Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Sushi Type of Day.....

           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Well hopefully the title of this post has your interest and even more so, I hope the analogy isn’t too much of a stretch. A few years back, my incredible wife Cat had a lunch date with a friend and she came home raving about how awesome sushi was. Now if you know me at all, then you know that the thought of eating not just fish, but raw fish just turns my stomach. Yep, after I spend the day on the water and before I eat, I have to scrub my hands to remove the smell. Last year, Cat and I went to Hawaii with a few of our best friends and I had already decided that I wanted to try my hardest to eat as the Hawaiians do. The Kahlua Pig, Macadamia Nut Pancakes and Musubi were easy but I was dreading the trip to Kuru Kuru, the world-famous sushi restaurant. I think there were twelve of us that went and they all seemed to be looking like Pavlov’s dog as we entered. Cody noticed my confused look as I was scanning the menu and he pointed out a few items that I might be able to stomach. I watched as they all prepared for their dinner, they pulled out their chop sticks, put wasabi in a dish and then stirred in Soy sauce. When the food came I watched Cody perfectly pick up the piece and dunk in in his sauce and shove the whole piece in his mouth. I didn’t get it, my roll had rice, raw fish, seaweed, mystery parts and then I had soy mix. Other than the fish, all the items seem okay but just nothing seemed special about any of it. I managed to get my roll up with my sticks and I dunked it at put it in my mouth. The whole table was watching for my reaction and as it hit my tasted buds, the magic happened. By the third or fourth piece I got down, I tried to figure out how so many strange parts can make anything so perfect. Cat and I have since made sushi a regular in our dinner plans and I think it is the only item that as we eat it, we look at each other and just say Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.
          So here is where the comparison comes in, over the last month or so we have had all kinds of days on the river. We have had lots of great weather days, lousy weather days, great water days and dirty water days, we have had spawning fish days and eating fish days, on guided trips we have had experienced anglers and brand spanking new anglers and most of the days have felt a little like the individual parts of sushi. Now with sushi, the parts seem pretty bland but when put together, they are magic, and today everything fell into place. The water was clear, and the fish had entered feeding lanes and my chop stick skills were adequate. I didn’t want to spend time just fishing runs so I went out looking for fish. The first few I saw didn’t seem interested and then I found the dinner table. For an hour and a half, it was a sushi type of day, I’m not sure how many I landed but it seemed every third cast or so I hooked a fish. I got two landed that looked as if their life goal was to replace the pigskin with fishskin and several that felt very spawned out. As the clouds began to move in, I felt like I needed to say, Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.
          The river is absolutely incredible right now, it is not easy, but oh so good. If you have been thinking about a guide trip, now is the time to get it booked. We are looking at a serious flush at some point but I don’t think it will begin until April. Fish the last few days were on Ninjas and a few on FOD’s. If you are planning on fishing the tail water between now and run off, make sure you stop by the shop and stock up on FOD’s and Ninjas. Sorry, this wasn't my best picture taking day. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Miyakis, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……..

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Ark, a 3/6/18 Update....

           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. When I was just a wee lad I remember a fad toy that a bunch of my friends had. It was called the Magic 8-Ball and you were supposed to ask it a question and then shake the toy and an answer would show up in the window. I had really mixed emotions about the toy, I was so jealous that everyone I knew had one and I didn’t, but at the same time I thought the thing was so stupid. The answers were very generic that came out as “most certainly yes”, “not a chance”, and the really generic answer of “that is a definite maybe”.  After the last week of answering the phone in the fly shop, I kind of wished I had a Magic 8-ball to answer the questions about the river conditions.
          This blog is my best attempt of giving info on our river. I wanted to start by what we have been told and I will finish with my best educated guess. First, we were informed that on Monday, the tear out of the cofferdam above Juniper Bridge would begin and last possibly into next week. With that, we were expecting very dirty conditions. Next, we know that the 15th is the end of winter storage and flows could fluctuate depending on water calls. And lastly, we were told that before the 15th of April, the Reservoir level has to be drastically reduced to a predetermined level and there is a big water release planned for some time in the first two weeks of April.
          I had a friend run by the river yesterday to tell me how dirty it was and he called and said it was still clean. I wanted to check for myself and headed to the river today and I was pleasantly surprised. The water had a green tint and very good visibility. So, the removal of the cofferdam has not yet begun and we really don’t know when that will happen but it has to be out by the 15th.
          I spent the day fishing and had really varied success. I saw lots of fish on redds, with just a few Billy Bobs harassing them, I saw lots of fish staging and a few fish actively in feeding lanes. I didn’t see many bugs today so the lack of feeding fish didn’t surprise me. The fish that I did land were really prettied up but the battles made me think the fish were spent. And once again, the fish all ate the J-bomb.
          Now I wanted to give my own personal opinion of how the river will fish in the near future. With the increase in flows, the water temps have dropped several degrees and the hatches have really slowed down. Last week I was seeing BWO’s showing up but the water was way to cold for them today. Between now and the 15th, look for feeding fish in the tail outs of feeding lanes and try to get really small midges in front of them. If you make the trip and the water turns dirty, put on an egg or a Depth Charge and dredge the deeper pools. Now after the 15th, look for the water clarity to really clear up and we should have some really great feeding days. If you happen to be here on a water call day and you begin to see trash and debris float by, take a break and give the river an hour or so to clear. As we near the end of March and the temps begin to edge up, start looking for BWO’s
          As April hits, we will try our best to give info on the lowering of the reservoir. As for April 15th and beyond, I am really hopeful that we will have an awesome late spring season. With the really full reservoir and the relatively low snow pack we don’t have a clue what the flows will do but the construction should be completely done and the water should have great clarity.
          Well I’m not sure if that has cleared up any of the questions about the water but I hope that it is better than the answer you might get if you call the shop, “that is a definite maybe”.  Fishing is always better than not fishing so get here and enjoy. As Always, Connell, Cat, Winston, the Magic 8-ball and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fly Fishing and PON FARR......

