Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Arkansas River 2/22/2015

 Hello all, I wanted to give a quick report on the river. As most of you know, the river was increased by 75cfs on Friday afternoon. The front moved in Friday evening so I wanted to get out Saturday and see how the river has been affected. I got to the river at around 1:00 and got a phone call from friends that had been out all morning; they said it had been sparse. The light was very dim and sighting was very difficult. I spent the first hour and a half just hitting runs that fish well between 150-250cfs and did not even get a sniff. I worked my way back up river and found one run that had feeding fish. In an hour or so I think I landed 8 total fish but one of them was a Bugle Mouthed Bass. And as quickly as the fish started to eat, they stopped equally as fast. I went home and checked water temps and saw that the 43 degrees the gauging station had topped out at all week was now below 40. The biggest fish of the day took a size 20 FOD and everything else took a 22 J-bomb.

 Next week’s weather forecast looks like we have reentered winter. Fishing will most likely be spotty with times of greatness. If you get to the river keep your expectations real and you should have a great day. I am guessing that when spring weather returns, the fishing ought to explode. The increase in flows will certainly spread out the fish and give anglers a little elbow space. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Slush Bumps

          What’s up all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures blog. I guess it was nearly 30 years ago, I had just finished my junior year of college and I was dreading the idea of becoming what my major had in store for me. I then, thankfully, made one of my costliest decisions of my life. My first and only spring break vacation took place in the mountains and afterwards I could not pry the vision of the mountains from my mind. I went back over Memorial Day and decided to take a job “just for the summer” and never made it back. As my first winter approached I was lucky enough to find a job at the Winter Park ski shop. Every morning I was up early and anxious to get to the mountain. Four hours of work, a quick bite to eat and a speed walk to the lifts. It didn’t take long to feel like I had mastered the groomers and the obsession turned to bumps. I couldn’t get enough; obsessively I had to beat the bumps. January and February passed and my body began to feel the pain, Ibuprofen became part of my daily diet. As March made its way in I began to feel like I was getting better and something magical happened. The bullet proof bumps of winter warmed and became Big Giant Mashed Potato Slush Bumps. It was incredible, the bumps were super fast but soft as well. Balance came easy and my skis felt like they were squarely under my feet. Tips down and rat-tat-tat, a little hop and some air and back into the line for more hero turns. I started spending a lot of my time under the lifts so that everyone could see how awesome I was. Well the weather would change and the hero snow from the day before would turn back to ice and I could not wait for another slush bump day.
           Fast forward 30 years and I feel like I am still in the same boat. My knees have aged to where even drugs only barely help and big fat slush bumps don’t give me quite the thrill of yesteryear, but the right spring day can still get my blood pumping through my veins. Last week I had a guide trip out and for an hour or so the fish moved themselves out of their winter slumber and back in to zesty eating machines. Sunday’s trip to the water saw fish a little more subdued. I was looking at the forecast and really wanted to get out on a warm day and today was it. Cat and I made it to the water at around 11:00a.m. and before I knew what was going on Cat looked like she was skiing super hero slush bumps. Every time I looked up she was fighting another fish. She then pulled a “Connell” on me, yep she said do you want to come fish this spot. My ego said “No”, but after two more fish I came to my senses and I said sure I’ll go try that run. We switched spots and she hooks one right where I had been. I finally started hooking fish but the landing percentage was awful today. I think I lost 11 out of my first 12 fish. Well things turned off and on all day for the both us and getting home and going through the footage we realized that we had done even better than we thought. Yep, it was like we were shredding slush bumps all day.
           Fish were eating off and on all day long and they never really keyed in on any one fly. Black Ninjas, Olive Juju’s, Blings, and grey BWO emergers were the ticket today. I tried eggs for little while this afternoon and the fish didn’t seem interested. Now I do have one Bit**; I landed a fish today and the poor thing had an egg and about a two inch stinger hook stuck in his a**. It made me a little sick, please people, if you are using peg eggs please use stinger hooks no larger than a size 18. Peg eggs are not for snagging any poor fish within six inches of the egg, but actually for the safety of the fish as they grab the egg. Okay now back to the fun stuff, a storm is coming back in this weekend and next week is supposed to warm back up. From now until runoff fishing ought to be good to excellent. Get here and be the hero of your own mind. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, The Mary Jane and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

On Top......

  Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Valentines Day Flyfishing adventures. If you have read my blogs over the years than you probably know that I have always considered myself to be true “mans man”. Yep, ten years of being married to an amazing wife and I always feel like my position should be on top. Now every once in a while Cat feels a little rambunctious and gets on top and even though I can handle it and it does have it moments, I always find my way back to the top. Now I’m sure a few of you are thinking I may be getting a little too personal, but a little fishing competition with my incredible wife certainly keeps things interesting on the home front. What the heck did you think I was talking about?
  Now Cat has to be one of the nicest and humblest and most incredible people on the face of the earth but she has mentioned once or twice that she has out fished me the last few times out. So I thought that even though it wasn’t a total spanking, I am back where I belong, on top. Hehe. Now even though we didn’t have a stellar day today it was fun nonetheless. We got to the water a little after 12:00p.m. and saw fish right away. We hooked several but couldn’t get any fair fish to the net. We started working our way down river and actually did more walking and talking than actually fishing today. The River seemed to be a little crowded today with what I guess were all the “good boys” from yesterday. We stopped to watch Sam throw dries and what a joy to watch. I wish I were a little better cameraman. Saw Jeremy and Travis land fish and finally got my own monster to the net, well maybe not a monster but it was a fish. Fished with Brandon and Charlie for a while and Charlie landed one really nice fish.

 If you have been to the river over the last week then you have probably noticed the spawning beds beginning to form throughout the corridor. I know I have written on the subject the last few years and without lecturing anyone, I just want to remind us all that the future of our river is in our hands. If you have never seen spawning fish before, it’s a beautiful thing to witness. Come by the shop and we can help you recognize what a red is. Fish will begin to spread out throughout the river over the next few weeks with feeding time increasing. Watch for fish to move in to feeding lanes and make your casts count. The afternoon midges are getting their share of fish to the surface, it is a beautiful thing to watch a fish take a well place dry off the surface. Thanks Sam, I will be dreaming about those takes tonight. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Barry White, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

No Excuses....

  Hey all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. Being both a father and a boss I have many times over the years used the saying “no excuses”. Probably more often than I like to admit I was just being an a-ho**, but every now and then It was possibly for a little tough encouragement. “Get over it” was a saying that sure got a lot of mileage over the years. I don’t know if it is old age, wisdom, or just a dose of tough reality but January and February I sure find myself using a few excuses and not really getting over it. Fishing can be really difficult but days like today make it all worthwhile
 I had a few clients down from Denver today and I was actually excited about the forecast for the morning. Using all my expertise and extreme knowledge, I let my clients know that with the early cloud cover and the clouds burning off after lunch, that fishing should be pretty good in the morning and taper a little as the sun appears. Well some of my predictions came true, well kind of. We fished deep runs in the morning with the occasional takes. A few dinks and a couple of suckers and several shoulders of shame were all we could muster before lunch. After lunch we moved into a different section and began picking up a few more fish. The river for a few minutes felt like it was coming alive and even the lost fish were really getting us something to get excited about. We continued to work our way down and we stepped into one of my favorite feeding lanes on the river. The last few time I fished that run I walked away with my tail between my legs and with any number of excuses. Today we needed no excuse; I have not seen fish eating like that since mid December. Just two casts in and as we were waiting for our flies to reach our target shadow, the indicator shot up river. We lost that fish but the river once again felt alive. Twice today both clients were hooked up at the same time. It was the first time I have ever had two fish in the net at the same time, from two different clients. Smiles were plastered across all our faces and after about forty five minutes or so it was like Forest Gump himself stood behind us and said “ And then one Moment the fish stopped”. Yep the switch turned off but for that short time on the river, no excuses were needed. Congrats guys, you were awesome.
 Fish were taken on a variety of flies today, and Jim if you are reading, my clients say thanks. I can tell you which fly the fish took the next time you are in the shop. Dinner bell was between 2:00 and 3:00 and mornings are still seeing the fish sitting deep. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Jim E’s flies and The Drift Fly shop want to thank you for reading….
 Also, if you live in the Denver area Cat will be doing her “Seeing Insects the Trout Way” at the Cherry Creek Trout unlimited meeting. Would love to see you all there. The meeting is held at:
  Parker Senior Center
  10675 Longs Way
  Parker, Co

February, 12th from 7:00 P.M. til 8:45

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Heating Up....

  Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. With the incredibly warm weather we have been experiencing over the last week I can’t help but think something good is going to happen. Why is that you ask? I grew up in Omaha and even though I have heard stories of cold winters elsewhere, I personally think the O may be the coldest place in the world. My first five winters in Colorado were spent in Frasier(the Icebox of the nation) and Tabernash(even colder), but even the super low temps never felt as cold as Omaha. As our readers know I have always been a huge Husker fan and so much so that I spend as much time following recruiting as the games themselves. When I was really young the Huskers went back to back, but as I grew into a serious Husker fan, my team began to become the team that couldn’t win the big one. Year after year it was an 11-1 or a 10-2 record and the recruiting was getting more and more difficult. Bringing kids from Florida and Texas to Omaha in December and January and trying to sell them on the Huskers was hard to do. In the early nineties we had a Bradenton Florida QB by the name of Tommie Frazier make his trip in January. All the recruiting experts had Tommie becoming a Golden Domer but the trip to the Husker holy land was perfect that year. See that January temps were actually getting into the lower 60’s, unheard of in Huskerland. So Tommie, after already having his chilly recruiting trip to Notre Dame was surprised to see how awesome the temps were, It was nothing at all like what he had been warned about. So as the trip was concluding he asked the coaches, is the weather always this nice in Nebraska. Now somehow the coaches looked Tommie in the eye and said “absolutely”, and that is the story how one warming trend changed the course of Husker football history.
  Now I know the ski areas in Colorado are saddened this year but after getting back into my shorts this week I sure don’t miss winter. My guess is that in a couple of weeks we will be crying for winter to end and opening our facebook page we will see the snowman effigy titled “Die Winter Die”. I was looking back at years past and wanted to get an idea as to when the fish really start to get moving again in the spring. Over the years I always tend to think it is earlier than it really has been. A look at last year and the first day that I really saw fish moving was the 25th of February, yep that will make we want to go back to sleep for two weeks. So today I went out see how the warmth has affected the river. The fish really haven’t been affected that much. I watched quite a few fish lying in shallow slow water not doing much of anything and saw a few fish feeding in slow deeper runs. I hooked a few in the shallow water but didn’t get any fair ones to the net. Landed a couple of 16inchers in deeper pools, but I really didn’t see significant differences from even last week. The next week still looks to be mostly warm and it has to get the fish moving somehow. Unfortunately this year the last weekend before NSD was really cold in Huskerland so no tales could be told so the “good” things I’m expecting might just be the incredible feeling of fishing in February in short sleeves and not shivering to death. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, the number”15”, and The drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..