Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Weather Eye

The last couple of outings to Blue have been what many consider perfect trout conditions.  There has been fog, heavy mist, drizzling rain, overcast skies, and rain showers. 

Usually I keep a good weather eye and as any sailor worth his salt, I stow what is needed to fit the conditions encountered.  On my last outing however, I found my sea bag quite short of a much needed item.

Last week, I made a short voyage to Blue to spend a couple of hours.  It was foggy and overcast.  Throwing anchor at Ted's Pool, I begin casting upstream and drifting back.  The first twenty minutes or so was uneventful.  Switching to a brown bugger, and later a bubba bugger, the trout finally started coming to hand. 

Upstream a good ways was another seaman and he was sending out an "Ahoy", but he was too far away for me to recognize who he was.  Then, I saw two darling young'uns running around the campsite and realized the seaman with his hand in the air was Dusty Gilles.  Dusty and his family had a wonderful weekend at Blue and the kiddos caught their first trout I believe.

After an hour or so of fishing, six bows had come to hand and it was time for me to shove off.  It was a nice day overall, and a good number of folks on the river.

This week I sailed to Blue on a Friday and this is where I missed the weather call.  There was a slight mist when I began my voyage, but by the time I arrived at the river the mist had turned into a steady drizzle.  I had dressed in only a tee shirt with a light pull-over that acted like a sponge.  The drizzle would transform into rain showers and as they came in waves, the wetter I became.
However, the fishing was fair.  Early on Friday morning, Van Stacey ran me down and gave me a new pattern he is tying called the Marabear.  He gave me two color schemes - chartreuse and root beer. 
On the river I started out with a brown bugger and the bugger would only find one bow.  Then a size 18 Frenchie pink went on and this lad found four bows.  The bite was not hot and heavy and the trout seemed to be feeding in gingerly fashion as revealed by ever so subtle and soft eats.  The chartreuse Marabear was called for sea duty and he would find two bows and loose two more. 
After an hour and half that more with no end in sight to the rain, I gave in and packed my drenched self to the sailing vessel. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blue River Redhorse Sucker Club Grows

While I am still in search of my first Blue River Redhorse Sucker by way of fur and feather, this elite club continues to grow even without my participation.  Last week Mike Littrell, who is already a member of this club, sent me a picture of another Redhorse just to rub salt in this still open wound I own.

This morning Boone Merhman became a member of the BRRS club and he too included a picture along with the message, "Hey, I think I caught one of those red ear horse suckers you're always talking about."  Yes Boone... that is a Redhorse. Congratulations.... I guess.

I guess I just suck at suckers and I'll have to tie a damn egg pattern on in hopes of getting one.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Blue River Fly Classic 2015 Update

Entry forms for the Blue River Fly Classic 2015 have only been available for three days and already eight brave anglers have signed up for the event.  Those that have already signed up are making for an interesting field of competition and we're just getting started.

Congratulations to Jon Paul Griffin for winning the early bird award!  Jon's entry was the first one received and therefore Jon will be winning a prize to be awarded at the Classic on March 7th, 2015. 

In addition to Jon being signed up for the Classic we also have Greg Phillips, Dan Wilson, John Serventi, Matt Harrington, Donny Carter, Chris Adams, and Scott "Egg" Dittner.

The short list is getting a little shorter regarding the selection of the Mystery fly that will be used in the Classic.  The selection will take place sooner rather than later and once the fly is selected we will begin the "Guess the mystery fly game". 

A big shout out to Boone Merhman.  Boone is out there shaking hands and talking up the Classic in hopes of getting some sponsorships that will go directly to the Blue River Association and then to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife as part of the fund raising by the Classic 2015.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bubba Bugger Blues

Last week I wrote about John Haney and commented what a fine seafaring man he is.  This week I bring you another tale of a fellow that is also a salty sea traveling man of the fur and feather. 

Early at the mercantile store on Wednesday I opened a dispatch from Scott Dittner.  After reading Scott's accounting of his recent voyages on Blue river I felt compelled to share his offering and therefore indulge me as I do.  Scott wrote the following.

