Sunday, January 15, 2017

Karma, It May Catch You In The Tail.....

            Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I have spent this week trying to figure out how I could pair the incredible National Championship game and fly fishing into a blog but today’s trip to the water had some Karma of its own. Now, I want to start by stating that this story may be a little hypocritical and I in no way claim to be the etiquette police, but I think after all I have seen over the last sixteen years on this river, I have a pretty good idea of the space needed between anglers. Yep I know there are a few that would disagree, and I’m sure I have pushed the envelope but this story kind of cracks me up.
            The story starts last November on a sunny, Sunday afternoon. I was working my way back to the car and I looked up and saw one of my favorite fall runs open. As I neared it I looked up and noticed someone power walking toward the run but was still quite a ways away. I was only a few feet away so I stepped in and started casting. The guy huffed and stepped into the river about fifteen feet up from me. I could hear the angry cast and he kept eyeballing me after every fish I caught. He walked around me and told me I was in a good spot and started casting just below me. I caught a few more and then a blog follower came up to me and introduced himself. We stood there for just a minute talking and the guy walked up to me and asked, “hey boss, are you done with that spot?” I was a little flabbergasted and just walked away. A few weeks later I had a guide trip out and I knew it was going to be a busy day. I took my clients up to Apples and found out that the Pueblo Renegades had an outing that day and three of their members were already working the weir. We stepped in above them and I got my clients going. After a short time, I noticed this guy walking toward us and I recognized him as “the boss” guy. Once again, I was blown away when he moved within ten feet of my client and within twenty feet of the Renegades. Danny showed up and all we could do was laugh and shake or heads.
            With the snow in this morning, I decided it would be a good day to go fishing. On the way to the river a good friend of mine called and asked if we could meet up. Now in order to protect the not so innocent, I will not use his name and for the rest of this blog I will refer to him as MF (my friend). We got to the water at around 10:30 and I saw that the run I wanted to fish had a couple of bait guys on one side and a fly fisher on the other. I went a couple of runs up and began fishing. After about a half an hour I noticed that the bait guys were leaving but I didn’t feel like it was Kosher to go fish it from the other side directly across from the fly fisher. Soon after that, MF showed up and I looked down and someone snuck in across from the original fly fisher. Now it was far from the worst etiquette I had seen on the river, but I felt annoyed because I knew that run was shot for the day. MF made a comment that we should go down and yell at him and we laughed it off and headed up river. We ran into Richie and Alex and Richie had just landed a beautiful seventeen incher. Richie headed back down to hook up with Alex so me and MF jumped into the weir. We caught a few small fish and then a nice one and I thought we had the weir pretty well covered. I looked up and saw the guy from down river checking out the weir we were fishing. He huffed and walked up river and after two casts he came back down, walked out on the weir and said to MF “Hey Boss, mind if I fish here”? Wow, I hadn’t heard that voice in a month now I was really annoyed, he then casted right where we were fishing. Now here is where it gets a little funny. He hooked a fish and it seemed like he was taking way too long to fight the fish and while overplaying it, his leg slipped into the river(he wasn’t wearing waders), and I felt myself giggling. I didn’t want to say anything that I would regret so I said come on MF, let’s take off. As I was crossing, I heard the guy ask MF to take his picture and I got a little louder saying “come on MF, let’s go”. Well MF snapped the pic and then made it up the bank and I asked him where the tough guy attitude went and why did he take that guys pic. MF laughed and said zoom is a great thing. He went on to say that he zoomed in on the tail of the fish where the hook was fully lodged. Was it Karma? I'm not sure but MF you are my hero and you made my day.
            As for the river conditions, we are now solidly set into January conditions. As you all know January is not my favorite time of the year, but this year we are seeing some pretty good window fishing. What I mean by that is that there seems to be window of about an hour slot in the A.M. that will fish fish well and then its slim pickens until the last hour of the day when it picks up again. My fish today were caught in the mouth on a size 22 New Moon. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, MF, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….. 

                                       MF fighting a fish.

                                         Richie and Alex .

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy NU Year !!!!!

              Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I want to start this blog by wishing all of you a wonderful New Year. While standing in the river today my mind shifted to armchair quarter back mode and with my Huskers and Broncos seasons over, I began to ponder what went wrong. I know they say that defense wins championships but, even if that is true, I love offense. I watched several Husker and Bronco games this year and I wondered if they both had the same offensive coordinator. First down was running back up the middle for a loss of one, second down was an off tackle run for a yard, and third down was a long pass down the field. Yes, every once in a while, they would hit the bomb for a big play, but it sure was a boring season to watch. Then it hit me, I wasn’t thinking about football, I was thinking about fishing in January. And what do I mean by that, well, let me illustrate...
               The river was fairly empty today and so I immediately jumped into one of my favorite feeding lanes. Several drifts without a yard gained and then I casted into a new spot. While the flies were drifting into the spot where I thought there would be a fish, the indicator shot up the river and I worked a beautiful eighteen incher to the net. Several more casts with nothing and then another connected bomb with a seventeen incher to the net. Now Brandon Reilley caught three TD’s in the Music city bowl, so I only had one more bomb to equal the Huskers output.
               I began working my way down river and it seemed I had way too many tackles for a loss and a few one yard gains (twelve inchers), and then I got my play of the day. I changed up my rig with smaller flies and switched to 6x tippet and after a few drifts through a long deep slow run and it was on. The bomb connected and I got my third TD of the day, he was the fattest of the day and was just a hair over seventeen inches. I moved on after that and found some dinks to bully around. Such, scoring 60 on South Dakota State is expected and doesn’t show your brilliance but every take and big run can still be a little fun.
            Now that only the really good football teams are still playing, this might be a great time to hit the Ark. Don’t expect a Bradyesque day, unless of course you deflate your bobbers, but just be glad you not frustrated watching another poor Husker or Bronco performance.
As many of you know the Fly Fishing Show will be going on this weekend in Denver. Since this is our busiest time of the year here in P-town, the Drift will not be part of the show, however we will be running a show special now through Sunday. All Tail Water guide trips purchased this week will be discounted by 10%, date does not need to be locked in but trip does need to be paid for. Spring is just around the corner and we have one of the best Spring fisheries in the world. Frazier and Frost of the nineties Huskers have nothing on the Ark in spring. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Kubiak and Reily, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……..

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Is Coming......

              Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. I have wanted to use that title ever since Cat and I binge watched Game of Thrones last year. My original idea was that after the first snow fall in late October, we would take a picture of me with my gear on, lying in the snow with my rod draped across my body. If you’re not a Game watcher, then you probably have no idea what I’m talking about but for the Game fans and in my own imagination, I would be just as sexy as Jon Snow. Well the November weather never really cooperated and by the time our first snow fall occurred we were already nearing my not so favorite part of winter. As I have written for several years now, January is not my favorite time of the year to fish but I will try to give a few tips to make your late winter on the Ark fantastic.
                I wanted to start by giving a quick update on the river as of late. The  Arctic freeze that came through last weekend dropped the water temps in to the low 40’s and have made the hatches a little unpredictable. One day the fish are gorging and the next day it’s crickets, proverbially speaking that is. Cats bug collecting has found a plethora of juvenile baetis nymphs, lots of midges and still aquatic moth and caddis larvae. Today I hooked several quality bows and got two to the net, and I felt like I worked for and earned every fish I bumped. Alex was out as well and had one of his best days in a while landing several in the fifteen to eighteen inch range.
                Now on to the winter tips; first, if you want to get out on the water please do not take yourself so seriously. And what do I mean by that, if you are on the water that that means you are not at work (unless you are a guide), you are not at the mall shopping, you are not yelling at Kubiak through your T.V. , you are not stuck at a boring holiday party, and lastly, you are not at your computer obsessing over college football recruiting(well maybe that’s just me). Now with that out of the way and on to the water, use the lull times to work on you technique. One of our shop friends Rich, has been working on his mending by using the New Zealand strike indicators and it is paying off in a big way. With the NZ indicator any poor mending will give you immediate negative feedback by sinking your indicator. If you can get the NZ indicator to float I can guarantee you will catch more fish in the future. Thirdly, if you are obsessed with big fish, winter can be a great time to get your best fish landed. Low flows coupled with cooler water can get you just enough edge to get that dream fish to the net. And lastly, and relating to the not taking yourself so serious part, when the dinks start rising, throw on a dry and check your ego at the door. For such small fish, they sure are smart.

                Now on to the business part of this blog; last weekend’s arctic blast put a bit of a damper on Christmas shopping so the Drifts shop hours will be adjusted over the next few days in hope that you get all your dreams and wishes. Thursday will have normal hours from 8:30a.m. to 5:30p.m., Friday we will be open from 8:30 til 6:00,(an extra half hour) and Saturday we will be open from 8:00 til 4:00 for all the procrastinators. Thanks to all our friends that made it to last weekend’s Fishmas party and to those that missed it, Cat, Winston and I want to wish you a truly Merry Christmas. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Jon Snow, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

                Alex's fish of the day !

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Zombie Apocalypse Fly.......

            Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. While sitting here watching the Walking Dead I began thinking about why different people watch different shows for many different reasons. Cat and I began watching the Walking Dead a few years back, and for me, I like the excitement, the drama and even a little of the comical gore, but for Cat it is more of a fantasy thing. I never quite understood it until one day Cody, Cat and I started talking about the show. The two of them began foaming at the mouth and talking about how awesome it would be to live in a Zombie Apocalypse. They planned how they would get food, their shelter and all the best ways to kill off these killer zombies. I guess it shows what a wimp I am because my thought was I sure would miss my hot shower. I also had to bring up the fact that our fly fishing days would be over. I guess this is where the conversational rules changed because Cat said that at that point we could still fish, but we could only fish with one fly for all our eternity. Now I was a little intrigued and since the two of us are considered “tail water experts,” I figured that Cat was going to put the rest of her fly fishing eternity into the hands of the FOD.  Now before my chest could even pump up, she told me her fly would be a size 20 Adams. What the …., I then had to jump in and say “what will you do for floatant” and Cat followed with “what are you going to do for weight.” At that point I knew I was either way overmatched for this kind of battle, or way too old and boring, and the conversation then turned to something else really important.
               On Friday Cat and I headed to the river and she got to let her Zombie Apocalypse fly make her point. By the time we got to the river the hatch was already on, I moved into a feeding lane and Cat started eyeing the risers. My first cast hooked and landed a fourteen incher and I figured it would be another typical killer nymph day. Cat started below me and her “ciggle” was immediate. For the next hour, I did not get a bump and the “ciggle” could be heard every few minutes. Not that we count, but after she had me down about fifteen to one, I went ahead and went to a dry as well, and what do you know, I could do it also. We caught sippers all afternoon and Cat was able to show off her expertise when she got a twenty incher to the net.
               Today Winston and I headed to the river on our own, when inviting Cat, she grinned and said she was still a little sore from out fishing me on Friday. As we made it to the river the fish were already looking up, and without any Cat pressure, I went straight to an Adams and what a blast. First cast landed a twelve incher and after that, every other cast produced a take or a fish. I saw one pair of lips that looked a little bigger than the rest and after a couple of pretty good drifts he hammered it. I got him to the net and he measured out between fifteen and sixteen inches. After about a dozen or so smaller fish, I moved down river into a feeding lane. I switched back to my nymph rig and my confidence came back in a big way. First cast landed an eighteen incher and in the next half an hour I landed six in that same range. Winston was once again proud of his papa.

               It sure is great to have such a wonderful family and friends. If a Zombie Apocalypse ever does happen, I am in good hands. Cat and I will pack the guns, the fly rods, and the dogs and head to Cody and Kim’s house. I may have to go without a hot shower but I think on any given day, with an Adams, FOD, or even Cody swinging something big, we would have fish to eat. Unless of course, the fish are affected by the same Zombie virus, but that’s for a different blog. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Abraham & Glen, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……

The Zombie Apocalypse Fly

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

" 10 "

               Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. The movie “10” came out in 1979 and pretty much blew everyone away. The movie was hilarious, sexy and actually changed American culture. Corn rows became the hairdo of the hotties and the number 10 became the word for anything awesome. And I don't know any man that didn't have a Bo fantasy. Now nearly forty years later, myself and Bo probably have more defined wrinkles than she had corn rows but the number 10 is still totally meaningful to me as a fly fisherman.
               As most of you know, Cat spent four long years in college getting her biology degree and took several classes on entomology and ichthyology. What she found was that there is both fly fishing science and book science. Now over the years, at times I have had to ask Cat about temps, about bugs and about a multitude of scientific fishy things. What has happened is that through all the tutorage, I have developed some of my own fishy science. And yes, many times Cat will tell me that I have the right to be wrong. But anyway, I have come to the conclusion that the magical number “10” is what I am looking for every fall. It seems to me that right about the time the water out of the damn drops into the 50-degree mark, the river turns on, and fishes very well until the temps drop below 40. This year the warm temps has kept the water temps up and the fishing conditions very unpredictable. Hatches were nearly impossible to predict and some days you really saw very few bugs at all. On Saturday, I was teaching my nephew how to fly fish and I saw my first “real” BWO hatch of the fall. Monday’s trip had giant BWO’s hatching early and then a huge hatch in the afternoon. I went home and checked the temps and what do you know, the beginning of my magical number is here.
               After yesterday’s bug frenzy, Cat and I decided we better get out. I’m not sure how many great days we will have but I know how many degrees we have. The first hour was a little slow with not much action and then the river came alive. The dinks and medium sized fish were gorging on the surface and the piggies were definitely moving into the feeding lanes. Now my favorite part about this time of the year is how technically fun the river can be. If you are in a feeding lane, have an accurate cast and a drag free drift when the bugs hatch than you are gonna have a good day. If not….the fish will let you know.
               Late in the day, Cat and I started talking about what we think of the fighting ability of our new Sage X’s. We have caught plenty of fish this fall and are absolutely in love with the weight and cast-ability of the rod but really haven’t really been able to develop a strong opinion of the fighting ability of the rod. Well after the next several fish, and in my best Forrest Gump voice, I like it a lot. Cat’s next hookup was an 18-incher that began to take her down river into a faster riffle and she was able to turn the fish, steer it around a rock, and finish by filling her net.  I didn’t even need to ask, her smile said it all. And then it hit me, I was thinking about the magical number “10” and how awesome my next ten degrees will be and the I looked down at my rod. Sage may call it the “X”, but in English that translates to “10”

               If you have been considering a guide trip, to learn or to just catch fish then the next 10-degrees should be the time to get it done. Medium to strong hatches should drive the fish batty. Dries for dinks and nymphs for the piggies, whatever your pleasure, we can help. FOD’s and Hi-vis baetis were the ticket today. Now I do have a little bad news to report before I finish, when I got back to my car today I saw that someone had a broken window. The river has been really trouble free for the last few years and I am hoping this was an isolated incident. A few hints to help but not a guarantee, spend the extra five minutes and drive into the park and be very careful of what thieves can see when they look into your car. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Bo Derek, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Gift of Fly Fishing 2016!!!!

               Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Cat and I hope you all had as great of a holiday weekend as we had. That being said, about thirteen hours of sleep and a return to my diet is just what the doctor ordered. Black Friday is the time when many Americans hit the stores for all the “best sales” out there. One store will advertise  65 inch SUHD TV’s for $399 and the next store will have HP laptops for $99. In the advertising world, these specials are called “loss leaders,” what that means is that these items are sold at a loss just to attract customers. The retailers hope that after someone purchases a loss leader or gets in the door looking for one, they go into such a spending frenzy, they buy tons of really “head scratching” stuff. Now I am fully aware that Christmas is about the birth of my Lord and Savior and that it should really have nothing to do with getting or giving gifts, but I have to admit, I have received a few “head scratching” gifts and allowed them to get under my skin. I wrote a few years back on this subject and have wondered how our readers have fared since. If you remember correctly, we categorized husbands into five, three, and one star husbands and then listed presents that fit the husband quality. So how have you done guys? I am sure that anyone that has enough class to read this blog is a five+ star husband, so I want to help you get the perfect gear for your time on the water. No loss leaders and definitely no “head scratching” stuff here. 
               For starters, I wanted to talk about what I think may be the best all-around fly rod ever produced. Power, feel, super light-weight, and the absolute ease of casting the new Sage X makes it the perfect gift for the 5 Star husband. The Simms G3 waders and boots, with their quality and price cannot be matched and also make the perfect gift for the perfect husband (bring sizes please). And lastly, the perfect gift for the absolutely best husband would be a guide trip from the most knowledgeable guide in the shop, Cat (she really is a great guide---but me explaining this to the world helps make me a 5-star husband)
               Now If you only check into this blog now and then or have not worked hard on being that perfect husband then maybe the 3 star category is where you fit. Being that I am a Sage homer, I will start with the two products that fit this category. The first is the Sage Pulse fly rod. The first time I saw the Pulse I fell in love with the color, and every true fly fisherman knows how important the color is. The rod is quick, light, and easy to cast and even with its low price, can still be a lifetime rod. The next item is the Sage 2200 reels, flawless functionality, looks and low price make this the perfect gift for the pretty good husband. Now for the next gift, and I hope the Sage people aren’t reading this, is the newest member of the Scott line, the Flex. The Flex is the upgrade of the A4 and feels to me like a quicker and visually better looking model than its predecessor. And lastly, a guide trip from me would be a perfect gift for all pretty good husbands. And you never know, a day with me and your man may realize how annoying it is to hang out with someone that never shuts up.
               Now for the people that just stumbled upon this blog or just don’t care enough to earn the extra stars, I have no answer. Be a better more deserving husband next year and we can talk then.
            As for women that fish, you are already 6 stars in our minds and we thank you for that. If you already have all the gear you need (yeah right) then maybe the accessory isle might the spot for you. The Simms Rogue fleece jacket is the absolute perfect gear for southern Colorado. The inner fleece is ideal for layering and the outer shell blocks just enough wind to make it the perfect stand alone for fall and spring. One of the more forgotten tools for fishing are lines. A new line can make your rod feel like it just had a tune up and we are fully stocked for the season (please bring rod weight). For the hands, we have a full line of Simms gloves that can keep you on the water longer and give your wife the relaxing day without you. We are also happy to share the fact that Simms has worked really hard on building a line that is both functionally tough, and has the fit and look to make women eager to get on the river. And lastly and for everyone reading, Cats novel is the perfect way to spend January (you all know how I like January). Get a couple or a case and give them out, but just get them. Novels can be found by clicking HERE.

               As we enter this holiday season we at the Drift want to be your lifetime fly shop. No loss leaders, no commissioned sales people, just fly fishermen that absolutely love the water. Come by and we can make your Christmas season awesome. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Dr. Chamberlain Shay, and the Drift Fly shop want to thank you for reading………

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Family Day !!!

              Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures Blog. I wanted to start by wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. I know it is the time of the year that we are supposed to be thankful for what God has done in our lives and for me it very easy. Twelve years ago on the day after Thanksgiving I made my vows with my best friend and incredible wife Cat. I think that was last time my whole family has been together at the same time and they still remind me about it to this day. You see, as Cat and I were heading into the mountains for our honeymoon, the rest of my family was making their way back to Omaha and a blizzard that turned the usual 9-hour trip into a 20-hour trip. Well they all made it home safely and the last 12 years for me have been nothing short of magical. This year my nephew was here celebrating his marriage and the whole family is back together again.                      
         Jimbo made it out a day early and we got to spend the day on the river. The river continues to be quite stained and fishing is still hit and miss. We hooked several quality fish and tons of the super dinks. I know it sure is nice having the warm days but we sure need a couple of seriously cold days. We are beginning to see the blue wings and he fish are really responding during hatches. Fish were on the FOD, Bling and the True Blood. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, Tom the Turkey, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading. 

For those who haven’t already heard, Cat has written a book and it was recently published. Before you get too excited... it isn’t about fishing, but it is still amazing work fiction. Buying it would help makes Cat’s dreams come true and maybe down the road we could get her to write one about fish. Click HERE to learn more about it and purchase.

And if you aren’t big into reading fiction, but still want to help her out please visit her facebook page and share it with your friends who are readers. Click HERE to visit her facebook page.

Here is a little taste of what Cat's Book is about:

                                          Winston and my X

                                          Robert and Katy