Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014 !!!!!

Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. I wanted to start this blog by wishing all of you the Merriest of Christmas’s. With this being the “Giving” season, I decided that this year my gift to our readers would be this story of the perfect Christmas gift. Since I know we have a lot of families that read this blog together I hope that some of you, after opening presents and reading a Christmas story, light a fire, wrap yourself in a warm blanket and read this little Christmas story. Okay, actually the story is a little boring but mine nonetheless.

  As many of you know from prior blogs, Cat and I really don’t ever purchase Christmas presents for each other.  Throughout the year we find that if there is something that we really want than we go ahead and buy it. It takes so much pressure off Cat because it would be impossible to buy for me. So our Christmas giving usually involves small gifts for Cats family and my boys and spoiling the tar out of my granddaughter. I knew all of the shopping was completed last week because Cat kept me very updated on what “We” had given for presents. On Monday, as was my customary routine, I got home work and went to the mailbox. I was very surprised when I found a package with my name on it. As I opened the package I saw that it was a trout colored dog collar. I was a little surprised that Cat would only purchase one collar since we do have two dogs. I tossed the pack on the counter and went on my way. On Tuesday Cat and I were talking and I made mention of the collar and she said “I thought you bought it”. Nope it wasn’t me and so we examined the package and realized that there was no name as to who made the purchase. We realized that Winston has a secret “Santa” and all those old jealous feelings came rushing back through my brains. I know we don’t expect any gifts but to realize that my dog actually has a secret gift giver. The jealous thoughts of, can Winston teach you where the fish are? Can Winston help you across the river? Can Winston tell these incredible flyfishing stories? Can Winston create incredible flies that catch fish? And then it hit me, even though he can’t do all of those things, a quick look at his picture wishing a Merry Christmas puts a huge grin on my face. What better gift can a person ask for. Now I showed Winston the trout colored collar that he was secretly gifted and although he told me that it was super sexy, he did say that it oozed as a slight sign of oppression and future gifts should be more in the way of bones and snacks. Wow, spoken like a true O’Grady.

  Now for the part of the blog that the fisherman are looking for. Fishing this week has really moved more toward winter fishing. Water temps coming out of the damn are between 40 and 41 degrees. Hatches the last few days out have consisted of small midges and very spotty BWO hatches. Guide trips out this week have had some very nice fish taken but the fish definitely have to be worked for. The smaller fish are still feeding like crazy and can be caught most of the day but the big fish have definitely become finicky. Small BWO and small cream colored midges seem to be the ticket right now with the occasional chomp on something red. One of our return clients doesn’t usually take pics but his fish on Sunday was so pretty he allowed just the one pic. As I said to open the blog, we wish you all an incredible Christmas. Connell, Cat, Winston, the Secret Santa want to thank you for reading……


Friday, December 19, 2014

A Winter's Journey

          Hello all and once again, thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. I wanted to start this blog by aging myself a little with a quote from Steve Perry. Yes, only us elder folk will even have a clue as to who he was. So despite the best (or worst) efforts of evil corporations, big oil, SUV’s, and white males between the ages of 23 and 56, “Winter is here again oh lord”. I know many anglers keep personal logs on fishing conditions but I am lucky enough to have both an incredible memory and also my personal blogs to look back on. For many years I felt like and have blog evidence that Christmas day is in addition to the birth of my Lord and Savior, is almost always Gods last BWO hatch gift of the year. Looking back it seems that the 26th rolls in and the water temps dip into the midge only range. Cat and I and a few friends made it to the water yesterday and it appears that we will be in the same regular time frame. Temps yesterday were coming out of the damn between 42 and 43 degrees. We saw a very quick and very small BWO hatch at around noon and then a little longer and bigger hatch again at around 2:00. The temps have the fish mildly interested but if you have ever taken a guide trip from me then you will understand that the fish seem to be more in the TV dinner category. At times yesterday fishing was fun and at times it was getting frustrating. Several takes were super subtle. Cat started off the day on top with a healthy 18 incher until a few hours later when I weaseled out an 18 and a half incher. I was feeling pretty good about my superiority until Cody pulled one out that never got measured but everyone said it was at least 18 and three quarters.

  As Steve Perry so eloquently said, “Winter is here again oh Lord”. So what does that mean to us anglers? Should we stop fishing? Absolutely not, however it is definitely time to rethink your tactics. First of all think about your tippet, the water is slow and clear, 6x fluoro should be the norm for the next several months. Secondly, try and think like a fish and figure out where the fish are at any given time. And lastly, think about what the fish are eating on. Yesterday my first fish took a size twenty FOD but almost every fish after that were caught on a size 22 J-bomb and a 22 Bling. The really small sparkle wing has been producing as well. And Lastly, keep your expectations realistic, if the only way you can you call a day on the water a success is if you were “hammering 25inchers all day long” don’t come. Enjoy the moments when they are feeding and relax and enjoy the ambience when they are not.

  Okay for you young guns out there, Steve Perry was the lead singer for an ancient band called Journey. If you have never heard them you are missing out. The next 10 days will most likely be the most crowded of the year so please be considerate. If you happen to see me on the river, please let me take all the best runs. JKJKJKJK But seriously, this is Christmas be thankful for the incredible gifts we have been given and enjoy His season. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, Mary & Joseph, and The Drift Fly Shop humbly thank you for reading…….

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Just What Was Needed.....

  Hey all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. Over the years I can’t really even guess to the amount of Facebook posts about “work” getting in the way of fishing. Even though I do work quite a bit, between having a flexible schedule and the perfect wife, finding the time to fish has never really been much of a problem. The last few weeks I have come to learn the frustration from the lack of fishing. I have even been missing out on a lot of the typical vicarious fishing because I haven’t even had my usual hang out time in the shop.

 Cat and I had hoped to get out today but even plans to get to the river were made around fingers crossed. Even the drive to the river had me praying that my phone would stay silent. Our first attempted stop at the river was way too crowded but the second was not bad and in reality, Winston and I were more interested in standing in a river rather than catching a ton of fish. We walked into the river and right away I saw one of my favorite runs unoccupied. As I began my speedwalking my eyes bounced all around in fear that someone would jump out of the trees and beat me to the run. My heart picked up a beat when I realized that NOONE would beat me to that run. I maneuvered into place and scouted the run. A half a dozen shadows moving back and forth reminded me how awesome flyfishing can be. I finished setting up my rig and looked at the Sage One in my hand. Could I be in a better place, I thank not. First cast was nothing but the second was money. The head shake and tailwalk nearly made me cry. As the fish hit the water I felt the hook come flying back at me and I didn’t really care a bit. The stress from work was gone. I gazed back at the run and picked out another shadow to harass. A couple casts and heaven again, I could tell right away that it was a very nice fish with his head thrashing back and forth. After getting through the first ten seconds or so Winston started getting excited as well , he had a grin on his face that said” yep, that’s my dad and you get in his net”. The fish got below me and the saddest thing happened. A big brown came up sideways and I turned off the Gopro. He must have slipped I thought and so I gave him a little extra tug in order not to injure him. The extra pressure flipped him over and it was back in the mouth, he had just rolled on it. It was the fish of the day and he was a joy. We hooked and landed several more and Cat switched to streamers and landed a smallie. As the day went on it seemed as if the dinks got hungrier.

 Late in the day I found a few more fish that sparked my obsession. I worked on a few fish for half an hour. I hooked one but the others were just too smart. Cat asked if she could take a shot and I said what the heck. She moved in and got a little stealthy. She thought for a second and decided to go at it just a little different. I’m not giving away her secret but she hooked my afternoon nemesis. My perfect wife would never say anything out loud but I’m sure deep down she was grinningly saying “mess with the bull”.

  As the day finished I was thinking about how awesome this day was. We didn’t catch millions of fish but the ones we hooked were incredible. I also got to thinking about the rods I have been fishing this fall and early winter.  I could not be any more excited and wanted to give a huge thanks to Sage. The Accell and the One have been a joy. I can only hope that Sage keeps these lines in production so I don’t have to search for a new rod.  Fish today were on FOD’s, Ninjas, and Bling midges. The clear water seems to have shut off a little of the attractor patterns, fishing really slowed every time I added an egg or a worm. With the clear low water even fluoro needs to get down to the 5 and 6x sizes. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, the 2$ meatball, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……