, but more rain is predicted for Monday and Tuesday.  If the rain comes then we could be back to square one. 

Then, there is the unseasonably warm temperatures.  Sunday is April 1st and the temperature will reach 90 degrees on Sunday - a temperature more associated with June rather than April. 

If we have a repeat of last summer, then it's going to be another long, record-setting hot, and not very productive carp season.  Hopefully, something will give.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Party Line

Damn Perch.

You know... I shouldn't be like that, about the perch I mean.  I... love... the perch.  Yet, as beautiful and delightful as they are, they, at times, can be the most aggravating creatures on the face of the earth.  And, today they were. 

It's been twelve days since a carp has come to my hand, and honestly I am beginning to feel a little like Santiago. 

No, I'm not blaming the perch for all the failure, even though they were responsible today.  It's been the weather for the most part and even that has an ironic twist.  This time last year we were praying for rain.  This year, we are still praying - giving thanks for the bountiful rain we've had, and at the same time praying our little carp creek will finally clear.

It's been eight days now since the rain sent the creek into a rage and as of today our favored carp current is still struggling in regaining some normalcy.  But today, the carp could clearly be seen feeding on blossoms at the surface. 

Seeing what was taking place I quickly change to a size 10 Elk Hair Caddis - the same fly used last year to lasso these Longhorns of the water.  Getting this pattern to the carp was the biggest challenge.  The carp were sipping blossoms directly underneath two to three overhanging tree limbs.  A sidearm cast was the only choice and the cast would be across a strong current - a recipe for producing a lot of foul language from the angler. 

As soon as the fly would hit the surface I would roll mend the line to the far side followed by an immediate high stick hoping I could avoid the current and the fly would drift into the feeding lane of the carp.  It seemed to be working and with the fly well on it's way to the open mouth of a carp, a perch decided to join the conversation by party line. 

Upon releasing the perch back to the water, I totally forgot about the necessity of making a side arm cast and as the fly line went up in the air I suddenly knew how screwed I was soon to be.  There in the clutches of the outstretched arms of a tree, dangled the Elk Hair Caddis swinging high on the gallows.  I considered it a case of the fly giving his life at sea.

With the Elk Hair Caddis lost, Charlie's creation the Thistle Missile was called to action.  On the very first cast, as the fly drifted into the lane intended, another perch interrupted. 

Not once, not twice, three times, but four, would the perch interrupt a possible conversation between angler and carp.  Each time they would, the surface feeding carp would be "put down" for ten or fifteen minutes. 

It wasn't long until I was out of time and the beer I had brought was ancient history. 

The rain always washes stuff downstream and in the middle of the creek was this dandy that made be wonder if someone upstream was still clueless they were shoeless.  Said item was retrieved and deposited in the handy trash can Charlie fished out of the creek not so long ago.

The thin and shallow parts of the creek are clearing and hopefully by Wednesday the rest of the creek will be much better and that will improve chances of connecting with a carp.  What do to about the perch is another question. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Good News For The Prairie Ocean

In the long waged battle over water there came some rather good news this week for this prairie ocean here in southern Oklahoma. 

The state water board (Oklahoma Water Resources Board) dramatically reduced the amount of groundwater that can be pumped from the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer.  The Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer is the lifeblood for many streams and rivers including Blue River, Pennington Creek, Turner Falls, and many springs and smaller streams. 

The new allowance for withdrawal of water from the aquifer has been reduced from the current 2 acre feet per year to .20 acre feet or a 90% reduction.  In gallons per acre the reduction is from 651,792 gallons to 65,170.20 gallons. 

This action will ensure a sustainable way of keeping the streams, creeks, and rivers flowing in south central Oklahoma. 

As an angler I am delighted there will adequate water for the carp, trout, bass, perch and other species of fish along with water for the whole community of wildlife. 

More importantly there will now be adequate drinking water for people and water for everyday use along with water for business, agriculture, manufacturing, and yes recreation. 

The Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer is the only sole-source aquifer in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board recognized the significance of this special and unique aquifer system.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Conversations With Carp - "Hold Please"

It seems that Charlie and me are definitely on hold right now.  While we've been waiting for our little carp creek to settle down and get back to normal, Charlie has been scouting for other carp water.

Yesterday he sent a dispatch and through his words in that message I could tell he was very excited.  Charlie described the latest pasture he's discovered as a possible carp heaven. 

