Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Arbuckle - Simpson Nature Festival



The Arbuckle-Simpson Nature Festival is scheduled for May 7th & 8th, 2010. If you like learning about the intricacies of nature and more particularly what makes this area so special then you'll want to sign up for this tour.

The tour includes an ecological evaluation of our Blue River and I believe it will be conducted by area manager Matt Gamble.

For more information visit the Arbuckle-Simpson Nature Festival site.

Tribute To Our Little Lady Blue

The Daily Oklahomans outdoors editor Ed Godfrey penned a most excellent article in this Sunday's edition paying tribute to the beauty of our little Blue River.

The only thing I can add to Godfrey's comments is that if you've never seen Blue River then you simply can't imagine the beauty you are missing. It's beauty that seems to be misplaced for sure and something unexpected in the middle of the prairie ocean.

Read Ed's article Southern Beauty.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Catching Up

Although I got to fish more than normal last week, I couldn't share any fishing or river reports because of the death of my laptop. However, now back on line it's time to do a little catching up.

FISHING WITH DAUGHTER MISSY

On a Thursday I had the pleasure of taking my daughter Missy to the river Blue. It would be Missy's first time to ever see Blue River, first time to ever hold a fly-rod, and first time to try and capture a bow.

She did all three.



Missy was a quick learner when she was a kid, very articulate and simply sharp and these days she still carries those attributes. We started out the hard way just upstream of the crossing. On Missy's right were over-hanging tree branches and on her left was the same. In front of her was the task which was to make a twenty foot roll cast upstream with a nine foot leader attached. Now... for many of us that may not sound like much of a chore but to a newcomer it can almost insurmountable. Also, Missy was fishing a tandem rig which would also cause some problems but instead of sighs there was laughter with both of us laughing at ourselves.

The fish simply weren't on the bite at our first spot so I told Missy to spool up and we headed for the flats below the Island. Here, Missy would start casting down and across and taking the swing.

I think one of the hardest things for a newcomer to recognize is the strike itself and this would prove to be the case for Missy. There would be a number of opportunities lost but never did she waver and then she brought her first ever trout to hand.



For me the pleasure of the day was simply getting to spend time with Missy doing what I love to do and hopefully something she will come to love.

It was a good, good day.

Thank you Missy.

SATURDAY - AN ILL FATED ADVENTURE


It's rare when Miss Carol and I get the same day off but Saturday would be such the case even though I had to hit work early but only stay for a while.

Both of us had been suffering from the stuff that winter time brings - chest colds, bronchitis, aches and pains, and generally we felt quite ill. However our rationale was that we'd feel just as bad sitting at the bunkhouse as we would standing in the river so to the river Blue we go.

Evidently we misunderstood the weather forecaster the night before because Saturday was suppose to be clear and dry. There was a steady rain when we left the bunkhouse but somehow we convinced ourselves it'd be gone by the time we hit the river. It wasn't!

Walking through the steady rain into the south wilderness we stopped to fish Coyote Pass and Miss Carol took the upstream side where she'd capture three bows. I fished the downstream side and struggled to capture just a couple. After thirty minutes or so the rain became too much and Carol took to the bank. Since the fishing was so slow here I asked her to walk just upstream a bit to the Cove.

At the Cove, Miss Carol took the upstream side as did I but there was nothing going on with the exception of the feisty smallmouth I battled from the shallows. Again the rain sent Carol to the bank and I went downstream thirty feet and started casting upstream into a falls. It was here the bows waited and it was dynamite action for a good twenty minutes. These bows have backs and tenacity. They fight like there is no tomorrow and in the current they can simply make your arm begin to ache. The rain continued, Carol looked miserable, so we started to head back.

Back at Coyote Pass the rain had briefly stopped and I asked Carol if she wanted to fish some more. Even though she didn't care to fish she wanted me to, so I asked her to watch me fish pocket water because it's something she'll someday enjoy once learned. In a hundred yard stretch of water I fished a bugger like a nymph but free-lining the bugger - no indicator. It was cast, drift, lift mend, drift, flip mend, strike and then hook-set. It was magical almost. Bow after bow came from pocket after pocket.