            Hello All, this is Cat writing to you today. As many of you know, despite the coolness fly fishing has added to my reputation, deep down I am a super nerd. Below you will find a sci-fi tale with a fly fishing moral. I hope you enjoy!

            Earth dwellers called the alien planet Rivora.  Hidden behind the dark side of Mars, it existed undetected until the year 2018. From the moment the first astronauts set foot on Rivora, the human race knew they had found a new home. The flora, fauna, and even the people on this new planet mirrored earth in most ways. Most ways, however, is very far from being similar in every way.
            After completing the first three month mission to Rivora most the astronauts were excited to return to Earth and report all of their findings to the scientists back home. The flight engineer, BillyBob, wanted to stay behind. He loved discovering new things on Rivora and to be honest didn’t have any friends back on Earth. BillyBob did find a very good friend on Rivora named Trouvis. The two were buds from the time they met. They played together, they hungout, and were virtually inseparable. Trouvis loved hearing stories from Earth and BillyBob loved exploring with his new friend.
            For several months the new friendship went swimmingly but then something changed. One night, BillyBob, knocked on Trouvis door, pizza in hand and smile on lip. It took Trouvis longer than normal to answer the door. “Dude, answer the door. I found the best pizza place. You’ve got to grub down on this,” BillyBob shouted. When Trouvis answered the door he wasn’t baring the same big grin as his friend. In fact, he looked annoyed to see BillyBob. “I’m getting ready for a date. I think I am going to pass,” Trouvis said. BillyBob was confused. His friend had never canceled on him before. Not only that but he had never even heard Trouvis mention a girl he was interested in. He was definitely dressed for something though. Normally clothed in earthy tones, Trouvis was head to toe in bold bright colors. His eyes darted back and forth nervously peeking around BillyBob’s body filling the doorway.
            “Well, when is your date?” BillyBob asked.
            “I don’t know. Whenever she shows up, but I have to be ready.”
            “Are we talking two hours or five, or what?”
            BillyBob fell speechless when Trouvis told him it might be weeks. BillyBob grew angry as he walked back to his rental car. He was on an alien planet and had exactly one friend. He wanted to spend time with him. He wanted to be entertained and for some reason his friend was blowing him off for weeks. Which for Bob meant weeks of isolation. For a chick? Back in his car, still holding his pizza, Bob got pissed. This was ridiculous. A few minutes later and Bob was back pounding on Trouvis’ door.
            “WHAT!? Trouvis screamed as he swung the door open, almost hitting Bob in its path. Bob wanted to yell at his friend, but instead he tempted him . Trouvis loved pizza, and knowing this Bob flipped open the box. Trouvis’ stomach growled as he stared down at the melted cheese. “I can’t. What if she shows, up,” Trouvis was arguing more with his hunger than with Bob at this point. His hand reached out and he grabbed a slice as Bob pushed his way inside. Only a few bites in and Trouvis began puking into the toilet. Either it was an allergy or food poisoning or perhaps Trouvis simply shouldn’t have been eating while waiting for a date. Either way, Bob, the ever devoted and pushy friend, stayed by his side all night.
            In the morning a knock came at the door. Bob answered it and found a beautiful woman dressed in the same vibrant colors Trouvis had been wearing. She shrieked at the sight of Bob and ran back to her car. He tried to stop her, but she was gone. Trouvis, hearing the commotion, joined Bob outside.
“Sorry, Dude, don’t know what happened. Was that your date?” Bob asked. Trouvis fell to his knees and wept openly and as he cried he explained, “You weren’t supposed to be here. I was supposed to give her my full attention. That’s it. It is over. I will never get to spend time with her and I might NEVER have a child!”
Come to find out the people of Rivora and Earth were indeed NOT exactly alike.  In Fact, they were more like Vulcans. Reproduction only came once a year for them. Not only that, but the situation had to be perfect for children to be reproduced. Bob had blown it for Trouvis. He had deprived his friend of a blissful encounter and to pass down his DNA. As you can imagine the story got out. Every newspaper ran the headline, ALIEN PREVENTS FRIEND FROM A NIGHT OF PLEASURE AND CHILDREN.  Bob and Trouvis’ friendship never recovered and Bob became an outcast. None of the other residents wanted to be friend someone who would be so selfish as to spoil a man’s one night a year to make whoopy. It took years for another Earth ship to return to Rivora and for years Bob was miserable.

            Here is the moral of the story; DON’T get in the way of love and romance even by accident. DON’T be Bob. Redds are popping up all over the river. Our wonderful trout friends are desperately trying to reproduce. It is in my humble opinion that we should let them do this in peace and feed our “pizza” to all the other finned friends not trying to bring a new generation to the water. Thanks for indulging me in a little story and as always Cat, Connell, Winston, Rivora, and The Drift Fly Shop thank you for 

In case you were wondering, I grabbed a few pics of Redds today so please do your best to avoid. If you have any more questions, feel free to catch us and ask at the shop.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Be Mine......

          Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Well this morning started like any other, breakfast and some Bible time and then after feeding Pooh-dog I checked my most trusted news source, Facebook. The first thing that came up was a memory from one year ago where Cat and I spent the day on the West Shore of Oahu. As I was patting myself on the back as to how awesome of a husband I was last Valentine’s Day, panic set in and I began to think of how I could possibly out do last year. I racked my brains for seconds and then it hit me, the only place on the face of the earth that is more beautiful and romantic than Hawaii; yep we headed to East Pueblo and hit the tail water.
As we were getting ready to head to the river I check the weather and the sun was bright and the temp was warm, I was thinking this could be the most romantic VD ever. We got to the river and as we came around the bend to our starting run, we looked at each other and in unison said “Crap”. The river looked as if the free people of P-town had decided they would never pay the high taxes on Ovaltine again and poured it all into the river. Unfortunately, there was some work being done just above Juniper and the river was brown. We fished anyway and after about a few hours, we managed to get two beautiful bows and one monster sucker to the net. Not the day I had dreamed of but it is a constant reminder that I am married to the woman of my dreams. Thank you Cat for another wonderful day.

          We really are not sure about the work today and hope it was just for today. As soon as we find out more we will get it posted. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Cupid, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sight Fishing, A Whole New World...

           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Well we made it through the January doldrums way better than expected and now we are quickly getting into my favorite three months of the year, yep it is sight fishing time and the season that separates the men from the boys. I will never forget my first real experience with sight fishing and will always be grateful to my mentor Tony. I felt as if I was a pretty solid angler and had confidence in most situations but watching Tony sight out fish showed me how much I was missing out, it was the beginning of my obsession. I wanted to write this blog to give out a few simple tips to help our readers find the obsession that is sight fishing.
          The first tip is just the sighting out of the fish. Now to start, I’m not talking about the Taylor Hogs resting above the bridge and emphatically not talking about the spawning fish sitting on redds in six inches of water, I’m talking about the fish feeding in riffles and other feeding lanes. The feeding fish are usually the most difficult to see but have the greatest reward. The way to start is take some time at the river looking into riffles and try to look at the bottom of the river. When you begin to see the bottom then look for abnormalities. Yes, I have been fooled more than once, but I would rather cast to a broken wine bottle than spook the fish of a lifetime. A great way of thinking about seeing the bottom is comparing the river to the posters that were around when I was younger, it just looks like a design but after looking for a while, a lion or whatever shows up and you can’t figure out why you didn’t see it from the beginning. The second thing to look for is color, with the fish beginning to spawn, on the sunny days look for red stripes and on cloudy days look for purplish hues. Now after you begin to see the pure number of fish in the river, next we talk about how to feed them.
          One of the biggest difficulties I see with anglers is fly placement. With many clients over the years we have spotted out a monster big red stripe and after calming the nerves the client casts and the indicator lands at the head of the fish. I normally take a giant internal gasp and then we talk about where the flies are, compared to the indicator. Its great when the light comes on and the next cast has the flies drifting right by the mouth of the fish. So, one of my best tips is to think about where the flies are, it is rare to catch a fish with your indicator. And lastly, as the river begins to open up and look more like a 55inch HD TV and less like a kaleidoscope, start watching the mouth of the fish as the fly drifts by, but I have to warn you, once you watch a fish eat your nymph, January will never fish the same.

