Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Monday, April 29, 2013

Peace Offering

My buddy, then former buddy, now brand new buddy Van Stacey came by today with a peace offering of sorts to try and say, in an around about way, "Sorry for catching a Redhorse Sucker without you being there." 

Van's peace offering came in the form and fashion of those wonderful and highly sought-after delicacies from the woods where the wild wood weed and other natural wonders grow. 

Van's gift is certainly enough to make us "buds" again without the hugs and kisses and besides that we're not built that way anyhow. 

We now have a fly-fishing trip planned for this weekend in search of bass, trout, carp, and yes... that darn Blue River Redhorse Sucker that is eluding me. 

The morels are going in the batter and frying pan tomorrow.

I'm real good right now.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blue River Redhorse Sucker Club Grows

On Saturday the exclusive Blue River Redhorse Club added a new member.... and it wasn't me.

Yours truly was attending the Dutch Oven Cook-off competition as part of the Arbuckle Simpson Nature Festival.  This event would require a good deal of work and time, and there wouldn't be anytime for this fly fisher to get to Blue River or anywhere else to fish. 

Around mid-morning, Van Stacey and his lovely wife Kempy (my daughter I might add) showed up at the cook-off where Van wasted little time in obligingly sampling my Dutch oven fare.  I think it was somewhere between a bite of roasted vegetables and Mexican cornbread that Van announced, directed at me, that he would indeed be going to Blue River to fly fish.  A few seconds later he made the boast that he thought while he was there he would just go ahead and catch a Redhorse Sucker, which he very well knows has been something I desperately want to achieve. 

Here I was arse deep in Dutch ovens and charcoal and old buddy Van was rubbing the salt in.  Perhaps I should now say former old buddy

After stuffing his face with vittles, Van and Kempy departed my company and headed to Blue River.  I had to stick around the cook-off for the results and as soon as that was done I dead-headed back to the bunkhouse. 

Three hours later, while sitting at the Sonic waiting on my No. 1 Cheeseburger to arrive... you know who poked a cell phone in front of my face with a picture displayed.  Although the sun was blocking my view I could tell it was Van, and in his hand was one Redhorse Sucker.  There, in that picture was Van sporting a possum face smile and holding the Blue River species I so want to catch. So, on April 27th, Van comes and eats my Dutch oven food, tells me he's going fly fishing (when he knows I can't), and that he might just catch a Redhorse Sucker, which he does and then shares with me a picture with a smirk on his face.  Rubbing more salt... just keep on rubbing Mr. Stacey. 
If that ain't a shit-eatin' grin on his face, I've never seen one.
Van now becomes a member of the elite Blue River Redhorse Sucker Club and I think his entry raises the membership to nine.  He probably doesn't want me to tell you the pattern he caught this Redhorse on, but I'm going to... because I can - it was our favored Brown Bugger. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dear Carp - Not As Planned

Dear Carp,

Saturday morning I was looking forward to my second day off in a very long time.  My plan was to get a good night of rest Friday evening and therefore come visit you early on Saturday morning.  However, in the late evening hours of Friday my best friend Drift begin to have seizures.

His seizures is something I became aware of shortly after he came into my life.  A visit to the doctor that tends to dogs, and other creatures, resulted in a controlling medicine that will shorten the ferocity of the seizures themselves.  After his first episode Friday evening, I administered the medicine followed by another does a short while later.  The medicine wasn't working it seemed and after the seventh or eighth seizure episode... as the hopelessness fell over me... I decided to talk to God. 

Over all the years I've talked to God I've learned that God doesn't have much to say in return.  I figure this is due to the fact God is too busy listening to all of us. 

Sometime after the midnight hour the seizures subsided, but a good night's rest would not come my way or the way of my friend.  He was exhausted and I was too.

However, I rose early the next morning with the plans I had made, but decided to run by the mercantile store just to check on things.  Upon arriving at the store I discovered that the young assistant I have fell prey to the follies of whatever takes place on Friday night's.  I use to know what those follies entailed myself, but that's been many years ago.  My plan changed status to "Not as planned." 

In the afternoon yesterday I did see a opportunity of possibly one hour at your home where we could visit so the waders went on.

Standing in the upper shallows of one of our favored pastures, I knew that your citizens had formed a herd in this area because they felt protected by a thick weave of natural debris that had been crocheted by the strong winds of late.

This blanket was so thick it hid your citizens well and getting my gift, the Aftermath, past the fabric would be quite a chore.  I did see an opening though and on my first roll-out a young member of your clan sent me a signal with the tell-tale movement in my clear tether. 

