Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Arkansas River Tailwater Fishing Report July 25th 2013

Hello all, I wanted to toss out a little info on what I have been seeing on the river over the last few weeks. We get so many calls in the shop as to the fishing conditions and it has been so difficult since the conditions are changing so fast. In the last 2 weeks we have seen the river go from 200cfs to 1200 cfs and then back down to 300cfs for a few days and now it has dropped to 130cfs. This weekend we began to see free drifting moss like we have never seen before, every few casts call for fly cleaning. Water temps at Moffat have climbed into the upper 70’s on the hot days. Clarity has been between 6 and 18 inches over the same time. Wednesday evening, a friend and I got to the river at about 5:30, about an hour after a P-west downpour and the clarity was somewhere between chocolate milk and a brick wall.

  Now, in spite of all the seemingly strange conditions, fishing at times has been very good. A guide trip Sunday morning saw several hookups and a personal best 18 inch bow to the net. Sunday evening Cat and I fished for a few hours and the water had cleared considerably from the morning and we hooked quite a few with half a dozen or so to the net. Wednesday’s trip to the water saw nothing for the first hour and then as the water started to clear the fished really wanted to play. Flies of choice were the Depth charge when the clarity was way off and the Winston Caddis, FOD, RS2, and the Ninjas when the water was a little clearer. With the monsoon season fully upon us I am not sure I would encourage long travel to fish the Ark right now, however if you are within an hour away, get out there and enjoy.  

  Keep in mind on the hot sunny days that noon till 5:00 or so will have rubber rafts bouncing off you and through you runs all day. Fishing really early and late and might keep your sanity intact, and besides the water temps are cooler then and are safer for the fish. On the hot days, please keep your fishing west of P-blvd where the water is a little cooler. Fight the fish as quick as possible and when releasing maybe give them an extra few secs and make sure they are ready to go. Softmouth still seems to be a little bit of an issue so don’t get down on yourself if you are losing fish in the heat of battle. As always I wanted to say thanks and hope you have a great summer on the water. Connell, Cat, Winston and The Drift Fly Shop…..
                                Richards best Rainbow ever !!!!!!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Taylor River Trip Chapter 2013

  As Cat and I were driving the last forty miles of our 2013 Taylor trip, from Canon to P-town, we were too exhausted to do much talking and my mind began to drift about the flies I needed to begin tying in preparation for next year’s trip. I went through all my Black Beauties and way too many Ninjas and did quite a number on my FOD collection and then it hit me that the fish themselves were exciting but none were all that memorable. The fishing was okay but the reports of last week’s midge hatches turned into the ageless taunt of “you should have been here yesterday”. A friend of ours was up there last week and Brandon and his friend Charlie got up there Sunday and they were all ecstatic about the midge hatches in the mornings and the release of water and flush of Mysis in the afternoon.(that was last week)Fishing over the three days was very spotty, the first night, Cat was on fire with the ciggle erupting every few moments and me beginning to think this would be the year I get schooled. Thursday, Friday and Saturday consisted of walking up and down the bank looking for feeding fish and then trying to get all the action you could for the few moments they were eating. After looking at the fish porn from the trip it hit me that our yearly trips to the Taylor have very little to do with fishing and everything to do with family.

  It was twenty plus years ago when Jimbo began our little trips and thinking back on that time I can only really remember a couple of fish. So what memories have me coming back; I remember Brandon and Zack being up there when they were 3 and 4 years old. I remember my dad making the trip one year and landing a 16 inch bow off a salmon egg. I remember a picture of Cat holding a 9inch bow she had caught her first trip with her s*** eating grin that said she was in heaven. I remember Winston getting caught sneaking into the chicken salad and the look on his face that said “I am so sorry..but I would do it again in a heartbeat”. I remember the old rubber waders that made us look like the Michelin man. I remember my older brother Hugh laughing and making up huge numbers of the fish he had caught. I remember Cat calling me out for being scared to sleep in a tent for fear of being eaten by bears. I remember the steak dinners that Kevin and Brenda fed us, and I remember all the campfood that I have cooked. I think my fondest memories are of the evenings sitting around the campfires telling and listening to the fishing stories.

  This year’s trip was bitter sweet; our only constant over the last 20 years, Jimbo was not able to make the trip do to a family illness. The campfires were just missing a little something without the Jimbo. Due to logistics of work on the way up and the way back, Winston was also not able to make the trip. (he was not happy about it either).Like I said earlier, Brandon and his friend Charlie did make the trip. Brandon and Charlie were a little disappointed with us because the fishing slowed drastically after we arrived. I think they thought that the P-tow fish had somehow warned the Taylor fish that Cat and I would be there and that they needed to be on there A+ game . I personally think that witnesses ( Cat and I) make the fishing a little harder.hehe Jimbo, if you read this I want you to know that our prayers are with you and your family through your loss and we will keep a camp spot open for you next year. I wanted to finish this paragraph by just saying if all you want to do is catch monster fish and lots of them, head to P-town. If you want to make memories that last a life time, spend some time with your loved ones in a tent on the Taylor.

  The video is a collection of some of the action we had. In addition to the fish pics we always try to add in some of the neater parts of Gods creations. The birds looked like the last two dudes and last lady at a nightclub and you know one of them flew off angry and a little lonely. The monkey is Cat’s and Cody’s new fishing mascot. The bug was some creature from another time and even though Cat tried to be nice and get it to safety, the bug charged her and actually made her squeal even a little more than the charging tarantula. I feel a little bad for Charlie because he was suffering from the curse of the film crew. It seemed that everytime he hooked a fish and one of us started filming he would get sawed off by some bad mamba jamba fish. Brandon on the other hand only lands fish when one of us is filming….must be an O’Grady… As always, we thank you very much for reading and hope you enjoy the video, Connell, Cat, Winston and The Drift Fly Shop…


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Arkansas Tailwater Fishing Report 07-09-2013

  Hello all, wanted to put out a quick fishing report for our beloved tailwater. Sunday morning the flows dropped to under 400cfs which has closed off more area for the fish to roam. Guide trips over the last few weeks with the higher water have been spotty with some great times and some difficult times. Cat had a trip out Sunday when the flows dropped, the fish spent a few hours scrambling and then turned on the feedbag that afternoon. Sunday evening it seemed that every good cast would get a strike, unfortunately it just turned out that the big fish were better than me. Landed lots of 12 to 15 inchers but the piggies all popped off and didn’t feel like I had a good hook set on them. Fish didn’t seem to be keying in on anyone fly but more about getting it in front of them. Still, the best flies were the True Blood, black Ninja, Skinny Minnie, and the all famous J-bomb…
  A few things to keep in mind if you make it to the river over the next few weeks; water temps have pushed 73 degrees at Moffat street so if you are fishing mid day try to get as near to the dam as you can get, also try to fight the fish as quick as possible and maybe give them an extra minute to revive. I did see one dead 17 or so incher float by me on Sunday. Next, keep an eye out for the rafters, as much as it kills me to say this, we do not own this river and they have as much right to it as we do. If you go to the water understanding that people will float right through your lane and then laugh and say sorry you may be able to keep your mind and tongue in check. Lastly, the deer flies are brutal this year, so make sure you get plenty of bug spray and if wet wading try to keep your legs under water. As always thanks for reading, Connell, Cat, Winston and The Drift Fly Shop…