After a run of fifteen bows battled I found myself drunk from the joy of the pocket battles. Inebriated by the infinite possibilities this thing called fly-fishing offers, I swaggered... swooning like a young lass would upon her first deep kiss.

The day was complete.

THE NEXT DAY

Sunday was totally different from Saturday. The morning announced clear, bright sunlit skies so I headed to Blue once again. Again, the weather forecaster seem to have it wrong. On Saturday the forecast called for strong winds but there wasn't a whisper. On Sunday, the forecast was for rain but the sun was shining. However on Sunday... Saturday's winds come to bear.

Starting at the flats below the island casting down and across a bow came to hand right out of the box. Three or four more gladiators would be battled but the engagements were not hot and heavy. The wind wasn't hot either but quite heavy and agonizing.

Thinking there would be a wind break at the crossing because the river forks upstream I head for the rock on the upstream side of the crossing. Here, a strike indicator goes on about four foot deep. Casting upstream and mending, mending, mending - this is the type of fishing that young Kody says can put you to sleep. I agree... it can... unless the fish are biting. And they were. The fishing wasn't hot and heavy - just steady. Again though, the wind was simply too much and I lost interest in crossing swords with the wind Gods. I wanted to strike steel with bows but the blowhards drove me away.

AN HOUR ON TUESDAY




A work related task sent me the way of Tishomingo on Tuesday and I just knew I could squeeze an hour's worth of fishing in at Blue.

Today I would fish Ted's Pool for the first time this season. Last year there was a particular spot at Ted's Pool that was rewarding to me each and every time. At this spot the idea is to cast upstream thirty-five or forty feet and let the bugger sink and drift while keeping in contact with the fly. This water is, I believe, some of the deepest water on the river Blue. It has to be twenty or more feet deep. My problem on Tuesday in fishing here was I couldn't add split shot because my pliers were lost on the previous outing. Ten or twelve casts were made without even a bump -the fly simply wasn't getting deep enough in the column.

I spooled up and waded through the brew of this coffee cup to the rim where the shallow water waited and here I found bows in the pockets. Not a lot of bows but enough to make my hour worthwhile.

Before leaving I noticed a few risers but the rises weren't predominant even though the rays of the sun revealed a huge community of mayflies floating in the air. I just happened to look down into the river and noticed a steady stream of nymphal shucks. They looked like tiny white or clear crosses and they just kept coming, one after another after another. It was a really neat thing to see.

Eyes On The River



As it is with fishing in general... as it is with fishing at Blue River... there will always be a certain percentage of anglers that think they are above the rules and regulations that pertain to fishing and catch limits.

Limit laws are put in place for many reasons and it doesn't matter if the reason is part of a management plan or to provide equal recreational opportunity for all anglers.

However there are still some that think they are so clever and that they've devised a system of poaching that insures they'll never get caught. If indeed that is the thinking then I suggest they think again.

There are eyes watching the river and it's a concerted effort currently on Blue River.

There are a lot of young ones that come to Blue River and for them catching trout doesn't come as easy as it does for some of us older gents and ladies, so when someone blatantly takes more than their fair share of trout they are robbing the young ones of additional chances for a catch.

It's easy to understand how a newcomer to Blue fishing for trout for their first time and in their rush don't read the signs on the road or look at the regulations end up catching more than the limit. But, what is most inexcusable is when the "regulars" or familiar faces on Blue, who know the regulations better than their own name, get caught red-handed violating the daily limit. And... such a case recently happened at Blue River.

Now, I don't know how much the violation will cost the guy... but I hope it's a helluva lot and I also hope it shames him to such degree that the offense will never be repeated. It's bad enough seeing your own name in the local newspaper under the public records section. It's equally bad knowing that your fellow anglers and outdoorsmen now know you're not such a good sportsman after all.

