Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Cold Day In Heaven

  Hello all and thanks again for tuning in to the O’Grady fly fishing adventures blog. I have written a little in the past about the difficulties Cat and I have about trying to get out of town for any extended period of time. I am not complaining, we get plenty of time to fish, it’s just not always on our time. Some friends of ours were heading to the Taylor this weekend and asked if we could join them. Looking at Cat’s and my schedules we didn’t think there would be any way we could take the time off work but started asking around anyway. Either the stars were perfectly aligned or Alex was really sick of us because somehow we were able to get the weekend off (thank you Cody and Alex).
  We left Pueblo just after lunch on Friday and we kept having to pinch ourselves to make certain we weren’t dreaming. The drive was going very well until we began making our way up Cottonwood pass. The snow started at the bottom and was sticking to the road half way up, the color contrasts of the green firs, the yellow cottonwoods, aspens, and the white snowy backdrop was breathtaking. By the time we got to the top there was already 5 inches of snow on the ground and with the snow slush and mud, the drive down was a white knuckled and totally gut wrenching. I have always felt like those are the longest 13 mile on the face of the earth and they are even longer in the snow.  We got to the C&R at just after 4:00 and we were so excited that I think we dressed and were in the water by 4:03.
  We have never been to the Taylor so late in the year and weren’t really sure what to expect. The snow must have brought out the best of the fish because they were willing and ready to eat. The first evening we hooked maybe a dozen or so but only a few made it all the way to the net. We usually camp when we fish The Taylor but luckily our friends had encouraged us to get a cabin at Harmel’s.  Saturday morning we made it up to the C&R about 9:00 a.m. with our game faces on and primed to show the Taylor fish how we play P-style. As we began walking up the river we noticed that the fish had returned to their Zombie state from the summer and the first 2 hours were very slow. At about 11:30 or so one of the greatest Baetis hatches I have ever seen began to hatch. Three different size PMD’s and giant Blue Wings began to explode and the Zombie fish returned to life. I stuck with a double FOD and a midge rig and Cat switched to a double dry. I wish we had more video but it is hard to stop and film when the fishing was that good. My landing rate was not very high but I don’t think I have ever had so much fun getting my tail kicked by fish. I think I hooked 30 or so that day with a dozen or so to the net. The three hog’s that I hooked are all still swimming around laughing at me.
  Saturday evening we all met back at Harmel’s and had a feast made for a Pueblo king (sloppers) followed by some of the best story telling around. I have written in the past about Ants being such a great storyteller but I think Jeff gives him a run for his money.  Jason Hocheavor was there and had a hard time removing the grin off his face from the 23 inch brown he had caught that day. Sunday we were thinking about heading down to the Gunnie to look for salmon but a little excess of alcohol and a little shortness of sleep squashed that idea. Cat and I were not in a huge hurry to get to the river Sunday morning and I think we made it at about 10:00. We ran into Pat and Brett and I was thinking maybe Pueblo should just take over the Taylor. We were expecting tough sledding and were not disappointed, nothing for a while and then I moved up to an area that I had hooked a pig the day before. I looked in and he was back, I carefully adjusted my rig and casted. First pass and he nailed it, another monster rainbow three feet out of the water and the line snapping back at me as he splashed down. Since it was before the hatch it felt like a bonus fish so I didn’t even mind losing him. It was about noon when the bugs started hatching and just like the day before, it was on. I know for a fact these were the two most impressive boils I had ever seen on the Taylor and maybe the best anywhere. I looked over and saw Jason battling a monster and Jeff helped him land an absolutely beautiful 20 inch fatty rainbow. Cat switched back to her double dry and I went back to my double FOD rig. I was just blown away by how many very large fish we hooked this weekend. The ciggle (Cat giggle)echoed through the canyon most of the day. Sunday was the day for spotting the pigs, hooking them and having them sail out of the water only to eventually have them pop off. We saw Brett out there and I told him that they were a new long distance release skill I had been working on (he doesn’t think I am very funny).
  Anyway it was a great weekend of friends, family, and fish making that place like heaven on earth. We put together a short video and as you can see by the number of clips the Taylor was particularly good to me this weekend.  The music was contributed to the video by some of the most amazing musicians whom we are lucky to have as friends, Lefthead.   As always, thanks for reading, Connell, Cat, Winston and The Drift Fly Shop….

Monday, September 23, 2013

Smelling the Goal Line.....

