Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I've Been Waiting...

 …for a girl like you, to come into my life. It’s funny how maybe the only Foreigner song that I am not a huge fan of kept running through my head today. My frustration with this seemingly never ending winter finally began to ebb today. I started to look for changes in the fish earlier this month and they just didn’t seem to want to come out of their winter slumber. Guide trips over the last few weeks have seen moments of fish movement and then they just seemed to disappear again. Sunday was the first day that I saw significant amounts of fish moving into staging areas and a few actually moving to beds. Today, the fish sat in feeding lanes for a few hours. So it wasn’t a girl I was waiting for but it was the most enjoyable day I have had on the water in a few months.

  Fish were not easy; the key today was finding fish and then placing an accurate cast right in front of them. Most of the fish landed over the last week were on the Bling midge and the J-Bomb. I am hopeful that Saturdays and today’s feeding frenzy is the beginning of a something beautiful.  Look for those feeding frenzies to increase over the next several weeks. As always, thanks for reading Connell, Cat, Winston, The J-Bomb, and The Drift Fly Shop…..

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentine's Day Tribute...

Hello all and hope you all have an incredible Valentine’s Day. With the day upon us, I started thinking about my incredible wife and how things have changed over the years. When we were dating I remember an evening that I had prepared a dinner that included corn fed Omaha Steak, shrimp scampi, a potato, chives, sour cream and bacon dish and finished off the dinner with fresh watermelon and strawberries drizzled with a cream cheese sauce. As we sat down to eat I couldn’t help but to gaze into the beauty that sat in front of me. At one point we both reached for the steak sauce at the same time and when our fingers touched, it was like 1000 volts of electricity running through my body and then looking up I could see fireworks flashing in her eyes. I couldn’t talk because a cheerful giggle filled my body. Shortly after we were married I remember an evening when Cat had worked a long shift and by the time she got home I had prepared a hot candle lit scented bath with a side of fresh strawberries and a bottle of wine. It was great, I was completely obsessed with Cat, I thought about her constantly and fantasized that someday it would be more than just an incredibly fun “May, December “relationship. Oh the days of infatuated obsession. I love my wife like nothing else on the face of the planet but boy have things changed. On Cat’s longest work day of the week I am a little ashamed to admit that the hot prepared bath has been exchanged for “do you want Taco Bell or Chipotle”, and the touch and fireworks seem to be replaced by “get in line”.  We talk about it from time to time and I ask Cat if she is bothered by the fact that I’m not very romantic anymore and she gives me a little “tisk” and exclaims that even though some things have changed, she feels like I am the most romantic man on the face of the planet.

  So, are you are wondering how I am going to transition to flyfishing? I had a guide trip out yesterday and I got to see some fishing that brought home the obsession. As most of my readers know, I am obsessed with sight fishing and January and February are not really conducive to that type of fishing. Yesterday we spotted one pretty nice fish and one of my clients got that look in his eye. I got both set up and while I was helping Tom, I watched out of the corner of my eye Dave’s obsession with the fish begin to grow.  I watched as he would sneak in and cast several times and then move away and give the fish a chance to rest his nerves. Dave changed his flies several times and at one point I watched him set the hook but to no avail. I walked back down to help( I understand obsession) and we switched up tactics and flies and I moved back up river to help Tom. I had barely reached Tom and I heard a sound that made me smile, it was a “ciggle” with a man’s voicing. Yep, I hustled back to Dave and the grin seemed to be miles wide, he worked the fish all the way in and it was a beautiful, just over 18inch, hook jawed, ornery, old, Buck brown. Nothing quite like stalking your prey and bringing it to the net was written on Dave’s face the rest of the day. Unfortunately, just before I snapped the pic, Dave put on his "Tiger Woods, I've been here before face". We fished all day with several nice fish to the net. Tom landed the fish of the day, a chunky rainbow that was just a hair under 19 inches. Dave also picked up a 15 inch walleye. Fishing was not easy but the hard work and obsession of Dave and Tom produced an enjoyable day.

