Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Too Darn Snakey

With the summer heat being to a point of demolishing, I haven't been on the water in three weeks now and this fact was making me quite ill.

This morning at six I bid the working girls a good day and I walked out of the convenience store with a hot chocolate.  In the parking lot I turned the prairie schooner in a easterly direction and hit the trail.

Shortly thereafter, I arrived at the north kingdom of Blue River.  The sun had just peeked over the top of the treeline and I knew time was short before the heat started bearing down.

Blue River amazes me.  This part of the country is suffering from exceptional drought.  Creeks like Sandy and Travetine have run dry or stopped flowing, but Blue is vibrant and full of life right now.
After taking some pictures I unhooked the fly from the guide and made my first cast.  As soon as the fly hit the river something to my left caught my eye.  No more than five feet from me was a snake - dark body, almost black, thick bodied, and his entire body was on the surface.  This is the kind of snake that will hurt you. 

I picked up a couple of rocks and chunk around him hoping he would flush to the middle so I could keep an eye on him, but he never moved.  So, I pretty much froze in position and then the darn thing swam into the cove behind me.  That really froze me. 

I couldn't get back on the trail without crossing the cove and I wasn't about to do that at the moment.  Moving down three or four feet I continued to try and fish.  Make a cast and look behind me, make another cast and look behind me.  The cast and look behind thing cost me a couple of opportunities at fish.  However, smallmouth were taken although they were on the small side.

It wasn't long until I seen the second snake of the morning.  Same variety with the full body on the surface.  This told me that I was near a community of these nasty bastards and that was enough to send me packing.

My entire time on the river this morning was less than 45 minutes and it was discouraging in light of the fact my plan was to spend several hours.

On the way out I noticed the landscape like Charlie did this past Monday.  Even though the river is healthy, the landscape is crispy to say the least.

There is a lot of felled timber in the river in the north kingdom at Blue and that's prime snake habitat.  Think I'll try the south wilderness on the next trip. 

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On The Mighty San Juan

My buddy Michael Mercurio loves to fly-fish anywhere and anytime.  Three of his favorite waters are Blue River, the Lower Mountain Fork, and then... that wonderful creature known as the San Juan.

On an afternoon-evening float, Michael left the split and indicators behind.  Fishing foam ants and small cicadas, two dozen beautifully colored trout would come to the middle of his landing net

Michael recently shared a report along with some wonderful pictures, and I want to share them with others. 
For more information on fly-fishing the San Juan visit Aztec Anglers.


Charlie's Blue Monday

Not by choice, but rather by the demands of being a self-employed concierge has made Charlie Wright a weekday angler. 

This past Monday, in the early morning light, Charlie stepped into the realm of the kingdom of the north at Blue River.  Shortly thereafter, he sent a black bugger flying; sinking the bug into the clear plunge; fishing it low.

His reward was bass, catfish, a beautiful morning and lovely river.  It was moments of man and river in the arena of nature. 

Charlie is always good to gift me his pictures and now I gift them to others.
Blue River - Princess of the Prairie

Catfish with black bugger.

Although the river is faring well, nearby foliage is struggling in the extreme heat and drought.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Perm And Some Streamer Feathers To Go Please

Yesterday, I found a message in the inbox from friend and fellow caster of fur and feather Charlie Wright.  Charlie was telling me of the new fly shop we have in our little town.  Well... a fly shop of sorts safe to say.  Charlie continued by saying the only problem in visiting this new fly shop was we'd have to get our hair or nails done.

Yes indeed, even in this small community we live in the feather extension craze has arrived. 

Who'd ever thunk it - women running around with chicken feathers in their hair?  And... it's playing heck with the availability and price of fly tying feathers.

Fly shops that use to sell a cape for $29.95 can now get as much as $360.00.  Whiting Farms is harvesting 1500 birds a week just to try and keep up with the demand. 

