TISHOMINGO, OKLAHOMA -- As green leaves turn to yellow and orange, as warm swimming holes turn to 'big catch' honey holes, fishermen on the Blue River turn to the trout stocked here every Fall.
Wes Harden has come to these pretty river banks near Tishomingo for more than 20 years.
"Down out of the crowd and the city," he says while casting.
He caught a 5 pound Rainbow Trout on this spot once. I remains his favorite place to fish.
"I got a bite right now," he says yanking on his pole to set the hook.
A little ways upstream Wes's wife Barbara wets a hook too.
Trout have changing tastes from year to year, but she claims little balls of Salmon Peach are working for the moment.
"And it doesn't have to be covered all the way," she says of the bait on the hook. "They eventually come if they're biting."
The Hardens form part of a small wave of trout chasers in Oklahoma and north Texas.
They start filling up the camping spots a week before the Veteran's Day Trout Derby each November, and for one in February too.
If you want to know the truth, neither of the Hardens are fond of eating trout.
It's the pull of this place and the thought of catching something big that keeps them coming back.
"I come down and just relax," says Wes. "I don't plan on going home until next Wednesday."
Up the hill at Scotty's One Stop dozens of faded snapshots show off past trout derby trophies.
They include a state record tying 10 pound trout from just last year.
Scotty McCarthick keeps them up because they're good for business.
"It's definitely one of the best weekends of the year in here, for me," he says.
Wes skipped a nap to dip his hook on a rainy Tuesday afternoon.
He and Barbara will be on the Blue for another week turning these clear, beautiful waters looking for silver linings in the clouds and big rainbows in the river.
The annual Veterans Day Blue River Trout Derby takes place November 8-9. For more information about the derby or fishing on the Blue River go to Scotty's website http://www.blueriverok.com