  I was expecting to see fish in staging areas and even a few getting in the Valentine’s Day spirit but the fish seemed to still be hunkered down most of the day. The forecast shows a continuing warming trend and I hope continues to warm the water, temps were approaching 43 degrees at Moffat yesterday.

  I am so lucky to have a wife that not only joins my fishing obsession but also encourages it. I don’t expect all women to love fishing as much as my wife does but I want to take this moment to thank all those incredible women out there that continue to support and even encourage our obsessions. Flyfishing is expensive and time consuming and you continue shower us with your love and approval. Without your support in our flyfishing obsessions, we could not be the people we are today So, Cat, Kim, Janet, Diane, Tracy and Dawn, Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, you make life worth living…

  As always, Thanks for reading, Connell, Cat, Winston, Cupid and The Drift Fly Shop….

Monday, February 10, 2014

Near Disaster

  Hello all and thanks for checking in. I know it’s been a few weeks since my last write up, and I was really looking forward to posting something about my incredible fishing on the water yesterday. Cat and I tried to make it out a little earlier than usual yesterday and began our drive to the water before 9:00a.m. I know that’s not early for most, but definitely early for us. Cat’s phone began to beep and she had a text message asking if we knew anything about the river being shut off. We laughed it off, and she texted back that the gauge they had been reading was probably frozen. We pulled into Juniper parking lot and Cat gasped and said “what have they done to my river.” I had to take a double take but yes, the water was shut off. We got out and started walking up and noticed the water wasn’t moving and already was beginning to freeze through. We frantically began making calls to those in the know and they began making calls as well. After about an hour, Alex, Cody, and My personal Abe Lincoln (Ants) met up and the only word we got back was “this is the law and too bad”. We stood above Cat’s run for what seemed an eternity in complete disbelief that our little stretch of paradise may have come to its end. The Seagulls were the only living being that looked happy about open the buffet of exposed bugs and trapped fish. We all complained for a while and then decided to go home and try to make some calls.

  On the way home I looked over and saw tears coming down Cat’s face, it reminded me of the seventies commercial of the kids throwing trash at the “old Indian’s” feet. There was a Christian song out a few years ago that stated “that you don’t know what you got til it’s gone, paved Paradise and put up a parking lot”, kept playing through my head. We made it home just in time for the call of the day. The call from early in the day, which stated that it was “law” was returned to Ants but this time with a “sorry, we did not know that water was completely shut off and people were on the way to fix it.” It turns out that one of the dam gates was shut off and another was supposed to open but somehow failed. The next hour we sat on the DWR site and kept hitting refresh, my computer hasn’t seen the refresh button hit that many times since the Husker recruitment of Andrus Peat. Unlike the depression I felt when Andrus picked Stanford, a shriek of joy rang through the O’Grady household when the river was back to 63cfs. The river for now is back to its wintertime flows…A day like yesterday sure makes me thankful for the incredible fishery we have…

  As many of you know, the fourth annual Frostbite Fishoff was held this weekend on the Pueblo tailwater.  First I would like to congratulate Pat and Manny for taking home the trophy. The tourney sure seemed like a microcosm of the fishery of late. Many teams were completely blanked, several landed only a few fish, and some that had done well in either the morning or the afternoon sessions. Good times were had by all and I heard that the lunch form Subway was spectacular and perhaps the best lunch that many of the contestants had ever tasted. Thank you for the incredible job the Subway’s on the north side of Pueblo did…hehe

  For anyone interested in the river conditions and not my endless ramblings, the river seems to be right back to normal. With the weather forecast showing a warming trend I would expect to see fish beginning to awake from their wintertime slumber. Some fish will move into staging areas while others should begin to make their way to their beds. Fish will begin to eat more readily and fishing takes should become a little more aggressive. As always, thanks for reading, Connell, Cat, Winston, Subway(north Pueblo), and The Drift Fly Shop……….