Friday, November 29, 2013

Sibling Non Rivalry!!!

  Hello all and thanks for reading. We want to wish all our readers an incredible holiday season. This year I got to spend Thanksgiving with my older brother and his family. Growing up my oldest brother Hugh M. O’Grady was just old enough so that our paths didn’t cross all that much. Even as the family aged, Hugh waited a little longer in life before he started his family so our kids didn’t get much of a chance to bond. Hugh was the oldest son and had the classic first born tendencies. He is an engineer and was always the responsible one, but his appreciation for humor was 100% O’Grady. When Hugh was younger people would ask him what his middle initial M. stood for. His answer was classic O’Grady; He would put his hands on his waist, give an ever so slight pelvic thrust, and with a **it eating grin, his answer was “mungus”. Hugh was part of the original trips to the Taylor, twenty plus years ago, but due to health issues and a really busy family life he hasn’t been able to fly fish in a few years. Today was the perfect day to share my love for flyfishing.

  Hugh picked it up real quick and hooked several fish today and got 4 all the way to the net, 14 inches was the prize. The most exciting part of the day was when Hugh hooked about a 17 incher and fought him for several minutes. His idiot guide never mentioned to him to try and work the fish into a little deeper water so the guide could get the net under the fish so unfortunately the fish was lost right near the net. Didn't see a lot of bugs today and the rig of choice was a FOD, Skinny Minnie, and a Bling..

   I hope it’s not another several years before I get to spend the day fishing with Hugh again, but if it is I hope he enjoyed the day fully. I think when he gets back to Omaha, his answer might change a little when people ask what the M. stands for. He can now remove his hands from his waist, put 17inches apart, add another 4 (fisherman lie inches), and in a totally adult way say “Mungus”.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fly Anglers Guide To Proper Christmas Gift Getting, 2013!!!

  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? Needless to say wife number two has never made this mistake hehe.

  This blog is my 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 he 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 flames upon entering any other fly shop.


Five Star gifts *****

  A Scott Radian 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 Hatch Finatic, Ross Evolution, or 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)

 A pair of the new Smith Chroma Pop Sunglasses (a sight fishing necessity).

***** stocking stuffers could be flies, flyboxes, leaders, fluorocarbon tippet, Simms layering or Simms winter accessories. The new Waypoints flyfishing video.


Three Star gifts***

  A Sage Approach, Response, a Winston GVX, or a Scott A4.( 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.

 A new pair of the Smith Chroma Pop Sunglasses (a sight fishing necessity).

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


One Star gifts*

 A broken compass for your next big hiking adventure.

 A half day guide trip scheduled with anyone but Cat 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. Yes I know this is a repeat from last year but I enjoyed it so much I decided to run it again this year. 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…..


Saturday, November 23, 2013

The O'Grady Fall Video on The Arkansas!!!

  Hello all, and once again thanks for checking in with us. Cat and I were sitting around last night editing our latest video and every time I looked at her one of her favorite goofy songs kept rolling through my head. One of Cat’s movie obsessions is Dirty Dancing and she always cranks up the ending song, “I had the time of my life, and I owe it all to you”. Wednesday will be our ninth anniversary and I still have to pinch myself everyday to make sure the last nine years were not just a dream fantasy. I know I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth and for those of you that don’t have as a supportive wife as mine, hopefully these videos will give you a chance to live vicariously through us. This fall was interesting to say the least, a little fish kill in the lower sections and we have not caught as many really large fish but the 14 to 18 inchers seem feistier and ornerier than ever. Enjoy and thanks again, Connell, Cat, Winston and The Drift Fly Shop…


  With Thanksgiving coming up this week I was trying to find a different way to help our readers score well in the Christmas gift getting area but felt like I liked last years post so well that I will edit and make the correct changes and repost next week. Don’t let your significant other buy you another tie for Christmas, print next weeks post and insure yourself a really merry Christmas….

Friday, November 22, 2013


  They say that a picture is worth a thousand words so I would have to say that this blog is priceless. Fishing was absolutely incredible today…..
 Biggest brown since last November 22!!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Don't Miss the Joke!!!

