Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Ultimate Fly Anglers Guide To Proper Christmas Gift Getting!!!!

  Christmas is only four weeks away so I decided I would write this in hopes of a truly “Merry Christmas” for all the fly fishermen out there. As a Christian man, I understand that Christmas is supposed to only be about the birth of our Savior; however as far back as I can remember, I have been trained that it is more about the physical gifts. I remember struggling with this so hard in my first marriage, I think it was my second Christmas being married and I thought I had been particularly good that year. I had been eyeballing a new fishing vest and had dropped several hints as to how much I needed a new one and was convinced my wife was going to get me one for Christmas. I eagerly awaited and checked out my wrapped gift for the full two weeks before Christmas. Some nights I would shake it and weigh it and I was convinced it was the vest and perhaps a new fly box as well. Well, when Christmas Eve arrived I patiently let the kids open all of their presents and then I was finally able to rip open mine. I tore off the paper and could not believe what I was looking at; A toolbox and a pair of dress socks. I am sure I said thanks but was definitely thinking “wtheck”; I own 4 screwdrivers, three wrenches and one pair of Visegrips that are scattered among the 10 stores we owned. And the socks? I wear shorts all but about one month out of the year. What will these ever be used for?

  This blog is the attempt at making sure our readers never have to go through Christmas frustrated again. This blog will be set up as the ultimate Christmas gift getting guide for the fly angler with leeway as to what kind of husband you have been during the year. The hardest part will be for you and your wife to determine the husband category that you fall into this year. I have set up a very simple five, three, and one star husband graph determined by the characteristics and actions of said husband and then set up a corresponding gift list for achieved category.

First husband will be the five star husband *****

 This is the husband that has had less than two serious arguments throughout the year and in both cases, came to his senses and apologized before things got out of control. This person delivered a perfect date night at least twice a month for the entire year and never once got caught checking out the hot waitress(Texas Roadhouse or Red Lobster). This person allowed the spouse to pick the vacation itinerary and never once complained about how stupid the museums, the opera or the ambiance were. This person continued to pay the credit card bill on time and never once mentioned that they needed to be a little more prudent in the budgeting tactics. This person was needed to be reminded less than five times for the year that the trash, the lawn and the vacuuming needed to be done. I will now leave a little space for you to add a few of your own.


Second husband will be the three star husband***

   This is the more typical of the husbands out there, he is generally looked at as being a great guy but a few times a year lets his anger get out of control and causes the wife to cry and the kids to think they are getting a divorce and then, after finally coming to his senses and makes the proper apology with flowers and dinner(Chilis or Applebees). This person gets caught either looking at things on the computer or scrambled late night Cinemax a few times during the year. This persons’ date night sometimes gets cut short in order to get home in time for Sportcenter. This persons vacations end up in either a camper trailer at San Isabel or in a camper trailer on a beach where he swears he had no idea that it was Spring Break and the beach would be packed with barely covered young ladies. This person is generally pretty good at the household chores but now and then blurts out that the kids can take out the trash as well as he can. Once again, here is some space to add a few of your own.



The third husband is the one star husband*

 This is the couple that ended up together because it was easier than breaking up. Arguments are of very little need because you don’t really care what the other thinks. Vacations are wherever. Chores sometimes get done sometime they don’t. Intimacy happens when Sportcenter is either over or not at all. I will not leave space to add your own due to the fact that it really doesn’t matter.

  Okay, now that the hard part is out of the way we can get to the corresponding level of deserved gifts. If at this point, any women reading this blog think that this is sexist and women like to fish as well, I can assure you that it is not sexist at all. As any man can tell you, a wife that fishes with her husband moves beyond the five star categories and gets WHATEVER she wants because she is the woman that dreams are made of. I know this because I am married to one. Now this next part can be copied and pasted and brought to the flyshop of your desire and pick the proper gifts for your husband.(keep in mind, only the Drift Fly Shop has any idea what you are talking about and this list will spontaneously burst into flame upon entering any other fly shop.


Five Star gifts *****

  A Sage One or a Winston BIII-x or a Winston BIII-SX (Size 9 foot 5 weight)

  A brand new pair of Simms G3 Waders with new wading boots(please bring measurements or size)

  A new Ross Evolution or a Lamson Lightspeed loaded with a brand spanking new Line( bring the rod so we can match it up with the proper line)

  A half day guide trip scheduled with the Awesomest guide on the face of the planet. ( Cat)

***** stocking stuffers could be flies, flyboxes, leaders, fluorocarbon tippet, Simms layering or Simms winter accessories.


