Kelly Bostian: Fly-fishing event full of surprises
BY KELLY BOSTIAN Outdoors
Thursday, January 03, 2013
1/03/13 at 6:10 AM
Go to Kelly Bostian's blog Original Print Headline: Fly-fishing event full of surprises
If tube flies and articulated shanks are not part of your bass fishing vocabulary, the third annual Oklahoma Fly Fishers Fly Tying Extravaganza may be an eye-opener for you.
Bass fishing and fly fishing are not commonly spoken about in the same sentence, but Oklahoma anglers Randy Calley and Bruce Burton may change that for people who hear their talk at the extravaganza, set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Jan. 12 at the Creek County Fairgrounds.
Calley, from Sapulpa, and Burton, from Okmulgee, didn't know each other until they met two years ago at the World Championship Bass on the Fly Fishing Tournament on Lake Fork in Texas.
"I won the tournament and (Burton) came in second," Calley said. Calley repeated his win at Lake Fork last year. Burton couldn't make it to the tournament.
Lake Fork is one of the largest and best-known bass fishing lakes in the country, and these guys hit it with a fly rod and a kayak.
"It's not a big tournament, but it's growing," Calley said. About 30 anglers compete, but they come from several states.
Fly-fishing for bass is rare, but it is effective.
"It's a lot of fun," Calley said. "It's funny how people react when they see you fly fishing. They expect you to be fishing for trout. They'll ask 'what are you fishing for?' When I tell them I'm fishing for bass they say, 'Really? You've got to be kidding me!' "
Calley has been fly-fishing since he was 13. "My dad taught me," he said.
At the extravaganza, he plans to share some of his stories and let people know some of the differences between bass fishing and trout fishing.
"Most at this event probably will have some warm-water fishing experience but might not be as successful as they would like and wonder why they weren't," he said.
Equipment will be part of his focus. He carries a special fly rod now that is 7-feet, 11-inches long, which is a legal size for use in bass tournaments.
"People are starting to figure out that fishing with a bass fly rod is a sneaky little technique for catching fish when other techniques aren't working, presenting a bait in a way they aren't burned out on," he said.
Calley said he gravitates toward large baits both for surface fishing and as streamers. That's where articulated shafts and tube baits come into play.
"It's something they use a lot in Alaska and Canada. You don't see it as much around here," he said.
Articulated shafts basically are a wire with a loop on one end and an eyelet on the other. The shaft allows creation of a large fly with a small hook attached via the loop. Tube baits are similar, with the pattern tied on a tube "kind of like the straw on a can of WD-40," Calley said. The line with the hook on the end is passed through the tube.
The arrangement allows for solid hook-ups because the tube fly often slides out of the way after the strike, he said.
The basic message is this: "You can catch anything on a fly rod," he said.
Bass fishing, trout fishing, fly tying, casting, boating, even Dutch oven cooking will be touched on at the extravaganza.
"We try to make it kind of a carnival-like atmosphere out there and just let people come out and have fun," said organizer Dick Turnbull with the Oklahoma Fly Fishers.
Guides and professional anglers will be offering lessons and advice at the event as well. At least 30 fly tiers from four states will attend the event, Turnbull said. The free-flowing format allows people to visit and share tips and advice. Vendors also will be there selling fly tying materials, often at discounted rates.
The Creek County Fairgrounds are located off I-44 at the Kellyville exit on Oklahoma 66 in Sapulpa.
For more information, contact Turnbull at 918-698-0726 or see the Oklahoma Fly Fishers website at tulsaworld.com/okflyfishers