Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Spinney Stories...

           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. If you ask almost any fly shop employee what the most difficult part of working in a fly shop is, without question, it will be the over exaggerated fish stories. Now I’m sure our readers will think, isn’t that how you get so many readers. Yes, emphatically! I tell a lot of stories, but I promise most of them are true, I mean even Fargo claims to be completely true. Today's story happened in South Park Colorado, and in respect of the fish, will be told exactly as it happened.
            With the river season nearing its end, Cat and I wanted to do some lazy man fishing and decided to hit Spinney. This was our first trip this year and really had no idea what to expect. We got to the water at around 8:30 and after about twenty minutes I got my first take. I was late on the set and hoped that I didn’t screw up my only take of the day. I re-casted and just as my flies were sinking, I could almost hear them go tick-tick-tick and them BOOM. The next five hours was unbelievable, I would cast, count it down, and just as the indicator stood up..Boom! I don’t normally keep a count but the first several hours definitely would fall into the “crap load” number. At around 1:00, Cat headed in to use the restroom and, being the all loving husband that I am, I decided I would count how many I caught while she was out of the water. As she began to paddle out I was at five. I continued to count until we left and I finished at twenty, plus the crap load from earlier. I’m guessing most of our readers think that every time we fish we have days like this but it just isn’t true. We have had a lot of really great days on lakes but the size and number of fish that were landed today by far put it in the best “lake” day ever. Cat had a slight gear error today and had to work a little harder than I did, but estimated at least thirty fish to the net. The majority of the fish today were in the 18 to 22 inch size plus half a dozen under 14 and another half a dozen in the 24 to 25 range. Unfortunately, the selfie pics just don’t do these fish justice. Trying to hold one of those big piggies with one hand and the camera with the other just doesn’t work. Anyway, in a couple of the pics you can see me fighting a fish and Cat is doubled up in the background.

            With the river beginning to move into runoff stage, this is the perfect time to get this lake thing figured out. Spinney is near and unbelievably healthy. We at the Drift know how trying something new can be intimidating so we are continuing to run our lake special. With the purchase of a Sage Accel fly rod or any Fishcat/Outcast pontoon boat, you will receive a free sit down with either Cat or I and we will go over rigging, fly selection, accessories, safety and lastly how to attack a lake. The fish are there and ready to get caught. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Hanzee and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Kissing Your Sister.....

            Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Well if your favorite college football team plays in the SEC and you read the title and are hoping for a little soft porn, then you will be a little disappointed. When most of us hear the “kissing your sister” saying, it makes us just a little uncomfortable. For me, todays trip to the river fit the saying perfectly.
            The river came back down under 400cfs yesterday morning and after giving it a day to settle, I wanted to check out todays conditions. Even with the lower flows, the river has a green tint to it and has about a foot of visibility. After the last two and a half months of sight fishing to spooky trout, and seeing todays tint, it was a little difficult getting really excited. I stepped into the first run and after several drifts, the indicator shot up river. It was a quick battle and I managed a fifteen incher to the net, it wasn’t sight fishing but it was…..well liking kissing your sister. Anyway, I fished for the next few hours moving from run to run quickly and after hooking and losing my third fish, I decided to call it a day.
            All Spring I have been watching the mountain snowpack and the upper Ark flows and it appears to me that our Spring tail water wading window is beginning to close. Now just because one window is closing, doesn’t mean fishing is over. First off, I was talking to Cody today and he was out on the reservoir, the temps are beginning to rise and the bass are beginning to take top water flies. If you have never tried it, Billy is currently doing our res. trips and the next month should be fantastic. Secondly, our shop is now permitted to do take float trips through town. And lastly, the mid-level lakes are just beginning to turn on. We at the Drift know that fishing Wahatoya or Spinney can be a little spooky so we have a special that we run this time of the year. We are such fans of the Sage Accel and Outcast pontoon boats, that any purchase of an Accel or a Fishcat/Outcast pontoon boat gets a free sit down with Cat or I and we will go over tactics, safety, accessories, fly selection and all we can to make your trip to the lakes wonderful.

            Now to finish, I wanted to wish all the mothers out there a spectacular Mother’s Day. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Barbara O’Grady and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Challenge Accepted....

                      Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I remember when I was a teen ager driving through a little town in Nebraska called Broken Bow, as I was entering the town there was a huge sign saying that Broken Bow was the home of the world famous, One Box Pheasant Hunt. I was a little confused and when I asked a resident, I was told that teams would come in from around the world and over the weekend and were allowed only one box of shells. Years later, when I was playing a lot of golf I noticed that nearly every golf course would have a yearly “two club” tournament. I guess people must get so good at their hobbies that at times they need to challenge themselves by changing their normal tactics.
          While floating with Cody the other day we found ourselves reminiscing about how so many of our local anglers have gotten so much better. We watched one kid walk into a hole and drill a fish on his first cast and we laughed because it seemed like just last week, we were showing him how to tie on flies. We saw another friend that was teaching another and I could remember a few years back, him telling Cat that there were no big fish in Pueblo. Now I don’t know if it is because we are such awesome teachers or that our customers are such great learners, but sometimes it hurts a little that we can’t always know so much more than our customers. Many times, someone that we remember as being a little raw comes in and as we begin our advice, they tell us that they know and they got it.
          When I got to the river today I decided that like the One Box Pheasant Hunt and the two club golf tourneys, I was going to challenge myself by changing up my normal tactics. Well I would love to tell you that I had done this on purpose but that was far from the case, you see, as I opened my pack I realized that my lanyard was sitting in our spare bedroom at home. Now that might not seem like a biggie to you, but to me it is my fishing life line. My lanyard holds my tippet, weight, floatant, nippers, forceps and my knot tier. I thought about calling it a day but instead I decided to accept the challenge.  My rod had one fly and one BB weight on it from Sunday and luckily, I had flies and one old spool of 6x tippet. As I stepped into my first run I knew that one bad cast, drift or a poor fight and my day would be done. I hooked one on my first cast and took my time landing him. I couldn’t believe how exhilarating every take and head shake was. I moved down river and for the first few hours it seemed that every run produced one fish. At just after 1:00 the river just absolutely turned on. Bwo’s were everywhere and the fish went absolutely nuts. I sat in one run and landed close to a dozen. I finally had one fish run me under a rock and when I pulled my line loose, it was empty. I was ready to leave but I decided I would take a quick look in my box, I hardly ever fish bead heads but I had one bead head FOD and I sure am glad I did. I moved up river and rock sets were now producing three fish. It was such an awesome day that I actually burned through three Gopro batteries. Well the inevitable happened when I had another toad drag me under a rock, and after one more unsuccessful scan of my fly box, my day was done.
          As I was walking back to the car I started thinking about all those people that have the Ark dialed in and are getting bored. Take the Connell challenge, now it doesn’t have to be your lanyard, maybe only take five flies, try fishing left handed, or if you’re really smart just don’t forget your gear. Anyway, the river dropped again today and the hatch was incredible. We have some openings this week and this would be a great time to book a guide trip. I promise I will bring all my necessary gear. The video is just a little of the action from today. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, the town of Broken Bow, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Yes We Can: Float Fish Pueblo

          Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Well Cat had a bug class today so when Cody called and asked if I would float the tail water with him, it was a no-brainer. If you are not aware, the Drift fly shop is now permitted to float the tailwater and a few out of the way gems that go through private water. Cody and Pat have been out doing a ton of research to get everything completely dialed in and today was one of the final test drives.
          We got on the river at around noon and the water had a little extra gunk in it. The float between Juniper Bridge and the Nature Center can be done in anywhere between three and six hours. Today we took our time and anchored pretty much everywhere we wanted to fish. We hooked lots of fish today but as you can see from the video our landing was a tad bit on the lame side. I’d love to say that that was a problem but while sitting in the boat with your senses picking up everything around you, I didn’t care a bit. It was great to see so many of our locals as we were floating by. Todays trip went just about five and a half hours and I can’t wait to get invited again.
          Like I said before, the Drift is currently permitted to float the tail water and you won’t be disappointed. The private stretches currently are only offered in full day trips but a day without people would be great. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Cody and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….

Thursday, April 27, 2017

I Saw It......

                Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I’m not a big fan of commercials when it comes to watching TV, but one of the more amusing ones is the ad where two women are looking at a couch and one holds up a credit card and says, "I saw it and I just had to have it." The scene next switches to a couple of burglars and one is holding a crowbar and says, "I saw it and I just had to have it." I’m not sure if it was pure genius or complete idiocy, but while I stood in the river today, the commercial kept going through my head and I was busting my brain trying to remember what credit card the commercial was for. That’s when it hit me, it wasn’t a credit card but actually an insurance company. Well since I was thinking about it in the river today than it may be genius, but since I don’t remember who they were advertising, well you get the picture. If you are regular reader than you know that my introduction almost always has a story to go with them.
                I had a newlywed couple out on the river yesterday and as we were nearing the end of the day, Jerod hooked a fish and as it came out of the water, even I got nervous. Definitely over twenty, I could see the big hook jaw and the bright red side. Jerod perfectly worked it across the river and just as I was pulling the net, I heard a gasp, followed by a few Shucky Darns and then it just went quiet. There must have been a nick in the line because the line broke half way between the two flies. Well after we all had calmed down and got a pretty good laugh, I started thinking about that fish. I could see myself standing next to the river, holding up my X Fly Rod, and saying, "I saw it and I just had to have it." 
                With that in mind, I knew I was heading to the river today. I fished my way to “the spot” and while walking the shore I just happened to catch a glimpse of something really big cruising the bank. I could see right away that he was the biggest fish I have seen in several years here in town. Now he was a far cry from Red October of yore, but I would have guessed him to be in the twenty five to twenty six inch range. I tried to sneak in below him but he disappeared after my initial move. I headed to yesterdays battlefield and landed a few but nothing like yesterdays foe and nothing anything like this mornings. I couldn’t get that fish out of my head, I just had to have it, and so I headed back up river. I fished his spot for half an hour but never saw him again. I had one take that headed straight down river and when I saw my backing flying out of my reel I thought maybe this is the one. It was the first time on this tailwater that my backing had ever seen the light of day, but when the fish was landed she was only a hair over nineteen, her power came from her girth because she was built like a Delaney fish. I fished the rest of the afternoon and every rock cluster seemed to produce two fish, but I just couldn’t shake the thought of the monster fish.
                Shortly after this blog goes public this evening, page hits will go over the one hundred thousand mark. I’m not sure if I should be completely humbled or terrified by the thought of the number of crazies taking time to read these. It sure has been an enjoyable ride and I hope I can keep the entertainment rolling for years to come. As for the conditions on the river, as you all know, spring is my absolute favorite time of the year and this year has lived up to and even exceeded expectations. Fishing has not been easy, but it has been great. A good cast, a great drift and a little luck on the battle has been the key for great fishing days. The spring season is nearing its end so if you aren’t having the kind of success that you want, then get a trip booked now, this is by far the best time of year to get it all figured out.
               I don’t ever remember seeing so much moss in the river this early in the year, but even though it hurts the sight fishing a little, it hasn't dampened the fish appetite at all. Fish have been eating FOD’s and Black Tube Wing Midges and Ninjas. Even as I am writing this post, my mind keeps wandering to the shadow I watched today, I saw it and I just had to have it. If any of you see my wife tell her hello for me, I will be at the river until either I or one of my clients catches that fish. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, State Farm, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Positive Reflection....

                Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. If you are tuning into this blog looking for my typical hodge-podge of goofy humor, or for my incredible fishing genius, then I’m afraid I need to tell you to stop reading now. I remember when I was in grade school and I heard the By, By, Miss America Pie song and I had a music teacher that began to cry when they sang “the day the music died”. She explained to us that it was a song about the death of Buddy Holly and that she would never listen to music in the same way. I guess I had never really understood how anything could be so powerful and today it all made sense.
                I have had so much fun writing these blogs over the years and hearing people’s reactions but I think this edition will be written just for me. My wife has often told me how much my humor comes from my father and I just smile and thank her because even if others don’t laugh, in my own mind, I am hilarious. Now my father was far from perfect, he came from a different generation, but to me he was awesome. From September until January I always knew that our conversations would be about how awful the Huskers were, about our up and down golf games, the weather, and then he would always finish by asking how Cat was getting along and if I was keeping her in line. Soon after the bowl games, the conversations were all about the nasty cold weather, that he tried to play golf but the greens were frozen, and then he would finish the conversation by asking about Cat, and if I was keeping her in line. Late spring and summer the conversations were about how poor he thought the Huskers would be next year, and then he would tell me about the one week that he broke 80 three times and that now his game was back in the crapper and then he would finish off by asking how Cat was and if I was keeping her in line. My dad very rarely told real jokes but he was king of the one liners. When we would go back to Omaha we spent a lot of time playing pool or golf and my dad’s favorite saying was that there was no shame in being beaten by the best, with a little O’Grady smirk. Several years back, I took him down to the tail water and somehow he managed to land a 21 inch brown. He was so excited but as things sunk in and his picture made it on to the shops wall of fame, he had to ask Cat every time he saw her if she had caught one as big as his yet. Now that was my dad’s usual behavior but I will say this, when I went through one of the most difficult times of my life, my dad began calling and checking on me all the time, and in his typical O’Grady humor he asked if he could send someone to get the problem in line.
                I am writing about my father because he left this world on Thursday, April 15th and I hope that I can somehow keep the O’Grady, stupid humor tradition going. I know the song talked about the day the music died, but right now I feel like a part of the humor has left. On Friday I had Joe, a repeat client on the water and after he landed a fish, and while still fighting while I was trying to remove the hook, Joe remarked that the fish didn’t like being caught. Without hesitation, I told him that the fish should have no shame in being beaten by the best, I then had to walk away to wipe the tears. It was a start and I hope I can somehow be a positive reflection of my dad. I am happy to say that I have absolutely no regrets now that he is gone, we talked at least once a week and we had the bonus talks after every new Husker recruit, and every time Cat and I left Omaha, our last stop would be with Dad and Dee to tell them how much we love them.

                Tomorrow is Easter and a great time to spend with the people you love. Because of Easter, I am sure that my father will spend an eternity in heaven thinking of new one liners for when we meet again. I will be out of town this week but back next weekend and hopefully we can finish off spring with some great fishing. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Hugh Arther O’Grady and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Yep, It's That Time Of the Year...

              Hello friends and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I’m guessing that my neighbors think that I am 100% bat-sh** crazy after listening to me sing this morning. I stepped out on my back porch just as the sun was breaking through the clouds and I saw the trees blossoming and turning green, two turtle doves were snuggling up to each other and you could almost see the grass coming up. Now I know that as a human being I should wait until December to sing “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”, but as a fly fisherman, I had a pretty good idea what was about to transpire for the day, and those magical lyrics echoed through my mind all afternoon.
                I had a repeat client today and we got to the river at around 11:00. We worked on a few techniques and then the river just came alive. Feeding lanes had fish going crazy and it seemed like every good cast and drift got a take. Now I would love to say that every take was a success but then I would be another one of those truth bending guides. We started measuring every fish and at one time, Glen looked at me and said that he now realizes that his San Juan guide is either a great embellisher or the measuring sticks in NM are a little different. Fish gorged on FOD’s and grey emergers for a few hours and then they moved back into the rock structures. Glen did enter the 20 inch club with one male that just tipped the 20mark.
                Water temps coming out of the dam are just a little over 45degrees and on most days the water will warm a little and get the BWO’s going. It appears that the spawn is reaching its end; we only saw two fish paired up, I guess they wanted one last ride and I don’t blame them. So to sum up what is going in the world of fly fishing, we have to go back to the Christmas song “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Spinney opened yesterday and I have already seen some incredible pics from up there. The Ark ought to be fantastic from now until run-off, usually around Memorial Day and then I guessing we will be seeing another prolonged run-off. There is a lot of snow up in them there hills and when the heat rolls in, so will the water. The Drift has run a Spinney special the last few years and it will run from now until July 1st. If you have seen our videos then you have seen how awesome lake fishing can be. We know that it can be intimidating so with the purchase of any Sage Accel rod or Outcast/Fishcat PONTOON boat, you will get a free sit down with Cat or I and we will go over safety, accessories, rigging, and how to hunt a lake and hopefully get you started with confidence.

                Now if you have been considering taking a guide trip with me, now is the time to call. This week only has one spot left on Friday but next week is fairly open, come see what this river has to offer. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Bing Crosby and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……