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.



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.


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


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.


*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 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.

Monday Morning Sidewalk – Wet After a Stormy Night

| July 24, 2017 | 0 Comments

Texas tarpon talk and Texas Insider Fishing Report stoking the fires

Good Monday Morning! What a surprise that rain storm was for us here in the DFW area last night! Thunder, lightning and rain – the works. I was awake at about 4am, and checked the radar … that cell seemed to be feeding off the concrete heat as it dissipated like a magician in a puff of smoke. Strange days (and nights) indeed.

It was fun watching the TEXAS INSIDER FISHING REPORT on Fox Sports Southwest, and their segment on Texas tarpon. That’s a story I want to start working on this year, but their analysis puts them 3 miles offshore and dead center (now between the Galveston Ship Channel and SLP) off the beach. Houston, we (I) have a problem! Their history lesson matched my historic perspective on the modern Texas Tarpon population (dams are the problem that forever changed our Texas Tarpon population). Without those dams? I would never have left the Texas Gulf Coast from my childhood, and wouldn’t be sitting here writing this either.

I would love to go on and on about a fishy weekend, but you guys know I don’t fish on the weekend. But I am fishing today, and probably a couple more days this week! Based on the TEXAS INSIDER FISHING REPORT, I like the looks of PK lake and night fishing on Grapevine is calling my name … heck, night fishing anywhere is better than this heat! I’m looking for riders.

Have a great week folks. I appreciate all the great photos coming in from everyone — and you will see those on the InstaFishFeed – unless you say otherwise. There are so many coming in now, that I can’t actually run them all! I apologize for that, but I have to edit for quality and repetition. PLEASE take the best photo you can, and use a camera whenever possible!

Thanks for reading!

Texas Fly Fishing Report – Texoma Striper Action Easy to Find NOW

| July 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Spotlight on Lake Texoma Striper summer action on fly – all you need to know right now!


Lake Texoma Striper on Fly 2017HOT

If you are looking for a break from the heat, don’t head to North Texas! It’s crazy hot here now, and that heat has evacuated the flats where I fish the most – on Lake Ray Roberts.

I just love throwing down definitive words, like “evacuated,” because it triggers a response from lurkers who make it their mission to prove me wrong. They go out, torture themselves, in adverse conditions … and sure enough … they blast the airwaves with their proof of life, and superior abilities. All I can say today; you go boys and girls!

Texoma Striper FishingTexoma striper (August 2013) when guest on board with C.Keating. 


I was off Texoma before the high heat of the North Texas afternoon yesterday. My plans to redeye to the coast were waylaid earlier in the week, when I should have left, for the 800-mile round trip.

There were enough photos of striper on social media outlets, that the seed of chasing the saltwater fish on a North Texas lake seemed the most viable alternative. All I had to do is find these constantly moving fighters. That’s always the rub with Texoma’s striper population.

Dink striper are everywhere – from the release waters below Possum Kingdom lake, the release waters at Texoma’s Denison Dam along the Red River, and by the hundred-thousands on Lake Texoma proper.

Based on my extensive memory banks of fishing history stored here (not in my head), I recalled a time, about this time of year, when the striper “blacked out” the electronics of the boat I was on – along a fairly short area next to, and parallel to the dam.

The great thing about that location, on a lake as huge as Texoma, is that it is close to a boat ramp – right up against the dam at the Lake Texoma Spillway ramp, which costs $5 to use and is operated by the USACE. So bring your fiver and a pen to fill out the envelope!


The first thing you’ll want to know is: If you are hunting striper on Texoma, there are two ways to do it – 1) look for birds (which is inconsistent and seasonal), and, 2) use ELECTRONICS to locate fish. Let’s see … rely on birds or space-age technology? I will take the technology, and watch for birds. Is that the right answer BoB?

If you have never heard the word, “Blackout,” it’s a term for when the imaging on the electronics shows a school of fish so dense that it blacks out the sonar image with a solid mass of fish off the bottom of a lake. I’ve seen a few blackouts, and seeing them on electronics is a lot like when you are playing a video game and you’re headed toward your personal best, or have just beaten your personal best and have one space ship left to blast with. It’s a rush.

I didn’t see any blackouts on my Helix 5DI-SI yesterday, but in talking to guys at the ramp, they were more experienced with the location, and made the call “blackout” within 100-yards of the ramp (location 1 for you!).

What I did see Thursday morning was a slow start that hit speed about 11:30am. At that time I was beginning to see “strands” of fish on the Helix, but the reason I call it a “strand” is because they were (unless I was off to one side or the other) in narrow moving bands along the original river bed in an area from Perot’s to the launch (location 2 for you!). I saw occasional surface push action, given away by the splashing and almost instant appearance of birds.