It was a little over twenty years ago and I think I had one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. My brother and I were down skiing Taos and while we were standing in the lift line I heard an Angel behind me say “excuse me sir”. As I turned, it felt like a scene straight out of Waynes’ World. In my mind, her face was perfect, she was a ski instructor and her ski school outfit was zipped down just enough to show her perfect  skin , the wind was blowing her hair back and her lips were pursed as if she was begging me to kiss them( in my mind). I started hearing Foxy Lady playing in my brain and in a muttered voice I said yes. She then asked me if I was single (oh my gosh, an 11 just asked me if I was single), yes squeaked out and she then asked me if one of the kids she was teaching could go up the lift with me. I stood for a second and realized what had just happened and I said “actually I am with him” and pointed at my brother. It took a second for both of them to realize what had just happened and then they both burst into laughter. Like I always say, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you will miss the greatest joke of your generation.

  Well today on the river felt a little like that sheepish guy saying yep I am single. Cat was in the shop today so I knew it was going to be just me and Winston. I was planning on going a little closer to the dam but as I was passing Valco I saw Tino getting ready. I went ahead and pulled in there and decided I would hang out with Tino and his son Logan for a while. We jumped into Dj’s and started hooking 4 inch fish. I walked up a little and I think I landed half a dozen that were five inches tops. As I walked back down Tino had tangled from a frisky fish and he told me to jump into the spot that he was hooking fish. I could hear him telling Logan to watch exactly what I was doing because I am a professional. Ten casts or so and Logan was not impressed, lots of nutten. Anyhow I moved down and hooked a few more super dinks and then I looked up and watched Tino and Logan land a nice fish.  To make matters worse, Winston was now hanging out with them(fair-weather dog). Dejected I decided to move and once I was out of eyesight of any witnesses, the bugs started hatching and I landed my nicest fish of the day, a nineteen inch bow. I landed another smaller one right away and then as I was scouring for the pigs, one came into view. First cast and BANG a beautiful very nice fish comes a foot out of the water and as he crashed back to the river my flies came flying back at me. For just a second I thought at least no one saw that miss, then from behind me I heard Cody say you are supposed to get those one all the way to the net. Busted..Well anyway Cody moved below me and every few casts it was the same, fish on, a quick run and fish off. Winston began giving me the same look my brother and the hot ski schooler gave me so many years ago. I spotted one more really nice fish and when I hooked him the result was the same only instead of just Cody, Eddie and Ben were witness to my less than adequate landing skills. Well it was a blast anyway, got several to the net but just got my tail kicked by the fish today. Cody had a few show him the sticky side of rocks and then got one fatty to the net. Bugs were thick between noon and 1:30. Flies of the day were an FOD, and small black midge.

  As always, thanks for reading. Connell, Cat, Winston and The Drift Fly Shop…..


Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Intersection of Humilty and Vanity

  Cat and I started writing this blog a little less than two years ago and really had no idea which way we wanted to go with it. For me it felt like a great way to show my incredible sense of humor (hehe) and give some information as well. Cat on the other hand has wanted to be a writer all her life. The first several months I remember checking the stats almost daily to see how many hits we had had on our site. We got to a thousand and we were ecstatic that that many people would read our stuff. I started looking up other blogs to see how many hits they received and Cat and I said if we got five thousand our blog would be a success. Well, as that number came and long since went and we kind of lost focus on the numbers and just tried to be informative and entertaining. I was looking at our stats this weekend and had to take a double take when I saw that we had just gone over thirty thousand hits. I was completely awestruck and totally humbled by how many incredible readers we have; from the bottom of our hearts we truly thank you for making this blog part of your entertainment. 

