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Sniffles of Spring in the Air

| February 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

BEST LAID PLANS – 2018 Texas Lakes on List

Do you feel it? No, not the mountain cedar snot, but the signs of spring … flowers are beginning to try, buds are beginning to try and I am about begin trying to dust the cedar off, and try to tie some flies for this spring’s fly fishing breakout season.

The last two years have been epic for carp on Lake Ray Roberts, Texas, and this season may just be the beginning of a downward trend for that action. Why? Lake levels are still good, but we find ourselves in a drought once again this winter leading into spring 2018. IF THE LAKE WASN’T so high to begin with, the situation would be troubling. As it is, we have good levels leading into the spring rainy season with no predictable monsoons ahead. So down we go. That falling lake is actually a fun ride, and extremely productive for most of the ride down. If we DON’T get rain this year, the season will be over before the pain sets in, and 2019 will be the real falling knife.

Couple a fine carp season with a continuing search for other productive lakes – that continues from 2017 – and will put us smack dab in the heat of carp and bass season on lakes that I waited too long to ply last year. I did manage a few wayward fish on those lakes last year*, but here’s the list for this year:

  • Bridgeport (took a lake record buff there last year)*
  • Kiowa – Private invitation outstanding
  • Texoma*
  • Amon G.
  • Whitney
  • Lewisville*
  • Grapevine*
  • Lake Lavon*
  • Rockwall*
  • Tawakoni*
  • Athens*
  • Purtis Creek State Park
  • Possum Kingdom

The most difficult part of the adventure is leaving tailing carp on Lake Ray Roberts to go and chase fish unknown and unseen and in unknown places. I was enjoying the fly fishing on Ray Roberts so much last year, it put off those lake adventures from last year* until the more difficult part of the season.

Make no mistake, if we can land some lake records this year on these lakes, we’re going to book them.

BODY-MIND-SOUL

So this year, we will leave the known for the unknown – as soon as it turns on on Ray Roberts! That’ll take some intestinal fortitude, but there’s a balance between too difficult and boredom with the predictable — that went out of balance last year. We will be calling it “Creative Balance,” and will be going in depth on this topic under the Body-Mind-Soul heading in 2018.

Shutdown Monday Morning Couldn’t Be Any Better – PLUS Dealing With Devil’s

| January 22, 2018 | 1 Comment

Check Your TP Before You Sit Down

Good Shutdown Monday Morning! Do you feel it? Did you have to get your own roll of toilet paper before diving into the stall in your Federal government building bathroom? Now that you’e seated and enjoying the view – of your screen – on a Monday where the sky is not falling, and we will all get along fine during this continuing debacle.

IT IS TIME for some good questions though. Do these antique politicians get paid to not do their jobs? When the government “shuts down” do these fat cats still get paid? Why should they?

Politics. Politics are the third rail of fly fishing (the one that electrocutes you into ash), but there are other sections of the third rail line that are equally deadly to peaceful fly fishing conversation. And that’s why I have tried, successfully in my opinion, to avoid the third rail all these years. Locally, there are plenty of red meat bomb throwers, who just throw out something to generate polarizing debates. I always call those guys out.

CONFESSED: RED MEAT BOMB-THROWER

This past weekend, mostly to see who is actually looking and following on Instagram, I threw out a red-meat-bomb. It was a simple photograph of an auto window sticker, reading, “Does Your TRUMP STICKER Make You Feel Stupid Yet?” and it lit a fuse that burned through a record (for me) 33 comments and paltry 26 likes. I wish there was a “dislike” for fairness. It enlightened me. My “takeaway” is that people actually LOOK at the images on Instagram feeds, and the folks that comment fall into two distinct categories – I Got Money, and Now I Got More Money, and two, the other side that realizes exactly what all this great income is actually costing the environment, the future and their children’s future.

For goodness sake, why can’t we all just Rodney King (for young readers that means “get along”)? The only politics I care about are those that have a direct effect on fly fishing. I know I am done and gone as an economic force – as long as no one cares about, and understands and supports the values of quality, creativity and integrity.

And politics – State of Texas politics – leads US to what will be the longest discussion about, arguably, the most political geography in Texas – THE DEVIL’S RIVER! I was talking to family at a recent gathering and a couple of cousins have boys that are the right age for a Devil’s River trip, and are familiar with that area from behind a rifle scope (hunting leases in the region). The time may well be right …

THE DEVILS RIVER

So taking on the last great wild ride in Texas is a bit daunting to me. In my mind, I see it as my own personal “health statement” about just how well I have healed, and as I see age 60 off in the distance … the time seems right.

Let the gathering of information begin! If YOU KNOW ANYTHING about the Devil’s River, if you have done the Devil’s River, I would sure like to know about it. I know the situation on the ground there – has changed in recent years. But I don’t really know exactly how it has changed. I am going to reach out to people I have seen have done the Devil’s – people like Alvin Dedeaux (check out that Devil’s YETI video), and Thomas Flemons at Diablo Paddlesports. I know there are more people than that, but I will start there (and try to jog my memory at the same time).