Catching poachers is a time consuming effort and it takes a lot of patience by the Wildlife Department people. However if you're like me and poaching really gets your goat then there is something you can do to help. Whenever you're at Blue make sure you have the number to Operation Game Thief on your person or in your address book and if you see someone violating the daily limit law make that call. Your action will make for a better river for all those that come. The number to Operation Game Thief is 1-800-522-8039.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Prairie Ocean Ice Storm and Laptop Blues

It seems that mother nature is going to put a stop to angling for a couple of days with the ice storm that is developing as of this writing.

The storm looks to be short-lived and we should be back to angling and battling bows by early next week.

Although I've been fishing a good number of times I haven't been able to report any of my outings due to the death of my laptop. A new one has been ordered and should be here shortly.

Good fishing everyone.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Sheer Beauty

There are a lot of fly-fishing videos out there today but this one is especially rare. It's beautifully done, a masterpiece if you will, and the fly angler himself is simply beautiful. Hope you enjoy this as much as I have.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Into The Wild

Last night Miss Carol and I made plans on where we would fish today. We knew that Jeff from Tom Beane would be at Honey Hole in the north wilderness area so we made plans to join Jeff. Jeff helped Miss Carol out last year by giving her a couple of his articulated buggers he ties and showed her how to fish them. But this morning Carol remembered she had an errand to do that wouldn't wait and we got a really late start to the river leaving our prairie home about 9:15.

We decided to go a shorter route but we still wanted to go into the wild and escape the masses that were in the campground area yesterday.

The fog was heavy breathed early this morning but on the trail down the sun was trying hard to burn away the thickness. Since the eagle had been spotted yesterday we packed the binoculars and had the camera ready to go this time. But as it would turn out we didn't see any eagles but did enjoy seeing lots of other wildlife. Just four miles from our prairie home at the Mill Creek bridge a bobcat darted across the road and this kitty was hooking it. At the Reagan Y a coyote was crossing the road also and once we reached the fish hatchery at Reagan there was a ton of geese and ducks on the holding ponds there. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

We were almost to the river when I realized this was the first time this year (2010) that Miss Carol has gone a-fishing and she hadn't renewed her license so we turn around and head back to Scotty's to get that done.



The weather was shaping up nicely when we picked up the trail. There was still a little haze in the air but it wasn't bad at all - just seemed like trout weather to me.

We were surprised at the number of cars in the wilderness parking lot when we arrived. Think we counted eight transports when we got there and there were fifteen when we left so the wilderness area also was quite popular.



About a half mile on the trail I convinced Carol to take the scenic route with me which runs by the river's edge. At least here you get to walk next to the river and climb rocks instead of staring at gravel and sand packed road.

Today we would fish a stretch of water no more than an eighth of a mile in length. And, we would fish water we've never fished before thinking the bows wouldn't migrate to such forks and braids. Evidently they do travel to such spots because we found them today.



Carol fished a bugger with a soft hackle trailer and I started with a bugger with bugger trailer - yes, that's right. Let me point out the buggers were different colors.



Carol would hook up with four bows only bringing two to hand and questioning herself as to why. Barb-less hooks my dear, barb-less hooks.



I concentrated on pocket fishing and picked up one bow here and one bow there with the bugger tandem. For me it was refreshing to fish so many areas I've never fished capturing bows and making mental notes as I fished along.

There was one stretch of water that Charlie Wright and I talked about not so long ago as to whether it could be waded and fished. This stretch is no longer than a football field, if that, and today I fished it and this is where most of the bows were captured. Three or four bows per pocket then move downstream to the next different shade of water.



We both took trash bags and picked up debris on our way in and out. Picked up this crappy Keystone can on the way out which tells us someone doesn't know or care about the rules in this area and could care less about trashing the river at the same time.

Upon arriving back at the parking area we came upon this curious sight. Seems like this poor lass had taken the polar bear plunge and she was sitting wrapped in a sleeping bag with her wardrobe hanging on the tree limb clothes line she had created. She was quite cheerful and I guess she accepted her fate as part of a fishing life.



The weather was really nice when we left Blue and looks to be rather nice for the next several days so come a-fishing everyone.

Sunday Browsing On The Prairie Ocean

Some of you may be interested in a Fly-tying event that will be taking place in Tulsa this coming week. The Oklahoman's Ed Godfrey tells us about it in his Outdoors Blog. Fly-tying Extravaganza.

I've never been a hunter because I never learned how and often regret it but I do have a lot of friends that are hunters and some are duck hunters. Seems like the duck hunting community has lost another spot to hunt and it seems to be a growing trend. Ed Godfrey also tells us about this latest development.

Another duck hunting spot lost.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Will This Fly Fish



Tied this pattern a couple of years ago after reading about it in a magazine. Guess my thinking was if one San Juan Worm is good then a gob of them is better.

Fished it one time on Blue River with no production but in fairness to the fly I probably didn't fish it correctly. So, this gob of worms is going back to the river soon for another try.

Do you think this fly will fish?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On The Other Side

If time had allowed today, a path upstream from Chimney Falls would have been my choice. Additionally, the path would have been on the other side of the river.

The other side is a place that most of us will find few anglers, and this is probably due to a couple of reasons. Most likely the main reason is because the path is not well defined which for me personally makes it all the better, much more primitive, somehow exploration-calling, rough, ragged, and uncertain. However, if an angler will continue on the way, maneuvering the thistle and briar's, the trail picks up again and leads all the way to the area known as the Scatters.

The second reason, again most likely, is due to the fact that the river takes on intimate braids and forks, and within each there are numerous friendly runs, riffles, pockets, and pools. The water itself takes on different shades, enchanting colors and hues that differ from other parts of the river. These presentations offer a number of avenues for the bows to choose and form small communes instead of the concentrated camps they tend to make in other parts of the river.

Battling bows on the other side is more challenging but at the same time it can be more rewarding, and often time on the other side it's more than just battling bows.

On the other side, an angler has time for fishing. On the other side, an angler has time for reflection, for peaceful prayer to the creator of this masterpiece, and time for a river-bank nap in the warming rays of the sun. On the other side, an angler has time of choice and choice of how that time is spent.





Since time was short today, the water below Chimney Falls was chosen as this day's field of battle. As warriors, the olive bugger with olive yellow tail and the brown fluro bugger were chosen as the favorites.

The combatants were plunged deep in the battlefield where they would methodically approach their willing foes. The bugger's would suffer strike after strike without due strike.

The strategy wasn't working, the bows were laughing loudly, celebrating their early victories on this day's field. My warriors were withdrawn.

There existed a problem that needed a remedy. Occam's Razor Barry...Occam's Razor - simplest solution is the correct solution.

The warriors were once again plunged deep into the battlefield but this time as they still made their steady march, they suddenly feinted... and feinted again, and once the opponents struck... they were too deeply engaged to escape.

Drift and twitch, drift and twitch.

Currently there are huge hoards of bows in the river awaiting battle for those that wish to engage in such.

Come the angler.






Battalions of battling bows await.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Buzz Around Blue

If there is a buzz around Blue River then this week's headline would read, "Missouri Trout Near!" Yes indeed the long awaited arrival date of the Missouri trout will take place this Wednesday.

If these trout are anything like the Missouri tribes of the last several seasons then get ready for some good quality action. These bows come with shoulder pads on ready to play and slam your flies at the scrimmage line.

So fellow anglers... you better take more time in tying those knots correctly and you might want to give that Frog Hair a second thought because the Order of the Missouri Trout are quite the gladiators and come close to rivaling the bows of the Catch and Release area.

Good luck and have fun.

Best Coffee On The River



If you're ever on the river at the same time Ralph and the Ruff Diamond is and you find yourself in need a good cup of coffee, chances are you're going to get one. All you have to do is knock on the door of the Ruff Diamond and when Ralph or Charlotte answer they'll know why you are there. Ralph is devising even a better plan to make sure all of us cold weather anglers always have a supply of hot java just in case he's not there. Tell you more about that later.

At work this morning I busted tail because at the river fishing and drinking a cup of Ralph's coffee was the place for me. Calling the boss at 10:45 this morning a request for a half day vacation was submitted and much to my delight old buddy boss said no problem. By noon the Prairie Schooner was rolling into the parking lot where the Ruff Diamond was parked.

I thought there was no one home at the Diamond because mistakenly I thought Charlotte had accompanied Ralph and since their car was gone it was assumed they were out and about. Heading downstream the plan was to fish those waters and work my way up bit by bit.

Standing on the bank at Seventeen I was surprised by the steady unrelenting wind. For sure I thought the weather forecaster this morning said light southeast winds during the day. But at Seventeen the wind was, to say the least, copious.

Since already there I stepped into the brew to see what would take place. Seventeen wasn't very kind to me today and two bows would be all she would yield. I have a suspicion that Seventeen might not be producing as well now as earlier. My belief is as water temperatures plunge, many of the bows will concentrate and hold just upstream in the deeper water around the boulder. At least... this seems to be my experience in years past.




The water was really cold today with patches of ice here and there on the river. There were a number of fair sized ice balls still trying to hang on to their existence and some were doing rather well.

My next stop was Glory Hole where the wind situation was better but the catching was about the same. Leaving Glory Hole, having met only two more bows, I headed for the Ruff Diamond and that expected cup of coffee.




Back at the Ruff Diamond it still looked like no one was home so I decided to fish Cottonwood Pool by the crossing but upon getting there discovered another angler had already claimed this jewel. The rock across the river was open so there I headed and once arriving the angler fishing Cottonwood gave me a shout... it was Ralph!

We chatted a bit across the river but Ralph didn't fish too long because he said he had to get the coffee on which was welcome news to my ears. I told Ralph to expect me shortly and I stayed on the rock long enough to catch an even dozen. My goodness were the strikes ever so light today and there were lots of missed opportunities.




The flies used today were the soft hackle, crackleback, disco midge, and wooly bugger. All with the exception of the disco midge battled bows and the soft hackle was the Lancelot of today's band of Knights.

At the Ruff Diamond, Ralph and I talked mainly about fly-tying and fly-fishing but then came the subject of his new coffee plan. Ralph is still looking for that twenty cup coffee pot and once he finds it he plans on placing it on a table outside a window on the Ruff Diamond. He's going to slide a drop cord out the window to heat the coffee, provide cups for the coffee and for those of us who have to pet our coffee the stuff to do just that will most likely be available.

Never have I asked Ralph his secret to making coffee and figure I never will... but it's the best coffee on the river, by far.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Lesson Still Fresh


Although we've been in the deep freeze here on the southern fringe of the prairie ocean for days now... I remember times when it was even more bitterly cold. It's been something quite easy for me to recall because I learned a valuable life lesson early on.

I don't remember exactly how old I was but want to say eleven or twelve. It was Saturday, and as always on Saturday my friends and I would spend the afternoon at the skating rink that was located where Flower Park in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is.

On the way to the skating rink there was a trail we could pick up and this trail mirrored the meandering of Rock Creek. On this particular Saturday, Rock Creek was frozen bank to bank and it's the only time in my life I ever remember it being such. As we explored the trail we came upon a rather hefty piece of concrete with a horse shoe shaped rebar handle. This chunk of concrete would serve as the catalyst of what was about to happen.

We decided it would be fun and a challenge to see just how frozen Rock Creek was by tossing that chunk of concrete out on the ice. So, one of my buddies gave it a heave and the concrete hit the ice without creating so much of a fracture. Of course this proved quite disappointing to the lot of us and we were determined to give it another try. However, the problem now was the our makeshift Olympic throwing hammer was out on the ice.

With me being the smallest and lightest of the gang I was elected to go out and fetch our wrecking ball. Of course my election came with a double-dog dare and no puberty-nearing boy is going to back down from such a call. I was good to go and knew it would be a piece of cake.

Indeed I did make it to the middle of the frozen creek and retrieve the chunk. But, when I give it a backward sling to throw it forward... the ice gave way. I found myself in about four feet of water which was about how tall I was at the time. In a flash I disappeared from sight and I can still remember how it felt like the life force has suddenly been sucked from me.

Bobbing from time to time trying to catch a breath I was hoping for help. One of the kids was my best friend Allen Joslin and he was a big kid. Allen came after me and he too went through the ice shortly after leaving the bank but he kept on coming. He was able to grab my coat collar and haul my little butt to the bank.

We were only two blocks away from the skating rink but by the time we got there our blue jeans were stiff as boards. All of us went ahead and put on our skates but Allen and I didn't skate. The skating rink was heated with large open face heaters and in front of one is exactly where we stayed trying to thaw our frozen selves.

I learned a good life lesson that day with the lesson being... in Oklahoma don't trust the ice over frozen waters.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In Quenching Our Thirst



Many of you know there has been a water issue surrounding our beloved Blue River for the last seven or eight years now. The issue still remains and will for sometime.

Water will soon be our most valuable natural resource... more valuable than oil ever could be. Currently over two-thirds of the states in America face water issues and woes, and solutions thus far have been quite short-sighted.

I hope many of you caught the report on the CBS Evening News last night but in case you didn't I've created an avenue for you to read the article. Please take the time to read Water Woes.

I certainly don't pretend to know everything about water and it's usage. Actually, my knowledge is probably quite limited, however I continue to try and educate myself.

I do know enough to share that for example here on the Prairie Ocean the number one user of water is the agriculture industry. Agriculture plays a dynamic part in our overall economy and the availability of water is critically important to this sector. However, it is my hope that the agriculture community will continually strive to seek new technologies that will allow them to produce with less water.

With water and it's usage my radical side comes out on occasions when I think of the way we use water that are unnecessary. Two prime examples are car washes and bottled water.

There's nothing wrong with wanting a clean car, but often time it's too easy to make washing our vehicles a ritual, fringing on obsession, and the fact is having a clean car is not a right... it's a privilege and choice. I think that every car wash in America should be hit with a hefty water consumption yearly fee and for sure that fee will be passed on to us who use car washes to cleanse our rides. Instead of us having to dole five dollars out of the pocket... we'll be spending ten and that can certainly be a deterrent to visiting the car wash so often.

Don't get me wrong... never have I been much of a fan for increased consumer surcharges or taxation. But I will admit there are some instances that increased fees or taxes have had positive results. A prime example is the heavy tax on the tobacco industry which has led to an almost forty percent reduction in the number of tobacco users in the last twenty years. If a fee would entice all of us to use forty percent less water... then we might be headed down the road in managing our water better.

When it comes to bottled water I simply want to shake my head in disgust. Bottled water has become nothing but a convenient, trendy, fashion thing to do. Oh for sure, there are some that will tell us they drink bottled water because of health concerns but chances are that "Gushing Springs" label on that bottle is just a marketing scheme. The water in the bottle mostly likely came from some municipal water supply. Our landfills are filling up with empty plastic water bottle with those catchy labels on them... quite quickly.

Maybe we should put a hefty tax on every single container of bottled water that is sold and earmark that money for a special fund to help people install water conservation appliances - i.e. low flush toilets, water miser appliances, drought tolerant sod and grass. This would be an excellent use of an increased tax.

As outdoors people our voices can play an important role in the future of water and it's usage. Let us all remind ourselves of the stewardship we own and act on that responsibility.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Last Chance Drifter

Going to Tishomingo on business today, I knew that this might be my last chance to fish the river Blue for some time. With the Arctic express at our threshold, fishing time is currently of the essence.