Of course upon reading his message I had to go have a look for myself.  This new possibility is a big pasture... a really big pasture and it's full of challenges and obstacles.  However, if we can overcome some of the challenges of this water there are some dandy carp that await us. 

Yesterday, shortly after arriving at this new pasture guess who else showed up... again?   Yes, it was mother once again and she had more rain in store.

Within an hour it was raining.  Today, and some twenty hours later it was still raining.  So, the message we're getting from nature is "Hold please." 

The weekend weather looks much better and hopefully we can get on the water and start dissecting this new pasture. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Conference Call

Mother nature likes to have her say from time to time and has joined the dialogue in our conversations with carp.

Who amongst us can understand the mystery of nature? All things that take place in nature have a distinct purpose.

In the case of this flooded little creek I will say it needed a good flushing - the algae accumulation was getting out of hand. Secondly, we simply needed the rain after years of exceptional drought.

No gripes here. Carp by fly can wait for another day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Discovery Through Exchanges

The big rain was riding the tracks of a western freight yesterday.  Having finished a day of servitude at the mercantile store I knew I would do well finding any significant time on the water.  However, I felt compelled to go to the creek because the rain predicted, if materializing, would wash away any chance of carp by fly for at least a week.

In the dimness of the dismal day I take a familiar trail to the little creek that is home to the grand and golden ones.  The sky is heavy and full, threatening and ominous. Clouds are steam-rolling from the west, packed with stampede-inducing thunder, full of rage in unforgiving lightning.

At the pasture we call Upper Shallows there was a bright spot within the dimness of the afternoon.  This bright spot I speak of came in the grand ones gently sipping blossoms from the surface - casually sipping the shedding of spring freshness, like a southerner imbibing a Mint Julep. 

On this day I would learn, or perhaps discover is a better word, that surface feeding carp will take notice of subsurface flies even though they are fixated on what's in or on the film. I knew that on my person somewhere was a size 10 Elk Hair Caddis in hiding.  It was the same fly used last season to capture carp while feeding on top.  However, the first drops of rain had arrived and I chose to send out what was already tied on - the Mysis Shrimp. 

The lesson learned was if we put a subsurface fly in front and near a surface feeding carp, the fish will dive for the fly.  If the fish is quick enough it will capture our gift mid-column and if not then the fish will follow it to the bottom where there is an excellent chance the fish will eat.

Three times yesterday I put the Mysis within inches of a blossom sipping carp.  Three times the fish went for the fly.  Three times a fish ate the fly and three times I failed to bring the beeve to the hand for branding. 

My dilemma with solid hook-sets continues. 

Upon thinking about the recent number of carp I have missed on the hook-set, gives pause to examine all aspects of what is taking place.  Sometimes in fly fishing for carp the most minor details makes all the difference. 

I begin to think about the fly used - the Mysis Shrimp.  The Mysis is tied on a straight shank hook and even though it is counter weighted, which theoretically makes the hook point ride up, this particular hook has a narrow gap.  So, now I am wondering if the narrow gap in the hook bend is the reason the sharp point is not lassoing and holding the carp. 

One of the more interesting things about the fly fishing for carp life is the continued wonderment of what all is involved, and what all can be achieved. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Little Less Talk, Lot More Action

Charlie has done most of the scouting here of late and yesterday I felt like it was my time to step up and help out in the scouting department.  Of course, the fly rod went along just in case. 

For the most part, I can tell you my scouting expedition was a big flop.  Never have I been on the creek in search of a communication channel with the carp under such poor conditions.  There was the rather strong wind, an completely dark and sullen overcast sky, an already blurred creek, blossoms that were quickly weaving a blanket on the surface, a new set of amber colored polarized glasses that are not working, and then... the pickpockets of the prairie ocean - those lovely, but aggravating pan fish.

All these things came together yesterday to form a perfect storm of frustration and strained eyesight in the hope of striking up a conversation with the carp. 

Not to say I didn't have opportunity - I did.  Several opportunities came my way, and with each offering of opening a dialogue sent to the carp the pan fish would intercept the call picking off the fly and alerting the carp. 

There was one carp that sticks out.  This fish was sipping blossoms off the surface, but his location, underneath some over-hanging tree limbs prevented me from offering him a dry pattern.   At the time I had a Mysis Shrimp pattern tied on and I could side roll cast that fly where it would land about two feet upstream from his position.  Therefore, I flipped the fly that direction. 