I moved back along the dam about 10am, and ran electronics in regular sonar, and side-down scan – in multiple lines parallel to the dam. The height of the dam on the lake side gives you an idea that the depth drops off steeply and the fish can be holding up next to the dam to exponentially more depth – just 20-30 yards away from the dam rocks. BEWARE – There are what are called “turnouts” on the dam where piles of rocks were left extended off the dam for the original construction trucks to turn around after dumping their loads (a major structure for smallmouth bass catching by the way).

Since I didn’t see anything on the imaging, I went back to the boat launch area, down-scanned and waited for the fish to come. In a classic whack-a-mole move, as soon as I got to the launch I saw massive topwater action – about 1/2 mile long and 200-yards wide, just off (west) the dam by about 1//4 mile off the dam (location 3 for you!), and that was 11:30am – birds and all. I powered up and chased, but high winds shut down fly casting in the wide open middle lake. In all the action I saw, most of the surface blows looked like dinks. There was one exception and the were closer to the Oklahoma side, and all were big and the size of that school was smaller than the rest (their lip smacks flew a foot in the air). I think that would be what you would want to hit, but I was too far away and the whole thing was happening in seconds.

I caught one dink there with a silver spoon before they went down (and I thought) to hole-up at the dam. I ran the dam again, but still no blackout. It was starting to get hot, and I was running low on fuel, so I decided to get close to the ramp and scan there, but one boat (the one that made that “blackout” call) was on the only school around. So you can ASSUME that the schools are small and tight. And you’ll have to follow them as they move, and they can move FAST.

Here’s my list of tips for striper on fly on Texoma right now:

  • A kayak will do the job
  • Location – Perot’s to the spillway ramp
  • Time – be there at sunup and don’t plan to be there after 3 (unless they are biting of course!)
  • ELECTRONICS – See the Fish
  • Full sinking fly lines
  • Big bait patterns weed out the dinks (flies 5-inches or longer!)
  • Sharp hooks
  • Heavy rods
  • Fluorocarbon leaders – less than 10#? – take you take your chances (straight 15-20)
  • Super fast retrieve
  • Visual – birds and blowups are your only option without electronics
  • Visual – Birds will land and stop onshore BEFORE the fish blow up nearby!
  • Set yourself up ahead of the action – think about waiting (on the spot) for that 11:30am mass off the center of the dam
  • SAFETY FIRST – This is a huge lake that can turn on a dime. Take all precautions and a marine radio
  • Take your kid or a youth who needs to see and catch fish – THIS IS the action they will remember

This pattern includes a water temperature of 84-degrees at the surface (July 20, 2017). I think that as the water heats up further down, that previous pattern – fish below the thermocline, holed-up at the dam – will kick in. You won’t see much, if any, surface action in those temperatures – dinks perhaps.

Good luck! A full day is probably a waste of time, but the evening bite can be good without warning. This is what WAS happening. You tell me what IS happening now!

Where the Buffalo Roam

| June 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

buffalo smallmouth on fly

lake bridgeport texas buffalo on fly

I’ll be honest, I know a rarity for a fisherman, and tell you; I don’t really know how the buffalo smallmouth got its name. And with the huge compression of my hourly time starting now, I am going to leave that answer for you to find and report to us here.

What I do know about the great slime buffalo is that their numbers, since I have been aware of them roaming, have grown to extraordinary proportions on Lake Ray Roberts, Texas. And after a foray to Lake Bridgeport yesterday, I can say their numbers there are almost as fantastic as they are in Ray Roberts.


I launched from the public County Park up close to Chico yesterday afternoon, and never started the motor before hitting this Bridgeport Lake TPWD fly record yesterday – just around the corner from the launch. I was hopeful on seeing the numerous mud clouds that this big guy was actually a common carp (a better eater) than a buffalo, but once I had a visual … it was actually a big letdown.

YOU SEE catching a buffalo is a matter of making lightning strike at the point of your fly. First, the fly has to show up at the right depth – dead bottom. Then the fly has to be palatable to the buffalo. Then the buffalo, buffalo smallmouth technically, has to HOOVER your fly. The odds are stacked against you. The wrong depth, too garish a fly, movement, lining the fish, mood — one of these typically steps in to divert the lightning strike. Okay, really they don’t strike light lightning, but you understand what I mean. I am always as surprised as they are when I actually hook a buffalo, it’s that rare.