I am cautiously optimistic that I can make this trip happen, and if you are interested in making this trip – let me know. This is starting from scratch though … the Devil’s is in the details.

Oklahoma Report: Blue River A Frozen Mystery

| January 5, 2018

Fish Jumping on the Blue River This Weekend

Conditions & Flies That Surprise – The Tequeely

For those of you looking for a crack in this weekend weather, it’s here. I do have some new information on the Blue River and Beaver’s Bend Oklahoma.

I’m a writer and not mathematician, but I am okay at addition and subtraction. It looks like to me Beaver’s Bend is getting about half the trout stockings

that the Blue River is getting as of the last official numbers on the last stocking date. I never thought I would see that! Maybe it’s always that way during certain times of the season, and I will leave it to you to correct me if this is normal. If stocked fish are your illness, then a short trip to the Blue River seems to be your cure.

AND I have heard that the Blue River fish are eating big flies! So throw your 16’s and 18’s if you like, but word out is that small fish imitations are the ticket to paradise. This means a #6 white Clouser and better yet have a look at the TeQueely Streamer fly for your solution to these fish.

 

NOW THE BAD NEWS

The flies, and the stocking information is yours to do with as you see fit. The bad news is – reports say the Blue River is virtually frozen over.

So there’s that to deal with.


HERE IS THE LATEST PRESS RELEASE from Barry Shrader

Blue River Fly Classic 2018

General Information

Date Of Event: March 3rd, 2018

  • Place: Blue River Public Fishing And Hunting Area
  • Time Of Event: 7:30 a.m. till 12:30 p.m.
  • Starting Point: Main Parking Lot Campground Area Blue River
  • Blind Pairings Will Be Prior To Start Of Event
  • Entry Fee: $35.00 Per Contestant

Purpose:

The purpose of the Blue River Fly Classic is two-fold. First, the mission of this event is create a day of greater fellowship among the fly fishing community on Blue River. Secondly, this event is designed as a fund raising event with the totality of monies raised by entries fees going directly to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife in support of the Catch and Release section at Blue River. Funds will be monitored by and through the Blue River Association.

Rules:

*A same pattern will only be used. NOTE: Contestants will be given one fly. An additional fly can be purchased (see below).

*All contestants will receive the same pattern and the pattern will remain a mystery until the start of the event. When a contestant loses the fly (or flies) then that contestant is out. If the contestant loses the fly (or flies) and wishes to continue fishing for the sake of fishing, then that contestant must turn their score card over to the person they are paired with. One additional fly can be purchased and used for this event for $10.00.

*Contestants will be allowed to retie their fly, but must notify their partner they are doing so.

*Dry flies as strike indicators will not be allowed.

*Scored fish are fish brought to hand. Each contestant must alert their partner when a fish is brought to hand.

*Each contestant is responsible for keeping their own score card.

*Each contestant should devise a way for measuring fish that are caught. Length of each fish scores additional points.

*This entire event is based on the honor system.

*Deadline for entering is February 10th 2018.

A copy of the general information, rules, and entry form will be available January 1st, 2018. To obtain an entry form contact [email protected] An entry form will be sent to you as an attachment. Print the entry form, fill it out, include payment and mail both in. You will receive a confirmation email once your entry is received.

Prizes:

Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers. Prizes will be announced at a later date.

There will be a number of give-away prizes also in a random drawing.

Cyber Monday Morning Sidewalk Don’t Run

| November 27, 2017

Rainbow trout blue river oklahoma

Separating Fly Facts From Fictions

Good Monday Morning once again! I hope all of you fortunate enough to celebrate last week’s Thanksgiving – did so, and survived, or thrived with gravy on top. I am certainly hobbled beyond any time in the last ten years, with the exception of cancer, from going anywhere for any holidays with my family – none of whom are within range of this blessed North Texas homestead. It’s kind of like the tides; sometimes that’s just the way it goes.

BLACK FRIDAY MAIN EVENT

While I continue to pay the vig there was just enough air in my cell to escape to the Blue River for a few hours on Black Friday. It’s one of those trips that has a long pedigree. Through the years, I did the Blue River in Oklahoma, and when blessed with cash flow, even made it home to see the family in Houston, doing the Black Friday Flounder Run in Galveston more than once.

That flounder run was more than fun, but has been impacted in recent years by our freakish weather, and the ease the meat-eaters have with catching a limit every single day (or two, or three, or however many trips they make to their cars) at Sea Wolf Park.

So with limited time, and extraordinarily limited resources, the Blue River was my ticket to ride. There has been a new crop of fly fishers made aware of my website recently, and I have no doubt many of the newbies will never take the time to HIT THE SEARCH BOX to find out more about the Blue River, so let me start afresh.

  • MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BLUE RIVER – Click that for deeper reading
  • [ppw id=”183911194″ description=”Oklahoma Fly Fishing Information” price=”.25″]
    • The Blue River resides outside Tishomingo, Oklahoma, about 91 miles north of Denton via HWY. 377
    • It has two distinct areas I call 1- Catch-and-Kill (CnK), and the other 2- Catch-and-Release (CnR)
    • Catch-and-Release is where the real fun is — less crowded / better fish / more natural / fantastic scenery / long hike (short bike) – a real adventure.
    • For some strange reason the wise folks at Oklahoma Department of Wildlife don’t stock any brown trout anywhere on the Blue River, although I bet one slips in on stockings.
    • No guiding is allowed to my knowledge, but some legislation was working last spring.
    • Temperature and flow make this a seasonal stocking schedule
    • CnR turns to kill in March (used to be Feb. 29).
    • Regulations on the Blue River are HERE

    The above box is an audio addition to this information that was recorded on the Blue River C-n-R last Friday. You should be able to download the audio, and listen to my eyewitness account of Conditions on the Blue River right now. If the file is not downloadable, just click play for God’s sake!

    DOWNLOAD BlueonBlackFriday

    If you are interested in the week ahead, and perhaps going to the Blue River, I would keep my powder dry … and wait for a lot worse weather, some water to start flowing and some of the CnR stockings to take hold.

    IF YOU want to know more about flies, rods, lines and specifics – just ask!

    MIXED SIGNALS FROM BENDBOW – TELL ME TRULY

    If you are thinking about the other Oklahoma fly fishing spot that is easily reachable from North Texas – BendBow* – then you’ll only get mixed signals. Officially, as of approximately ten days ago there was a problem with one of the gates on the Lower Mountain Fork Dam. It’s a problem that left flows down the spillway and onward, significantly throttled down, and water temperatures went up.

    What’s most interesting is, that in what appears to be a bit of a knee-jerk “marketing reaction,” there quickly (over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend) appeared a glorious slo-mo video of trout being released in the BendBow. Since the two can exist – low flow, and New Zealand size rainbow trout – at the same time, it makes me wonder just a bit about both reports. Make no mistake, a video image on Instagram now qualifies as a report for those who don’t use the written word to file reports.

    Instagram is the “new” Cliff’s Notes of fly fishing, a little more cliche infected, but now (after all these years of doing it myself) in high fly fashion. I am guessing (because no BendBow guides ever take the time to write a response) that it’s a completely legitimate report (of a guide-caught fish), and one with no follow-up whatsoever (meaning a single (1) photogenic fish). Otherwise, there would be more (of those Instagram reports), am I right?

    NOTE TO INSTAGRAM REPORTERS – There’s no ROI for all that time you’re wasting on Instagram. People will still read, if you will write.

    I consider the way Oklahoma stocks trout to be much more beneficial to the State of Oklahoma / fly fishers in comparison to what TPWD does in Texas, although the Blue River is NOT a year-round trout fishery. I see many more children (as a percentage) with parents on the Blue River every year, than I have at the ponds Texas stocks. Here is the Oklahoma Trout Stocking Press Release.

    The official Lower Mountain Fork line from Oklahoma’s Don Groom, Region Fisheries Supervisor, is here – ODWC Update Lower Mountain Fork Flows.


    Thanks for listening or reading this Monday Morning, and if you have something to say in words or decent photographs, please feel free to send it my way! I am always happy to run YOUR REPORTS and STORIES on fly fishing in Texas.

    *”BendBow” is the affectionate name I gave to the area of Oklahoma that is called “Broken Bow” for romantic reasons, and the area called “Beaver’s Bend” park which is actually where the fish are. I just bastardized it into “BendBow” because that’s what a Bow does – Bend.

    [/ppw]

Tuesday’s on My Mind – Blue on Black Plus More on OK Leaves

| November 21, 2017

BLUE RIVER VIDEO LAST SEASON

Happy Holiday week to those of you with actual days off this week! Funny, in this abusive work Country, the bossman can call it a holiday, and then not pay traditional double-time for working the day. It seems that when it comes to humane treatment, “traditional” kindness is out the window these days, doesn’t it? In case you are wondering, there are no laws requiring holiday pay in the good old red-white and blue.

The weather seems to have finally forced our hand into the cold water fly fishing days here in North Texas. For those of you elsewhere? Feel free to laugh at us as we wait for our cars to warm up, double check we have our layers of clothing packed, put it in gear and head for the OK State. The only game in town isn’t, and the game is underway.

If you read the digital tea leaves, you may be getting wind of a couple of things that are taking shape in the Southern Oklahoma scene.

1 – Beaver’s Bend is still suffering with the new version of the LMF. TIP – I hear the browns are concentrated in upper spillway’s deepest pools. That should be pretty clearly doable. Problem is; that leads to merciless pounding of these fish, until finally they are cleaned out or too wise. I would be tempted to throw big meaty flies, but then that’s no original thought either.

2 – It looks like the Blue River is receiving exceptional numbers of stockers, and with great consistency. Unfortunately, just about everybody that fishes these two places reads. You can expect more people at the Blue River than you are used to, perhaps more than ever were there in the past.

I am looking to do the Blue on Black this Friday, and hoping the leaves have fallen, I can find the wind favorable, and fish biting. If you are interested in the Blue River, Friday would be a good day. You are welcome to contact me, and we can figure out the logistics of a Texas Invasion of the Blue River this Friday morning.

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