  Seeing those numbers began shooting all kinds of emotions through my brain, they ranged from extreme vanity and back to extreme humility. It got me thinking about the battle between the two emotions I seem to fight all the time. I was reading an article several years back from one of the most prominent fly fishing Guru’s in Colorado and he said that there was “no luck in fly fishing.” I loved that quote and with chest stuck out I have repeated it many times over the years.  My wife even bolsters my ego by saying that I could probably catch fish out of our hot tub. That’s right, it’s all me and no luck whatsoever. Well the last several months have started to sway my ideas on the whole luck thing. Our yearly Taylor trip over July 4th usually seems to produce four or five feeding fish per day, but this year’s fall trip produced fifteen to twenty fish takes a day. Was I that much better, or perhaps was there just more hatches and active fish? This fall has been very interesting, one day I had a total beginner client hooking thirty or so fish by himself and the very next day, myself and three other experience anglers hooked thirty between us. Was he that much better, or were the conditions merely different?  The longer I stay in the professional flyfishing world the more I seem to battle with the intersection between humility and vanity. A few weeks back I had a client in the Money Hole and I had a few guys walk by me and tell me how great the hole that we were fishing was. I said thanks for the tip and had to scratch my head, “didn’t he know who I was?  Was my Orange hat and expert guiding skills not a clear indication that he was talking to The Connell O’Grady?”  The second this thought went through my head I just had to laugh. One time I had a guy stop me and explain that only blue egg patterns working on the Ark, and again my vanity crossed paths with my humility. One of the stranger accounts happened when I was fishing about thirty feet below a red and a fly fisherman stopped me and told me there was a bunch of fish just up from me on a light colored patch of sand. Disgusted the vanity struck again “Do you people not know who I am, I am Cat’s husband and the fishing partner of Winston, I know what I am doing and don’t need advice I didn’t ask for.”  Then like getting hit in the face with a wooly bugger, humility sets in and I gain control of the ego.  

  Reflecting on these moments also gets me thinking about how many times over the years I have given people advice, people who know far more than me, and it makes me a feel a little sheepish. Well I am sure this will be a battle that rages on inside of me for the rest of my life, so I have put together a few thoughts that I am going to try to think of before fishing, in an attempt to keep my mind in the correct sphere. The first is that my battle should always be between me and the fish, it doesn’t matter what Fred or Joe did yesterday or even an hour ago. Second, this incredible sport that God made possible for us and it needs to be enjoyed in its entirety. From the sounds, smells, and epic battles, enjoy it all. And last, conditions are always changing. From bug selection, water quality, and flows, plus hundreds of others it is important to …Just Fish!!!

  As I said before, Cat and I are truly humbled and thankful for so many readers over the last few years and we hope we can be as entertaining for the next thirty thousand hits. I know it has been years since I have told anyone good luck fishing (because of the article), so I think I will start a new a say it to each fisherman heading to the river.

  May the bugs be in your favor and the wind always at your back, enjoy it all….


            Today’s fishing journey was a testament to these words.  We had been pounding the upper sections so hard for the last few months that Cat and I decided a change was needed.  So leaving the house at about noon we headed for Reservoir Drive, below City Park.  The clarity was still low at only 10 or so inches but the water was green not brown.  Within an hour of our arrival a BWO hatch filled the air with a good mix of PMD’s and Trico’s joining the party as well.  Fish were hesitant to rise but a few brave souls hit the top with exuberance.  This prompted me to put on an Adams which was greedily slurped.  The rest of the day the fish fed hard subsurface.  It was a numbers day and Cat and I both lost track of how many fish we hooked and landed.  There was no pigs hooked on this trip, which was unexpected but with the numbers we couldn’t bring ourselves to complain about it.  The hot flies for the day were the Bling Midge and a Purple JuJu.  Thanks for reading! Connell, Cat, and Winston.      


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ninety Minutes In Heaven!!!!!

                  I know it was a long time ago but in grade school we used to play a game called 5 minutes in heaven. It was a different time but the game consisted of when it was your turn you got to pick a girl from the group that was hanging out and go under the stairs with her for five minutes. Just kissing a girl and hoping that she liked it in those days truly was 5 minutes of heaven. Cat and I got to fish today and it was like playing that old game but instead of 5 minutes it was an hour and a half and there was no exchanging saliva. The river was slow when we arrived but at right around 1:00 the river just exploded. For an hour and a half it seemed that almost every good cast produced a take. We were still missing quite a few but it sure was a blast but it didn’t really seem to matter because you could just make it up on the next cast. Between the two of us I would guess we hooked at least thirty, and in my best Forrest Gump voice, one minute they just stopped. Fish were on the FOD and the J-bomb scud. When we were up at the Taylor I watched something really strange happen, tons of mayflies were hatching and for some reason I had just as many, if not more hits on my midge. So today when the mayflies started hatching I started changing up my trail fly and they just seemed to really like the j-bomb. As I said at around 2:30 they just stopped and we only hooked three or four over the next hour and a half. I heard a friend say that fishing was so good today; it should have been last week. Yep it was that good…As always thanks for reading, Connell, Cat, Winston, and The Drift Fly Shop….
             Sorry I don't have many pics of Cats fish, we have some good video but that will come out in a video at a later date...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Old Friends......