Three Star gifts***

  A Sage Approach, Response or a closeout Flight, Any St Croix or Reddington rod.( bring length and weight desired because this may be a situational rod)

  A Ross CLA or a Lamson GURU reel( bring rod so we can match up proper reel)

  A pair of Reddington Sonic Seam or Simms Headwater Waders with matching boots.(remember to bring measurements or size)

  A half day Guide trip Scheduled with either Alex or Connell(semi yawn)

  Any Simms or Fishpond clothing or a Fishpond vest.

 ***Stocking Stuffers could be flies, flyboxes, Leader and tippet, gift certificates, cigar humidor, or Simms winter accessories.


One Star gifts*

 A broken compass for your next big hiking adventure.

 A half day guide trip scheduled with Alex or Connell( keep in mind she knows you will be away from the house and busy for at least four hours).

  Hefty trash bags that you can tape around your legs so you don’t get too wet.

 *stocking stuffers could be whatever….


  Okay, hopefully these premade lists can make your Season of Getting a much more pleasant one for both you and your wife. I know the husband rating may be a little tough for couples to get through but if you are having a difficult time, use it as a learning experience and become the man she wants so you can get the stuff you want next year. Some of us are very lucky and even though we are Not, are wives still think we belong in the five star category. Enough fun for this blog so Connell, Cat, Alex and The Drift Fly Shop would like to wish you a Great Christmas season and thanks for reading…..


Sunday, November 25, 2012

She's All That !!!!!!!!

  Luckily for me I don’t have a competitive bone in my body(yeah right)because otherwise I would not have been able to be so happy for Cat when she landed this beautiful 22 inch Bow this afternoon. I think I can now say that our little piece of paradise here has become a true tail water. Fish toady were throughout the entire river and up until about 12:15 they seemed very picky. The BWO’s started hatching right at 12:15 and the fish turned on immediately. I was standing in one feeding lane that looked a little like an aquarium at Bass Pro, the fish just moved in and filled the area. When you see that many fish it sometimes gets a little frustrating that you are not catching fish on every cast. We landed several nice fish today with my best measuring out at 18 inches and Cat's 22 incher was just a hog.I will have to say that Cat seems to have lost her sense of humor when I asked her if I was supposed to hit delete and enter with her fish pic.hehe. I have been saying over the last month or so that fishing is good but definitely not easy , it seems that one poor cast in an area puts those fish down for a time.

  The forecast doesn’t seem change much over the next five days or so, so get out and enjoy the river. With the bright sunny days the BWO hatch is short lived but before and after we are seeing midges, caddis, and Cat even got a pic of a big trico. As always  thanks for reading, Connell


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving !!!!

   Every year at this time we sit back and think of all the things that we have been blessed with in our lives. I am truly thankful for all the normal things like an AWESOME HOTTIE wife, good health, great kids and blah blah blah.. , but from a Fishermen’s perspective what should make me thankful. I thought about this for a while and I don’t think I came up with answer I was originally thinking of. I am thankful for days like Tuesday.

  As I have said in past posts, when it comes to sports I have realized that I am a fair weather fan and so with that being said, I don’t generally pay much attention to baseball after the Rock’s get eliminated in mid June. This year was a little different, out of the corner of my eye I kept an eye on the Tigers through the end of the season, a fascinating team with a Triple Crown winner, Prince Fielder and perhaps the most dominant pitcher in all of baseball with Verlander.  The Tigers blew through the American league playoffs and all of the so called experts said they would sweep the lowly Giants, which got lucky and squeaked past the Reds and Cards. The Tigers were unbeatable and were going to score fifty runs a game on the Giants. Well the series started and the Giants came to play, game one and the “Great” Tigers were toothless, game two was the same, three and four there were moments, but the Giants were better. A four game sweep and the “Unbeatable Tigers” walked away with their heads hung low.

  The last few weeks of fishing for myself have felt much like the Tigers run through September and through the American league. I have been able to catch fish pretty much at will and have even at times felt a little bored thinking that I had it all figured out. I look at the pics of the two browns I landed and nearly sprain my shoulder patting myself on the back. I know ESPN isn’t covering me but I sure feel a little taller every time someone asks me exactly where I caught them and then tell me that they were beautiful fish. I even catch myself believing that I am as good as I sometimes think I am. One of my favorite customers came in the shop the other day and wanted to know what the secret was to landing the big fish (I almost teared up a little on the inside). I smiled and told him you learn to land them by losing a bunch of them (and a nice Winston rod helps).

  Well this brings me back to Tuesday, I got to the river at about 12:30 and found one of my favorite holes was open I jumped in and after a five minutes of notta I noticed BWO’s beginning to hatch. I quickly switched to a double dry and had six or seven takes in just a few minutes but didn’t have any serious hookups. I started watching the fish a little better and noted that they were too small for me and I wanted to find bigger fish. The hatch was short lived and so I switched back to a nymph rig with an A&W, an RS’2 and a small cream midge. I walked down to the next hole and first cast I hooked and landed a gorgeous 14 inch rainbow, the only pic of the day. The fish was like hitting a two out double in the fifth inning with the bases empty, makes you feel good but the next batter strikes out and on to the next hole.  The next run was like having the side struck out, nutten,nutten and more nutten. On to the next run and first cast, Bang! a  19 or 20 inch beauty jumps straight up like a show orca with his whole side splashing as  he hits the water. He starts running down river with me chasing him and then I feel it, something is wrong and I realize, he put me on a rock. The next two runs were several 4 and 6 inch fish. After getting around a few people I snuck under a tree and casted into a place difficult to come away with you flies, and a monster take, but about the time the heart skips a beat I feel him come off. The next hole and about a 18 or 19 incher comes flying out of the water and spits the fly before I could do anything. It started feeling like when the players hit what everyone thinks is a homer with the crowd going wild and the batter pumping his chest and moving into his homerun trot, the wind changes and the ball land innocently into the outfielder’s glove on the warning track.  Well, at this time I was a little frustrated and started working my way back to the car. Luckily, something else I am very grateful for, my wife, showed up at about 3:00 to fish the last hour or so.

  We made our way back up river with me telling her about how poor of a day I was having and that the fish were out to get me. We were in the water all of about thirty seconds when Cat made her fish squeak and I saw that she landed one nicer than anything I had landed all day. A few more casts for me and I hooked another nice one and after it came out of the water and splashed, both Cat and I were very impressed with it’s water displacement and  the sound as it landed back in the water. Well, He was better than me as wel(expletive,expletive)l. Cat then landed several more and finished up by landing the fish of the day that measured out at 16 inches. Well that was enough for me and it was time to head out, I could not believe it that the river had totally kicked my tail today.

  So how is it that I am so thankful for days like Tuesday?  It is a day like Tuesday that reminds me that every fish I ever fool and land, even on the good days, should be thought of as a complete blessing. This year has been an incredible year for the Ark and without a runoff, wet wading was incredible all summer and late into the fall, with hundreds and hundreds of fish landed. Yes I get to taking this river for granted but a difficult day or two will make it all that more exciting to get back. And yes, I do not think that the Tigers will be grateful the way this season ended up but if they learn from it and work harder, how much better will they feel if they win next year. And for me, I am thankful for the longing I have to once again out fish my wife…..Hope to see you on the river,Connell


As always, thank you for reading our blog. I have heard a few comments about a blog I wrote last year when we had fewer readers and so I have decided to rerun the blog, it was a fun one on the flyfishing addiction and if you have read it and can think of any more addiction questions, feel free to email me at and I may add them to the test.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lightning Strikes Twice!!!!!!

  Another wonderful day on the river but today may have been to  the most technical I have ever seen it. I got to fish with Brandon today, Alex and Jason were supposed to join us but when we got to the river it was packed. We started above the Nature Center and I could see immediately that today was going to take patience and nearly perfect presentations and drifts. I crept up the river scanning for anything that didn’t seem right and I finally spotted the golden red side of a nice brown. First cast was perfect and he took it, not too much of a fight but a gorgeous 20 inch brown. I snapped a few pics but the zoom was all the way up and makes it look a little strange. The rest of the walk up was very similar, slow and methodical sighting and catching a few here and there. I caught up with Brandon at the Glory Hole and he had been doing pretty good. The BWO’s started really hatching and so I switched to a double dry rig with a parachute and a regular Adams. What a joy, the bows were aggressively feeding on the top. Brandon switched to an Adams and first cast hooked and landed a very nice bow. The Blue Wings hatched for about twenty minutes and then I switched back to a nymph rig. We started heading back down and I landed a 19 inch bow.

  At about 3:00, Brandon and I were fishing a run that was packed full of people earlier. We were catching a few here and there and all of a sudden I heard what I thought was beaver about 25 feet above me. Winston and I both jerked our heads up and I asked Brandon if he had heard that, he said he heard something, but didn’t know what it was. I started walking back up river and he came out of the water again, oh my gosh, he was enormous and like all great anglers I inwardly guessed him at about thirty inches. The fish was acting very erratic moving back and forth almost as if he was chasing bait fish. I started casting to him and after a few casts Brandon asked me how big I thought he was, I turned and smiled and said we will know in a minute. He took off down river and I chased him about thirty yards. Several times I would get him close and he would run again. Well I finally got him landed and it felt like lightning striking twice. I thought it might have been the one I landed a few weeks ago but after measuring it I saw this one was a full inch bigger than last weeks, measured 23 inches. A few more casts , but my day was complete. It is amazing how nice the walk back to the car is when you catch a fish like that, I’m sure if anyone saw me they would be wondering why I was walking like a “Prized Rooster”, chest sticking out and a smile a mile wide……..I know…..

