Saturday, December 19, 2009

High Noon Skunk Off

You know the saying " Everything is just perfect".  Well sometimes things are too perfect.  I arrived at the Blue yesterday after watching a beautiful sunrise driving up from Texas.  Compared to my last Blue visit in a downpour, I felt like I was due a " Bluebird" day on the river.  Too perfect you say??  Yup, pulled in the lot north of 7 and I was the only one there.  As a matter of fact, never saw another person in the C&R yesterday and I had the river to myself.  Too perfect you say??

Ladies and Gents, the C&R has always been good to me.  I have had 30 fish days and 10 fish days but I never have had a problem getting into fish upon my arrival.  Did I mention something about too perfect.  I digress.  I road in on the Trout Cruiser looking for fun with the Rainbows in the Blue.

I found the area totally to myself and decided to hit my honey holes in the middle section before I explored the lower end for the first time this year.  The only problem was I never had a strike. NOT ONE.  Wow this was rare and I soon found myself talking to myself.  And no answers seemed to work.  I threw everything, and still nothing.  I had figured with the abundance of water this year like no other previous year in the C&R, that the fish had decided to spread out and yes they have.  The water is so damn clear, you almost see down to the bottom of some of the pools below the falls.  Thinking outside of the box is what it is going to take this year folks to get the tugs you came for. 

Here came 10:30 and 11:00 and then I glanced again at my watch from the lower area.  11:15 and no tugs.  What in the world is happening up here I asked.   Nothing in the lower so I decided to hit the upper section.  I have never failed to hit fish there so up I went.  I went to my favorite perch on the island below the falls where I showed Eric a week or so ago and still nothing.  I was now perplexed and cussing.  Okay,  the fish have moved.  I worked my way down river and the back up above the falls.  Yup friends, the fish are ABOVE the falls too and the Red Copper John took the skunk off.  My watch read 12:00 and hence the title, " High Noon Skunk Off".  Thought about this title right then and went with it.  Here is the hook jawed male that took the skunk off.

I am not that much into fish counts folks but the day ended up at 7 fish.  All on red and blue copper johns, soft hackles in various colors and the olive booger.  Good new all fish were of size with the largest about 18" and close to 4 lbs.  Not one tug on the pheasant tail which has been the producer this year on my previous trips.  Sightfishing is in on the Blue so do it while you can with this clear water.  Had a take on this fish I spotted in one of the channels that I will not soon forget.  See the fish, watch him eat and set the hook.  NICE!!

I will wrap up this trip with a couple of cool pics from a fish who just HAMMERED the olive booger.  Nothing like the tug on a streamer.  Make sure you are using 4x folks up here when stripping boogers.  Use 5X and you can kiss these fish goodbye. 


Thanks for checking in everyone and have a great Holiday Season.  Good fishing everyone and have fun out there. 



Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Day Late and Two Layers Short

Ever had one of those fishing days where you should have never gotten out of bed.  Late to bed, too much to drink the night before and you had all the gear you needed in your truck....but did not pack it.  And oh yeah   " The damn camera is in the back seat along with your clothes".  

Well the title of the post says it all.

Meeting my bud Eric Jackson at the C&R and I was committed.  Trust me, the headache from my sister's dinner party Saturday night was ever present and if I had not told Eric I would be there, this post would not exist.

Arrived at the corrals at 8.30 sharp.  Wished he was late so I could cat nap but damn Eric, you are too prompt.  No go on the nap.  We geared up and got the bikes ready for the ride in.  Did I tell you I forgot the camera??

I regress.  Ready to roll and I look at Eric.  My truck door is locked and keys in my donned backpack..        " Maybe I should get my vest and another layer".  Of course I don't.  A mistake for sure.

Scattered clouds turn to steady rain the C&R.  This was catching weather and the results did not disappoint. Did I tell you I forgot the camera ??.

And to the fish that took me into the backing, thanks very much!!  That was a sweet one and there were some more to follow as well.  Would have made a nice photo.

Did I tell you I forgot the camera ??

Steady rain and cold........I mean COLD!!! This reigned the day but Eric and I had a blast, although a chilly blast at that.

Sorry no pics.  Did I tell you I forgot the layers ?? They would have come in much more handy than the camera.  Until next time,

Cheers and " Fish ON"


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Blue Plate Special

The Trout Season is Here!! That is for us trout river challenged folks here in Texas. This time of year is my favorite as the day trips to the Blue River in OK get  into full swing.

I met my buddy Ryan for the initial trip to the Blue this Friday for a little C&R action. I was really excited to see the river again in its glory with the word of higher flows and deeper pools from the rains. Man does the Blue look GREAT!! In one word...YES and she is as clear as I have ever seen her.

Folks that fish the C&R will be glad to see lots of water for the fish to spread out.  The fish now have some new holding areas in the side channels and it was really cool to see 17" holding for sight fishing opportunities. It is going to be a good season everyone.

Here is one of the pics that I took of one of the fighting bows.  Fish were taking pheasant tails, copper johns, olive boogers and midge larve.  With the overcast skies there were some size 16-18 Mayflies hatching but no fish looking up.  Keep adjusting that split shot and indicator to get the right depth and you will have a blast.

My day ended by meeting the Lady Blue Ambassador, Barry Schrader and Miss Carol.  Pleasure to meet you again Carol.  Barry and I had arranged a fly swap so we hooked up at 17.  He and I share the love for this area as it is a great place to work on line control and your nymphing  techniques.  Barry had quit for the day as I was a few minutes late.  He and Carol decided to watch me fish for a few and I was getting REAL nervous as drift after drift went by with no fish.  Finally with pressure mounting, I was able to land one of new inhabitants at the Blue and I had a sigh of relief.  Barry, thanks again for your work on the vise and tie on one of those "Shuka Khan's " as it is a great PM fly for emerging midge and mayflies. 

Everyone have a great season on the Blue.  I plan to!!

Cheers and good fishing,


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall at the San Juan October 09

Made another trip to my " home " river back in October. I have been VERY remiss in posting here on FFP blog. As you can see, I am a fall and winter fisherman primarily and as the golf season took from April till now, my blogging went to heck. I did a couple of trips this summer but with work and such, I have just not made the time to blog.

BT and the Camp Bitch met me at the Juan along with Kevin Haney, the CB's brother. Kevin is a great dude and it was cool to turn him on to our Juan trips full of fishing, great food and cocktails.

Fall on the Juan is one of my favorite times to be on the river. Cooler temps, crisp mornings and the potential Baetis hatch breakout. As you can see in the pic below we had golf weather for fishing so the hatch was not on and the catching was slow for San Juan standards.

Rusty(CB) loves to get in the boat and Chip made his boat available for us on Saturday of the trip. I had one 17" fish on a ULTRA SLOW take on the CDC Compardun and it will be a take I will not forget. Rusty got hot and Chip, well Chip always hooks fish. He could have had a couple on the "Toon" but forgot that " God save the Queen thing".

Chip and Aaron made dinner that night with us for drinks, tying bugs and the Killer tenderloin. And yes it was killer. Great marinade Bill.

Billy hooked some nice fish as usual with just a few tugs on the streamer this trip. With high skies and blue bird days, it was far from streamer weather but here is a piggy that was looking for a cheeseburger and pics from Bill and I in the Upper Flats.

All in all another great trip to the Juan. Although the fish were few on Sunday, good friend and guide Bubba Smith and his significantly better half, Deb, floated the Lower River. If you have not done this, it is a must. Absolutely beautiful water down there, it is a shame there are no regulations on this 11 mile float. The fishing down there can be extremely fickle but the times it is on, it is on top, all the time. Big hoppers and stimmy's do the trick down there so keep it in mind when you have time and need a change of pace from the Quality Waters. Be sure to hire someone who knows the take out because if you miss it, say hello to Blanco.

Take care everyone and good fishing.



Thursday, April 30, 2009

Broken Bow Blast

Lower Mountain Fork River below Broken Bow Reservoir

It was mid April and post winter trout fishing is in full swing. It had been a month or so since my last hook up and I was Jones ING!! Bad. My golf swing has been more on my mind but I needed a trout fix.

My new fishing bud Eric had mentioned that there was room in a cabin on a late weekend in April and I was in. Eric's friend Tom was with him and a truer gentlemen there is not. Tom introduced Eric to fly fishing about 7 years ago, ironically about the same time my friends Mark Cranmer and Tom Herrick had gotten me started. What a wild trip it has been?

When you trout jones in Texas, coldwater options are few, but the Lower Mountain Fork in SE Oklahoma is like going to Colorado, exept a little warmer. Here is a pic from the river.

The fishing was hot Saturday with many fish to the net. Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tails and especially soft hackles were ripping lips. Fishing was fun but dinner and cocktails were to follow.
Tom is a consummate story teller and in his 72 years, has many great tales of adult life that were captivating. A really super guy that I hope I fish with again soon. This was one of the victims on Saturday to a Red Copper John.

Sunday was a little slower but fished some new water, found some solitude and even figured out Zone II with Boogers and the dreaded Skulpzilla. Nothing big but the streamer tug is always a good one. I still have my truck but this trip I debuted the new rig:


This rig worked like a charm combined with 25 mpg and smooth on the highway, I am very pleased with my purchase.

Well another great trip that ended too soon. Will make this one again soon. Eric, thanks for the invite and cheers to you, Tom and the Fork.