Moving downstream, the Aftermath went out again and one of your kin attacked the gift as if he was quite concerned of any of your other citizens laying claim to it before he could. 
With some time still left I moved to the big pool to send out some gifts on the blind.  The wind was strong yesterday and the riffles also his your kinship.  I sent out two new gifts, but they drew no interest from the lot of you and therefore I bid you farewell.
There was a lot going on in these parts this weekend my friends.  At Rock Creek campground there was a conclave of a vintage fiberglass rod group that I hoped to attend.  Your friend Charlie got to go and cast some fine glass rods and see some fine reels.  I, unfortunately, didn't make it.  Also, there was an outdoor expo taking place, but I didn't get to attend that function either.
From left to right are Carl Sims, Larry Compton, Les Jackson, Jeff Mitchell, and Kurt Jackson.  Members of the fiberglass flyrodders conclave.
Tomorrow is Earth Day my friends and knowing my schedule is full, I decided to come to you today and rid your home of a good deal of trash.  I carried two 39 gallon trash bags with me and that seemed suffice today, but there is more to deal with.  All the trash in your home and along the bank at the pasture known as Honey Hole was removed.  However, there is still that steep hill to deal with, so I will return with a rake and rope and bring it down to within my grasp.
There was lots of hand trash in your home such as Styrofoam, plastic bottles, snuff cans, and plastic bags. 
This little fellow, that shares your home, seemed to appreciate the trash being removed.
I do not know what to tell you about the rain that has not come our way.  There has been rain all around us like the six inches that fell on the prairie ocean current at Medicine Park.  We received only a trace and I don't understand what is going on. 
Guess I can talk to God about that also.
I hope to see you again soon my friends.
Prairie Ocean Fly Fisher 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dear Carp - Removed

Dear Carp,

I came to your home today not in hopes of any conversations, but rather to perform a task that has been eating at me for a good while.

My hope today was to give you somewhat a little better home by removing two major pieces of trash that have no business being in your sea-lane. 

I brought with me a strong tether because once I retrieved these items from your sea-lane I would have to haul them up a slightly steep hill. 

My time was quite tight today so I waded straight in and headed directly for today's targets.  Of these two pieces of the artifacts of modern man, I thought all along the barrel would be the most difficult of the two to take down the creek. 
I decided to tackle the barrel first and to my pleasant surprise the barrel was quite an easy chore once I got it upright and the water poured.  The barrel simply floated down the sea-lane like a wrecked ship on it's way to dry dock.
Next came the school desk and this piece of garbage like to eat my lunch.  That's a term we use in my world my friends.  Simply put... it was much heavier than I imagined. 
However, the desk finally came to be beached on a sea-lane shelf and now it was time to get these modern artifacts up the hill and on their way to, unfortunately, a landfill somewhere.
Now it was time to get this trash up the hill and knowing you have seen me many times you know I'm not a spring chicken and not that big a guy.  However, this is where the strong tether came into play.  I simply tied the tether on the artifacts and pulled them up the hill and then about 100 yards to the road side where hopefully they'll be removed by the city stewards.
Sweet beasts, your home is somewhat cleaner today with two pieces of garbage removed.  Hundreds remain... but, they will be retrieved also as time allows.  Being a trash man is a dirty business, but a little dirt never hurt anyone.
Take care grand creatures.  The rain is on it's way they tell us.  Let us hope they are right.
Prairie Ocean Fly Fisher 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dear Carp - More Aftermath

Dear Carp,

I hope this letter finds the lot of you well and thriving.  What a splendid morning it was my friends.  This morning was the first morning in 42 days that I did not have to report to the mercantile store to serve employment.  How grand it felt.

To celebrate I took my coffee under the elm tree by the water garden.  It didn't take long to saucer the coffee and as I did I enjoyed the most delightful spring rhapsody from the birds in the branches above, as the homeless cats that I carry stewardship over swished around my feet in hopes of just a wee bit attention.

Of course... you were on my mind and I knew I would be coming to see you even though the wind was quite strong.  At your home I decided to use the new gift I spoke of yesterday - the Aftermath.  It wasn't long until a young fellow by the order of the Mirror latched on to my gift.  He had a lot of spunk and that seems to be inherent to the Mirror order. 


After letting the young fellow go to explore other treasures that lay in wait, a most beautiful sight caught my eye.  In yesterday's letter I made reference to how we can find both pretty and ugly on the creek and the woods, the wild. 

I think the following postcards will further illustrate both pretty and ugly and serves as an example of which I speak.  I am sure you will agree with me that the geese navigating your current this morning are quite a beautiful sight.

