Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. If you have never seen the TV series Gold Rush, you are missing a whole lot of fun. Now gold mining by itself should be quite boring, but watching the bumbling group of Todd Hoffman’s crew is pretty hilarious. The first season they spent millions of dollars mining and only collected a few thousand dollars of gold. Every episode they would interview Todd and he would say the same thing, “we have to get serious gold this week or we could be finished”. One episode they had a professional come in and help and when he measured the pitch of the sluice box, the expert explained that it was to steep and all the gold was flushing straight through. Another expert came in to help and ended up poaching the Hoffman’s claim. They had fist fights, Todd’s dad smashed a wash plant with a loader, they had permit issues and pretty much everything that could go wrong, did. And when they finally had a season that ended in the black, the following season they headed to South America. Episode after episode and season after season it was always the same, a total cluster and at the end of the show, Todd would once again explain that if the next week isn’t better, they could be out of business. I guess after a while I no longer tuned in to see how they were doing but more about what was going to go wrong this episode and all along, a young kid was bringing in millions of gold.
As some of our readers know, the last few years Cat and I have spent some time trying to figure out how to catch carp. Now as a professional fly-fishing guide, I have always been pretty happy with my skills however trying to catch carp have made me feel a little more like Todd Hoffman and a little less like me. I have walked miles, tried hundreds of flies, tried different times of the days and have spooked more carp than gold that the Hoffman’s have lost. I have spent several days watching people that had been successful but while with me they were blanked and if I had a TV show I would have been canceled years ago. Today, I hit the mother lode. With the flows on the Ark entering the dangerous area for trout, I have been chasing a few carp lately. This morning I got into one of my usual spots and carp were moving in. I tossed to several and I thought it was going to be just like every other day, but this time my fly landed a few feet in front of a tailer and as the fly dropped, the fish headed over to take a look. His face buried into the bottom and I lifted. The fish ripped down river but just as I was clearing my line, I lost tension and he spit the hook. I imagined me sitting around a campfire saying tomorrow will be different. I walked a little way up river and I saw another group eating. I dropped the fly in front and another fish headed over to take a look and grabbed a bite, I set, and it was on. I have never had a chance to sit in on a gold weigh-in, but I’m guessing the sound of gold pouring on to a scale is not that much different than my Spectrum screaming out line. He bull-dogged me for a while and then I finally got him turned. I can’t tell you how accomplished I felt. I headed up river and landed another that was even bigger and then finished the day blind casting and landing a big walleye. After a few years of more frustration than I can remember, today I got my gold.
While reflecting on my successful day I began to question what was different. I want to say that maybe the most important things I have found is to be patient, don’t waste your time casting to fish that are on the move. What a fun way to spend the day on the river.
If you are not aware, the river has dropped to super low flows and temps have spiked the last few days. PLEASE leave the trout alone during the heat of the day. If you are going to fish please get out early. The warmth of the water makes it very difficult for trout to get oxygen and a strong fight will very likely kill the fish. If you are bored you can always hire a guide and maybe you can be on the next episode of Gold Rush…Pueblo Style(A carp trip). As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, The Hoffman crew, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……