Sometimes a person hears an old saying and after thinking about it has to really scratch his head. Being that the NFL season is in full swing, I was thinking about the old saying “He could smell the goal line”.  What a strange saying and how far did the saying go back? I know!  The early days of football maybe, when the game was played in cow pastures. Was the dung moved to the edges and hence the smelling of the goal line?  Maybe the cheerleaders were stationed in the endzones at sometime and the sweat smell of perfume started the saying. I guess if you really think about it, it sure is a really dumb saying….

  With the strange summer and now the rains of September the river has been off and on fishable for a month now. Cat and I made it to the river this afternoon and were surprised at the quality of the river. I would like to say that if fishing conditions were like a game of football, today we could smell the goal line. The river has steadily dropped over the last week and was down to 202 cfs this morning and we found the clarity to be between 15 and 20 inches. We made it to the river about 4:30 and my very first cast hooked a fish, a few more casts and another fish on. We moved down river and finally my first landed fish of the day. Not huge, so I guess it was like smelling the goal line but still having kicked a field goal. We moved down a little further and Cat caught lightning in a bottle (another head scratcher), she landed several in a row with the prize fish of the day a 21 incher. We finished out the day landing 10 or so and losing at least that many more. The river is close, fingers crossed the fishing should begin to catch fire soon. Fall is beginning to fill the air with a cool breeze and a few leaves beginning to turn color(yummy).With the stained water, the flies of the day were the True Blood, and a glass bead RS2 turning a few fish as well. If you look real close you can see what rod I was fishing with this evening, don't tell Winston....

  **Wanted to put out a little note about a true friend of flyfishing losing a 10f oot Scott A4 with a Ross reel this weekend in the Canon City area. If you find it or hear of anyone that may have found it please call the Drift and we can arrange the return of the rod. I will give a dozen FOD flies as a reward for the return of the rod. As always, Cat, Connell, Winston and The Drift Fly shop would like to thank you for reading…….


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Turning the Corner On Summer.......

Well it has been an interesting summer to say the least.  We experienced the first true runoff we have seen in a few years followed by monsoon rains and then finished up with one of the latest heat waves I can remember. On Labor Day, Cat and I took a bike ride from Runyon up to the dam and had our hearts partially ripped out by seeing a few dead fish. I have seen pictures of major fish kills before and I am glad to say that I think our fish kill was very minute, but saddening none the less. We were glad to see so many people staying away from the water during this last heat wave as tough as that might have been.
 Cat and I hadn’t fished the river in a while but the itch was too bad and since the water had come up we got out early Sunday morning. We got to the water at just after 6:00 a.m. and found the fishing was quite good from about 7:00 to 9:00 and then the heat seemed to shut the bite off. The flies of choice on Sunday morning were Black Ninjas and Zebra midges (black was the key), and there was also a few takes on the z-wing caddis.
 As our readers know, rain may be Cat’s favorite type of weather so after seeing the forecast today we were definitely going to make a trip to the river. We got to the river about 3:30 and were licking our chops thinking about what a great day this was going to be. I made the mistake of talking a little smack on the way to the river and teased Cat that I wouldn’t be losing as many fish on the river today because I had brought my old favorite Green Stick instead of fishing the one she suggested on Sunday, which of course was to blame for the fish I lost…hehe.  Second cast and I hooked up and the talk began to flow heavier, however it was short lived when I saw it was only a sucker. I moved into the next hole and couldn’t help but turning to watch Cat, it seemed like every time I looked she was netting another fish.  After talking so much trash and having only landed a sucker fish I started feeling the pressure, but had break offs on my next two hookups. We walked up to the hatchery outlet and I took what I thought was the best spot and suggested Cat take the spot next to it.  It only took a few casts and boom Cat landed the fish of the day, just over 19. The rain began to downpour and we had lightning crack overhead so we decided to fish our way back down river.
Today I was the sucker king, it seemed that every spot I casted into would produce copious amounts of suckers. On our way back down the river I finally landed a few bows in the 16 inch range and was thrilled. In the spirit of the events of the day I told Cat that this was a great trip to not to keep track of numbers or sizes of fish and just to enjoy the time on the water. Moments after making that comment Cat’s last cast of the day landed her a second 19, but who’s counting.
  It was a glorious day on the river today and I had a lot of fun watching Cat on fire. The hot flies this afternoon were the A&W, the SOL, Z-wing caddis, and a grey RS2. The forecast shows cooler weather over the next several days so hopefully we have turned the corner on the extreme water temps and can start fishing the river again all day safely.
  A quick tip for fall fishing, on warmer days make sure you fight the fish quickly, snap a quick pic and then hold the fish in the water until it is ready to swim away. As always, Cat, Connell, Winston and The Drift Fly shop would like to thank you for reading…..