I guess if Charlie or I begin to run short on streamer feathers we can always go to the local beauty shop.  Maybe Charlie can get some highlights in that long flowing beard of his.  And me... I'll get a perm and a streamer hackle to go.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trashing Trash

It is so refreshing to find a guy who thinks like I do when it comes to trash in our streams, creeks, and waterways. 

Today I became privy to one angler's effort to make it his daily conservation effort to rid our water of trash and at the same time encourage others to get involved in the effort also. 

You would think in the angling community picking up trash while out on an expedition would be a natural thing to do.  However, quite often, the practice goes by the wayside in our excitement of battling fish.

The gentleman I am referring to is named Will and he is taking his trash removal effort a step further by hosting a contest to see who can rid their home water or favorite water of trash.  And... there are some dan-dan-dandy prizes involved such as Redington CT rods, Meat Locker streamer boxes, Mono Masters, and copies of the "Red Gold" DVD.  Prizes are courtesy of the folk at Feather-Craft.

So, this is a chance to clean the water we frequent plus throw our name into the contest box.

For more information and to enter visit Will's site.  Trash Contest.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer 2011 - The Summer Of Discontent

In talking, Charlie and I both decided to quit fly-fishing the carp a couple of weeks ago. With the local creek being in the dismal state it is, and deteriorating each passing day, we fear if we battle these creatures now it will result in their death.

Although we are not fishing the carp we still go to the creek to have a look-see - it's a punishing thing to do.  This past Sunday as I checked on the creek I noticed a catfish that seem to have decided he wanted to be a carp.  Everywhere the carp went... the catfish followed.  I don't know if it was a case of competing for a grazing pasture or a female carp had caught the eye of the whiskered one and he decided to cross classification. 

Another sight that came to my eyes were two beaver that were foraging in shallow water.  Once they got sight or sense of me they exploded though the film heading further upstream.  Never in all my years on this creek have I seen beaver this far upstream. 

Everything this year seems messed up somehow.  I very well know it's simply nature being nature... but it's a part of nature that I care not for.

Right now, there is virtually no flow to the creek and large beds of algae bloom have formed.  Once that algae bloom begins to breakdown it will absorb the remaining oxygen left in the creek.  I'm quite certain we are headed for a major fish loss here on Rock Creek. 

All Charlie and I can do is look daily to heaven above hoping the clouds will gather thick, where they will bump one another dislodging the rain hidden in their lining.

The lack of fishing opportunity has caused me to develop a terrible laziness.  A laziness that has become habitual where I am content with taking afternoon naps with a terribly over-weight Chiweenie. 

Content with napping with a fat dog, but discontent rests with the whole of this summer.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ruffling Someone's Feathers

The rush to feathers by fly-tyers and those who wish to wear the streamers in their hair continue.

Fisherman Bugged by Hair Feather Trend:

Fly Tyers Submission

The people at Feather Craft are offering a chance to have one of your original fly designs included in their new catalog.

Details here.

Volunteers Still Needed For Camp Cavett Children

Time is short and there is still an urgent need for fishermen and women with boats to help in making a trip-worth-remembering come true for children who are ill.

As reported by Bryan Painter of the Daily Oklahoman, Camp Cavett is this Saturday and there is still a need for 35 to 40 boats to take these children on a fishing trip on Lake Texoma. 

Here is the full article:  Camp Cavett

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Carp Redux 2011 - Movie Carp

Let's see, 110 here yesterday - hotter than Phoenix.  Another heat record set to fall today.  Today is the twentieth day of 100+ degree weather.  It's too hot to fish. 

That's okay though.  Sometimes it's nice to just watch the carp and other species go about life.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blue River - Princess Of The Prairie

In spite of the exceptional drought the prairie ocean is experiencing, Blue River is holding up well with good flow and a rare beauty.  This morning's trip to Blue revealed she is as pretty as a porcelain-skin redheaded young lass.
Early morning on Blue.


Early morning catfish anglers with lines in water.

The current flow of Blue is remarkable.
Panfish were active this morning.

Placid pools.

Tremedous insect activity this morning.

Riffling water making music.

So many wonerful falls on Blue.

Contrast - arid associated cactus borders lush river.

Downstream from Hughes Crossing.

Nearby stock ponds not faring as well as Blue River.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Difficult Times On The Prairie Ocean

A couple of weeks ago, while sitting on a bank on Rock Creek, a sense that the carp and other species would soon be in trouble came across my mind.

The creek the carp and other species make their home is slowly wasting away. Absence of rainfall along with extreme temperatures are robbing the water of sufficient oxygen.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife is already dealing with the loss of certain communities of fish in this part of the country.

Here is a current article about Fish Kill.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Prairie Ocean Outdoors - Survival Kit Essential

If you're like many and have an adventurous side that leads you to journey in the wild, then you may consider making yourself a survival kit.  In that kit, I want to suggest you include a little cotton alongside a survival metal match.  The importance of cotton in starting a primitive fire cannot be overstated as this video shows.

Perhaps the Boy Scouts have it right - "Always be prepared".

Monday, July 4, 2011

Carp Redux 2011 - A Discouraging Word

Drought - that's the discouraging word. 

Here on the prairie ocean, along with the south and southwest part of our country, we are experiencing what is known as "exceptional drought". 

Now, we're not exactly a stranger to drought.  Probably, most people when thinking of Oklahoma, automatically draw pictures of tumbleweeds and the stark images of the Great Dust Bowl era.  Although, we have been associated with being an arid land, a large part of Oklahoma is truly an oasis.  Even though drought is nothing new here, this year is particularly discouraging for this fly fisher along with my fellow carp by fly friend Charlie.

Our precious creek has grown threadbare with virtually no flow.  Day by day, the situation seems to worsen and the creek seems to diminish.  Last year, we didn't hit 100 degrees until July 31st.  This year, we hit 100 degrees in a row the last thirteen days of June.  There is no rain, and no relief from the tormenting heat in sight.

What is most disturbing to Charlie and me is not the effect the drought is having on our carp by fly activity.  The discouraging part of this years weather is what effect it is going to have on the dramatic comeback of the bass and pan-fish population.  For years, five, six, or maybe seven years, the pan-fish and bass communities were seemingly non-existent, but, this year they have bounced back in what would seem record numbers.  But now, with the drought, low flow, diminishing water, these fish are in a battle to stay healthy.  It saddens both Charlie and me. 

As far as carp by fly, yes, it has had an effect on our efforts.  Charlie feels like he's in a slump, but, I would argue he's not in a slump at all.  It's simply the situation - the conditions.  There are a half-a- dozen places on the creek we found carp regularly last year and this year we have found none.  The beeves have migrated to the wider, deeper and shaded water.  When the beeves go on the feed, they muddy the water as they graze.  Since there is little streamflow the pastures become muddy and cloudy and turn into constant darkness.  Here, the carp are beyond the sight of the angler and leaves the angler to blind fishing, which, is nowhere near as effective, or fun, as sight-fishing.

Saturday on the creek, the locust were in concert performing their raspy music for the inhabitants of the creek.  Normally, the locust don't make music until mid or late July.  Two prolific springs appear to be near stopping their flow.  One appears to have already done so, the other is discharging at three gallons a second.  Three gallons a second is scarce in itself and then there is the processes of evaporation and absorption.  Three gallons a second discharge into a struggling creek during drought is like fighting a three alarm fire with a single fire hose.  Things here on our creek are not looking good.

Fish are a lot like us - they feel stress.  Even the durable carp has a point that conditions will start to take a toll on the creature. 

Think I'll take a summer sabbatical of sorts and let the carp be until the rain comes.
Some branches have ceased to flow.

Creek running thin during drought.

Despite the absence of rain, shaded areas remain green and wildflowers are battling to stay bright.