Through the contributions of the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, individuals and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, tagged trout where released at secret spots up and down the river. There were $100, $50 and $20 tags totaling $1000 swimming in the river.
In addition, Scotty McCarthick, owner of Scotty’s Blue River One Stop, and other volunteers not only coordinated and managed the event, they had additional door prizes on hand for young and old alike. All paid contestants received a commemorative Blue River Trout Derby Hat and all the kids under 12 received a goody bag full of fresh fruit.
There were plaques awarded each day for the men’s, women’s and youth categories and for the derby overall; heaviest stringer, biggest fish and more. There was also a raffle for daily door prizes including cash, coolers, picnic tables and more. Contestants could also become part of the Put Er Back Club where their tagged fish earnings would go back into the pot to help sponsor the next derby.
Although the weather was downright rugged on Saturday (40 degrees with a 40mph wind ripping down the river) approximately 200 were on hand happily trying their tried-and-true techniques along with some improvisation. I certainly had to improvise with the wind. Long casts with the fly rod were not very accurate, so I had to use a barrel roll technique to get the fly right where I wanted it.
While roaming up and down the river, I stopped by the weigh-in station while a youngster was there with two very nice sized trout; one was 4.4 lbs. and the other was 4.6 lbs. I asked him, “Where did you catch them?” and he said, “In the water.” OK, I thought. Then I asked him, “What did you catch them on?” and he said, “A lure.” OK, I thought, we’ve got a little weizenheimer here. Come to find out later, this little fella is Cody Young, well known up and down the river for his trout fishing skills and there wasn’t a chance this savvy young fisherman was about to give up any of his secrets. Needless to say, he won the youth division – across the board. Apparently he did the same thing last year. Cody is pictured here with Scotty (bottom picture – click picture to enlarge).
Above Cody’s trophy presentation picture is Fred Fenton, who also caught his limit including one nice sized trout. All in all, weather aside, it was a great time on the river. Everyone was very, very friendly and quite happy to be there and to make new friends. I’ve already heard from a number of folks I met there, including some I gave Maniac Gizzy Bug samples to who said they had success using them.
OklahomaFishingGuides.com would like to give a great big thanks to Scotty, his volunteers, the sponsors and other contributors for organizing and running such a fine event. I for one, look forward to sponsoring and fishing at the next one.