  Like I said early in this blog, today was as technical as I have ever seen it on this river. Fish were not in their normal easy holding places. I have been seeing a lot of frustrated anglers moving up and down the river mumbling about all of the fish are gone. If you are struggling right now, then this may be a great time to hire a guide. I know we try to give great info at the shop but things are changing so quick throughout the day that there is no way we can give you all the great info just in the shop. As always thanks for reading, Connell

The Drift Fly Shop 719-543-3900

                                         23 inch Beauty!!!

                                         This was the 19 incher..

 20 incher....


                                    and one last look at the horse :)...


Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Arkansas November 11th

  Another wonderful day on the river today, got to the river at about 10:30a.m. and about three casts in I landed a pretty 14 inch brownie. Weather was changing all day going from snowflakes to bright sun shine, had to be on your toes and pay attention as to what they were feeding on. At around 2:00p.m. a strong bwo hatch came off and Cat went to town on a double dry rig. Caught gobs and gobs of 13 to 16 inch fish but nothing real big to the net. Not really sure why but I landed quite a few bows that I had hooked under the chin. Cody showed up and after a couple of casts was nice enough to show me how to hook the fish inside the mouth(thanks Cody). As always, thanks for reading.Connell


Monday, November 5, 2012

Old School Fishing

I remember my first day having a fly rod in my hand and actually hooking and landing two small rainbows up under the damn, it was one of the coolest experiences I had ever had. The next couple of times out I got skunked and it felt much more like the way I had always fished. Every cast would be preceded with a little prayer and bargain with God, come on God, if you really loved me you would let me catch a fish…Oh well, it took a while and a lesson from former friend and things began to click. Faster than I had expected and the three fish days quickly became fifteen fish days. The cockiness began to flow out of me like a damn springing a leak.  I fished Grape creek a lot and got to where I expected every day on the water to be a fifty plus fish day. It probably didn’t help much when Cat caught the bug and wanted to kick my tail and talk smack to me. We would almost run up the creeks side by side throwing flies as fast as we could get them out of the fish’s mouths. I’m up to 78, Cat would say, and I would respond with you better pick up the pace, I’m at 92. Our stop at the end of the day would be at the Burger King in Cannon and as we would get out of the car I would look at Cat and Brandon and tell them how lucky they were that they would get to eat much quicker than me because it would take a lot more time trying to wash all the extra fish smell from my hands…hehe.

  Well all great things change over time and the numbers game turned into the size game. Now the smack talk is, I caught two 20’s and three 18’s, and Cat follows with I caught a 21 and two 19’s, and of course my rebuttal is that actually the 20’s were closer to 21. Big fish snobs we have become, until yesterday. Cat and I got to the water at about 10:30a.m. We were hoping everyone would be watching the Bronco game. We started just below the Nature Center and a few casts in I landed my first of many 8 inch fish of the day. My next few fish were in the 2 and 3 inch range and then finally I landed about a fifteen incher. Fishing seemed simple again; cast set and bring in the fish. Every riffle, rock cluster and weir was full of fish, a couple of nice fish and then five or six absolutely beautiful natural rainbows ranging from 2 to 12 inches. Cat was fishing the spillway at City Park and when she caught up to me she smiled and said that “today would be all about the numbers” and said she landed thirteen out of the spillway. Brandon showed up and very first cast landed about a 13incher. I was blown away by the color of the dinks yesterday, the river is actually reproducing natural fish.(something to keep in mind while fishing to the beds next spring). Well we exhaustedly made it back to Nature Center at about 4:30 and Cat told me the number she ended up with, and I turned, grinned and said I stopped counting at ten after her number… Yep it was just like old times only we stopped at Subway instead of BK...

  The fish were feeding hard all day yesterday; my rig for the day was a True blood, a RS2 and a cream size 24 midge at the end. It never seemed to matter, they were feeding. The next 6 or 7 weeks should be the best fishing of the year I hope you get out and enjoy this wonderful fishery here. It doesn’t matter if it’s numbers or size that floats your boat; this is the place to be. As always, thanks for reading, Connell

                                              The Colors Dreams are made of........