Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Saturday, April 26, 2014

In Love With Pretty Tail

I loved pretty tail as a young man.  I love pretty tail now as an older man.  I own this fascination for pretty tail.  My philosophy, when it comes to tail, is that it would be insulting to not look at pretty tail and therefore I have always tried to do my best and look as much as I can. 

On the creek yesterday I was facing a quite stained waterway due to the wonderful rains we received recently.  As I stared into the coffee I saw what looked like a small orange flag waving in the water.  Almost as soon as it appeared it also disappeared from sight.  However, there were bubbles and with a thirty foot roll cast I place the Aftermath at the head of the bubbles.  A count of five and slow lift of the rod tip, tension felt, hook-set made, and I got my pretty tail.

Long live pretty tail. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Carp Campaign - On My Knees

One of our favorite pastures to pursue carp is called the Honey Hole.  There are three sections at this stretch of creek - the main body, the upper shallows, and the lower shallows.  Normally, carp can be found on each outing either in the main pool or the upper shallows.  But yesterday that wasn't the case.  It was completely overcast and seeing anything at all in the water was next to impossible. 

Looking downstream a 100 feet or better I could detect a most faint wake riffling upstream and that told me that the carp were active.  Making my way to the lower shallows there indeed were carp and the problem that faced me was approaching them since they were at the tail end of the shallows.  Standing on the bank ten feet above them I made my way down inch by inch.  At the bottom of the bank I got on my knees and knee-walked out ever so slowly to a small sandbar.

About 15 feet above me were two young carp eating to their hearts content.  A flip cast put the fly, a black Aftermath, beyond the carp I had targeted.  A lift of the rod tip brought the fly in proximity of the carp, a single strip called the carp to action.  His tail wagged, he moved forward, and then the gill plates flared.  The hook set was good and as he sliced through the water like a launched torpedo I watch the rest of the carp community suddenly explode.  The explosions were like cluster bombs going off underneath the surface.  It was a most wonderful thing to watch. 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

After The Aftermath

The carp are still favoring the Aftermath pattern primarily the one with the chartreuse body.  However, one with a black cactus chenille body was born and this pattern has taken the last three or four carp.  In wondering what is so enticing about this fly - the color of the body, the worm tail, or the partridge feather, I would now say it almost has to be the worm tail. 

Great dividends will come to the carp by fly angler if they have ownership of three things - keen eyesight, the patience of a heron, and steely sharp stealth.  Too many times have anglers not given their eyes time to adjust and find themselves walking past carp because just like the muckraker in Pilgrims Progress they are fixated on the wrong goal.  Crisp eyesight and stealth go hand in hand and the patience we must learn enhances both these fine qualities in an angler. 

The carp creek that Charlie and I fancy is in a bad way.  Currently the creek is choked with algae on it's bottom and tree tassels on the top.  Hardly a cast can be made without drowning the fly in some kind of sticky entanglement, which requires the fly to be clean with each attempt. 

However, carp to the hand have been managed.  But, it's been hard going my friends.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Carp Campaign Neglect

I have been quite neglectful to this journal and to the carp that I so savor.  There is more than one reason, but primarily my work-life has gone from a somewhat manageable state to an almost impossible one.  My time on the carp creek has been quite limited and coupled with the condition of the creek when time is possible has led to this great neglect and regret on my part.

I have been out somewhat, however, and those trips have been productive.  The Aftermath fly continues to entice carp after carp.  Conditions have made this the toughest carp by fly season this angler has had to deal with.  The wind has been absolutely insane and now the creek is choked with tassels that the wind pushes upstream into blankets.

Yesterday the carp were feeding on the tassels on the surface.  Upon seeing the surface feeding I was inclined to tie on a dry pattern, which would have certainly been a Stimulator.  But, the wind was howling and it would have done little good to try and get that dry to a target.  Instead, I took the Aftermath and targeted surface feeding carp by putting the fly directly in front of them as they sipped the surface.  The carp would absolutely dive bomb for the fly and suck it mid-column.  It was a beautiful sight to watch. 
My last four or five outings have been dominated by chop on the water.  The last two days the chop has been more like swells on this sea current of this prairie ocean.  It makes for a most difficult day.  The carp still somehow come my way though and I am quite thankful.
To get caught up here are some pictures of some of the latest carp and they all came by way of the Aftermath.