There is less than three weeks until trout season begins at Blue River. Here lately, my mindset is Rainbow trout and Blue River. However, the end of my tippet and dry patch says everything carp. I need to be gearing up for trout when I am geared for carp.
It's Charlie's fault. I've tried to quit carp on the fly several times now, and thought I was done on June 1st when carp number fifty was brought to hand. As a matter of fact, I didn't fish much at all through June and July, but Charlie did. With Charlie's fishing expeditions came those wonderful and entertaining dispatches. I say dispatches... they're words, exciting descriptive words... accounts of his adventures, outings and success. With each new modern day telegram, e-mail if you will, my curiosity was intrigued a little more, and sure enough, gradually and slowly I migrated back to the carp on the fly crusade.
Yesterday, carp number 110 came to hand and that's his picture below. I should be thinking trout, but I am captive by carp.
There have been several failed attempts to stop my fly fishing for carp obsession. Just last Sunday, I enlisted the help of Miss Carol in my meager effort to start gearing up for trout season. I asked her to enter that fly-designing/mini-fly fishing museum located in the spare bedroom of our home. I do remember Miss Carol suggesting that the contents might qualify for a future episode of "Hoarders: Buried Alive", and I must agree with her analysis.
"Okay Carol, I'm looking for my trout flies, and keep an eye out for the split shot sizes four, six, and eight. No, no, no, those are carp flies. Trout flies, trout flies! You know, the hare's ears, pheasant tails, soft hackles, little fellows like that! Oh, there should be three new spools of tippet in here too - just bought them two weeks ago at Bass Pro. Strike indicators! I hate them damn things, but since I don't see so well, and slower on the trigger these days, I have to use them. So keep your eyes out for those dad-gum things."
As far as being ready for trout season, I'm in bad shape, so in an effort to get more inspired I am offering some information for those that may be new to Blue and will be fly-fishing her for the first time this season.
THE RIVER HERSELF
There are basically three main areas and one special reg area at Blue River. The three main areas are the Campground Area, the south wilderness (Landrum Wilderness), and the north wilderness (Landrum Wilderness on east side and Bill and Valerie Plaster WMU area on the west). Then there is the Delayed Harvest/Catch & Release Area.
The catch & release area is one-half mile of river, while the other six miles or so of river is designated as put and take. Just because it is put and take water, doesn't mean you can't practice catch and release in these waters.
The reason I'm pointing this out is because in the whole of the fly-fishing world, there seems to be some abrasive air, or discord, between the catch and release crowd and the keep for the dinner table folks. Personally, I respect both disciplines as long as they are legal and within wildlife department rules and regulations. In other words, I certainly will not serve as custos morum.
If an angler wishes to keep fish for the dinner table and he or she stays within the limits, then they should be spared fatwa from someone with a different discipline. At the same time, if the wildlife department allows us to slip the trout back in put and take water, we shouldn't receive denunciation from the other side.
Please be aware that the catch and release water is strictly that... from opening day until the last day of February, and then the area is open for harvest.
To fish Blue River, you must have an annual fishing license, regardless of whether you live in state or not. The trout stamp requirement will disappear January 1st, 2011.
One of the most frequent questions I get each year is about lodging near Blue River.
If you like to talk fly fishing and don't mind a short drive to Blue River then check out Charlie Wright's historic bed and breakfast, Sulphur Springs Inn. From November 1st through February 1st, Charlie offers a 50% discount to all fly-fishers staying at his inn.
Now, if you are looking for a quicker way to Blue and want a cabin experience, then check out Blue River Landing. This rustic cabin will sleep up to eight and puts you about fifteen minutes away from the river.
I'm going to go look for those split shots again, and hope this information helps a little to those coming to Blue for the first time this season.
Good luck this trout season.