Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Fishing 2013 The Arkansas Tailwater

  Hello all and Happy Halloween to all our readers. As I have said in the past, while growing up October 31st was pretty much my favorite day of the year. I know that with age, some of the excitement has weaned over the years but I still love watching the kids have so much fun. I think with the less than stellar fishing conditions this fall I have had a little more time to think of the upcoming Halloween and I had decided this year I would resort to my youthful enthusiasms and take the holiday to the extremes.  I decided that this year I was going dress up in the scariest costume of all time and hand out candy to the terrified kids. I toyed with being a zombie, a vampire, wolfman, or even Godzilla but they all said “been there” and not terrifying enough. After serious brainstorming costume ideas it finally hit me, the scariest costume idea of all time. As I began thinking of my costume idea, my knees began to shake uncontrollably; my breath became short and the fear was not allowing me to breathe. My hands were sweating and shaking so hard that I was not able to use a keyboard in fear of sweat shorting it out. I thought about how this creature was so terrifying that it could possibly destroy the entire world. I talked to my family about my idea and a few of them began to gasp and their skin began to turn blue from fear. After seeing how fearful everyone was I knew that I had nailed the idea, so the next step was how do I carry out the costume, how do I become Obamacare….
  Okay, now that I have really ticked off 52 % of you and the other 48% are ROFLYAO, on to fishing. I got to the water at around3:30 today and found that a slight miracle has happened to our river. The 4inches of clarity on Monday has cleared and I was seeing bottom when I was in over my knees. Flows have been reduced to 171 and fishing was fantastic. I am guessing that it might because this is the first time in several months that the fish could see the bugs in the water and they were feeding like crazy. I think I hooked 25 or more in the 2 and a half hours I was on the water. Winston’s foot has heeled and today was his first time back on the water, we hooked so many that even he got bored and sat on the bank the last several fish.Every stop seemed to produce takes, most of the fish were in the 11 to 14 inch range but I did land several right around 18. The thrill of the day happened at the wall when the hit nearly jerked the rod out of my hand and snapped me off in mere seconds. Flies of the day were the FOD and the True Blood. We have had so many calls to the shop wanting to book trips over the last couple months and it was difficult but we talked clients out it due to less than great conditions. If you are one of those people, the time to book is now. I would expect conditions to stay steady and even improve between now and the end of the year. I hate to be one of those people that says you should have been here yesterday, so get here and that won’t be a problem. As always, thanks for reading, Connell,Cat and Winston…
Just a few pics from today, And Winstons wants to thank all his fans for the get well wishes...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Get Well Soon........

  Well what a strange week this has been. Last weekend was so much fun, I got to spend time on the river with family and watch the river transform back into the jewel that we have all been waiting for. Sunday we got home and I noticed the Winston was moving a little slow but I just figured He was a little sore from the shoreline rocks. Monday he was limping a little more and by Monday evening he wasn’t putting any weight at all on his paw. His foot started to swell up and looked like a  big lumpy pear and so we got him to the vet. Best guess was either a broken bone in the foot or possible a critter , scorpion or spider bite. He was put on anti-inflammatories and antibiotics but his paw continued to swell up. Wednesday rolled in and the swelling opened up a wound across the top of his paw and infection began to ooze out. Now I like to think of myself as a “mans man”, but when my Winnie is not doing well I turn into quite the” girly man”. One look at Winstons’ big brown sad eyes brings me to near tears and makes me run into the other room to bring him back a treat. He has me trained well. Knowing that Goldens have a predisposition for cancer makes me fear that each limp is the beginning of bone cancer. Cat watched me all week and said that at least she knows that if she ever gets sick that I will take care of her. I said yes, as long as the prognosis for her returning to the river is positive, I wouldn’t have her put down. Thursday evening the swelling finally began to subside and a return checkup at the vet Friday morning made me feel like a little more time and rest and Winston will be fishing again.  I can’t believe that the week went by and I really had no huge urge to fish, I just wanted to see my Pups get better.

  Friday as I got Winston back home I couldn’t help but notice the snow beginning to fall. I had heard people all week say that the water had cleared a little each day and that we were now over a foot of visibility. With Winston doing better it was time to get back on the water. I headed over to the Nature Center and was greeted by just an incredible site. I looked up river and the steam was hovering above the river and the monstrous sized snowflakes and the golden back drop of a few changing trees got me humming smoke on the water. I stood for a second and admired Gods mural and then decided it was time to inflict some payback on the river. A few more steps and I was able to get a better glimpse of the water and I could see that the water had completely changed back from the last time out. It looked as if a lime quarry had maybe been dug upriver.  The “better than a foot’ visibility was back to about 3 inches. I had already taken off work so I decided to stay. I fished for a couple of hours and got 6 to the net with the biggest at about 14 inches. I had to smile every time I hooked up because it reminded me a little of Winston. Even when you see that he is in real pain and not feeling well, a little scratch of his belly gets his tail a wagging. Even with the clarity being so bad today, the river was still wagging its’ tail at me and throwing me a bone (no pun intended) every now and then.

  So my blog today is about a wish for Winston and the River to get well soon. Get well soon cards and treats will be received at The Drift and as for the river, I don’t know…just get well soon!

  As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, and The Drift Fly Shop would like to thank you for reading…


Monday, October 14, 2013

A Near No-No..............