I've grown use to my new model of fishing, with that being, in itself, rushed and hurried brief trips. But a brief time on the river is better than no time at all.

At Tishomingo I grabbed a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and that would serve as my lunch. In a hurried fashion I drove to the river and when I arrived the temperature was twenty-nine degrees. The wind gods were rather quiet today but still breathing just enough, when combined with the temperature, to make an angler uncomfortable. Knowing that I would try and fish in a draw... Seventeen or Glory Hole come to mind.

No man is an island and no man is a river, but as far as I could tell, I was the only soul fishing the mile of downstream water from the crossing when I drove in.

At Seventeen I tied the Olive yellow split tail on again with Zug Bug as the trailer. After six or seven casts and drifts I was sure that Seventeen was unhappy because I hadn't noticed a single wink from this pretty girl.



It didn't take long for the ice to form in the guides but that was okay too because feeling rather lazy today I planned on simply drifting the flies. I decided to fish about two feet further in the mid-pool, and it was there... tickling the belly-button of sweetest Seventeen, she would flinch and show the bows. The bugger drew first victory and would take two more bows in short fashion. The zugger hadn't even had so much of a look but shortly there would be a cast where the bugger would again strike in battle and the zugger would also strike.

It's been quite some time since I captured two bows in one cast. It was fun.




Evidently I didn't mash the barb down good on the Zug because the hook was deeply embedded in the jaw of the bow so I cut the fly off the tippet and let the fish go.

Next, the San Juan Worm was chose and with gloves on I attempted to tie it on but that was futile. Finally the gloves were ripped off and the knot finished. A cast more upstream was made and as the flies passed in front of me the San Juan found a bow.

Two more bows would be battled before I hung a rock and couldn't roll the flies loose so they were lost in the field of battle.

With the gloves off, hands hurting, standing in the river with barren leader... the day was called.

It was a good outing despite the briefness.



On the way back to the work place I drove my Blue's little sister Pennington and she is looking quite well these days.

At 2 p.m. I was back at work shucking onions, trimming corn, but thinking about the river.

Other days will come.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Eagles Soar

You know... we almost destroyed the American buffalo in the late eighteen hundreds, and then a short time later we put the bald eagle through the same process.

Fortunately the day came when there would come men and women with the foresight, resolve, and leadership to call out and gain ranks and not only was the buffalo spared but we have now seen a remarkable redemption of the eagle.

Fly-fishing for me is a vehicle... a way that I choose to spend time in nature. If asked the question "Or you a fly-fisher first or an outdoors man first?", the answer would be quick and sharp. No doubt, outdoors man first and foremost.

Some of you might be interested in the guided trips watching the bald eagles that will be soaring over the Prairie Ocean quite soon. The rangers at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area are offering such a program. Not only can you see the bald eagle at Chickasaw, they can also be spotted at the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge and quite possibly over our sweetest...Blue River.

Here is the information and invite from the folks at Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

Bald eagles are flying once again over Lake of the Arbuckles at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. The annual return of the bald eagles to this area is always a cause for celebration during the winter season.

This year park rangers at Chickasaw National Recreation Area would like to invite the public to attend Bald Eagle Watches scheduled for Saturday, January 16 and 30, 2010. The day will begin at 9:00 am with a program at the Travertine Nature Center. After the program the group will caravan with park rangers to the Lake of the Arbuckles to locate and observe eagles in the wild. Those attending should dress for the weather; bring a camera and binoculars, and a sack lunch. To learn more about this annual event, please call the Travertine Nature Center at 580 622-7234.

The American bald eagle almost reached the point of extinction, but the combined efforts of many private citizens, elected officials, and government agencies led to the removal of bald eagles from the endangered species list in 2007. This increase in the eagle population allows us the privilege of seeing these birds in the wild. Come join us at Chickasaw National Recreation Area for Bald Eagle Watch 2010!

