Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Good Timing

Scott had already arrived when I pulled into the parking area of the catch and release section. How long he'd been on the water was a mystery to me, but my hope was that he was finding the rainbows.  It was ten in the morning when I opened the back hatch of the white wagon and laid all my gear on the ground.  It didn't take long to strap, snap, and hang everything I needed to fish.  I ducked under the pipe rail fence and began the long walk to the river.

My walk yesterday morning was measured, but at the same time deliberate.  I walked with a hung head because of heavy things on my mind.  For me, the walk to the catch and release area is an arduous one to begin with.  Not a lot of scenery as you go unless you like native grasses and scrub oak.  Walking is not what I mind, but I do prefer to walk alongside the river. The river is what I love, more than native grasses, or trees, and even the trout.

Although I was deep in thought about other things, I wasn't completely inattentive of the things around me.  A good example is the good size paw print impressed in the middle of the road.  A fair size animal made this track and the question came to mind whether Boone and his best friend Josie had recently made a trip to the catch and release.  Josie is a big enough dog to make such an impression.

Finally arriving at the catch and release I begin at the middle section.  With the Brown Bugger and a Pink Frenchie following, the first cast was made and a bow ate the Frenchie. 
I would go on to catch another bow with the Frenchie, but to tell you the truth the fishing wasn't all that great... so far.  I walked to the far side to try and find Scott, but he wasn't fishing the middle evidently.  I started to go downstream a whit, but then decided to check the top first.  It was almost noon now, and that's when the stocking truck showed up.
Scott was at the top fishing off the middle part of the near side falls.  He had already caught a couple of bows using the Frenchie and Red Midge.  Clint with the wildlife department started dumping the trout in and it seemed like he dumped a good number.  Generally, I don't like to fish on a stocking day. It seems to be these newly stocked trout need time to acclimate and they are too busy exploring, and rejoicing in their new home.  You can almost sense their happiness and almost hear them scream, "Freedom!"  Freedom... at least for a short while.
Within a half hour Scott hooked up with the first of two nice bows back to back.  I stopped fishing and ran to where he was to shoot a short video.

This bow and the next one Scott landed were beautiful, fat trout that measured sixteen inches.  If I remember correctly one took the Red Midge while the other ate a yellow egg pattern. 


Yesterdays stocking was a mixed bag according to Clint.  Some of these trout were from Nebraska, while others came from Arkansas.  I saw a lot of quality fish yesterday, but there are a number of stockers that will measure twelve inches also.

Merc and Charlie would arrive shortly after the noon hour.  When I caught up with Merc he had just released a 18 inch bow and on his way to look for more.  Charlie had caught trout and later on I would see him battling a bow that he had enticed with an Adams.  I armed Charlie with the Frenchie and I believe later he told me he had taken another fish with it.  Later in the day, two Frenchies went to Merc also.

The river today was super clear - as clear as I've ever seen her.  Thinking back about yesterday, the thing to have done was to go small on size.  I watched trout spook when they saw my fly line coming. 

Unfortunately I would have to start back to the parking area around 2 o'clock to get back to the mercantile store where things are real peachy right now.  I didn't want to leave the river and good friends, but sometimes things don't work out. I didn't catch a lot of trout today, but did catch some quality trout.  At the end, six bows had become known to me.  The Frenchie took five of them, but the Brown Bugger took the largest of the day.  Brown Bugger was feeling pretty good about himself.

As I walked out, with my head still down, and that measured gait, I came upon something else on the road.  I guess this fellow decided to come out of his mud hole and got stuck.  He sure would have made a good meal for a small mouth. 


Dain Wise said...


Sounds like you've been able to get out and spend a lot of time on the water lately. I'm quite envious, and hoping to do the same on Saturday. I've had some success at the lower illinois fly fishing, but I know that river a little better. I've been skunked on the fly so far at the blue, however. I think part of that stems from being new to fly fishing, as well as not knowing the blue as well as the illinois. I haven't been to the south wilderness area either. I ran into one of your acquaintances at bass pro last week, and that was where he suggested we try our luck. I think his name was Donny. I'm not great with names, so forgive me if that's not it. He was a younger guy, maybe early thirties or so, and from Ada. Anyways, I was just hoping to see if you had any tips for fishing that area, and possibly get some fly ideas. I know that midges hatch during the winter, so I've stocked up on zebra midges. Is the frenchie a midge pattern? I couldn't quite tell if it was a midge or a nymph. Anyways, would you recommend that fly for Saturday? It doesn't look too difficult to tie. Are there any other flies or patterns that you'd recommend? The fishing report suggested elk hair caddis, but it's too early for a caddis hatch right? I appreciate any advice that you have as I'm quite new to the sport and find it daunting at times to soak up all the information there is out there.



Barry said...

I do know a Donny, but he is well past 30 and he is a real tall guy. I think Eugene was at bass pro and it may have been him.

Zebra midges and red midge larva are a must carry on blue river. I usually fish mine as a trailer underneath a streamer or nymph. The Frenchie is a nymph pattern and I trail it also. I've been using size 14, but with the river as clear as gin I may start using size 16 and 18. Yes, I would fish the Frenchie on your next trip and don't forget the standards like Pheasant Tails, Hare's Ears and such. Pack some Rainbow Warriors and Prince Nymphs. You need to check the south wilderness out. Each trash barrel is a stocking point so fish the water around and between the trash barrels. Send me an email at and I will give you directions to get up there.