"I have had back to back excellent fishing days on the Blue.  Last Friday I went to the CR and caught some of the huge trout that Matt & crew have stocked for us this year.  They were large and a load to land.  Today I went to the South Wilderness all the way to the end and the trip didn't start out too well.  I started to unload and managed to leave wading boots and net at home.  I could get by without the net but the wading boots were a bit of challenge.  I had wore a pair of athletic shoes and after loosening the shoe strings and curling my toes I got them on.  Then the first 3 strikes I had broke the line.  Switched to some new tippet and that made the difference.  Last week the trout were big offensive lineman, strong, and hard to move, today they were like wide receivers and backs.  They were quick strike, swift, changing directions and all over the place.  I caught fish solid from noon to 5.  Of course I had to use my new Chris Adams, Bubba Bugger specials and they performed great.  I was afraid to lose one so I switched to a copper john, hare's ear with some pink at the top, and bead head nymph with some purple.  My toes thawed out after turning on the heater high but it was so worth it.  Pack "all" of your gear and enjoy the Blue."
On the Blue,

Now I must ask what lad or lassie could not want to hit the Blue after reading such a report as Scotts?  It wasn't long until I pulled anchor from the mercantile store.

I knew my time on the river today would be short.  My grandson was en route from Tulsa town to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with me.  I've always hoped grandson would be a sea-going man like me and when he was a wee lad, only six or seven years old, he did fling the fur and feather.  However for a decade and half that more, the miles have separated us and this old sea dog doesn't travel like he once did.  I still remain hopeful that grandson will come back and pick up the rod and chuck the fluff once again.

It was my plan once hitting the river to throw anchor at Desperado Springs.  At the top of the hill I took the downhill short-cut to Desperado.  I call it a short-cut even though it may not be at all.  At the end of the day I would leave the river taking the same course and avoiding "Heart Attack Hill", something I like to do anytime I can. 

Arriving at Desperado, I find eight anglers already there.  Seven are on the near side with only one being on the far bank.  I decided to go across the way and positioned myself well downstream from the one lone angler already there. 

On the far side, an angler will find him or herself surrounded by the alders and it makes for tight casting situation with the roll cast being the only real option.  Today, the wind would be a nemesis.  It was a strong northerly beast blowing across my body from the right to the left.  Being a right handed caster I was left to employ a low profile side arm roll cast.  Certainly, there was a choppy sea to fish.
The Frenchies, along with red asses, thread midges, copper johns, and rs2's were left in the box today because the olive Bubba Bugger got the call for sea duty.  The Bubba Buggers had arrived about a week ago and it was time to test the sea worthiness of these gems.  Although, I've had the pleasure of fishing these patterns for years due to the generosity of Chris Adams, it has been sometime since I've had a full set. 
Even though some of my favorite patterns had been relegated to the locker, I had to open the box and have a look at them.  What I saw was a bunch of sad faces.  They wanted to sail through the air and plunge into the drink, dive down into the deeper currents, have a look-see around for a trout to entice.  But, the Bubba Bugger went on the line and those in the box had the Bubba Bugger Blues.
Before sending the Bubba to sea, I watched the other anglers for a good spell to see if the trout were on the bite.  What I saw was not encouraging, for none were reeling in trout.  As it would turn out these eight anglers were a collective fishing together.  When I would end my day, so would these anglers and as a group they had a total of nine trout.  So, the fishing would be somewhat slow this day.
Sending the Bubba out to sea, there was no response to the offering.  Having to side arm roll cast was putting me a wit short of the channel I wanted the fly to explore.  Finally on the third casting attempt I got the distance and the Bubba produced the first trout of the morning. 
The bite was not hot and heavy on this morning, but still the Bubba would attract five trout from the same channel. 
The trout seemed to grow pattern-weary of the olive Bubba and I thought about tying on the black. However I then thought about those poor chaps that had been relegated to the locker and it was more than I could bear.
The Bubba was retired and the pink Frenchie was called for duty.  It didn't take long for the Frenchie to pick up where the Bubba left off. 
My outing would end spending an hour and half that more on the river.  Ten trout souls were met this day.  The Bubba met five and the pink Frenchie met five.  I wish there would have been more time and a trip to Coyote Pass could have been possible.  However, that will have to wait until my next voyage. 
Last week this area received a good two inches of rain, but the river is still as clear as a bell. 



