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June 30, 2014

Up a creek with a pole

NORMAN — Now that the water is warm enough that body parts don’t go numb, I love to get in a creek. Creeks are challenging to fish in their own way, but also can be very rewarding once you learn how the fish relate to current and structure and learn to spot the snakes.

I was lucky enough to grow up with two fine creeks to fish, Pennington Creek and Blue River, both near Tishomingo. I spent many summer days there learning to fish the deep pools, current seams, boulders and logjams. Sometimes I would just perch on a high bank and watch the fish. The clear water made it possible to see where the fish liked to hang out, how they reacted to your lure and how quickly they would spook if they noticed movement.

Blue River offers good fishing and some of the prettiest scenery you will find in Oklahoma. It has a good population of spotted and smallmouth bass as well as catfish and sunfish. Public access to the Blue is available at the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area north east of Tishomingo. Here the river alternates between braided channel rapids and long, slow deep pools. The spots where the rapids dump into the deep pools make prime ambush areas for hungry bass. Pitch the right bait in the slack water behind a log or rock and you'll likely be rewarded with a strike.

You can wade, canoe, or kayak, but my preferred way is to use a float tube. The tube is easier to control in shallow water where your feet can reach the bottom, but still lets you float across deeper holes. It’s also much lighter to carry over areas too shallow to float a boat. They are poor for eluding snakes, however. For the record, I think snakes are fascinating as long as I see them from a distance.

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