Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine Fishing....

                Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures blog. When I woke up this morning and realized it was Valentine’s Day I knew that I needed to something special for my incredible wife. It needed to be something that was so special and pleasing to her heart that for at least the next year I could keep her from looking around. I pondered for seconds on end and finally realized that I was making it way to hard and we headed for the river. After spending yesterday on the water with a client and seeing fish begin to come out of their winter slumber I was all the more eager to give Cat the perfect Valentine present.
                We got to the river at around 11:00 and were a little surprised at how empty it was. The first few spots were a little slow but then we seemed to crash the party of all the 11 to 13 inch fish. Every few casts and it was another starving fish on the line. While I was pounding out the dinks, Cat decided to make me look a little silly and pulled in an absolutely gorgeous 18 incher(sorry about the small pic, Cay forgot her camera and I was on the other side of the river). Even though the fish I was catching were small it was hard to leave the spot but when I realized I had become bored it was time to move on. We headed up river into one of our favorite spots and the guys in the run were just leaving. As they were leaving one said that the fish were in there but they were just being really picky. I felt a little bad(wink wink) when my second cast had a really nice hookup but he popped off just as my chest began to swell. My saddest part of the day was a few casts later my indicator raced up stream and immediately I could feel nothing but power. I don’t know what’s worse, feeling the slip-ker chunk or knowing from the start it didn’t feel right. I got him in as quick as possible and had Cat net it, and got him back in fast. We worked the run hard for the next half an hour or so and finally I hooked and landed my fish of the day, a healthy 18 incher, and since its Valentine’s Day, it was smaller than Cats.
                So if you have been in the shop lately and have seen the awesome looking Drift hats under the counter with the 20 inch club on them and have been told they are not for sale, this next paragraph will explain the thought behind them. I’m sure most of our readers know Travis who may, or may not, have been responsible for one of the funniest “slips” on the river. "" So awhile back he had an idea about doing something special for the clients that are actually lucky and good enough to land a fish over twenty inches. We talk quite a bit about the old days and you will often hear me reminisce of the days when every time out I would expect to catch at least one fish over 21 inches but since the second drought year, we just aren’t seeing the monster fish of yesteryear. And I know as soon as I post this, my e-mail will get slammed with huge fish pics so maybe it’s just me that isn’t seeing the amount of pigs. My trip out yesterday was one of those special days where I was actually able to give out a hat at the end of the day. We never really got into the small fish but Gary had three fish clean his clock and then finally coaxed a beautiful, just over 20 inch bow, to the net(the mark on the net is twenty inches).

                Leaving the river today was a little bittersweet, Cat , Winston and I spent another incredible Valentine’s day together and were so excited to see some of the fish begin to come alive. I had decided that this was going to be the year that I was going to try and get a few of my health issues corrected. Tuesday is the beginning with a tune up on my casting shoulder. We have no idea how long the recovery will take but the good news is that I had taught myself to fish left-handed years ago, so that should speed up my recovery. Fish today were mainly on the J-bomb and a few took eggs. Hope to see you all soon back on the river and as always, Connell, Cat, Winston, TA, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

Monday, February 8, 2016

All About the "D"

          Hello all and thanks for checking in at the Championship version of the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures blog. So it’s been nearly 24 hours since the Broncos pulled off another seemingly improbable win, and I’m still trying to figure out how they did it. Hopefully I can get through this blog without being in too much pain; I didn’t realize that I could chew off two and a half pounds of fingernails. Anyway, what a great year to be a Bronco fan!!!!
          Cat and I made it to the river yesterday afternoon and while watching the game my mind kept bouncing back to the day on the river and yep, how it’s related to the big game itself. First of all I would have to say that on my way to the river yesterday I had very low expectations. You see I always fantasize about monster fish and so many hookups that my arm is sore, but knowing what time of the year it was, I was mainly just excited about being out.
I know watching the Broncos this year it was so strange thinking how do they keep winning, they aren’t this good, and after watching a few of the Panthers games this year, I was just hoping the game wasn’t a repeat of the Seadog game. The next thing that kept running through my head was that I sure was glad I won’t ever have to listen to Phil Simms announcing my day on the river. Could you imagine his play by play of me, “ That Connell is way too old and casts so poorly, it is clear that he could learn a thing or two from the great casters from when he was in the league”, and “ wow, when is the fly fishing federation going to figure out what a non-foul hookup is, I mean the hook was not on the tip of the fishes nose but at least a quarter of the way back down his jaw”, and lastly, when the fish kicks my tail fair and square, “ it is clear that the fish wanted it a little more than I did”. I wished so hard that there would not have been a delay and I could have listened to Logan on the radio.
And how did our day turnout, well I scored early with a second cast 19 incher to the net and I continually plugged away with a bunch of smaller fish and finished off the day with an 18 to the net. I think the highlight of the day came when Cat got to pull out a new fly that she started working on last month. She has had it on the water the last few times out but this was the first time in a while that we have seen risers. We found one group of risers and Cat put on her new fly, she snuck in quietly and on her third cast had a sipper come up and grab her fly. The “ciggle” rang out across the river and I knew for a fact that the fly worked. She landed a few and had several takes that were lost but she had done just enough to win the day.
          So as I finish up this blog, I reflect on another football season in the books. Only this year it will be with a smile. Now as for the river, we are still completely entrenched in winter conditions, fishing at times will be adequate, and at times completely pull your hair out in frustration,(assuming you have some left after the big game). My best guess is by next weekend fish ought to begin reemerging from the depths and begin staging and making their way to their love nests. We are close people, and even if Phil Simms says that everything on our river is bad, we know better. Fish yesterday were on really small Ninjas and late in the day they moved to J-bombs. You will have to check with Cat on Saturday if you want to know about her little fly. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, the relentless pass rush, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….