Friday, November 21, 2014

No Assembly Required

My friend Chris Adams of Denison, Texas is a long devoted fan of Blue River.  Chris is also the creator of the most sought after fly on Blue River.  It's called the Bubba Bugger. 

Chris believes in giving back to a river that has given so much to him and since so many anglers want his Bubba Bugger he has come with a program called Bubba Buggers For Blue.  Chris is filling orders of Bubba Buggers for a limited time.  Now Chris will be the first to tell you that $5.00 may seem like a lot for a fly, but he points out that every single penny will be donated to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife in support of the trout fishing program at Blue River.  Great flies to fish with and some extra funds for trout stocking.  It's a no brainer.

I received my Bubba Buggers yesterday and Chris even sent instructions.  I'll let you read the instructions for yourself. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blue River Fly Classic 2015

Blue River Fly Classic 2015


General Information


Date Of Event: March 7th, 2015

Place: Blue River Public Fishing And Hunting Area

Time Of Event: 7:30 a.m. till 12:30 p.m.

Starting Point: Main Parking Lot Campground Area Blue River

Blind Pairings Will Be Prior To Start Of Event

Entry Fee: $35.00 Per Contestant (Includes 2 Mystery Flies)




The purpose of the Blue River Fly Classic is two-fold. First, the mission of this event is create a day of greater fellowship among the fly fishing community on Blue River. Secondly, this event is designed as a fund raising event with the totality of monies raised by entries fees and other donations going directly to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife in support of the Catch and Release section at Blue River. Funds will be monitored by and through the Blue River Association a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.




*A single and same pattern will only be used. . NOTE: Contestants will be given two flies of the same pattern for this event. Organizers believe that part of the difficulty of this contest along with a strategy in this event is the management of the flies.  (Example:  Checking your overhead and behind you before casting.  Reading the water as well as you can for structure that may snag your flies.)  


*All contestants will receive the same pattern and the pattern will remain a mystery until the start of the event. When a contestant loses their flies then that contestant is out. If the contestant loses their flies and wishes to continue fishing for the sake of fishing then that contestant must turn their score card over to the person they are paired with.


*Contestants will be allowed to retie their fly, but must notify their partner they are doing so.


*Dry flies as strike indicators will not be allowed.

*Split shot of any form may be used as a weighting technique.  Bead heads slipped on a tippet will be allowed as long as the bead head does not touch the eye of the fly and is at least placed six inches above the fly.


*Scored fish are fish brought to hand. Each contestant must alert their partner when a fish is brought to hand.


*Each contestant is responsible for keeping their own score card.


*Each contestant should devise a way for measuring fish that are caught. Length of each fish scores additional points.


*This entire event is based on the honor system.


 *Deadline for entering is February 15th 2015.


A copy of the general information, rules, and entry form will be available December 1st, 2014. To obtain an entry form contact  or   An entry form will be sent to you as an attachment. Print the entry form, fill it out, include payment and mail both in. You will receive a confirmation email once your entry is received.




Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers.  Prizes will be announced at a later date.


There will be a number of give-away prizes also in a random drawing.


The organizers are trying to acquire tee shirts for this years event, but that has not been confirmed as of yet.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sea Duty

The arrival of winter, the season of quiescence and death, is still five weeks away.  However there are many, here on this southern current of the greater prairie ocean, that will argue winter has made it's presence known early.  A massive arctic front steamrolled in earlier this past week.

The leaves, being subject to freezing temperatures along with the will of the wind, are now letting go of the hands they have held since early spring.  Some of the leaves land on the ground while others light on a current making their way slowly downstream. 

The wind wishes for a dance from the leaves and with a strong breath the performance begins.  Leaves begin a tumbling somersaulting style dance recital across the cold ground that has become a ballroom performance platform. 

Mid-week I received a dispatch from John Haney.  John is as fine a seafaring man of the fur and feather as any I have come to meet.  Last season John didn't make one voyage to the river Blue due to an injury to his hand - an injury as severe as a gaff hook wound.  Needless to say the lad is way overdue for sea duty at Blue River.  John said he planned on sailing to the river Friday. 