Standing By



A new Okuma reel recently came this way but it is on stand-by right now for the lack of backing and line. Guess Miss Carol and I will have to plan a trip to the big city soon.

Anyone want to open up a local fly shop so these long trips won't be necessary?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Needful Things

If someone walked into the fly tying/mini-museum at my house they would probably think to themselves "Look at all this crap!" However... none of it is crap I assure you. Everything within the room is a needful thing. Needful in the sense that each brings a little joy to a fly-fishing life. Each thing serves as part of a mosaic to a somewhat cluttered, disorganized, but happy fly-fishing life.

The mosaic extends beyond this said room and can be found in the bathroom with trout wall border and Larry Horton's wonderful wood carving. In the bedroom we will find an antique bamboo along with an antique collection of someones interpretations of the classic flies.

In the kitchen there are placards addressing the parallel between fly fishing and good food and beyond these walls there is even more needful things still in storage at the old west town Sipokni West.

Hopefully, this collection will only grow.



Fly tying stuff displayed on spinner racks... three spinner racks to be exact.



A fly tying kit from the 60/70's bought at a garage sale by a friend.


Disorganization is what keeps my mind active and me sane.



There are twenty-seven fly fishing caps in the "room" and I don't wear caps. Hmmm?



A guy at work was going to throw this mounting away until I intervened. What a waste that would've been.



Stuff, stuff, stuff. Everyone has an Altoid tin or two.



An Eagle Claw fly-fishing vest and I have no idea of where it came from.



I have to get that float tube down from the ceiling and give it a work-out this spring and summer.



Free space is becoming a rarity in the "room" these days.



Why I kept the carton the calendar came in is beyond even me.



Old desks, old reels, do-dads.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Name This Fly

In 1999, a hunting friend brought me a battleship-sized bag of squirrel tail because he knew of my passion for tying flies. Although I was thankful, I also knew that this was more squirrel tail than a production tyer could ever use.

I started out tying squirrel tail nymphs but after five dozen or so I grew tired of that particular pattern.

It was then I decided to just try and tie something and here is what I come up with.



I have no idea of what I was trying to represent, imitate, simulate or what. Simply... I was just trying to get rid of some squirrel tail.

After completing this fly it made it's way to Blue River and it was during trout season. This puppy caught trout like no body's business and for the life of me I don't know why. If I were a trout I'd have to run the other way.

Since then this pattern has been idle and it's probably due to two reasons. Number one... I still don't know what it represents and was embarrased for anyone to see it and secondly... I never give it a name.

If this fly had a name it would probably be fished today. So... fellow casters of fur and feather, how about coming up with a tag for this poor chap.

Don't be bashful or think you're going to hurt my feelings. If the first thing that comes to your mind is "The Big Ugly", or "One Too Many", or perhaps "What Was He Thinking", then put it out there. This guy needs to be called something.

Once this chap is named he'll be going to Blue again ready for battle with the tribes of bows that await in the pools and pockets.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Flies Little Fished

In the fly-tying/mini-museum room there lives some flies that have been lonely for quite some time.

For sure they long for the water and the chance to prove their weight.

Why they've never been fished is a question left unanswered. Perhaps it's because of the habit of looking at a fly and asking a question at that time whether the fly will fish or not. Judgemental for sure, and not quite fair.

So, these flies will be seeing some action soon...so they can have their chance, and I can see if my judgement has been wrong all this time.

I am curious if anyone else has fished these patterns and if so how did they produce. So if you have and get a chance then let us all know which pattern you fished, where, and how it produced.



The Gold Darter is ready for action and will soon see some.



A cousin of the Gold Darter, the Silver Darter has been longing for sometime.



On the White River I fished a take-off of the Black Nose Dace called the Arkansas Shiner. The Arkansas Shiner was fished at night and produced quite well.



The Black Molly. Surely this pattern will pass as an effective imitation of a leech. She'll be taking here maiden voyage in the river Blue soon.