Monday, April 16, 2018

I Belize I Can Fly......


            Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Now that I have been home for a few days and have had time to reflect on our vacation, I wanted to write a little about our Belize vacation. I think the only constants that we have found in our adventures is that the more excited we are about a trip, the more likely we are to run into snags.
            With the fog and sleet rolling through Colorado, we left extra early to make sure we made our flights. We made it to the airport with hours to spare but when the plane was ready to take off, the fog kept us grounded. We sat on the tarmac for almost four hours and missed all the connecting flights into Belize. We wanted to cry but decided that we would make the most of the rest of our time. We made it to our lodge and only missed one day of fishing.
            Fishing Belize was like nothing we have ever seen. The first day we spent chasing bone fish and then blind casting under mangroves for snook and baby tarpon. When our guide picked us up for our second day, he asked us what we wanted and we told him we wanted to look for permit. We got onto our first flat and after about a half an hour, the guide called out the school at 120 feet and coming at us. He then yelled to look for the fins and they were now at 90 feet. 11:00 o’clock and they are moving, I began to cast and as I saw the outline of the leading fish, I gave the rod an extra push and my cast collapsed woefully short. We fought the wind pretty hard that day and ended up chasing more bones. The last three days had the best weather and our guide was able to put us on small permit schools constantly. We had some great casts that failed and some awful casts that were even worse. We caught as many bones as we wanted and I was able to land three permit. The last day had us most intrigued, our guide took us South to a flat called the Savannah. Our hope was to hook a tarpon. I got the first cast but the fish did not seem interested. We drifted down a little way and then we had three absolute monsters moving toward us, Cat put the perfect cast in front of them and began to strip, the fish teased us by staying just a little behind the fly and when they got right in front of the boat they turned and I think one of them winked, the guide guessed them out at around 90lbs. We knew at that moment, we were coming back.
            Evenings at the lodge started with a long soak in the pool and then an incredible Belizean dinner. Most nights were spent swapping stories and trying to get tips from the lodge owner. Thursday evening, we headed into town to check out the world famous “Chicken Drop”. If you are wondering what that is, there is a small fenced area with boards covered in numbers. People buy tickets with numbers and then a chicken is brought in, a woman is picked from the crowd to give the chicken a gentle shake, lift the tail feather and blow, and then drops the chicken into the ring. And if you haven’t guessed, what ever number the chicken poops on, the person with the number has to clean the board and wins all the cash. I’m not sure PETA would ever allow anything like that to happen in the states, but it was actually pretty amusing to watch.
            I’m not sure how else to describe the trip other than to say it was absolutely incredible. As we were sitting in the San Pedro airstrip waiting to head home, we started planning on when we can make it back. We talked to the lodge owner and are planning on hosting a trip next Spring. Now I know that seems like a long time from now but if you have ever thought about trying some saltwater fly fishing I would encourage you to get with us and see if this lodge is right for you. The lodge is much less expensive than other lodges that I have looked into and is much quicker to the flats than any other lodges on Ambergris Caye. The lodge can accommodate about 12 anglers and even more with non-anglers, we are looking at either the second or third week of April next year. If you are part of our trip, Cat and I can do casting instruction, and fly tying ahead of time. We already have a few spots taken so let us know if you are interested. We would love to spend the week in paradise with some of you.  
            The video was a little difficult to produce. Saltwater fish take a little extra time landing and we didn't want a two hour video of us fighting fish. We got a little scenery and hope we made it look as fun as it was. 
            Now, back a little closer to home. The river is on fire right now so get out and fish. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, The Blue Bonefish, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….




Thursday, April 12, 2018

My Dilemma....


           Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. This blog is about my day and the dilemma that now confronts me. When our guide George showed to pick us up this morning he asked us what we were looking for, our answer was that we so over the bones and we wanted to spend the day looking for permit, even if we never hooked a fish.                                                                                  The boat ride took a while and as we slowed, George told us that the island we were fishing was owned by Leonardo Dicaprio, I was not impressed but looked for him anyway. I jumped to the front and after a short few minutes, George yelled that we had a small school at 12 o’clock, 80 feet out coming straight at us. I took a breath and began to false cast. George yelled, a little to the right and let it down. I had already started my next cast and as I was bringing my cast forward, I saw the school. My fly landed perfectly about five feet in front of the fish and I began to strip. The leading fish flashed and I felt nothing. I tried to take a breath but my nads had blocked my airway. Another long slow strip and “Kerchunk”, a long strip set and the battle was on. OMG, I just hooked a freekin permit and I have him on the reel. Now my dilemma went through my mind.
            A year or so ago, my wife, mother, siblings’, nephews and nieces were hanging around talking when the topic of tattoos came up. They were all showing there’s off when I was asked when I was planning on getting one. If you are a long-time reader then you know that I am a little conservative as well as a little wimpy so my answer was the normal, NEVER. Unfortunately, I laughed and said, maybe after I catch a permit. You see, I figured there was a better chance of me getting hit by lightning then ever catching a permit, but now I was thoroughly in a twofold panic mode. I really wanted to get him landed but I’m not so sure about the tattoo thing. The battle was fierce and back and forth when I noticed an upcoming fishtrap. George tried to ease my nerves by saying take your time but you really need to get him in, in a hurry, there are big barracudas near the trap. I though for just a second, that that might be my way out but then I remembered Cody saying that the deal had changed and I was set even if I broke him off. I got him in and when I got him in my hands, I didn’t care a lick, I caught a permit. He wasn’t a monster but he was a permit.
            So here is what I want to do, we have many readers out there and I want to put it in your hands. Do I get the permit tattoo, and if so, where does it go and how should it look? Should it be cartoonish or very realistic, with color or black and white? This is your time to be involved my friends, give me your ideas, but please keep it clean. We have one more day to fish and hopefully Cat sticks a pig, she is a little warn out from all the bones, maybe we can both get some ink.
            It appears that the river is in prime condition so get your spots filled for next week. We will be home soon so as always, Connell, Cat, Winston, George the Guide, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….





Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Ark In All Its Glory With Epic Video...


          Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. What a fun Spring we are having. The mild winter had the fish out early, the tearing out of the cofferdam temporarily ruined the clarity, and just recently, the fear of the river blowing up and even through all that, the river has been amazing. Now I do have to admit, the river no longer has the goober fish of yesteryear, but a great cast and drift and the fish will eat. The last update the shop received stated that the “big flush” is no longer needed and that the river should stay low, now the day we got the e-mail, the river jumped up 300cfs. The river is still very fishable, but please be very careful in these flows.
            Cat and I will be out next week and the Big Boss will be running the shop. We thought that we had planned our trip perfectly around the “big flush” but now we may actually find ourselves missing our water. My prediction for the water is that I think around the 15th, the river will drop back into the 300-500cfs range and after seeing the size of fish during the spawn, I think this will be the best Spring fishing we have seen in years. My schedule is already beginning to fill up late in April and into May so if you want to see what this river can produce, call the shop and get your date booked.
            This Spring has been so busy for Cat and I that when we got to the river yesterday together, we realized it had been over a month since we had fished together. The video we produced, we hope is the best we have ever made, it was a little bittersweet since it is the first video without pooh-dog to make everyone smile. Pooh-dog watched the video at home and approved but at the same time had a longing in his eyes. Trying to make people laugh, we added a little parody and hope you find it amusing. The music is a little heavier than I usually prefer but after I heard it, I was blown away. Music is from a guy called, Iamlamprey out of Australia and is awesome! I wanted to ask our readers a favor, if you enjoy the blog and the youtube videos then please subscribe to both and give them a like. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….