The fish immediately took notice and quickly rushed to the falling shrimp.  I swear, I saw the fly enter the center of this fishes mouth and straight down the gullet, but upon employing the hook-set the fly cleared completely.   This is the third time in a matter of days my hook-point has failed to find flesh and I am beginning to believe these creatures are still a little on the lethargic side.  Their sucks seem lackluster and lack the volume that usually occurs. 

Staying with the Mysis I show it to another carp and this fish circles on it but can't find it.  Another cast made and losing sight of the fly I go into blind-set mode.  Soon, the tell-tale movement in the line and pressure felt tells me to set the hook.  Finally a fish on.

A youngster carp comes to hand and is quickly released back to the stew. 

I think it's still a little early for these fish.  Charlie and I are about two weeks ahead of our regular starting time for carp season.  Right now it's more talk than action.  

Hopefully, with the warm weather and warming water temperature the conversation and action level will increase soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Charlie Says Hello To Lake Carp

Last Wednesday, Charlie and yours truly were fishing for lake carp and we knew very well we were drifting uncharted waters. 

Somehow, and luckily, I managed to begin a dialogue with a very nice carp and this was the first lake carp I've ever caught.

Not to be outdone, Charlie returns the very next day and captures his first ever lake carp and misses a couple of more.

Charlie took his carp on his favored San Juan worm, a feat he has pulled off many times in the past couple of years.

We are hopeful the carp will keep returning to the more shallow sea-lane to feed.  This will be our only chance of continuing our conversations with these creatures.  The main lake is too big and way too deep for us to have any chance of meeting these fish at all. 

Hopefully, our conversations will continue. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chapter 58 Final Page - Trout Season

With only sixteen days left in official trout season and with the weather looking rather rain-swept in the coming days I know that today was the final page in this trout season for me.

Heavy rain is predicted for Monday and Tuesday followed by chances of rain each day thereafter.  The price of petro at the pump hit $3.72 here yesterday.  The carp are getting extremely active right now and all these things come together to form a perfect storm of not going to the pretty fish anymore this month. 

Today, Mercurio, Charlie and myself attended the end of trout season celebration at the headquarters building at Blue River.  The wildlife department fed everyone fish, fries, hush puppies, cole slaw and baked beans - it was rather good. 

While we were there the proceeds from the One Fly tournament, along with a personal donation from Merc, were turned over to the wildlife department.  The total amount was $1,000.00.  I spoke with an official of the wildlife department who is in charge of federal matching funds and he told me that indeed our donation would be matched and the net result for Blue River would be $4,000.00.  Not bad.  So, a big thank you to all those fly fishers at Blue River who willing signed up and participated in the One Fly - you guys did good.

After lunch, Merc and I had already decided to go fishing at Blue.  Asking Charlie if he would go he said he had things he needed to do around the inn.  Like we believed that - Charlie had things to do, but it was probably carp by fly fishing things. 

Leaving the headquarters building I followed Merc to the river.  No... that's not my Tweety Bird, I was in Miss Carol's pickup today. 

We went about our fishing in a slow relaxed way today, looking at unfamiliar and not-often fished water.  We didn't catch a lot of fish, but fish we caught including perch, spotted bass, and yes trout. 

I got the pleasure of watching Merc sight fish a couple of trout.  He kept drifting his fly by these trout and they turned a couple of times on the fly but just wouldn't eat.  So, Merc switched gears and went smaller and on the first drift a trout ate the fly.

The weather was rather warm and humid today and the river was running pretty.  It was so warm and humid some kids from Texas has skinned down to little clothing and were joyfully playing in the still rather cool water.  Kids are tough you know.

After we were through fishing, we drank one beer together while visiting with Matt. 

Today was a pleasant day on the river Blue - no rush, no hurry, no pressure.  Just good friendship on a pretty little river.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Conversations With Carp - Stalled Talks

Around mid-morning at the mercantile store today, I saw Charlie walking in a rather spry and quick paced fashion. 

"Hey Charlie!", I hollered. 

Charlie stopped, turned and with a tilted head looked at me and replied, "I'm headed that way... bye." 

Translated, Charlie was on his way to the big body carp water that we fished yesterday to engage in more conversation and he wasn't about to expend a lot of time on morning chit-chat. 

I too had hopes of going back to sea-lane in that lesser sea spoke of yesterday for more conversation with carp, but... I guess we can say that today I suffered from a case of stalled talks.

You see, yesterday after Charlie and I were through fishing, I went to the prairie schooner to leave and upon slapping leather across the ponies arses they didn't kick.  They didn't kick, they didn't whinny, they didn't do anything.  I was stalled.

Charlie stayed with me as the problem was examined and futile attempt after futile attempt to get the ponies to kick was tried.  Finally, I asked Charlie to use his cell phone and a call was put to Miss Carol to come to the rescue so at least I would have a way home.

When Miss Carol arrived, Charlie felt it was okay to leave and it wasn't two minutes thereafter the ponies kicked.  With that small miracle taking place the prairie schooner was driven to the prairie home and at the hitching post seven or eight attempts to get the ponies to kick were successful.

Early this morning I walked out of the prairie home, jumped in the schooner and the ponies kicked once again.  Driving to the mercantile store, I hitch the wagon to the front posts and open the mercantile store.  As part of morning regimen, and about an hour later, my morning fix of sissy-coffee was calling. Exiting the mercantile store to the schooner I find the ponies, once again, will not kick, no whinny - they will do nothing. 

Around the noon hour each day at the store, a retired gentleman comes in to get some of our food culls in his attempt to save some starving goats.  This gentleman just happens to be one of those guys who is mechanically inclined and upon learning of my problem with the schooner and ponies, he asked to take a look. 

It wasn't long until he identified a couple of problems and through that the ponies gave a little whinny.  Employing the use of another schooner as a boost, the ponies kicked hard and the schooner was good to go.  Driving the schooner through town a couple of times, in order to build the power of the pony motivator, I once again hitch at the front of the store.  After doing so, leather is once again slapped across the ponies arses and they did not kick or whinny - they did nothing. 

There is a prairie schooner parts store here in this settlement and if you lay down around a dozen sawbucks, plus silver, you can get a brand spanking new pony motivator - amazing what a fresh electrical charge source will do to ponies.

Motivator installed and ponies kicked hard; schooner ready to go; but was this the solving of the problem for real?

Not having total confidence that the schooner was fixed, I dare not go to the big water Charlie and I fished yesterday because tow trucks charge by the mile.  Instead, I went to the local creek which is only three blocks away from the tow service. 

Our local carp creek is still a brown colored blur, and now a blanket of blossoms is quickly forming.  Basically, I couldn't see anything, no bubbles were coming up, and the sun was very unkind today. 

However, nearby and upstream just off the bank I saw some disturbance in the form of rings.  Slowly approaching this area there was a single carp below me gently feeding in the forage of this pasture.  With the carrot on the stick I place the fly in front of him and he sucks.  He sucks, I miss. 

Remarkably, this fish does not spook and I show him the carrot again - he sucks, I miss.... again.

Never have I had the same carp suck twice, me miss twice and the fish not go ballistic in the water.  Today, this carp simply swam away as if nothing significant had happened. 

Now, how can someone blow two easy hook-sets on the same carp? 


It's called rust. 

More time on the water will dissolve the rust... I hope.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Conversations With Carp - The Language Of Love

On this greater prairie ocean exists a lesser sea that is named after the men and women who have served our country during times of war and conflict.  Within that sea is a sea-lane that Charlie has long believed to be a perfect harbor for carp. 

Charlie should be a professional carp scout.  The man just has an uncanny sense on locating these creatures.  Yesterday he sent a dispatch saying the carp were extremely active in this particular sea-lane and we agreed to meet mid-afternoon today. 

Upon getting to the big body water there was  a lot of activity taking place.  Almost immediately I recognized it as early spawn activity. 

In the past, when the spawn is taking place, I simply do not fish these creatures.  I do love watching them during this special time however.  Both Charlie and I believe that carp will not eat during the spawn, but neither of us are experts and have much to learn. 

Today though, we decided to answer the question of whether carp will eat a fly while they are interested in making love. 

We could literally stand right over these creatures and drop our flies right in front of their face.  Usually there were three carp or more in a love nest - a large female and smaller male courters.  Time and time again we dabbled the fly in front of their face and no... they did not eat. 

On the far side of this lake there wasn't as much activity taking place so I decided to go there and have a look-see.  On the far side there was the same debris on top of the water as the side we started out fishing and I had tied on a heavy metal carp fly in the Carp Tease.  This seemed necessary to get the fly down through the debris. 