Fish On!!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Winter Days on the Juan

I am a lot belated on posting this blog but I want to drive home one point immediately. You must fish the San Juan River in the Winter......WHY you ask?? Well just check the photo below.

Yes my friends, that is the Upper Flats. Can you count the number of people....YES THAT IS ONE! On the Tuesday of the trip, I was the ONLY PERSON IN THE C&R AREA.

How often does that happen. I had the entire upper river to myself and was busting those bows with Black bead wing emergers, eggs and leeches.
Worked down to the Upper Flats and made some tosses at the surfacing fish. As usual, the Griffiths Gnat was spot on.

Of course with a famous tailwater all to myself, I was all smiles. My favorite
fish of the trip, could not resist to smile back.

Yep that is Smilie and in the main channel he fought hard and long. A sweet 20 incher that was icing on the cake for a great trip.

Thanks to Chip, Aaron, Zim, Philthy, James and Debbie for some great company.
Oh yeah, the Bubster was there and thanks for taking me out on the boat and coming to dinner.
Until next time, go fish the Juan in the winter.

No one will be there.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Journey to the South-Blue River OK

Well folks as many times that I have fished the Blue River, a day drive from the house, I have rarely crossed that gate in to the Southern Wilderness north of the campgrounds. After a afternoon recently in the C&R, I decided the next morning to hit the "new" area for me. I was pleasantly surprised at the diverse terrain to fish there. I found fish in the riffles but as is accustomed to the Blue, I found most of my fish there in the slack water and pools above and below the falls.

The trout were a willing bunch into lunchtime on a tandem midge rig with a tan pupa and red Merc Flash emerger as the flys of the am. The red color was the popular fly under an indicator early and as the morning progressed and mayflies hit the water, the Phesant Tail took over and the fish went nuts. As Barry and Charlie have recently posted, the terrain here is varied and you can find your own little piece of solitude.

All in all a very fun morning of hooking trout. I was looking for the big Mizzou's which I did not find in this area but the 10-12 inch fish that I landed were fun and full of spunk. I am a catch and release only guy, but a few of these fish would have been a perfect compliment to an omelette with breakfast. For those of you wanting to see some new terrain and looking to find a piece of your own water for a few hours, you cannot go wrong with this piece of the Blue.

Cheers and Good fishing everyone,


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Southern Tailwater in Texas

Guadulupe River, Sattler Tx.

I had the pleasure this week to return to the Guadalupe River in Sattler Texas, the southern most trout fishing tailwater in North America. This river yielded my first fish on a fly rod some six years ago. The addiction started there and has only grown. Had the chance to fish with a couple of friends Lance Murdock and Tom Herrick, one of the guys who got me rolling in fly fishing.

We were on the water early and had a hook up early. Boy the fish are broad shouldered and fat, some hold overs and some new stockers. The river is very low and the fish are holed up in pools and much like the Blue in OK, this river needs rain. Keep praying please!!

Fish were on the small stuff and broke out the San Juan Box and the Shucka Khan for the first fish of the day.

I covered a bunch of ground in the am at Pott's and really enjoyed the exploration. Sight fished to a couple of nice trout for fifty or so casts with no takes so I continued to move up and hook up. The river is low and clear and the Osprey are ready for any shallow water meals. Continued nymphing the tandem rig and the Shuck continued to produce.

I really enjoyed the return trip to the Guad. Anyone who has not tried to get there and fish it is a must. The GRTU chapter has done an excellent job of stocking the river in conjunction with Texas Parks and Wildlife. The flow arrangements they have forged with the Corp of Engineers has kept the water cool enough towards the dam to keep some holdover trout. With a little more water this spring, I would love to break out the Watermaster and float this bad boy.

Last pic for you was the Big Hooked Jaw Male I landed. Beautiful Fish, Beautiful Place.



Monday, January 5, 2009

Chilly Day on the Blue

Well the day was windy and chilly but we had the C&R area all to ourselves. I met my buddy Ryan and his dad John around 9 am for a day to fish our favorite area on the Blue. Wind was whipping and the fishing was tough. It took creativity and diving into all three of my boxes to find the ticket to catch these fish. Pablo's Shucka Khan emerger and Soft Hackles were the flies of the day. Both produced results and all the fish were the largest of the season. The fish seem to be eating well and the largest was pushing 17".

Ryan and did some exploring in the lower C&R area which is just some great streamer water. At the last falls it just looks like a perfect place to launch the Watermaster and I just may have to do that one of these days. Ryan located a crawdad (can you say smallmouth) that was pushing 6 inches long. Very impressive speciman, see below.

All in all, another interesting and enjoyable day on the river. My impression although we have had no rain that the river was up a little and the water was just stained enough that somehow more water had appeared in this area. Some of the sides of the falls where there was no trickle no had moving water. Who knows, Ryan and I both agreed on this.

Until next time.