Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Ozzy October....

The year was 1981, some of our readers will be wondering if we still had dinosaurs but I can assure you we did not. However, there were no computers, cell phones and definitely no I-pods. My bedroom walls had a Led Zeppelin poster, Z-92 stickers and a centerfold cutout of Ozzy on them , on the floor next to my stereo was a stack of albums. At that time, The Blizzard of Ozz album was on the end of the stack. I remember Z-92 advertising that Ozzy was going to be in town and I began saving money for a ticket. The concert was set for May 28th 1981 at the Omaha music hall that held a whopping 2500 people. The day of the concert was like any other day in late May in the O. Ninety degrees and about four hundred percent humidity. I didn’t wear shorts in those days and my attire consisted of my suede shoes, my high hip Levis, held up with a dark brown belt, and my sleeveless Ozzy t-shirt that exposed my enormous biceps (hehe). Due to the youth of some of our readers, I won’t discuss my state of consciousness for that particular day. Waiting in line seemed to take forever and when the doors flew open I raced to the front of the Music Hall. I couldn’t believe it, I got front row. At this point my whole body was sweating profusely from excitement and the heat. We made it through the first band, Motorhead, and I could hardly contain myself waiting for the main event. Finally, the lights went out and the auditorium went silent. A few minutes went by and in pitch darkness, Randy Rhodes’ intro to Crazy Train rocked the hall and the crowd exploded. As the lights and pyrotechnics lit up and nearly singed my eyebrows, Ozzy appeared on stage it hit me that this was going to be the most incredible day of my entire life. The song order was Crazy Train, followed by Mr. Crowley and then a switch to Paranoid and some other old Sabbath song. Very quickly I noticed that something just didn’t seem right. The fifth song was I Don’t Know and half way through the song Ozzy went to the microphone and apologized that he was sick and walked off stage. He barely made it off the stage and the lights came on, the crowd stood in utter disbelief at what just happened and were hoping it was some kind of joke or part of the act. After a few moments, the roadies began to pull equipment off the stage and I had to duck as debris started flying toward the stage. Unbelievable, how could anything so perfect end up so depressing.

  As I sat down to write this blog about fishing conditions this fall, I couldn’t help but put it in the same category as my Ozzy concert experience. I still remember the anticipation of that concert, from the first day I bought the tickets it seemed every night I had to check my secret hiding place to make sure the tickets were still there. This fall seemed like a rerun of that time constantly checking the water temps and flows with such great anticipation of a return to our beautiful virginesque waters. And yes I know that is not a real word and probably should not be used while talking about Pueblos’ river, but I’m just saying. With the weather changes we have had this fall, the reservoir turnover seems to be like an upright agitating washing machine constantly kicking its endless debris into the outflow gates. We have had moments on the river this fall that took me back to that opening riff where I felt like this is going to be the greatest day of my life and then quickly followed by total disbelief. One day I make the walk back to my car with music dancing in my brain and the next I’m ready to scream. Now I know Ozzy went on from that evening and made quite a career for himself. For me, I guess my musical desires changed and never really had the desire to see another one of his concerts. If I were a betting man I would put my money on November being a lineup of one incredible concert after another, or we can hope.

 The weather shows a drop in temps this week and hopefully the turnover completes itself. I know I like to gripe a little about the clarity but even with dirty water, beautiful music can be played in your head. The pics are from the last few evenings on the river and as you can see, the fish are looking incredible. One of the things about working in the shop over the years is taking “fish measurements“with a grain of salt. The old joke about why women are shortsighted would fit in perfectly here, so when my friend Tino called and told me he landed a 22incher on Saturday, I was like sure you did, and then he showed me the pic. Bravo Tino!!!! Some great fish, some frustrating days and some

days that just make you glad you are alive. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, the late Randy Rhodes and the Drift fly Shop want to thank you for reading….




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Down and Dirty....