MAKE NO MISTAKE though, buffalo do have a small window where they do actually “feed” like a fish. I hit that window more than once, and most memorable was a catch of a double-digit buffalo at the release area below Texoma’s Denison Dam – right up against the dam on the Oklahoma side several years back. I wasn’t dealing anything a buffalo would want, but this buffalo was definitely on the feed. I am under the impression they feed around the reproductive cycle for about a week, and if you hit that, you can actually fish for buffalo. That happened to a client last year, and he made lightning strike two times in an afternoon.


For the most part, with the fantastic view from the casting deck, I have to talk clients OUT OF trying to cast for the great buffalo. The time it takes, and the likelihood of a take are so remote, that I encourage us to move on from buffalo hunting to our real objective – common carp. But, if I am out on my own, with no clock watching, I will put some effort into seeing if there’s anything a buffalo will eat.

Buffalo seem uniquely keen in the bottom-feeding fish world. They have these google-eyes that bulge out enough for them to have extraordinary vision. They are constructed in a more vertical fashion with tall flat sides, than the rounder common carp, and have much more of an “arrow look” with a fork tail and a dorsal that seems more trimmed for speed than fluttered for long pauses of hovering and eating.

Those characteristics lead to a fish that often leaves a long trail of a mud cloud and frequent changes in direction. I can’t tell you how many times I have cast at them only to have them change direction while the fly is still on the sink. I’ve never seen them tailing, and until yesterday I had never seen one with a back out of the water. I believe habitat has a lot to do with that.

Another characteristic that sets the buffalo apart is its indifference. This fish does not scare very easily in comparison to common carp. That just ADDS TO the frustration of casting at them, and although you may heighten their awareness, I often times scare them off intentionally – so I don’t have to look at them anymore!

Most of these characteristics play to the strength of the buffalo. Their only weakness is their extraordinary size. It makes them extremely easy targets for the bow fish killers, and that size is what keeps my clients and friends stepping up to the challenge of catching lightning. By the way, those physical characteristics do make for a great fighting fish.

So how can you catch a great buffalo? The first trick is to find them, and know exactly what you’re looking at when you see them. In the water, they appear darker and have distinctive movements. The TAIL IS THE TELL though. The shape of a buffalo’s tail is so different from a common carp that you will quickly learn to spot them if you concentrate on that one characteristic alone.

After that, you just pound them until one of you gives up. Sorry, but that’s the fly fisherman’s honest truth …

Keeping it Coming – New Carp Prospecting Video Plus Texas Fly Report

| June 23, 2017 | 0 Comments

Carp guide prospecting and Texas Fly Fishing Report Update tropical storm Cindy


The plate was full this week, and with the call to repair a local fly fishing club’s website (down for several days now), my plot only thickens. AND, that’s the way I like it!

Father and Son take a skiff break

I am also getting a pretty good feed of your photographs for the Texas Fly Caster Instagram Feed – running behind, but thank you friends and readers for that! New news-tips are coming in as well, more like “you should check this out” tips really — requiring more legwork, more boat-work and more typing on these keys. Thank Goodness (that’s what I should call my wife, goodness), this half broke-in laptop is now paid off! And just in time to get a check from YouTube for all those ads you watch (so I guess you will now stop watching!).

We have passed the first peak of the carp season, and are moving steadily along to the next one which will be helped along by the rains coming over the next 24-hours.

So this video is a conglomeration of some footage from prospecting for carp in preparation for the two guide trips I did this past week, and at the end is the scroll with commentary, on the Texas Fishing Reports provided by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. I am beginning to wonder about their accuracy based on years of reading, and this week’s UNMENTIONED tropical storm.

Who can blame the folks who assemble those reports really? (It’s the same folks that power the once famous (now dying) The bid for that job, of providing the reports for Texas fishermen, goes to? THE LOWEST BIDDER. The State can make exceptions (Yes, I know that for those of you wonks reading this) to the “Lowest Bidder” for bids, but rarely does.

Whack a Mole Sand Bass Ray Roberts 2017

The thing about Whack-A-Mole sand bass is … at least you don’t get a soggy tush, and you get any kind of bite you want – deep, mid and topwater are all contenders in this game – a game a lot like horseshoes and hand grenades.

Not only did we get on some carp this week, the sand bass are appearing on the lake – on top, and that means a great game of WHACK-A-MOLE for anyone interested — yes I can take you out for that exercise, and you can keep all the legal fish you catch. (No, I don’t clean them.)The sheer numbers, many of you are into that, put other locations to SHAME again this year. I have deals starting the first day of summer, and they’re called SUNDOWNERS – for those fishing, or fly fishing to eat (as I do).

Thanks for reading. I am guessing there’s enough red meat here for those of you who read, and are not on your family “VACA” right now.

If you’re in town, and ready to take the carp ride of your life, you know where to find me, right?


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