Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Tug On The Bug Is The Drug

There is no doubt that strike indicators help us capture fish.  There was a time I could nymph quite well without an indicator by simply greasing my leader and high-sticking through a tasty run of water.  But, my eyes and reflexes are not what they use to be so I have come to depend on indicators and again they do help us bring fish to hand.  That doesn't mean I'm in love with them though.  Often, I find them a real pain in the butt. 

As I drove to the Blue yesterday morning there was a steady shower for my entire trip.  It wasn't going to be enough rain to make a change in the river and certainly not enough to keep me out of the river.  And, we need any rain we can get right now. I actually enjoyed driving in the rain... it slowed me down a little and gave me pause to notice things I might not otherwise.

I stepped into the river with that indicator on, but I knew I was going to fish without it this morning.  I wanted to go back to the days of simply casting a bugger and stripping it back.  I was standing on the top of a beautiful pool of water - one favored by many.  Anytime any of us can stand at the top of this pool, we most likely are going to get into the trout.  A down and across cast, count to five, take the swing, ride that swing out, pause, strip... and bam... set the hook! 


The tug on the bug is the drug as my friend Michael Mercurio likes to say and Michael is right.  The trout of yesterday morning were absolutely slamming the olive bugger at the end of the swing.  I use to like to fish all day, but anymore after capturing so many trout I'm quite content and enjoy taking in the beauty of the Blue.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and on Blue this is two fold true.  Blue River is thousands upon thousands of brush strokes making one grand masterpiece. No matter where you stand on Blue River you find yourself surrounded by natures handiwork.

Unfortunately there are those who seem to care less about keeping Blue River as pristine and clean as possible. For years now, many have remained hopeful that the trash problem on this river will somehow get better and I think for the most part it has.  However, a problem still exists.

A heads up to anyone new to Blue river.  If the area manager or one of the game wardens catches you with a fire on the river bank you're likely to loose some money.  Fire or alcohol is not allowed on the river bank and can result in a fine.  And, littering Blue River can also result in a citation. 
Please keep your Blue River clean. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Adapting To The Situation

The trout went in the river on a Friday afternoon.  That evening the rains decided to ramp things up a bit.  When daylight broke on Saturday morning and I was able to get my first look of the river after the rains I saw a constant and rather raged stream of chocolate milk flowing downstream and my hope went the same direction. As I stood on the bank with little hope at all of capturing fish my mind drifted to my mental fly box and the image of the bugger brown appeared.

When conditions are not in our favor it comes time to adapt to the situation and that was what it was going to take to catch trout on Blue River that how now turned brown.  Dark patterns in off colored water is the rule I've always employed.  The color rusty brown has yet to fail me in off colored water.  Black is another must have choice. 

It's not just the color that we choose, but more importantly the water we choose.  Look for the calm waters on the fringes, the shallows, the soft patches and soft seams and place your offering in these structures.  Fish will move out of the violent currents to conserve energy and that is why exploring the fringes is so vital to capturing fish under adverse conditions.

My first two outings produce eleven trout on Sunday and the majority of them came on the bugger brown. I had the pleasure of fishing with Ken Norris on Sunday and Ken was also capturing trout with brown patterns.  On Monday seventeen bows would come to hand and again primarily on the bugger brown. I fished with Ralph Fullenwider on Monday and met a fine gentleman and fellow jarhead Tom Leonard from Madill. Tom was fishing with glo-bait and had only found one trout.  We scrounged up a water bubble and tied on a bugger for him, but as hard as we tried we couldn't get a trout to hand for Tom.  He had several strikes, just couldn't get the hook-set.  Tom was having surgery the next day and will be out of commission until January when he plans on coming back and when I plan on getting a fly rod in his hand.

When Wednesday rolled around the river had cleared significantly.  Early Wednesday I got to fish with Jeramy Sellers for about twenty minutes, but worked called Jeramy away. Wednesday was a grand and fun morning fishing the bugger brown under an indicator, stripping the bugger brown across the faces of the trout full well knowing it would be to much for them to endure.  Then the soft hackles came out and were placed in the calm rifles where surface activity was revealing the hiding trout.  The partridge soft hackles would also be more than the trout could bear and they went into a frenzy of slamming the flies as they swung at the end of the drift. 

Later I would break out the small stuff like the TS midge and drift it through some runs.  I cannot overstate the importance of eliminating drag, including micro drag when drifting flies.  It can make the difference in capturing fish or not.

Scott Dittner and Ralph Fullenwider joined in on the fun and all of us were capturing trout, all of us were smiling, and all of us were feeling good. 
Scott Dittner
Ralph Fullenwider

A bow I caught at the pool I call 17.