  Had an old friend in town today and it got me thinking of the first time I ever had a great day on the river. The year was 1990 and the second to the last day of the ski season I was throwing a helicopter and only made it three quarters of the way. When I landed and my shin slammed into the front of my boot I experienced the worst pain of my life. A week later my friend Kevin Neff called me and said we should go fishing before he headed to Alaska. I was apprehensive because of the pain but he assured me that he knew of a great place to fish. We drove up to Shadow Mountain dam and he said it would be a short hike down the river and we would fish where the river ran into Lake Granby. To this day the hike seemed like it was well over ten miles with every step feeling pain radiating up my leg. I’m sure if I made my way back up there it was probably a lot closer. Anyway we finally got to where we wanted to fish and we could see that just out of casting reach there was a small shelf that we wanted our hooks to get to. Now in those days I was throwing salmon eggs with an ultra light reel and two fish was a really good day. After a little frustration of not being able to get our casts out as far as we wanted we decided to get in the water. Now you have to remember that this was April, in the mountains and we had no waders. The initial shock from the cold was not enough to make us use our brains so we walked out to where we could cast to the shelf. First cast we caught a fish and then another and another and after a short time I lost all feeling in my legs so it actually felt good. We fished for about an hour and we realized that we had completely used up every bit of bait we had brought. I think we landed twenty fish between the two of us and at that point it was the greatest day I had ever had fishing.  We made the walk back to the car and as the feeling came back to my leg I though Kevin was going to have to carry me, luckily I made it, I don’t think he liked me enough to carry me.

  Unfortunately as life moves on people end up in different places and just lose touch. In those days there were no cell phones, Facebook or even internet so out of sight really meant out of mind. A couple of years ago Kevin was in Colorado and we got to hook up for a few days of storytelling and fishing and it was really great to see him after twenty years. Kevin was back in Colorado and came down today with his father to fish our little tailwater again. The river had cleared earlier this week so fishing and guide trips this weekend were amazing. I had told Kevin that he had perfect timing and the river was in pristine condition. Now keep in mind that Kevin has spent most of the last fifteen years guiding in Alaska so it takes a little to impress him. We got to the water about 9:30 and the first ten minutes was a headscratcher. The first thing I noticed was that the three feet of clarity from Saturday was back to less than a foot with the milky grey color. Cat headed to her spot and Kevin to the spot I told him and Kevins’ dad moved to the spot I told him so he could tie on his flies. As he was tying his last fly a guy walked up and Jerry very nicely said “done already” and the guy just kind of looked at him moved up ten feet and started to cast. I just had to laugh and say welcome to Pueblo… The day had moments, a few good fish a few small fish, way too many misses and way too many perfect drifts with no action. I think we caught more than we caught that day twenty plus years ago but the stakes have changed. Cat got the fish of the day at 19 inches and Kevin got a couple that went right around 17. The company was way better than the fishing today and I don’t remember ever spending that much time shooting the breeze. Kevin was always the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back and even loan you his car for six months so it sure was great spending the day with him and his father.

  Conditions today have definitely deteriorated today with clarity back at about a foot. I am only guessing that this is still the res trying to finish turning over. The hot flies of the day were the true Blood, the FOD, the Bling midge and even picked up a few on a big Adams. Not really sure what the river will to now but even with the poor clarity the fish still need to eat. As always, Connell, Cat, (Kevin and Jerry), and the Drift Fly shop would like to thank you for reading…