I returned John's dispatch and explained that if I could somehow pull anchor from the mercantile store I would meet him at the river.  At work Friday I pleaded my case, with Oscar winning fashion, to the young captain in charge of the mercantile store.  My performance must have been a grand presentation because the captain said, "shove off".  With my gear already stowed, I set course for the river in my new dinghy.

I arrived at the river at exactly eight bells and looked for John's sailing vessel in the main harbor, but it was not there.  John had told me he planned a course to the Ancient Boulders early, and most likely if the fishing was good there he had yet to leave.  I made it across the river headed for Ted's Pool where I told John he would find me. 

At Ted's Pool, three flies would be enlisted for sea duty.  A new fly this season is the Iron Lotus and this lad was employed as the point man.  Trailing would be the Frenchie pattern.  I would begin with the pink Frenchie and hold the chartreuse Frenchie in reserve. 

The Frenchie has yet to fail this sailor and it's been employed numerous times.  It didn't take long for the trout to find a fancy for this lad.  It was only one degree above the freezing mark, but I had a smooth sea lane to fish.  The wind was just enough to make the bones ache a bit.  I knew that this would be a short outing and when all was said and done I had spent less than an hour on the river. 

The Iron Lotus had found two trout with the pink Frenchie finding eight.  Normally the trailing fly always out performs the point fly, at least for me.  The pink Frenchie was retired and the chartreuse Frenchie was called to duty.  Four more trout would come to hand by way of the Frenchie. 

Fourteen trout souls would come to meet the flies offered and the angler that presented them.  Fourteen trout souls would return to the sea - a "deep six" of sorts.  Less than three quarters of an hour had been spent angling at Ted's Pool and this included a five minute delay as a result of a bight in the leader.  Missed hook-sets often lead to a boomerang effect and birds nest with the tandem rigging.  It's best to simply cut the lads loose and rebuild a new tippet system. 

When you're the one standing in the river catching trout at a steady clip, others take notice and before you know it you have lots of company.  Such was the case Friday at Ted's Pool.  The landlubbers were wishing for the water that was producing trout for this angler and it wasn't long until I felt surrounded by an armada of high sea pirates.  Being quite content with the results of the day, I yielded the water with the treasure to those long faced chaps standing on the bank.  Poor souls.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Too Lovely To Litter

Last trout season the Blue River Fly Fishers took on a project suggested by Matt Gamble, area manager of Blue River.  The project is called Too Lovely To Litter and it's an anti-littering effort.  If you're new to Blue River and are not familiar with this project here is a short video that explains how it works.  You'll have to excuse the video please and keep in mind I was out of breath after a long hike and also dying for a cold beer.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Quality Outing

There are definitely some very nice fish in the catch and release section of Blue River.  This past Friday would serve as a day I would meet some quality fish, fish with quality friends, and have quality weather to enjoy.

Thursday evening Michael Mercurio gave me a ring saying he was coming to Blue on Friday to fish the catch and release.  I had already scheduled a day of vacation to fish Blue, but had no plans on making the journey north.  However, upon learning Merc was coming I wanted to spend time fly fishing with him.

When I arrived at the corrals Friday morning, Merc was still a half hour or so away.  I went ahead and started the walk because I knew my sea legs simply weren't with me as of yet.  When I got to the river I begin fishing the middle section.  On the very first cast I took a pretty little bow and that fish would be the only one I would take a picture of.  I try to get these creatures back in the water as soon as I can and on Friday and in doing this practice I almost screwed up royally.  I would end up releasing a fish too early and fortunately when Merc saw the trout listing to the starboard side he was able to net it and revive it completely.  Thanks amigo.