Well I knew the theme of tonight’s blog was going to be “dirty” but to end the suspense right now, it’s about the water clarity and not my home life. Now I hope my Flyshop boss doesn’t read this post because I think I’m going to trash talk him a little. As most of our readers know, I have a very specific way of attacking the river when I fish. I love to hunt them down, spot them clearly, sneak in for the shot and drop the flies in front of the fish. When the river gets dirty it stops my plan before I can even start. Now about Alex, many times over the years I have overheard Alex talking to customers and stating that yes sight fishing is not fun with dirty water but there are some advantages to dirty water. Yes I know he is correct but still I just shake my head and need to walk away.

I hadn’t been out in a few days and even knowing the clarity had gone down over the weekend, my compulsion was just too strong and I headed to the river today. When I got to the water I nearly turned around and went home, if I wanted something that dirty…. I’m going to get in all sorts of trouble with this post. Anyway I saw clarity was down to about six inches and I kept hearing Alex’s voice bouncing around in my head and I decided to stay. It didn’t take long and I hooked what I thought was a possible passing torpedo. After losing so many quality fish over the last few weeks from lack a lack of determination, I decided that tonight I would work every fish like my life depended on it ending up in my net. So the fish chased me up and the across and then back down river with me chasing and trying to not get too much line on the water. It seemed to help and I eventually landed a beautiful eighteen incher. I moved down river and happened to see a fish rise on the other side, I snuck in below him and had another battle on my hands, another landed fish. I landed one more in the next spot and began thinking that all the lost fish over the last few weeks were just my lack of determination and lackadaisical attitude. I moved down a little further and the next three fish were lost during the battle and I realized how little I really know. I continued to move down river hooking and landing several fish.

The thrill of the evening came when I had a fish dive below a branch and start running. Now I was thinking what Cat had told me a few years ago and rather than stop him immediately and have him wrap me on the branch, I gave him line. The reels spun for a while and my internal distance clock had him about thirty feet below me and I began to bring him back up river. My spidey senses told me he was nearing the branch so I lowered my tip and reeled a little harder. I felt him slip back under the branch and I was able to bring another beauty to the net. That one deserved a huge pat on the back. I headed back toward the car and hooked a few more gorgeous fish. I ran into Tino and got to watch him land a great fish as well.

As I was driving home this evening I started reliving the evening in my head and I realized that even though the water was not very clear, it was one of the better evenings I have had in a while. Now maybe next time I hear Alex giving the positive side to fishing dirty water I might jump to his aid, yeah probably not. The reality is that fish eat regardless if we can watch them or not. Fish were taken on everything I threw tonight but the best was a size 18 Black Ninja. I guess the Ninja’s attack even in the dirty water. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Alex and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…


Thursday, October 2, 2014

What An Accel-ent Night!!!!!!

   The new phone books are here, the new phone books are here….I am somebody!!!! Well I’m guessing that all readers over the age of thirty five have a big giant grin on their faces and those that are less than thirty five are probably staring at their smart phones and wondering if I’m talking about the new I-phones. What a great old timer movie; I was in the shop this afternoon when our Sage order came in and after the last few weeks of fishing I felt a little like old Navin Johnson. The new Accels are here the new Accels are here…now I am somebody. It seems every time we get a new and exciting product in the store the Navin comes out in me and I feel like a kid in a candy store. After Cat got them displayed I played with them a little and decided that I needed to hit the river this afternoon.

  Now my Accel is a few weeks old but it still feels new to me. I got to the river about 4’oclock and after landing the first fish hooked I thought tonight was going to be my night. I fished until daylight was gone and just had an absolute blast. The first hour and half was a little spotty but then the river just seemed to turn on. Every few casts and another hookup, I still lost as many as I landed but man we had some fun. I was talking to Alex and I know he was out fishing streamers today and landed a few real nice fish as well. I landed fish on the Winston caddis, J-bombs and Cat’s new fly. The clarity has not changed much with very little sight fishing but like I have said before when the water clears, get here!!

  Tomorrow night is open tying at the shop from 6:00 til 8:00. I have it under good authority that Cat will be taking bribes for showing off her new fly. An expensive gift certificate from Chipotle will probably do the trick, oh wait I’m the one that likes Chipotle. As I stated earlier, the new Sage Accels are in the shop and ready to be touched(wow that doesn’t sound right), I think you will like them as well.As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Navin Johnson and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading.