Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nutt'n Cheap......

   Hey all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. With the Baseball season quickly approaching this week’s blog will have a Rockies theme, well actually the opposite.Many years ago, I was sitting in the Rockies stadium watching the Rocks take on San Fran. Early in the game Jeff Cirillo hammers a long home run to put the Rocks up by a few. The next inning, Livan Hernandez, a pitcher walks to the plate with two men on. Hernandez rakes one just off the dirt and it appeared to be a lazy fly ball, end of the inning can of corn, but the ball just carried and carried till the ball landed in the third row. I couldn’t believe the Rockies had just blown a big lead. Well Cirillo actually hit two more dingers that evening along with one Rock after another going deep. When the combined team runs exceeded twenty and even the pitcher was hitting it over the fence, the incredible offense just felt a little cheap.
   The river today was nothing like that summer evening so long ago. Cat was stuck in the shop most of the day and so the Winston and I met up with Tino. We got to the water just before one and were ecstatic to see the redds largely unoccupied. We got into the first run and I spotted a few fish. I casted a while, but could not turn any. I moved just below and saw feeding fish(what an incredible sight for sore eyes). I ran it through a few times with no luck and then changed up the flies. First cast through and it was hammered, a quick bolt and my line flipped over the reel and hung up on the knob. After retying I started hooking fish on every second or third cast and the end result was the same, I would battle for a while and about the time I felt like I was going to win, the flies would pop loose and come flying back at me. I figured it was just me and then Tino hooked one on the other side I watched as he jumped and saw the line actually run through his legs. I think that fish is still laughing, I know I am.
   Well we finally got a few landed and I decided to head down river. I got into one of my favorite runs and hooked three right away. The first was the biggest and after what I thought was a brilliant battle on my part I set up for the scoop. The thrashing white mouth and huge red stripe had finally realized that he had been beat and as I was reaching, the flies popped out, I didn’t really care. A few minutes later I began to watch these three gorgeous red stripes slurping off the top, and I know my readers are going to find this hard to believe but I actually installed a “dry fly” on my line. It took me a few casts to get the right drift and then it happened. The fly was nearing, the nose appeared and the fly disappeared. I almost soiled myself with excitement but kept it together long enough to land my fish of the day, an absolute gorgeous 20inch buck. Well I hooked one more on the top and then the risers had had enough of me and I was thrilled with the day. Cat made it out late in the day just as the feeding frenzy began to ebb. She did get the opportunity to get schooled a few times and then the river just seemed to go quiet. I think I only got a half a dozen or so to the net but they were NOTHING like those balls flying out of The Rockies stadium that night, every fish was earned.
    It appears that the spawn is finally winding down and the BWO’s are actually beginning to pop. Fish were actively feeding for at least two hours this afternoon. Most fish today were landed on the FOD and the dry was just a plain Adams. With the river holding firm in the 500cfs range the fish have a little extra fighting power behind them. 5x fluoro seemed to be work fine. When wading make sure you take extra precautions, the current is stronger at these flow and also redds are very abundant. The river is quickly taking on my favorite character of the year, no cheap fish and every fish earned. I took a lot of pics today, but for some reason several came out blurry, I'm thinking my camera may have still had some hurt feelings from last week, but rest assured my camera got over it. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Tino, The Rockies, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….

****We had a customer lose a Lamson reel in the Nature Center parking lot. Nothing ruins a great day of fishing more than losing equipment. If you have found or know of anyone that has found a Lamson this week please call the shop and we will get it back to the proper owner, If it is returned I will offer ½ dozen of my own flies as a reward.


Thursday, March 26, 2015


  Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O”Grady Flyfishing Adventures. I was standing in the river today and like most days my mind began to drift into a far, far, far away time. Not too long after Cat and I were married, we decided that the vehicle she was driving probably needed to be replaced. We toyed with the idea a little and then one day we drove to Denver and bought Cat the Van. We stopped to eat dinner that evening in Denver and while we were sitting there Cat began to get a little teary eyed. Now I figured it was because she couldn’t believe how generous and awesome I was and so humbly, I asked what was wrong. The answer was not what was expected; in my incredible wife’s quirkiness, she said that her old car was going to have its feelings crushed. Six years later when we were replacing the van with the Xterra, it was the same thing all over. She was thrilled with the new vehicle but so saddened to hurt the old one feelings. Now any of you getting your hopes up that she might be hurt but still trade me in for a newer model, NOT A CHANCE.
  So why was that running through my head today, let me tell you first about my last two days on the water. Sunday I fished with my old friend Tino for a few hours and only hooked one fair fish all day. Today I got out this afternoon and met up with another friend. As I was walking down to meet up with Mitch I anxiously looked for a Red that was once again full of fish. I was hoping the spawn was over but anther ten feet or so and I saw a new red that was also covered with spawners. I knew at that moment that fishing was not going to be great today but was just really looking forward to standing in the river. I walked and fished a little with Mitch and then he had to take off. I headed down river and then worked my way up but could not find any feeding fish. I walked into the stretch below peek-a-boo and there they were, true “Fish Porn”, at least 25 fish covering forty feet of bank. I headed back up river and finally found a few fish, I hooked three but never got one to the net. I caught myself flinching a few times trying to get to my camera but my camera kept getting put back and then as my incredible wife’s quirkiness rubbed off on me, I felt sorry for my poor, lonely, neglected, camera. Holy smoke did that thought really just go through my head. Panicked, I knew I had to put the camera to use (for my sake, not the cameras) and I snapped pics of two out of the three sexiest things I know; Winston and my rig. Cat would have been first but she was stuck at work.

  The flows dropped again today but I don’t think that is the problem with fishing right now. I fully expect the spawn to end very quickly and expect the fish to gorge as soon as they are done. Although the 400+ cfs can be difficult to maneuver, the fish will begin to pig out soon. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, Solon Nissan, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Monday, March 16, 2015

Finding the Slot.....

       Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. On Saturday my son came down from the Springs and we went golfing. As we were waiting for an opening, an old golfing buddy showed up and joined us. He was a little apprehensive at first because he told me that he had really been struggling. I assured him that my game was nothing like it was many years ago, and then I went out and proved it. John’s first few shots were pretty bad and then things just seemed to click for him, he pounded one drive after another. He told me that about a month or so ago he was watching the Golf channel and picked up a new tip. The first few times out he said it was awesome, but since that time, he said he was hitting it as bad as he ever had and was doing everything he could to get back to where he was before.
    The story got me thinking of some of those old days when I was totally addicted to golf. I remember constantly tinkering with my swing and trying different things, and then one night I would be on the driving range and all of a sudden I would feel something just a little different in my swing and the ball would rocket 350 yards off the club with a slight draw. Next swing, I would hold in place that little thing I felt before and then swing after swing try and put it into the same position. When the spot was felt we called it “finding the slot”. Well that particular feeling I would try to replicate for the next several days and before I knew it, I couldn’t hit the ball out of my shadow. The slot was gone and I would realize that as I kept searching for that feeling I just kept getting farther a farther away. I guess that is why I eventually began flyfishing.
     So as I continued to live in my own brain over the weekend I began to wonder how “the Slot” might relive itself in the fishing world. I remember a few years back when Alex first got the Sage One in the shop. Alex had a 9 foot 5 wt. and asked me to give it a try. I took it out and found the rod super simple to cast. I love to have enough power to just get to the end of my drift and either lefty or righty, throw a big roll cast back up river. Total lazy man fishing(plus I look cool doing it). I casted a few time and hooked a fish, I fought him for a little while and eventually got him landed. I was a little surprised at the size of the fish; the stress I felt in my arm had me thinking it was a bigger fish than it was. A few more casts and the same thing, a fifteen inch fish that I felt more in my arm than the rod. So I walked away from that experience really liking the way the rod had cast, but not so much how it fought fish.
    As most of our readers know I had a 4wt. Sage One put in my hand last year and I absolutely fell in love with the rod. The rod was everything I could have ever want in a rod, it had big enough “nads” to toss line into our lovely windy days and it fought fish like a dream, so over the weekend I started thinking. I hadn’t touched a 5wt One in a few years and wondered if it still felt the same as it did a few years ago? I don’t remember which rod I was fishing at that time, but really wanted to know if “the Slot” on the rod still felt the same. I headed out this afternoon for a few hours just to play with the 5wt. With the water coming up over the weekend and so many of the fish still getting down and dirty, I really didn’t expect much but hoped I could feel at least one fish. I got to the river and saw a few people downstream and decided I wanted to get below them. As I walked by they asked me if I had had any luck and I told them that I just got there and didn’t really expect much. I got about a hundred yards below them and a few casts in I hooked, fought and landed a beautiful 17 in male. One of the guys said that it wasn’t fair and I think I gave him the old blind squirrel saying. Winston on the other hand winked at the guys as if to say yep, that’s where I told him to cast. I walked down a little farther and the next cast produced my fish of the day, a 20 inch female. The guys wanted know what the fish were eating and after a short lesson I moved on down river. 
    Every other hole seemed to produce one fish. I was able to get into the correct light and was able to find a few feeding fish. On about the sixth fish I reminded myself that the reason I went fishing was to figure out how this rod felt fighting fish. I honestly didn’t feel much difference from my 4wt. The rod was powerful and I could feel the fish, what more could I have asked for. I’m not sure what it was that I was feeling those few years back, was it that different from what I was fishing at the time. I don’t know, it kind of makes me scratch my head, but I will tell you this, when it comes to the Sage One, I am all in......well almost all in Winston is keeping his name.

  I would love to give glowing reports on the river, but I need to be very careful. It was great to see some fish eating today but still saw a ton of fish on reds. These are the days that I actually love; very technical fishing but do it to feeding fish. If you caught fish today pat yourself on the back, you earned it. Fish seemed to not be seriously feeding but kind of sofa feeding on tv dinners(for those of you that have taken my guide trips you know what I mean.) Flies were a little strange today; I caught fish on eggs, a 20 Ninja and a Caddis larva of my own. The eggs were kind of strange, fish either seemed to want it or they were really spooked by it. I know that doesn’t really make sense, but it was just kind of my feeling on the water. I am hoping that the fish complete their spawn over the next ten days or so and move back into their traditional feeding lanes. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, birdies and eagles, and The Drift Fly shop want to thank you for reading…..

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A March Quicky....

 Hello all, and thanks for    checking in at The O’Grady flyfishing Adventures. My Dad told me a story many years ago when he used to spend a lot of time on the road. He was sitting in a road side diner in the middle of nowhere and an old truck driver sat in the booth behind him. When the waitress came to take his order, a heavy southern drawl asked the waitress for a quicky. After a few very awkward moments and near fisticuffs he pointed to the menu and just wanted the quiche. Now I wouldn’t bet my life on the story being completely true but here is my “quiche” Ark update for our readers. Cat and I snuck out to the river yesterday afternoon and found bed after bed full of fish; the spawn is in full force right now. It is a beautiful thing to watch these fish repopulate our river. We managed to find a few fish that were actually eating but afternoons this week show the true meaning of fish porn. Guide trips out this week saw a short feeding frenzy mid day and the rest of the day searching for those few feeding fish. Water temps have stuck right around that 40 degree mark and have kept the bug activity at bay, but I am expecting temps to begin rising this week. Sunday is the official end of winter storage and we really have no idea what to expect with flows. Morning fish have been taken on j-bombs, and cream Blings, mid day fish have been on FOD’s and grey emergers, and late afternoons have seen fish on Ninjas and Griffiths have produced on top.

  I hate to admit it but the first fish I landed yesterday was a fatty and as I grabbed her a few eggs spit out. I quickly got her back in the water but felt awful the rest of the day. We also found an 18 inch, well Winston found an 18 inch male laying dead next to the shore with really no marks on him. Fish are extremely stressed right now so please be very careful about handling and fighting these fish right now. That is all the time for lecturing at this time so I will now wish you all have an incredible time on the water. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Barry White, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading..

Monday, March 9, 2015

Waking the Bear....

  Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. The cold spell we had the last few weeks had Cat and I hibernating. I love the snow and cold in November but by this time of the year I am ready for the heat and watching the fish come alive. Had a few East coasters out for spin today and the river gave them a little bit of everything. The morning saw fish eating but being very picky, we hooked a few and got one beautiful 18 incher to the net but the fish jumped ship before we could snap a pic. Mitchell found out a little bit about our fish when he hooked a good one and it seemed to sing “welcome to the jungle” and completely cleaned his clock. At around 12:30 the fish just turned on completely and Mitchell got his revenge a gorgeous 20 and a quarter incher to the net. For about forty five minutes or so it seemed to be every few casts. And the one moment they stopped, fish disappeared and it was time for lunch. Hooked a few after lunch but nothing to the net.

  Saw very little bug activity today. No bwo’s and just a few midges throughout the day. The cold snap seemed to drop the temps by about three degrees and hopefully by later this week the fish really begin to turn on again. Fish were on the J-bomb early and moved to a grey emerger later. As always Connell, Cat, Winston and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…