For me, there always seems the need to make decisions when fly fishing the Blue River. Should I go upstream or maybe down? Do I want to stay in the camping area or explore a wilderness and the braided water therein? What kind of water do I wish to fish - slack water, riffles, a run, or maybe a stretch of water that is a treasure chest of pockets? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
On a recent outing I decided to go downstream for a change, to a pool that bears a man's name. Now, I never got to meet the namesake of this place, but I will say he favored a mighty fine stretch of river.
The weather was amazingly mild for this time of year and the fall season was in full color. The river was also in good shape and as clear as gin in some places.
As I always do I started fishing with a searching pattern. Normally my first choice is the bugger brown, but for some reason on this outing I decided to give old olive a go. The bugger olive took trout on the first three drifts, but then was lost at sea due to a poor tie that I made, which speaks of my continuing battle with my vision... a story that gets worse if you continue with this read.
With the bugger olive at the bottom of the sea, the bugger brown was called to action. The bows liked the bugger brown equally as well and more bows would come to hand. The fishing wasn't all that hot and heavy... about a dozen bows in an hour of fishing.
I took the glass rod on this outing and I do love fishing it. However, with the 9 ft. leader, an indicator to boot, and the bugger on the end I did have difficulty roll casting the rig against the strong southerly winds of the afternoon.
This is the time of year that shadows grow long and the winds are prevalent. The longer I stayed the stronger the winds became and after a good hour and maybe half that more, it was time to head to the bunkhouse.
On the way out of the river area, I stopped to chat with Scotty as I commonly do. The subject of trout fishing this season came up and Scotty reports this has been his slowest November in many years. As to why... he has his own speculation. I have my own theory and it's much different from Scotty's.
I too have noticed how there are fewer people in the river, on the banks, and in the campsites and remote parking areas. Is trout fishing on the skids?
For sometime now, the studies and the data have shown that fishing overall is on the decline. As to exactly why, I haven't a clue, but each year fewer people renew their fishing licenses and fewer apply for new licenses. How will this trend bode for the future of trout fishing? Not well I would dare argue.
Trout fishing in Oklahoma is partially dependent on revenues through the sales of fishing licenses. If that revenue continues to slide, then budgets begin to grow tighter and there is more competition from different programs for those budget dollars.
Hopefully, things will improve and the anglers will come back to this lovely little river. I suspect there are a lot of things on people's minds right now - Christmas is coming up, and then there is all the confusion about health care, and to tell you the truth the economy is not all that strong after all this time.
As for me, I will continue to come to the river at any chance I get. I have to, I want to.
Rivers, Cell Phones, Cameras, Glasses, And Me.
Although the afternoon outing was fine, it just wasn't enough so another one was planned for the following morning.
Van was going to meet me on the river so we could fish together, but first he had an appointment with a tree up in the north wilderness area. It's deer season you know.
I went back to the same stretch of water I fished the prior day and started with the brown bugger. On the first cast a bow came to hand, but after that I seemed to develop a huge problem getting a hook set.
Meanwhile, Van showed up and with his bugger brown he started plucking bows from a nice little pocket of water.
My failure to hook fish continued as Van kept finding bows. The bows would be on awhile and then cycle off. Besides the bugger brown, I think Van trailed a WD40, and Copper John also.
It was getting time for me to go and if I had left then, things wouldn't have turned out the way they did. Standing near Van I noticed a bevel shaped boulder across the way and it was by water I had caught a good number of trout on prior outings. So to the boulder I go.
Standing on the boulder I decided to tie a different dropper pattern on. These days, to tie on I have to take my regular glasses off and slip on a pair of strong reading glasses. With the reading glasses on, I placed my regular eye wear at the top of the pouch of my waist pack. No more than thirty seconds later, I lost my balance and as I corrected myself, the glasses fell out of the pack and hit the boulder. No big deal really, except for the glass lens somersaulting through the air into the drink. I dredged the bottom for awhile, but it was a hopeless cause.
It was now past time to go. The drive back to the bunkhouse wasn't all that bad as long as the sun hid behind the clouds. But, when the sun would break through the brightness caused problems and I found myself constantly squinting.
The drive home gave me time to think about all the things I have drowned in this river and other places. Over the last six or seven years, I've drowned five cell phones, three cameras, and now a pair of glasses.
As I tried to watch a football game, without my glasses, I begin wondering what else I could possibly drown in Blue River and the only possible answer I could come up with was... my silly arse.
Such is fishing. Things happen from time to time. They'll take place here, there, somewhere, somehow. It just goes with the territory. And, on the bright side there is always good ice cold beer afterwards.