After catching several bows in the middle I travelled to the top and this is where some quality trout showed themselves.  The first bow I would meet was a beautiful 16 inch lass taken on a brown bugger.  Switching to a pink Frenchie at first and later a chartreuse Frenchie, I would find seven more pretty Rainbow trout.  When action slowed on the Frenchie patterns a size 20 Zebra Midge was the ticket.
I didn't know Merc had arrived and was having an outstanding morning in the middle.  He has held a long time strategy of fishing buggers early and nymphs later in the day and that strategy always seems to work for him.  He landed several 16 inch plus fish and one that would push five pounds. 
Late mid-morning it was our pleasant surprise to run into Byron Dowd.  Byron had began in the middle also catching several and then headed to the top from where I had just finished.  I had to leave a couple of hours earlier than Merc and Byron were planning on leaving, but Merc sent me a report that Byron did very well at the top. 
Merc would send me a pic with the message "Quitting on this one", and ended what can be best described as an outstanding day. 
Fly fishing is more than simply catching fish.  Much of the fly fishing experience is enjoying the resource you are visiting and discovering as much as you can.  I found one of the springs that help nourish Blue River and took a short video. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Return

Much like the annual return of the swallows to Capistrano, come November each year fly anglers flock to the nourishing water of Blue River. Trout season is now in full swing.

Fly fishing at Blue River is many things to many anglers of the fur and feather.  It's a chance to catch some wonderfully colored trout or a chance to catch up with friends that have been absent since the last season.  Fly fishing this unique little river can also be simply a chance to be a diminutive part of something far greater.

For this angler, it's all of the above and perhaps more.  In the book of Proverbs we will find the passage, "Like cold water to a thirsty soul".  I think that pretty much sums it up for me. 

Saturday was opening day and the trout found turned out to be a pleasant surprise as to the size of some of the creatures, their good coloring, and the spunk that they owned. 

Fishing was somewhat insane with large numbers of trout being brought to hand.  Many different patterns were being tried and most seemed to work with ease.  The brown bugger that played second fiddled last year to the pink Frenchie made a roaring comeback on opening day taking 90 percent of the trout hooked. 

Opening weekend also marks the annual get-together of the Blue River Fly Fishing community.  This year's crowd was a little lighter than last years due to so many having other obligations.  We do go and get ourselves all busy you know.  However, the fellowship was wonderful and the food was nothing short of amazing. 

Here are some pictures from this Saturday.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

I Regret The Neglect

No doubt about it... I have been terribly neglectful of this journal and my overall fly fishing life lately - a life that brings me tremendous joy. 

There are a number of factors involved as to why this neglect has come about.  But, I'll not bore anyone and mistakenly make anyone think I want to hold a pity party.  It's just life. 

This has been the strangest summer of my 55 or so years of remembering the summer season.  This past week we set, not only, a record low high for July, but also a record low low temperature for the month of July.  Since the month of May we have had a steady flow of rain events and one of the more significant events was this past week.  Even with all the rain events we've had come our way, the wonderful bounty has hardly made a dent in the level of our little carp creek or the large lake that it feeds.  I think this is a testament to Oklahoma being in a drought far too long. 

I did find a grand opportunity to visit the carp yesterday for a half hour and met two of the carp community citizens on back to back attempts with the Aftermath fly.  It was a good rush.  I need more waves of that kind of surge.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Out Of Desperation

This has been one of the most challenging carp by fly seasons Charlie or I have ever tried to deal with.  Challenging because of conditions, not lack of fish.  A little over a month ago, our little carp creek was in bad shape and deteriorating by the day due to the lack of rain. 

Then the rain began to fall and of course everyone that lives in this area was thankful and joyous.  For the last four weeks it has rained at least once during that week and it's been significant enough to keep the creek a brown blur. 

Sometimes those of us who angle get so desperate in our chase for a species of choice, we simply roll the dice and go for it.  Yesterday I was feeling quite desperate and decided to go to the creek.  Standing on the bank with fly rod and the Aftermath fly, I was staring at a dingy brown creek with no carp in sight.  Like I said, sometimes you just have to go for it.

I think the carp have been missing the Aftermath.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Celebrating Fish

Most of us who angle have our favorite species to fish for.  In my case it is trout and carp.  However, if it's in the water I wish to pursue it.  It's a celebration of fish. 

Here are a few pictures from yesterday. 

Sometimes the smaller the fish, the prettier the fish.

More World Fly Fishing Action

From the World Fly Fishing Championship.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Wishing To Be There

Although I would much rather be there, I am resigned to follow the World Fly Fishing Championship that is currently taking place in the Czech Republic.  Here is action from day 3.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Carp, Music, Art, And Brew

Most likely those that read my scribblings with some kind of frequent fashion have come to believe that I am one dimensional, with that dimension owned being catching carp and other species with the flies I tie. 

I will be the first to admit that I am far from being the most interesting man in the world, however I do have other interests besides fly fishing. 

When Saturday rolled around I will tell you that I had an itch to capture a carp by way of fly.  But, I also knew there was an event taking place on Saturday and this event held a number of things that draw and hold my interest.  Therefore, I decided to go to the carp creek and catch one carp and one carp only.

Before leaving the bunkhouse I decided to tie up another Aftermath carp fly.  On this fly though, I wanted to try something new by adding pink, more precisely cerise, to the pattern.  Cerise is the color that brought me hundreds of trout this past trout season using the Frenchie pattern.  Taking the cerise colored rabbit fur I gave the Aftermath a collar and off to the creek we went.

The pasture I chose to fish is called Big Well Springs.  The Johnson grass here is taller than I am and trying to wade through it is like being a jungle warfare combatant.  On the other hand, the tall Johnson grass gives the angler fantastic concealment and the carp can be approached undetected.  Upstream I saw movement in the water and it was telling me feeding carp in the shallows.

I saw a young carp and decided to target this lad.  The cast I made was less than spectacular with the fly going across the back end of the carp.  He immediately begin to move and I quickly pulled the fly past him and let it drop about a foot in front.  He swam straight to the fly and sucked it in. 

For a youngster he had a lot of fight. 

About the time I released the carp the event downtown was scheduled to begin, so fishing was done for me and it was back to the bunkhouse to get cleaned up.
The Artesian hotel, spa, and resort is one of Oklahoma's grandest destinations.  The Chickasaw Nation finished this recreation of the famous Artesian hotel about a year ago and since it's opening travelers have flocked to take in it's beauty.  On Saturday, the first Artesian Arts Festival was held. 
Native art has always been an attraction for me.  Perhaps it's because I'm an Oklahoman and Oklahoma is rich in may different native tribes.  Or maybe it was the time I spent on the artisan streets of Albuquerque and Santa Fe years ago.  For me there is something wholesome and spiritual about native American art.
The festival  was just art.  There was a lot of good food to be sampled and there was music.  I don't know the name of the band, but they were quite talented.  The music continue all day with different genres throughout the event. 
Festival activities were taking place downtown in historic Sulphur so I drifting that way to take in more.  First though I stopped at the reflection garden the Chickasaw nation has built.  The focal point of this garden is flowing water and of course that always catches the attention of an angler.

I continued to drift westward into downtown and then there it was... like a shining beacon in a dry desert.  It was a watering hole.
There went the rest of the day.  


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hola Carp

Charlie has returned from Mexico and wasted no time at all in saying hello to his favored carp.  Charlie tells me the Mirror actually chased down a red-tail Creek Critter.

My trips to the carp creek have been few and far between primarily due to the business of life and a struggling creek.  I did make a trip two days ago and found a carp that drew a fancy for the Aftermath.
Although things are quite bad as far as the creek, I hold great excitement for the next ten days where we stand a chance of receiving rain each day.  Then, Charlie and I can get after the carp on a more serious note.

Monday, May 5, 2014

All Important Observation

Quite often those that make the decision to pursue the art of fly fishing for carp are overflowing with excitement and exuberance.  Far too often this enthusiasm leads to not taking enough time studying the water before them.  First of all it should be suggested that the fly angler for carp should always give his or her eyes enough time to adjust to the water and surroundings.  Carp have a mystical way of blending in with the bottom of their watery abode and there are times they seem to appear like specters. 

Not all of us are eagle-eyed and thus it is even more important to take our time to observe and evaluate the water.  It is also important to not make a rash decision on fishing the first carp we see.  Too many times has an angler cast a gift to the first carp encountered and in doing so blown the whole community that was basically at the feet of the angler. 

In North Carolina guide Ken Hardwick with Davidson River Outfitters is as eagle-eyed as anyone that I've encountered while fishing.  Ken's ability could be God-given or he has simply trained himself over the years and knows what to look for within the riffles, seams, or in the pockets. 

Admittedly I have had to force myself to slow down, take time, carefully peruse every square foot of water before placing the fly in the drink.  In doing so, more carp have come to hand.