          Now if you don’t have the time or the patience to learn this on your own, find a guide that can take the time to teach you these techniques. I know a pretty good one here in P-town and you can reach me at the Drift, come see what you are missing. And to finish off the blog I wanted to talk a little about spawning Redds. I started seeing them just over the last few days and they really should be filling the river over the next few weeks. Redds are clean splotches on the bottom of the river where you can on most days see big fish in a few inches of water. Think of these fish as your friends and if your friends were only in the mood once a year, wouldn’t you leave them alone. There are plenty of fish that are eating. And lastly, when you do catch a fish from a feeding lane take extra care getting any pics and get them back in the water as quick as possible. Our last two years have had really successful spawns, but we had a little more water hiding the redds. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Good and the Bad......

         Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I can’t tell you how many times over the last few weeks I have answered the shop phone and I have heard the exact same questions. The first is, how is the tailwater fishing and the second is how is the clarity. Well hopefully by the blog title you can see that our river has really been a mixed bag as of late.
          First, I wanted to talk a little about the good. If you are a long-time reader than you know that January is far from my favorite time of the year to fish. I used to complain that the bait guys killed our fish and the river will never be the same. And almost every year at around the 10th or 11th of February our bows would begin to poke their heads out and they would be everywhere and then I would get frustrated because with that many fish, how the heck am I not catching fish on every cast. Well this is the good, a few weeks ago I was walking the river and I began to see shadows. At first I just figured that it was my eyes playing tricks on me(it is January), but after drifting past a few the hallucinations I realized that they put up a pretty good fight. Now over the last week or so, I have really seen a bunch of fish coming out of hiding.
          Now the bad, as with every year, just because I can see the fish, doesn’t mean they are easily catchable. The other day I had a guide trip out and I set a client up in a spot and then got above him to watch. The first 10 feet of the drift was perfect and just as we were nearing the fish I saw a small belly in the line and the indicator drug just a tad and the fish just moved out. Yep, they are super spooky.
          Now some good, as the afternoon sets in we have been seeing some great midge hatches and the surface feeding has been fantastic. Not the piggies of the A.M. but the little guys and even though they are small, don’t think of them as dumb.
          Now some bad, this upcoming weekend I’m guessing will be our busiest weekend of the year. I guess the football watchers have nothing better to do and will be at the river. Two years ago on the Saturday before the SB one of our guides counted 36 anglers between Valco bridge and Tree Bend. Last year I remember trying to find a spot on Sunday with two clients and it was nearly impossible.

          So, as you can see there is some good and some bad going on, on our river now. One fisherman will come in at the end of the day and say fishing is awful and the next will say that he just caught the fish of his life. If you are one of the fishermen that are really frustrated than maybe now would be a great time to invest in a guide trip. Figure out how to see fish and the maybe see what it takes to catch them. Weekends are pretty busy but weekdays can be good. Fish today were carefully stalked and caught on a size 22 J-bomb and the smaller fish were tricked on size 24 Tube Wings and Ninjas. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Alexander Graham Bell, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Ninja Midge


      Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I have had quite a few requests lately to post a “how to video” of the Ninja Midge. The Ninja was developed many years ago after a particularly frustrating evening on the river. Cat and I were fishing with a few friends and my usual flies were not working even though I saw swarms of little white fluff balls flying around. It was the first time I think I had ever felt like our fish were keying in on a certain bug. I looked through all my boxes and I didn’t have anything that looked like the swarming bugs. When we got home that evening, Cat showed me some pictures of what an emerging midge looked like and then I sat down at the vice and tried make something close. After 24 dreadful hours of anticipation I headed back to the river and the little white fluff balls were out in force. I pulled one of my new inventions out and as I was tying it on, it slipped and fell in the river. I quickly picked it up but could not find the eye….then I realized that I picked up a real one. Nailed it !!!!!

     The Fly has been tweaked several times over the years but is still my go to fly every time I see midges. As I was posting the video I noticed a few peacock fibers hanging out and that was not by choice and were trimmed out. The fly will be great in sizes 22 and 24 between now and March and going into late spring I fish it in 18 and 20’s. We have all you need at the Drift for your tying needs. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, the Ninja Midge and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..