Now my friends, for the ugly I present to you another postcard as the geese are taking flight and as you already know there is ugly in your sea lane in the form of a blue trash barrel and school desk - both courtesy of the hands of man and the school system. Most certainly not are they sailing vessels... they are simply trash and I have plans to remove their flounder selves before they end up further downstream.
Perhaps someday you will understand why I prefer to be in the company of you and other wild creatures rather than those of my own kind.  It is my kind who pollute and destroy and I think Utah Phillips may have said it best with these words, "The earth is not dying, it is being killed.  And the people who are killing it have names and addresses."
My friends, if your home becomes any more compromised I am thinking about letting you be as far as holding conversations.  As I told you in a previous exchange I will come to you and serve your needs as best I can, but I will not fish for you in hopes of a connection - at least not until things improve. 

If I decide to let you be, I want you to know... I will miss you dearly.
Prairie Ocean Fly Fisher 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dear Carp - A New Gift For You

Dear Carp,

Oh sweet beasts... how wonderful it was to be able to come visit with you this morning.  No, I did not have a princely sum of time to visit, yet a little time is better than no time at all.

Before coming to the sea current you sail, I was sitting at my tying table churning out seven or eight worm patterns for Van.  Also, I tied him a couple of Curiosity gifts so he can show you them also.  While at the table I was thinking about the hard time you are having seeing my current bag of presents and decided to create you a new gift that will be vivid, bright, and glow - glow like, as they tell me, things will in case of a nuclear catastrophe like those crazy-ass North Korean leaders are trying to egg on.  You're probably wondering, like I am, what the North Korean carp think of their silly-ass chairman.  Not much I bet.

Your home is becoming more and more challenged each day.  Challenging for you to live and challenging for the fly angler to hold talks with you.  The algae is getting impossible. 

On this sea lane that you use to celebrate life, there are things that are ugly such as the large algae islands that now exist and there are things that are quite pretty.  I think this shows us the stark differences we can find when we go to the woods, the wild, or sail the currents.
As I sailed to you in my prairie schooner I made the decision to come to you at the pasture that has proven the most difficult for the angler to have a conversation with one of you - Big Well Springs.  At the pasture, the angler is totally exposed and elevated.  For us, it is almost like being naked in front of the whole world with that world being your world and the only thing important at the time.  So many times at this pasture you have sensed my presence before I even get close to having any hope of a conversation, but this morning was different.
This morning the entire pasture was a folly of mudding activity.  I reached down inside myself and found the patience to simply wait and study.  It wasn't long until I seen a mud cloud, bubbles, and a tail.  My new vivid and glowing gift, that I call the Aftermath, sailed out by my hand and landed at the head of the bubbles.  My eyes were fixed on the tail and when I saw excitement in the tail... I lifted the rod tip... and a most delightful conversation had begun. 
What a sturdy fellow this was.  He certainly had a set of shoulders on him and made attempt after attempt to free himself from the chat we were having. But, my tether... one I just put on last night was just as sturdy, and this citizen came in for the branding by the touch of my hand.
As I told you earlier I tied this gift so it would glow like something glows after an unthinkable nuclear catastrophe and with these things there are always an aftermath and thence the name for this fly.  The body was fluro chartreuse and I lined both the belly and back with peacock herl.  However, I first tied in a muted brown worm on the tail in for contrast, and lastly I employed a soft hackle with fine partridge.  I am most proud one of your citizens liked the Aftermath on it's maiden voyage.
Although my time with you today was short everything seemed to work out because after the championship battle with this morning's citizen, the rest of your community blew up and the pasture became one big mud cloud.
Word does seem to travel fast amongst your kind. 
Until our next chat my friends, live and enjoy life.
Prairie Ocean Fly Fisher 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dear Carp - Long Time No See

Dear Carp,

My, my, my, dear friends... it has been some time since we have had any conversations.  My visits to you are much more rare than they were last year or the year before, but hopefully the thing that has been keeping me from the threshold of your home has been remedied. 

Today, I was able to come for a visit late in the afternoon and much to my disappointed I found your home going downhill even more.  The rains always seem to be on the fringe of this sea current where you live and we certainly have not received our share of the life giving water from above.  I hope the coming weeks will bring more rain our way. 

You are still having quite difficulty in seeing the offerings I send out to you.  Almost as soon as my gift hits the drink it becomes engulfed in green slime hiding it's true beauty and color.  You often come to it but simply cannot locate it with the present being submerged in the weave of decayed leaves and algae. 

I did meet one of you citizens today with a new offering that sported a rust brown body and long fibre soft hackle courtesy of the partridge.  This community member took my gift on the fall and ran with it.  For such a young carp he proved to be quite the scraper - a pugilist for sure.  He bent my rod well and made run after run before I brought him to my waiting hand.