 I have written in the past about my propensity for being a fair-weather baseball fan. This season has really found it to be true since I don’t think I have checked out the standings since the Rocks were eliminated in mid July. After a really long work week I sat down Saturday night and wanted to watch a little college football and found that only baseball and nascar were on. I still have most of my teeth so I opted for baseball(hehe). As the first inning came to a close I realized it was the first game I had watched since the World Series last year. The Tigers scored fairly early and I watched inning after inning the Sox getting no hit. Every inning they seemed to have at least one batter walk and get into scoring position and then a strikeout would smash all hope. Finally in the bottom of the ninth and one out, the mighty sox got their one and only hit of the game followed by a couple outs and game over. I never thought the game would be so closely replayed the next day on the river.

  Cat and I were so excited to go fishing Sunday after the incredible evening we had on the water Friday. Kind of like the Sox after eliminating Tampa. We got to the water at about 12:30 and jumped right in. My second cast of the day I hooked and landed my best fish of the day, a 20 and a half inch rainbow. I hooked a few more in that hole, landing one and losing the other. As I was leapfrogging Cat I noticed that she had hooked a few but both had come unbuttoned. I had walked down and around the corner when Cat caught me and laughed that she was already O for four. As she moved into the next hole I watched her fight and lose another fish but this one had actually broken her off on a rock. She retied and lost another and then another break off when she hung her head and said O for seven. We continued to head down stream with me watching her lose fish after fish, it reminded me a little of “The Curse of the Winston” she had dealt with last winter, or the Red Sox batters. O for twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and I could see the frustration starting mount on her face( luckily no beard to hide the frustration). Winston had even stopped walking toward her when she would hookup, I guess he felt like it was more work than it was worth(hehe). Anyway the bugs began to diminish at around four and we started making our way back toward the car. I was fishing my second to last run of the day when I looked down and watched Cat fight and finally land a 14inch bow. I didn’t yell out loud but I was happy for her none the less. When we got to the car she was laughing and telling me that her one fish was almost lost as well as all the others. As she was fighting it she watched its head come out of the water and shake out the hook only to have the last fly lodge in its tail. I got to thinking how the Rockies radio guys would make the call, “ if you are keeping score at home that would be scored E-7 but at least we have another man on base”.

  I keep telling our readers about how non competitive I am, but I also had to remind Cat that like so many shutouts all I needed was the first inning scores to win. On the way home we talked about how much fun it was regardless of the amount of netted fish.  

  After dinner Sunday evening, we sat down and began watching our usual Sunday night shows when I happened to change the channel and see the Sox were playing again. It was the fifth inning and the Sox were being no-hit again and I told Cat that she was way better than the Sox because she would not get two no-hits in a row. I flipped back later just in time to watch Big-Papi tie the game with a Grand Salami and told Cat that that looked a little more like her. Next time out, I have no doubt I will be the jealous one and Winston may be following her all day…

  As always, Connell, Cat, Winston and The Drift Fly Shop would like to thank you for reading….


Friday, October 11, 2013

Oh What a Night!!!!!

  Well it wasn’t late December or back in 63 but “Oh what a Night.”  It has been a few weeks since we have been on our river and after getting a few good reports Cat and I were chomping at the bit to get out and give the river a once over. Winston was also a little frustrated since the last three of the four times we loaded the car with rods he got left at home. The three of us and Brandon got to the Nature Center at about 4:30 and jumped right in. I was testing out a new Airflow line so it took me a few extra minutes to get set up and before I even got my last fly tied on I looked down river and Cat was fighting and landing her nicest fish of the evening, about a 17incher. We don’t really compete but with that being said, I knew I needed to catch up(no pun intended) and I did quickly and boy it was good.  After having several fish hooked and landed I moved up river to the next hole.  Every fishy spot seemed to produce two fish and then it was time to move on. While looking up river and I saw a very nice fish feeding on the surface so I moved in and started casting where he had been. Several casts in and I hooked my fish of the night. I fought him for a while and finally landed this beautiful Male Brown. It was another one of those fish that when I got him in the net and saw his jaw I expected him to be a little bigger than he was, but at 21 inches, wow!!  What a 21 incher. Most of the fish this evening were between 13 an 16 inches and they sure had some tug to them.

 Water clarity is far from perfect with maybe 12 inches or so of visibility but the fish were definitely willing eaters. We saw lots of different Mayflies hatching from the time we got to the water til about 6:15pm. We were catching fish on everything we were throwing, so it didn’t seem that the fish were keying in on anything particular. We did a little better when we had a True Blood on the front end, I think this was due to lack of visibility. The new Airflow line was very nice and fished very well, it seemed a little stiffer than what I am used to. The selling point for the Airflow line is that they do not stretch, from what I could tell that was accurate and it floated very well.

 The river is far from perfect right now but definitely worth fishing. Winston was thrilled to get back on the water and the rest of us enjoyed it as well.   The sky gave us an incredible rainbow and Cat said she got the perfect picture to prove I am a pot of Gold.   As always Connell, Cat, Brandon, Winston and The Drift Fly shop want to thank you for reading….

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Colors of Fall........

  Hello all, Cat and I had the opportunity to fish a little private water yesterday and boy was it fun. We have fished this small pond before and have found the fish have been getting smarter every year. The first time we fished it it seemed that anything you threw would catch fish but now you have to fish it like anywhere else. It sure is nice to have a place to yourself though. And if you get a chance, take a trip into the high country this week; the colors were amazing even though the camera couldn’t show the true colors.

  A quickie for the Ark here in P-town; visibility has improved to a foot or more and the fish seem to be ready to eat. Anglers this week have found very good fishing throughout P-town. PMD’s, blood midges and a few late caddis are the menu as of now. If you have been patiently waiting and collecting brownie points on the home front during the rough summer and early fall fishing season than it may be time to cash the points in and fish……As always, thanks for reading Connell, Cat, Winston and The Drift Fly Shop….