Smallmouth Rendezvous 2012

Just like for the Sowbug RoundUp, Cecil and I loaded up the old truck and headed out to Tahlequah Oklahoma. This time we were headed for the Smallmouth Rendezvous. We were invited to this event after the good reception we had at Sowbug a month or so prior. 

Our first day we got set up and were meeting with old friends that we made at Sowbug. We talked and tied flies for each other, looked at new materials and ate some of the local food specialties. This area is the world headquarters for the Cherokee Nation, so they fixed us some native American cuisine and it was something this old cheesehead really liked.

Two people I was looking forward to seeing again were Dave and Emily Whitlock. This is their home show being they live in this area. Talking to Emily, I found out that she works with the Arkansas CFR (Casting for Recovery), so Cecil and I decided to tie her some of our signature flies (Hellboy and Jr's Foam Frog) in all hot pink. She was excited to receive the flies and we told her to use them for a raffle or give them to one of the ladies at a retreat. Cecil and I are both river helpers for the Indiana CFR chapter and we both love the time we give to the ladies at our retreats. If you want to learn more about CFR you can go to the web at

We also ran into another group of ladies that we met at Sowbug RoundUp. They were here to see us tie some new patterns. They have a fishing club called River Runners Women's Fly Fishing Club. This club started in 2008 with 11 charter members and now has about 90 members. They have members from Alaska to Florida, but most are in the Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri region. One lady told us that her friend from California told her that the Hellboy is the s–t and you need to get some. So Cecil ended up tying all of the ladies some Hellboys and Hells Wigglers. Then I got into the act and tied the ladies some Jr's HPU Minnows and Jr's HPU Sculpins. After those ladies left, a lady sat down in front of me and ask me to tie her a HPU Sculpin. In talking to her she said that she was a member of a woman fly fishing club. I ask what was name of the club. She explained what they did and how often they fished, the name of the club was Native American Women's Fishing Club ( Like I said earlier, we met so may wonderful and interesting people at this event.

During the show I got to walk around and look at many of the booths, I found a new material that caught my eye. This material is called Megli Fish Fiber and it is made from the hair of the Alpaca and has glitz added to it. This material is very soft and flows beautifully in water. But you need to see this material in the sunlight, you have the natural soft fibers with a glisten of reflective colors. It is also wonderful to tie with, you can blend different colors of the hair then just comb it out. I have a pattern I tie called the Megli Clouser and I will show you how to tie this in a upcoming tying video. It is a material that is worth looking at and it also dubs beautifully.

Well after 2 great days of tying and meeting great people it was time to go home. But before we left I wanted to see my daughter and my granddaughters who live in Oklahoma. So Saturday night we drove to Shawnee Oklahoma to meet them for dinner and we talked and had a great time. When we got ready to leave all hell broke loose. You know your in trouble when you stick the key in the ignition and all you here is "click". It's ten at night and everything is closed and furthermore we are 2 1/2 hours from our hotel. Well we got another hotel and spent the night in Shawnee. The next morning we got towed to an auto parts store and by 4:30 Sunday afternoon it was fixed and we were on the road again. We drove all night and both of us were at work the next morning. All in all it was a great trip and I look forward to going next year.

If you ever get a chance to go fishing in the Tahlequah Oklahoma area you need to go. The people from this area are very down home and giving people. They would do anything to help us while we were there. And if you are a lady looking for some fishing partners, check into any local woman fly fishing clubs or ones that I have listed above. For all of us that fish the "dark side", Lou you couldn't say it any better. Recycle, Practice catch & release, Live with intention, Walk on the edge or dark side, Practice wellness, Listen hard, Play with abandon, Laugh, Choose with no regrets, Continue to learn, Appreciate your friends, Do what you love, Live as if this is all there is.
Good fishing and hopefully good catching,
Junior Burke