Thursday, July 6, 2017

Taylor River 2017...the Evolution...

            Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. As we were on our way home today from our annual Taylor vacation, I began to reminisce of the twenty plus years of this trip. The early years were my brother Hugh, Jimbo and myself and we were all throwing spinning rods and wearing our rubber “Michelin Man” waders. I was looking through pics a few months back and I saw one of me standing on a rock with my tennis shoes and my brand new purple inaugural Rockies shorts. Other pics from 1994 had my four and five-year-old sons fishing and playing in the river. Over the years my father, my mother, and several nephews and nieces have made the trip. It’s hard to put into words how the Taylor has imprinted itself on my family. It was around the year two thousand when I first began to get enamored with the C&R section of the Taylor. I remember staring at the fish and being completely amazed at their size. I would spend three days in the section without ever bumping a fish and while driving over the bridge to go home, I would throw a little despairingly sign language and say I’m never coming back again. And after reviving my spirits on the Ark, I would begin to plan how to do it differently next year. It is interesting how our view of the C&R section has changed over the years.
            After last year’s June back surgery canceling our trip, Cat and I were really chomping at the bit to get back on the Taylor. In addition, many of our shop friends have told us that the fish in the Trough are looking big again. This year’s trip had all the usual suspects: Cat, Jimbo, Brandon, Winston and Myself and in addition this year, Brandon’s wife Liz, Charlie and Abril all made the trip. This was Liz’s first extended time spent around the O’Grady family and we figured if she makes it through the week she is definitely a keeper. Congrats Liz, now you’re an O’Grady! Hehe Anyhow, Charlie and Abril made it up a few days early and when we saw him we asked how the fishing was and he said, “it’s the Taylor.” That was all that needed to be said. Monday afternoon, while walking the bank, Cat looked at me and asked where I thought all the “big fish” are. I’m not sure if it is my perception of the fish or if actually, the fish have changed, but I just don’t see the monsters of yesteryear/yore. What has changed is the way Cat and I view the water. Even if we’re not seeing the hogs, every fish poses its own challenges. Spending all day looking for the giants has changed to just looking for fish that are actually eating. One of the most difficult parts of fishing the Taylor is the amount of foul hookups we seem to get. This year I was trying something a little different to alleviate the foul hookups up by making really light hooksets. My landing rate was pretty lame but I had a lot less foul fish.                                                                                 The biggest fish landed this week was a rainbow that went just a tad over 21 inches and we really didn’t spot anything any bigger than that. The most enjoyable part of the trip was watching Brandon and Liz and Charlie and Abril fishing together. It was funny listening to Brandon talking to Liz and it seemed every time Brandon told Liz to be careful, she would slip and go down. On the third day, Liz landed her first Taylor River bow, now it wasn’t a monster but it was a Taylor Bow! The nightly campfire gab sessions will live in O’Grady infamy. Now even though it was awesome having Liz and Abril there, I don’t think Cat’s job security will be in jeopardy. On the Fourth afternoon, Cat and I decided to stay back and just fish the section across from camp. That part of the river is really moving so wading can be a little difficult. It is the perfect spot for the Sage MOD. We started by tossing a caddis and a dropper and my first take was a brown that barely made it across the width of my hand. The next take was a huge 9 incher. I started seeing a bunch of giant stoneflies so we switched to match, we got several hits but I don’t think any of the fish were big enough to get their mouths around the fly.
            Cat and I were planning on doing a video of the trip and even had some really great new music ready to go, but after getting home and looking through the footage, we just didn’t think it was up to our specs. Our most exciting clips ended up with lost fish shortly after. Every fish landed this year was earned but the fish just weren’t the fish of yore. Maybe it’s the Ark, Spinney, or Antero fish of recent but the Taylor trip was more about the company and less about the fish. We did include lots of pics below, enjoy! As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Jimbo, Brandon & Liz, Charlie & Abril and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…. 






























Monday, June 26, 2017

Antero 6/26/2017..Feed the Addiction....

            Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. It’s funny how often I get strange looks when I decline an adult beverage. The looks even get funnier when I explain that I have absolutely no self-control. There are good and bad parts to having no self-control, it helped me become a pretty good golfer, skier, ping-pong player, and even a pretty good fly fisherman. Now the bad part is that it can be very difficult moving on from great times. As most of our readers know, Cat and I made a trip to Spinney earlier this year and had such an unbelievable time that it has been hard getting South Park out of my head. The last few trips to Antero have been fun, but I really needed more. Last night when Cat got home from teaching a fly fishing clinic, I asked her what she wanted to do today. I could see she had a sad look on her face and after working eight of the last ten days, she said anything as long as she doesn’t have to use the word fish. Being that I’m such an awesome husband, I told her that she really needed a day just to herself and I called Richie to see if he wanted to fish Antero. I needed a fix.
            After the last Antero trip shenanigans, I wanted to try a different spot so we spent the first half hour or so looking for fish. My first two takes I have no idea what happened, twice my line was sheared off clean just above my fly. I finally landed my third fish and he was a chunky twenty incher. Fishing was off and on all day long, at one time Richie was right next to me and the fish were going nuts. We double hooked up a few times but the landing of the fish seemed to be a little bit difficult today. A few hours in, I was at seven fish in hand and I told Richie that if I didn’t get to fifteen than I would consider him really bad luck. As if the fish were listening and laughing, they shut off for a while right after that. The next several were one after another and then I got stuck on fourteen. I told Richie that if I catch one more that he has no luck, but if I land two more than he would be good luck. My indicator exploded down and I was begging for the number, the fish made several really big runs and I could tell that my “Frazier” fish was going to be nice. I got her netted and I could not believe her size. It was hard to get a hold of her but if you check out the pic, that net is the Fishpond El Jefe and the opening is twenty-two inches. I took my time getting her revived and after releasing her, I was spent. Three trips to Antero and fifteen fish a piece. So how does my addictive personality look at today, I’ll have to see if Cat wants to go again on Wednesday. There has to be a twenty-four incher in there. The first four pics are of the big fish. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Richie, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…

















Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Antero, A Bad Taste....

           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Well Cat and I had today off from the factory and we decided to head to South Park. We were trying to decide between Spinney and Antero but after Cat fell asleep ten minutes in to the ride, I just couldn’t make Cat deal with the consequences, so Antero it was. It was an interesting day to say the least. We got on the water at just after 8:00 and it was hard to believe we were in South Park. The lake was glass for the first two hours and the only way we could get the fish interested was kicking around. As my legs began to get tired, the wind exploded out of nowhere. The rest of the day I spent kicking just trying to stay on anchor. Fish were feeding real sporadically today, I landed a total of fifteen but the action was pretty slow.

          The real excitement happened near the end of the day. A friend of mine had told me a terrifying story he had dealt with at Antero several years ago. As he was finishing his day and getting out of the water, two guys started yelling at him for catching all the fish. One of the guys got his attention and the other sucker punched him and then they both did a number on him. I spent much of the day looking for structure and weed beds while being aware of the people on the shore fishing. I set up at around 75 yards off the bank and made sure I was way out of the casting area of the two guys on the bank. I could hear them talking with each other and they were having a ball. I landed several and I heard them catch a few and after about half an hour I heard one of the guys say that there wasn’t enough room for these other guys squeezing in. Shortly after that I heard a very loud “Kurr- sploosh” about twenty feet behind me. I glanced around and figured it was a big fish. After that I heard the guy on the bank tell the new comer that that was pretty lame trying to hit the guy in the boat. A moment later I heard the “Kurr-sploosh” about twenty feet in front of me. I then heard the guy on the bank really getting loud at the new comer telling him that he just crossed both his lines. I then heard a grunting sound on the bank and the new guy was trying to tell me to go away. Wt*, there was a day when I would have handled it differently, but today I decided it was time to head out. By the time Cat and I got out we thought for sure there was going to be a brawl, the yelling got louder and everyone was standing. Not sure how it all shook out but Cat and I had an enjoyable day on the lake, and I left only slightly bad taste in my mouth. I think the next trip to South Park, Cat is going to need to stay awake. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Spinney,  and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….