However, on the far side I found some clear pools and the water was remarkably clear also.  Much to my pleasure there were lone carp cruising - singular carp without any other carp dogging them.  They were just gingerly swimming around.  I do believe that not all carp spawn at the same time and what I was seeing today reinforces that belief.

Standing near the clear patches of water I begin flipping the Carp Tease to the carp.  The first carp turned on the fly and went after it on the fall, but in my haste, the fly was pulled from his reach. 

Soon, a horse of a carp came slowly swimming by and this was a big carp for our neck of the woods.  The carp we fish for do not get the size of the carp the boys in Idaho, Oregon, and Colorado fish, but for us this was a big fish. 

The Carp Tease went out and as the carp turned on it I really couldn't tell if he had it or not so a gentle lift of the tip, pressure felt, and rod tip snapped.

The dialogue begin. 

Never have I held a longer conversation with carp than today.  I'm not sure exactly how long the exchange lasted, but it was a good ten... maybe fifteen minutes. 

As soon as the fish was hooked I became concerned because I'm still not rigged up for carp and today brought a five weight rod.  In addition the five weight had 3X leader when I usually use 2X and to compound things more I had lengthened the leader with tippet and a surgeons knot.  I've lost too many carp by surgeon's knot and usually fish straight leader.  Remarkably though, everything held.  

Finally the fish was worked to the shallow weave and was taken out of the water only long enough so I could hold him up to show Charlie on the other side of the sea-lane.  The fish went back in the drink and I stayed with him until he blasted away to the deep. 

The carp will be through with their loving ways in a day or so and Charlie and I will explore this water some more. 

Charlie my friend, thank you so much for scouting and locating this special carp current.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 134 - Trout Season

More From The One Fly

Michael Mercurio sent some pictures he took during the One Fly Tournament weekend and I feel obiliged to share them.

Byron Dowd works his way up from the crossing.
Charlie Wright made hand-crafted wading staffs for everyone.
Byron Dowd nearing Area 2.
The morning coffee pot was put to good use.
Perks of the One Fly.  Notice that prize to the left?
Ralph kind of looks like a crusty ol' cook.
Guarding the chilli and beans is tough, but someone has to do it.

After a restless Friday night, Charlie strings his hammock and takes a mid-morning nap.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 133 - Trout Season

The Time Of  Conflict

Young girls write in diaries about sparks of love, things that catch their fancy, and secret places.  Most likely the sparks of love these young women feel will turn into a full fledged love affair someday.

Older men like me write in journals also about sparks of love, things that catch fancy, and secret places. Most likely for guys like me we already know the love of a fine lady and have become quite comfortable in such.  My sparks of love these days, the fanciful things I now chase, and the secret places I seek, all have to do with fly-fishing, nature, and wildlife. 

Now that the One Fly tournament is complete I know that chapter 58 in my fly fishing for trout life is quickly nearing an end.  There are only a couple of more weeks left in official trout season left and for the most part I am done with the pretty little fish. 

However, there are still some dates with the river and the bows.  This Friday there is the end of the year fish-fry the wildlife department has near the end of trout season at Blue.  I guess it's their way of celebrating another successful trout experience at Blue.  Each year the fly fishing community receives an invitation to attend and over the years I've tried to invite different anglers.  Usually though, those invitations are not accepted due to the busy life most of us live.  There are a couple of guys though that I can usually count on finding a way to the feed and this year we'll be attending.

Then, there is a fly fishing outing that had to be postponed due to weather and I hope to reschedule this trip to Blue with friends and a couple of guys I've never fished with before.

Lastly, I still have high hope of getting a grandchild on the river this trout season.  If so lucky and the trip comes to be, most likely it will be a short outing because young children have so many interests they tend to wander from here to there in excitement.  Even if it's just an hour in the river - that will be just fine with me.

Yes, chapter 58 of trout season is coming to an end.  These days I am conflicted.  Short time left in trout season and this is the time of year the grand and golden carp begin to show signs of activity.  Now is the time I should be on the local creek trying to find where the carp are pasturing, checking the water to see how it should be fished, and watching the carp for any particular patterns they have.

Chapter 58 has been a remarkable trout season for me in having met so many wonderful and new faces on the river.  Faces eventually become friends and for this I am certainly a richer man. 

So my friends, if I don't see you again this trout season I send you the best of wishes in all things and especially in your time on the river Blue. 