I have been somewhat remiss in corresponding with you and I do apologize for this human flaw that my kind own.  Last week I held another conversation with a citizen of the pasture we call Honey Hole and this chap fancied a soft hackle much like the one used today.  I did make a postcard of him and will share it with you.
Before I forget... Charlie is back from Mexico so you should expect some visits from him and his worm. 
Speaking of worm and visitors, you might see a new face at the fringe of your home.  His name is Van and he's my buddy.  Today, Van held his first conversation with one of your kind Charlie, he was using a worm.  He had another conversation going but the call was cut short due to a... disconnect.  The trout leader he is currently using isn't going to be quite enough for sure. 
You'll see more of him. 
Until we meet again I will continue to ask for rain to replenish your home and make for better days for all of us.
Prairie Ocean Fly Fisher


Friday, April 5, 2013

Post Season Trout On Blue River

Each year as trout season ends at Blue River, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife comes to Blue for an end of the season celebration in the form of one fine fish fry.  Each year, the fly fishing community at Blue River receives an invitation to join in the feast and this year's contingency included Scott Dittner, Van Stacey, Michael Merurio and yours truly. 

The fish was rather darn good along with all the other fixings.  The company was quite grand also and this gave the Blue River Fly Fishers an opportunity to present the proceeds to the wildlife department from the One Fly 2013.  Scott Dittner handle those honors presenting Matt Gamble and Matt Mauck with the check.

Of course, after the luncheon there is always fishing and that's exactly what we did today.  Merc said he knew where there were a couple of nice size bows and it was decided to work our way to that channel. 

Merc would start things off by drawing first blood with a trout on his first cast.  Scott caught a bow rather quickly as Van worked the water below First Falls.  Van had landed a couple of trout earlier in the day.  As for me, my first two trout ended up being quick releases.

Merc and Scott decided to pursue the nice trout Merc had reported.  Merc landed a really nice one and Scott caught a really beautiful and fat bow also. 

While Van was fishing a bluff, Merc caught up with me and we decided to head upstream.  On the way, I told Merc about a run I use to love to fish five or six years ago.  I loved to fish it because it always yielded bows and nobody ever fished this pretty run of water.  However, the last four or five years the trout simply have not been there because of low flow.  The river was up however and the flow much better and today this seemed to make a difference.

As Merc was working his nymph magic with an upstream cast and his mending prowess he thought he was seeing risers.  I went upstream and scouted for him and sure enough... trout were rising.  It was about that time a bow took Merc's indicator down to the depths.  I cast my brown bugger in a seam and a bow came to me.  Merc plucked a couple of more and I did the same.  Van came up and caught a bow on his first drift and Scott soon followed suit.  We had found the hole.

Now Merc is one dandy fly fisher and today he brought his favorite rod to Blue River - a 9 ft. Scott.  The Scott was certainly doing it's job and I watched the beauty of this cracker jack rod.  However, sometimes a little bad luck comes the way of the fly fisher. 
As I was working a seam I heard Merc say something to the tune of, "I just broke my damn rod!" so I turned my attention downstream and there was Merc holding two pieces of the Scott - one piece in each hand. 
As he stood there looking at his dismantled rod his fly was still in the river when the indicator disappeared beneath the surface.  So... what does Merc do?  He lands the trout my hand - it was almost primitive in a sense. 
I cringe at the thought of breaking a rod like a Scott, but Merc took it all in stride since there's a lifetime warranty with this dandy. 
When you're with good company and having fun fly fishing time seems to fly by.  Today was such a case and three hours passed like thirty minutes.  Merc had to get back to Texas and the rest of us needed to go also.
We could not have asked for a prettier day fishing post season trout on the Blue River. 


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dear Carp - Salvation Arrives

Dear Carp,

Oh sweet beasts... has salvation finally arrived for us?  Has not the rain of the last several days been the most pleasant gift we could ever hope to receive? 

On Sunday morning around the hour of five you were on my mind as the hail stone bounced off the roof of the place I live.  I kept wondering how you react when the hail penetrates the film of your home. 

Good news sometimes comes in in buckets and the rain looks to be coming in this fashion over the next week or so.  We may be saved my friends.

Today, I spent the day tying your new offerings... new gifts... because I sense you have become weary of the same presents we have been bring you over the last several years.  I hope you like what I've come up with. 

You may be wondering about Charlie.  Charlie is abroad so to speak and I am sending you this postcard.

Look at him would you?  Sitting and basking in the high desert sun of San Miquel de Allende with a big cigar in his mouth.  Guess we will have to start calling him Senor Charlie.  You're probably asking the same question as I - "Where's the sombrero?" 
Charlie and sweet Cheri are having the time of their life at a time they should be.  However, Charlie has learned to be true what I told him about this place.  Even as enchanted as it is... there are no carp in San Miquel de Allende.
I am sure he will be excited to see the lot of you quite soon. 
The rains will keep me from you for a week or ten days... and without hurting your feelings... I don't mind this at all.
Prairie Ocean Fly Fisher