Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fair Winds And Following Seas

Each time I hoist anchor to sail to the river Blue, I expect to find fair winds and following seas upon my arrival. Sometimes the gods favor me... sometimes they don't, and on my most recent trip I was certainly not in favorable status.  The wind was pushing the waves toward me instead of assisting me in my endeavor of casting the fur and feather.

Usually I keep a keen weather eye, but on Saturday morning I was quite surprised with the conditions.  Not so much the balmy mist, but the steely gray overcast skies.  Certainly there is nothing wrong with overcast skies - it can be some of the best fishing we can hope for.  However, I set sail early and daylight was slow in the coming.  Not being the most patient person I plowed in the river under low light conditions. 

Owning a long history of starting out with streamers, I commissioned an olive wooly bugger to sea duty and sent him down a sea lane.  As the bugger came out of the swing, I felt the tug of a trout.  At hand, it was a pleasant sight to see that this trout had some good size to it compared to most I had met this season.  The bugger was sent out again and another trout came in.  Then another, and another.  But then, the outstretched arm of an alder grabbed the bugger and kept him.  Hanging there on the gallows it seemed a cruel injustice for such a fine lad to lose his life after having proving how sea worthy he was.

Standing in the river I searched in vain for another olive wooly bugger and that was about the time I realized I had left a fly box in the sailing vessel and I also realized there was a significant leak in my waders.  Void of olive, a black bugger was called to duty and he too would find trout, but not at the same clip as the olive.  The black bugger was lost to a bad tie by this angler so a brown bugger was sent out and yes... trout came, but at no match for the performance of the olive.

The action would slow.  There was some activity on the surface so a partridge and orange was put in the current to test the sea worthiness of this pattern.  The partridge and orange was quite favorable to the trout as it would take the swing.  The trout seemed to grow pattern weary quite easily Saturday morning. 

All morning a down and across cast and taking the swing had been employed.  But, with action slowing down it was time to put on the indicator and drift some patterns through the dark emerald colored pockets.  A hares ear and pink Frenchie were called front and center.

Drifting through the flats resulted in three more trout to hand.  It didn't take long for the pink Frenchie to prove himself.  This wasn't the usual pink Frenchie I use.  This magnificent little bug had a red tail.  I had been at the Flats all morning and it was now time to sail downstream to a favorite stretch of mine called 17.
Fifteen years ago, 17 was one of the sweetest spots on Blue River.  The trout took refuge in 17 and it was nothing less than one big prime lie.  There would be times when the trout would be sipping midges and there were probably 50 or 60 trout all sipping in a harmony.  It was such a beautiful sight to watch I never wanted to fish the trout while they were putting on this show.  However, when the extended exceptional prolonged drought came about, 17 lost it's favor with the trout.  As this stretch of water became quite thin, the trout seemed to avoid taking shelter there anymore.  I think they felt threatened by their natural predators such as the heron, the cormorant, and the otter.  Now, the river is up in level and flow and the trout have once again made 17 their home.
The hares ear and Frenchie were drifted through a couple of fast runs and two trout came to hand.  The hares ear took one, the Frenchie the other. It was almost noon and I was totally wet underneath the waders so it was time to call it a successful voyage and sail for the home harbor.
Definitely high-sticking water.
I bet a dollar there's a trout by that boulder.