May you always walk off the river with a smile on your face.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 132 - Trout Season

Day 130 - The Fun And Misery Of One Fly Friday

In the several days prior to the One Fly Event at Blue River it looked like this tournament might be a miserable and wet affair.  Come late Thursday afternoon though, I knew for some reason we had received a blessing. The coming rain had slowed on it's course and wouldn't arrive until later on Saturday.

Ralph Fullenwider had hit the river mid-week and established a base camp for the event.  Chris Adams hit Friday and established an anchor point in the corner.  I arrived around 7:30 on Friday to throw up a tent.  Soon, Charlie Wright and Mercurio would do the same.  It wasn't long until Byron Dowd, Matt Harrington would also pitch tents. 

When John Haney arrived we begin to make plans on all of us breaking bread together.  But of course before doing that we had to fish just a little.  Never in my thirty plus years on the river have I seen a more gin clear river than Friday.  It was almost surreal in a way.  The small mouth bass seem to be quite active now with four of this entourage capturing this species. 

Our menu called for apple-wood bacon wrapped chicken breasts grilled over mesquite by Michael Mercurio, two Dutch oven creations - roasted vegetables along with a chicken pot pie, and a salad. 

While waiting on the good eats to cook, we sit around the campsite shooting the breeze, laughing, and having a most wonderful fellowship. 

The eats were excellent and I do mean excellent.  After cleaning the Dutch ovens it was time for this older fellow to begin to settle in. 

Now, let me tell you a recipe for a long night in a tent.  First you run around all day long trying to get stuff done in preparation for the next day.  Then add a little fishing time in with that and come mid-afternoon you still haven't drank any water.  Of course as the time to eat approaches you decide to have a couple of beers to relax.  Then you think you should drink a cup of coffee to counteract the beer and afterwards it's clear the beer tastes much better so you have a couple of more.  Now, you get to thinking that water is a good idea in order to stave off the dehydration that surely is setting in so you hit the water bottle.  After successfully carpet-bombing your bladder, which also puts extra pressure on your worn-out prostate, you mummify yourself in a sleeping bag that has absolutely no room to stretch the legs. 

Of course within an hour you're up having to pee and after that you mummify yourself again.  It's not long until the Charlie horse cramps hit you - Charlie horse cramps that are so severe there is no choice than to fly out of the sleeping bag.  We've all seen football players rolling around and cringing on the turf from leg cramps and that was how it was for me Friday night. 

Sitting on the cold vinyl floor of a tent, surrounded by 32 degree air that has set up hard inside said tent, you try to find ways to amuse yourself.  Ways such as pretending you're Puff the magic dragon while you blow air from your mouth that magically turns into smoke puffs due to the frigid temperature.

They say misery likes company and without knowing it I had said company in the fashion of Charlie Wright.  It seems Charlie also had a long night. 

Around the wee hours of the morning I heard Charlie rustling around outside his tent.  I was still sitting up, and in listening to Charlie I figured he was just looking for something.  It wasn't long until the sound of Charlie gathering firewood, along with the sound of coffee brewing was rather detectable. 

Looking at the travel clock I'd brought it showed 4:30, so I decide to get up and join Charlie around the campfire.  Sometime during the night, however, the set button on that clock must have been bumped because it wasn't 4:30... it was actually 3:30. 

So there Charlie and I sit while watching our supply of firewood slowly dwindle away, hoping that it would hold out for the four hours we had to go until the start of the One Fly. 

Day 131 - The Event Takes Place 

At six Boone Mehrman would arrive and this wasn't surprising because he always gets to the river early.  Slowly, one by one, the contestants pulled in and amazingly everyone was on time.  We did learn early that one of the old salts of Blue River, also a contestant, had been hospitalized.  Prayers and thoughts were given for Jamie Webster and we all hope he has a speedy recovery. 

Teams were paired, directions given, and it was then revealed that Jason Williams had successfully guessed the mystery fly in the form of a size 14 Partridge and Orange.  Jason won the six pack of Carpolo Charlie carp flies. 

A trout taken by Ralph Fullenwider on Partridge and Orange

As Michael, Charlie, and me got the guys off to the river... we kicked back and did much of nothing. 

Check in time was 12:30 and ever single contestant made it back on time.  The plan now was to add up the score cards while lunch prepared by Ralph was served.  Many thanks to Ralph Fullenwider for lunch - this guy worked his tail off making sure none of us perished from starvation.

Ralph Fullenwider - our lunch chef.

Here are the winners.

Coming in third was Michael Boger of Durant, Oklahoma.  Michael received a Spirit River rotary vise.  Presenting the award is Charlie Wright.

Taking second place was Wyatt Spurgin of Sherman, Texas.  Wyatt received an Okuma Sierra 5/6 reel for his placing.  Presenting the award is Michael Mercurio.

And the winner of the first ever One Fly tournament at Blue River was Mike Littrell.  Mike recorded eleven trout to hand.  For his achievement he received a $100.00 Cabela's gift certificate presented by Michael Mercurio and Charlie Wright. 

We had the random drawing next and by 1:30 we were saying our so-longs and telling everyone we'd see them at the next event. 

Ten minutes later... it begin to rain.  How very blessed we were during this event. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 129 - Trout Season

The One Fly - An Added Touch

Today I went looking for some picture frames and once they were found I headed for the prairie home to get on this laptop and try and create certificates for the top three finishers in the One Fly.

In the morning I'm heading for Blue with stuff in tow.  Everything I am bringing is piled in one area so I don't run off and forget anything... hopefully.  I've got so much stuff to pile in the brown pony (S10) I will certainly look like Jed Clampett on his way to Beverly Hills. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 128 - Trout Season

Final Clue(s) For Mystery Fly

Everything for the 1st Annual One Fly Tournament is in high gear now.  Yes... Mother Nature seems to want in on the action also, but we're not going to let that stop us from going forward.  There have been certain steps taken to make this event as pleasurable as it can be and there are a lot of people behind the scenes making that happen.

We can always adapt to the situation we are given... remember that contestants. 

Here are the final clues for guessing the mystery fly.

The name of this fly might be found on the menu of one of those quirky upscale restaurants.

This fly was also listed in 1895 in the book Yorkshire Trout Flies. 

And, this fly also imitates a diving adult caddis or sunken mayfly spinner.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 127 - Trout Season

Mystery Fly Clue Number Five

The answer to the mystery fly has always been on this blog.  You just have to look for it. 

Good luck!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 126 - Trout Season

Mystery Fly Clue Number Four

The mystery fly to be used in the 1st Annual One Fly at Blue River imitates, among other insects, emerging caddis pupa.

Good luck!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 125 - Trout Season

Mystery Fly Clue Number Three

The fun and games department for the 1st Annual Blue River One Fly has promised to deliver a six-pack of Carpolo Charlie carp flies to the first contestant that correctly guesses the idenity of the mystery fly.  So, just in case someone does guess correctly I decided it best to get the flies done. 

Todays clue - even though the mystery fly is not a streamer, a traditional way of fishing the mystery fly is also a way you might want to fish a streamer.  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 124 - Trout Season

One Fly Mystery Fly - Clue Number Two

The mystery fly that will be used in the 1st Annual Blue River One Fly event is of English origins.

If you are the first to correctly identify the mystery fly we will let you know the morning of the event.

Good luck!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 123 - Trout Season

One Fly Event Mystery Fly - Clue Number One

If we look at some of the classifications of flies such as streamers, nymphs, terrestrial, attractors, wets, and dry patterns, we can tell you the mystery fly is not considered a streamer, terrestrial, or dry fly pattern.

A key word is guessing the mystery fly is impressionistic.

If you think you know the mystery fly then leave a comment here or email me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chapter 58 Day 122 - Trout Season

One Fly Prizes Keep Coming

Over the years we've had some extremely talented people in the Blue River Fly Fishers group. 

One that comes to mind is Larry Horton.  Larry is a wood carver and he could take a piece of wood and fashion the most amazing image of a trout.  I've seen several of Larry's creations, and just happen to own one trout carving by Larry that came courtesy of David Dillow.  I think the wood sculpture I have is my most prized fly fishing possession. 

Another name that comes to mind is Lane Kregel.  Lane builds custom knives and one year he created a knife to donate to a fund raiser we was having in support of the catch and release area.  Lane's knife went in a silent auction at a price of $125.00.

Now, we have a fellow named Wyatt Spurgin and with Wyatt it seems there's nothing he's not good at.  He's a well-versed photographer, fly creator, builds his own rods, crafts his own nets, and now he has hand-crafted a fly box and tells me he is going to donate it as a give-away at the 1st Annual One Fly event. 

Here's a look-see at Wyatt's creation.  Good luck on winning it.