Today, I took my time getting to the river. Leaving my prairie home about an hour later than yesterday I hit the river Blue and the sun was peeking over the eastern horizon.
I was telling my friend Michael Mercurio that I would have went to the wilderness area yesterday to escape the crowds, but, I didn't have the legs for it. After a good night's rest I felt good enough to make the wilderness trip and did. My thinking was the water might be a little clearer.
After a good mile and half walk I quickly discovered how wrong I was. The river in the wilderness was as muddy if not more muddy. I fished about twenty minutes landing one bow and decided to walk out and go join the crowds.
Actually, I learned that the crowds were very thin today. About half the people that participated in the derby yesterday didn't even bother to show up today which serves as a testament on the river's conditon and how tough fishing was.
The river is trying to clear along the fringes, but, my experience tells me it will be a good two days before the river is good enough quality for successful fly fishing.
4th And Goal
Ted Meador is a fine fly fishing gentleman from Denton, Texas. I come to know Ted personally a couple of years ago during a derby while in the wilderness area. Ted knew I had lost my wife Susie to cancer and he struck up a conversation about Susie and her cancer. I could tell he was looking for information so I shared Susie's story. It turns out Ted was asking for a reason - his wife had just learned she also had cancer. Today, I asked Ted about his wife and the wonderful news is she is doing remarkably well in her battle. I always love to hear a success story when it comes to cancer.
The reason I am mentioning Ted is because he, like many of us, had experienced a tough weekend of fishing. At 11:30 a..m. today, Ted had managed a total of three small trout all weekend. But... then his luck would change.
There is a seasoned angler named Floyd (we call him Wally) and Floyd ties a lot of flies. He had just given Ted a special fly he ties and Ted had just tied it on and plopped it in the drink. I had just stepped in the river at this spot when I heard Ted holler, "I've got one and I think he's a good one."
I got to watch the whole battle, from hookset to net - a battle that lasted almost thirty minutes. This fish, when first hooked, didn't move more than a foot one way or the other. I swear the fish acted like it didn't know it'd been hooked. After five or so minutes the fish started to move, but, again not much. After another ten minutes the fish started upstream and Ted found himself "walking the dog". About fifteen minutes later the fish had worked to more shallow water and about thirty seconds before the net went on the fish I got a glimpse of it. Not wanting to excite Ted (anymore than he already was) I simply said, "Ted, that's a huge fish... you got to get him to the net."
Ted's fish would have tied the state record for Rainbow trout if the wildlife department had done the stocking... but they didn't. The derby organizers stocked these fish.
Take a look.
Ted's trout weighed 10 lbs. 4 ounces. In the 4th quarter, with only three small trout to his name, Ted Meador got the football and scored a touchdown.