One Fly 2013 was on.
One contestant was for sure he knew the identity of the mystery fly ahead of time and sure enough Jeramy Sellers walked away with the river thermometer as a prize for guessing the pattern.
While the hardy twenty was experiencing numb hands, legs, and tingling extremities, I must admit I felt a little guilty guarding the camp fire. Harold Beck, Michael Mercurio, Charlie Wright and yours truly stayed behind in case a contestant wanted to check-in early. I think our expectation was that someone would catch one of the trophy-size trout that are still in the river.
Harold Beck, the man I call the godfather of fly fishing at Blue River, served as the master of ceremonies for One Fly 2013 and as always Harold did a bang-up job.
The Forrester boys from Forrestburg, Texas begin cooking the One Fly lunch around 6 a.m. These two guys absolutely worked non-stop until shortly before 1 p.m. when Vernon announced it was lunch time. One thing for sure is that Vernon can cook like no tomorrow and his cooking wagon is pretty awesome.
The food alone was well worth the entry fee for One Fly 2013. We enjoyed stuffed pork loin, camp fire beans, Cowboy Potatoes, smoked sausage and cabbage, pecan cobbler, beer bread and more. Early on, Vernon fixed the best coffee cake creation I have ever tasted.
Shortly after the noon hour the contestants begin trickling in ready for lunch. Mercurio begin adding up the score cards and it was time for Matt Gamble to hold a question and answer session. Matt, gave a most informative presentation updating everyone what was going on with Blue River, the Arbuckle Simpson aquifer and the future of fishing at Blue. He fielded a number of questions mainly about extending the "catch and release status" of the catch and release area at Blue.
After Matt's presentation, Vernon announced it was time for lunch and the chow line begin to form.
After lunch, it was time for the give-away part of One Fly 2013. James Webster would walk away with the not-so-prestigious re-purposed fly rod and reel toilet paper holder. After winning, James decided this award needs to be a traveling award and given to a new contestant each year so next One Fly he's bringing it back. Many thanks to Van Stacey for crafting this work of fine art.
Now, it was time for Harold Beck to announce the winners and he and Charlie Wright presented framed certificates and the prize awards.
After some confusion where we had Dan Ham as second and Jeramy Sellers as third place we got everything straightened out.
After the smoke cleared, Dan Ham of Dallas, Texas was declared winner of One Fly 2013 with 27 points.
Jeramy Sellers of Ada, Oklahoma came in second with a score of 25 points.
Taking third place was Chris "The Machine" Adams with 21 points and in all the confusion we failed to get a picture of Chris mainly because he was standing their like a knot on a log with his hands in his pockets not realizing he'd won.
Congratulations to all the winners.
One Fly 2013 was inspiring to me for a number of reasons. I saw familiar faces from last year's One Fly, met new faces, saw fly fishers that ranged from teenage years to those in my autumn-like status. They say you're judged by the company you keep and the company at One Fly 2013 was a class act lot.
The participants in One Fly 2013 deserve all the credit and are owed a big thank you for raising $1,160.00 that will now be delivered to Matt Gamble for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife for the trout fishing program at Blue River.