Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Fall Kiss......

I got home this afternoon from the river, took a nap, and then went out to mow the newly fallen leaves on my lawn. If you follow my facebook page at all then you know about how much fun I have this time of the year referring to my beautiful Ash, I love to joke but I really think this has become my favorite time of the year. Over the last few weeks I have made lots of afternoon trips to the river, five to seven o’clock are just magical. The sun beats down as we step into the river and a quick shiver as we step in. A minute or two later you can’t believe how good it feels. The skeeters are gone for the most part, but you do still have to be careful of the “eye crashing” caddis. The trees in town are just starting to turn and it is the perfect time to make a couple of last trips to the mountains for the absolute true beauty. And yes as much as it pains me to say, but football is back.

Fishing has been spotty with moments of incredible action and the other times that just leave you scratching your head. I can’t believe how strong and smart are fish are right now. Saturday I hooked two different fish that wrapped me around rocks before I knew what hit me. Today most of them eventually shook and spit my fly, yeah we still got some to the net but have certainly left points on the field (oops, football speak). Water clarity has been spotty as well and my hope is that this is the res turning over and the water will clear shortly and when it does, Man, Woman and Child get here!!!(sorry an old timer Husker saying). Pictures are from the last week, Tino’s flies have turned to gold, and I actually snuck up and watched our friend Jim Browning fight this fish. Tino still thinks it is my cameras fault every time he loses a fish but I was rolling the whole time he landed this piggy.

As I am sitting in this Fall wonderland I keeping thinking about how incredibly blessed my life has been. When I think about what I probably deserve in life and what I have been given I almost feel a little ashamed. It gets me thinking about my Irish heritage and the old Blarney stone kiss for luck and got me thinking there might be a way to transfer some of my good fortunes to others. I think my beautiful tree may just be the answer, the leaves should all be gone in the next few weeks and we can set up a little shrine in the likes of the Blarney stone and any that want luck and good fortune to come their way, they can stop be my house, and the for luck they can kiss my bare Ash…..

Sorry, for that people. I will never grow up and I am not sure our readers want me to. I was looking at our totals for the blog and just realized that we have gone over fifty thousand hits. I’m humbled and say thanks, had I opted to allow Google to put ads on our blog I think I would be up to fifty cents now, if only I had known. Anyhow, I really want to thank you all for being part of this blog and Connell, Cat, Winston, St. Patrick and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for putting up with our writing.

My Beautiful Ash...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Googans On My Numbers...

Hey all, hope you get title. The O’Gradys began watching Wicked Tuna a few weeks back and we found it so intriguing that I actually dreamt of tuna fishing a few nights. We have even talked about how cool it would be to head east and try for a few of those monsters. You know we tend to whine quite a bit when the river gets crowded, but the more episodes we watch, the more we realize how much more pleasant the flyfishermen of Colorado really are. My last blog I laughed about Winston stepping in and breaking off a fish of mine but we were watching an episode the other night and while the Odyssey was fighting a monster, another boat drove over the line and broke everything. Could you imagine losing a four to fifteen thousand dollar fish because someone drove over your line? Or how about those moments when you have to say excuse me, I was fishing that run and they look at you and tell you to bleep off. I guess our waters aren’t so crowded after all, and if Googans are on my numbers, I’ll just move and catch other fish.

Cat and I got back out on the river again this evening and had a blast. Cat has been working on a new pattern for some time now trying to match a bug that her entomology classes have been collecting the last few years, and I think she has got it dialed in. Her class yesterday found several of the same insect and after studying it she saw something that was just a little different. She finished her masterpiece and told me that today was going to be her day. We stepped into the first run and with her confidence bubbling out of her ears, I told her that I would stand back and video. First drift was a few feet from finished and the indicator shot up river, a quick battle and she netted a beautiful eighteen incher.                   As she held it up for me to take the pic, the grin on her face was as wide as Brad Pitts in A River Runs Through It. With her mile wide grin she said it took her new fly. Now I’m not going to say much more about her fly, maybe she can be bribed at the shop or maybe even better yet, take her next class. Anyway, we moved upriver and I kept looking up and saw Cat fighting yet another fish. Now I know how people get frustrated watching me (jkjkjkj). I managed to coax a few to the net as well, but the night belonged to the woman of my dreams. She was the tonight.  

Fishing is still the same with moments of glory and moments of head scratching. Cat hooked all her fish on her new fly and I hooked most of my fish on her fly and one on a green FOD hybrid. The fish seem to slow way down about twenty minutes before dark. I don’t know if it is just my imagination because of my evening enjoyment but it seems to me like over the last week we have lost about twenty five minutes of light. Anyway, get out and enjoy, just stay off my numbers. hehe.

As Always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Dave & Paulie, And The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….

      Cat's Radian was feeling left out so these pics are for the Radian

Friday, September 19, 2014

Winston & The Peepee Walk

Hey all and thanks for checking in to the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. For those of you that don’t know, I have spent my entire working life being part of the “tail kissing” or service industry. One of the great things about doing that for so long means that I have learned how to read people’s faces, emotions, and body language.

          I remember when I worked up at The Winter Park Ski Area, and used to be able to read a person’s what I called the peepee walk. I would watch people wander around the courtyard with a blank upward stair and look at all the signs and then open the only door where no bathroom sign existed. As they opened the door and before they could ask, I would point across the courtyard and say “down stairs.” They would typically stutter for a second and then ask where the bathrooms were, once again, I would point to the other door and “say downstairs.” Now years later in the Subway business, where as the owner I care little more about customer service, my customers do something called the napkin walk. Yep, same as before, but I am much more polite.

Now my abilities to read people are almost always a good thing, but sometimes it can be a little painful. Over the last several years my puppy has become so popular that most of the time when I show up at the shop to meet guide clients, I shake hands and make my greetings and immediately see the clients looking over my shoulder to see if I brought Winston. Yes, I can see it in their eyes before they ever mutter a word and it hurts me deeply.  I then have to make up the excuse that I would hate to see my client lose the fish of a life time because of Winston. I was beginning to think that I was just making up excuses and saving my pride because it had been so long since I had lost a fish on Winston.

This evening I headed to the river with Brandon and Winston and while Brandon was getting ready, Winston and I dropped into a new weir. I had only casted twice when my indicator shot upstream and as quickly as I could exhale, the fish was off. The quick take got both of our attentions. A few more casts and I was attached to one of the better fish I have hooked this fall. The fish didn’t run much, but his power was felt throughout the entire rod. After a minute or so I was able to get the bow to the surface and I could see he was at least twenty inches, or thirty six in shop talk. The fish seemed as if he was throwing up the white flag and for some reason Winston stepped out into the water, it was crazy, it was as if the fish thought Winston was a life saving tree and with all the rest of his strength he shot over and went under Winston’s back legs. Winston immediately got a scared look on his face and my line floated back at me with nothing attached, everything was gone, including the fish.  Now it is always sad to lose a fish, but I have forgiven my pups already. Now as the evening went on I began to think to myself, it had been years since Winston had caused me to lose a fish, so why now? And then it hit me, I had not fished a rod with his name on it for over a week and he knows it. Was it revengeful evil planning on his part or just bad luck?

Okay, for anyone wondering if I have lost my mind, remember my favorite saying of all time, if you can’t learn to laugh at yourself than you will unfortunately miss the greatest joke of your generation.  So all kidding aside, I wanted to talk a little about the conditions on the river as of now. I have been out almost every evening over the last week and have seen just about everything. Some of the evenings have felt like work, where every single fish was earned, and then the last two evenings felt like easy money. If you wonder what I think of the new rod I have been fishing, check out some of the pics from the last few evenings. I feel like the rod deserves to be in the pics. Fish have been on PMD emergers in the late afternoon and trico patterns in the mornings. The lower flows mean it is time to try a little harder to match the hatch and begin moving away from attractors. The last twenty minutes or so of light I have watched some of the most incredible caddis hatches I have ever seen, maybe even to close. The last two nights I have had caddis try to drink fluids from my eyeball and it is not as cute as it sounds. The red swollen eye is from the caddis and not back talking Cat. On a good note, the found flybox has been claimed.

So to end this blog I want to address the future clients, if you do want Winston to be part of the guide trip then you might want to bring a rod with his name on it, if not, we cannot be held responsible. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Brandon and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….


Friday, September 12, 2014

Won't Get Fooled Again....

Hey all, a quick little post about the river this evening. Sorry no cute stories tonight but I will date myself by telling you all that the songs running through my head and are representative of this evening are; Hard Days Night and Won’t Get fooled again.  Throughout the day today I kept looking outside and wishing I could find the time to get to the river. I saw an old friend at the flyshop and made plans for later on that night, I’ll find  my little fish and I know that I can treat them right. We got to the water around 4:30 and a quick glimpse of the swallows got me licking my chops. Fishing had been better than average as of late and the swallows should be a sign that good things were coming. My friend Mitch started in one run and landed two right away and I thought “It On Tonight”. Well it was twenty minutes before I had my first two hookups with one spit and one breakoff.  I finally landed a couple and the things got slow again. We moved and fished and found that every fish bumped was completely earned. Fish were spread out and seemed more interested in resting than eating the PMD’s that covered the water but the few we landed were well worth the work it took. Winston might have had the best night, at one point I looked over and saw that he had found himself a burrito and was woofing it down, I think he thought it belonged to Mitch because he sure followed Mitch around.
   So how do the songs fit in, it was a hard days night of fishing(but so worth it) and the river and the fish really fooled me this evening. I guess that means maybe I need to go back tomorrow to figure it all out, and the next day, and the next; Won’t get fooled again. I think it’s time to sit down and pull out my Les Paul, too much music in my head.
  As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Mitch and The Drift Fly shop want to thank you for reading.

***Again, I am still holding a very specific flybox and flies that I found Wednesday evening.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Rods, New Curse

 Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Regular readers of this blog should remember a post I did a year and a half ago called Out Of Cat's Head. The Blog basically talked about the fishing curse that Cat was haunted with and her eventual release from it. Tonight I am afraid might have been the start of a new curse for the both of us. I have been fishing and bragging about the same rods for a few years now, but after talking to our Sage Rep. the other day, Cat decided to try their newest rod, the Accel, and I was going to try their Sage One premium rod. I had tried the 9ft 5 wt. a few years ago and was thrilled with the way it casted, but felt like the stiffness put too much strain on my arm while fighting fish. Having not tried the 4wt however, I decided to give it a shot.

Cat and I hit the river this afternoon and I would have to say I was a little skeptical with the weapons we were brandishing. I had the Sage One 9ft 4wt and Cat was sporting the new Accel 9ft 5wt. I realized this evening that my dog can actually read, because he couldn’t figure out why his name wasn’t written all over my rod.

 We got to the water at around 4:30pm and after a few very refreshing false casts I tossed my set up exactly where I was aiming. The rig drifted a few feet and then an effortless mend was followed by the indicator shooting upstream. I could tell immediately that it was a nice fish and was thrilled with the way the rod actually helped me land the fish. In the net I measured my best bow of the early fall season right at 19inches. I couldn’t believe how nice the rod handled the battle, the power of the fish was completely absorbed by the rod, and I could feel everything the fish was doing. I hooked two more in that run and landed one, I got the same delightful feeling while fighting these fish as well. I walked back up to Cat and she was telling me how well she like the new Accel she was fishing, she was so excited that after fishing for half hour or so, it never occurred to her that she wasn’t fishing her eight hundred dollar rod.

 Now I need to change the subject for just a second. I need to tell you that I think Cat may have accidently played a mean little trick on Winston tonight. I think most of you know that Winston’s three favorite things in life to do are first to eat, second to fish with daddy, and third to fetch anything that gets thrown. If you don’t believe me ask Tino, he made the mistake of throwing a stick for Winston a few years ago and now Winston will not let him fish. When we see Tino on the water, Winston finds a stick and runs to Tino and bangs the back of his legs with the stick until he throws it. Anyhow, Cat hooked and landed this super tiny rainbow that measured all of about 3 inches and Cat thought that the markings were so adorable that she was going to take a pic. Just like last weekend, the less than 17 inch fish slipped out of her hand and before it hit the water, Winston snagged it out of the air. He gave a quick “OMG” look and dropped it immediately and the tiny bow swam off. Winston followed Cat around pretty much the rest of the evening. I am guessing at this point he is wondering how much trouble he would have gotten in if he had woofed it down really quick and would it have changed his post fishing Subway sandwich reward.

  So now back to the fishing, we made our way down river and Cat hooked, fought, and then landed a beautiful 19 incher as well. We switched rods for a little while and after just a few casts each, we looked at each other and simultaneously said, “I can see why you like this rod.”

As we were making our way back to the car Cat nervously stated that she hope it was her and not just the rod that landed that fish this evening. I grinned and said the thought had crossed my mind as well. Before I became hopelessly addicted to this sport I was a golf addict. I remember reading the golf magazines and I remember watching Taylor Made come out with three “Newest, Greatest, and Longest most forgiving” drivers of all time. Each new driver was ten yards longer than the one before. I remember thinking that I shouldn’t buy a new one today, because if I wait a month I could add another ten straighter yards. Then I realized that with this ideology and if what they said was true, in just the five or six years with a brand new club I should be able to drive the ball 800yds. Obviously that never happened, otherwise Tiger would be watching me on Sundays.

Luckily for us fly fishing addicts, the rod companies are nothing like the golf companies. Most will change their high end rods every five or six years, but the false promises aren’t attached. The rod companies understand that a poor cast is a poor cast no matter what rod is in your hands. What they do improve on is the feel, lightness, and creating rods of a higher verity to suit different casting styles and fishing conditions. Not to leave out that every new rod tends to increase the ….Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So should we be worried about a curse……. Nah we have two new rods on the way, can’t see a curse in that. Winston may be sad that his name won’t be on them, but maybe mommas new game will make up for it, NOT A CHANCE.

As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Sage and The Drift Fly shop want to thank you for reading….

I almost forgot, while fighting a fish tonight I watched a fly box float by me, I chased it down and grabbed it. The box had to have been lost this evening and is very distinct. I found the box just below Valco Parking lot. If you lost a fly box or know anyone that has, call me at 719-568-4927 and describe it to me, I would love to get this to the owner, losing stuff sucks!!!!!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Just What Was Needed....

  Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. I want to start by stating how much we appreciate and cherish all of our P-town peeps, but unlike “Cheers” sometimes you wanna go where no one knows your name. Cat and I have been desperately trying to figure out a way to make it to the mountains and after the stress of watching my Huskers pound the Mcneese State powerhouse yesterday, we knew that the time was now. We tried a new lake this morning down by Trinidad and found it to be way prettier than expected. The fire scar from a few years back was apparent but the area was coming back nicely. We caught lots of small fish and then felt we would make a trip up to North Lake. We saw two separate groups of turkeys on the way out. North was a little slow but the color of the lake always makes it worth the trip. Cat landed one of the tiger trout that had been stocked up there and said it was absolutely gorgeous, unfortunately she is not used to holding any fish smaller than 17inches and lost it before she could pull out her camera. Now, no trip into that area is complete without a stop at the world famous Dog Bar and Grill in Cuchara. Cal and Karen run an incredible place down there; the pesto sauce pizza and the atmosphere are to die for. Between Cuchara and LaVeta we came around a corner and saw a bear just off the road. I don’t think I will ever get over the excitement of seeing them. Now the inner child in me looked at Cat and said maybe we should go back and feed him out leftover pizza. It’s safe; he was behind a barbed wire fence. Well since I’m writing this, it is pretty obvious that we didn’t go back. We made one final stop at Wahatoya and felt like this was exactly the day I needed. We caught fish everywhere we stopped; the only sad part of the day was that the uncertainty of the day made us leave a very sad Winston at home.

  I know it has been a while since we have written a blog like this and want to encourage any of you that feel like you’re caught up in the rat race of life to take a day and spend it in God’s country. It will make you a better person. Just don’t play with the bears.

  The river flows in town have been a little like a yoyo over the last few weeks but fishing still seems to be okay to good. When the water clears the fish ought to explode into feeding frenzies. As always, Connell, Cat, Sad Winston, Yogi, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading.