Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fall 2014 Video Masterpiece

Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Fly fishing Adventures. Sorry no serious fishing report today, I have been sitting at home nursing my annual “6 month cold”. Anyway this blog is mostly just to introduce our latest video. The music was a return to our roots with some serious drop-d guitar and the fishing this fall at times was fantastic. We hope you enjoy watching as much as we did making it.

 Now I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but we just wanted to remind people that our beloved river is incredible and with that incredibleness draws the crowds. In the last couple of day we have had two separate reports of near fights on the water and from the jist of it, it sounds like it is people not liking other people fish “Their” water. Last week I wrote about people illegally fishing and I saw more of it yesterday but the incidents that I’m talking about are just people being angry because others are on “Their” river. I want to be treated with respect anywhere I fish and I hope as locals that we treat our guests as we want to be treated elsewhere. I said it last year, if you want private water, get a really great job, work yourself to the bone, save all your money and buy your own lake. My guess is that it wouldn’t take long for you to start inviting friends to show them how awesome you water is. I will now jump off my soapbox and say enjoy the video. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, the Pilgrims and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

  Hey all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures blog. I wanted to start by wishing all of our readers an incredibly happy Thanksgiving. In the spirit of the holiday I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about a few of the things I am truly grateful for this year.

  Now the first thing I want to talk about might really surprise a few of you, but before we go any further I can assure you that I will never ever, EVER drink the Koolade. I know most of our readers think that I am an anarchist, but in truth that is not the case at all. I just don’t think the Gov. is the solution to most of our problems. Now, with that being said I wanted to talk about an incident that I had on the river the other day. I was guiding a father-daughter pair and Travis was helping on that trip. I was with the daughter fishing in the Special Regs section when I looked up and saw what I thought were three bangers carrying a pig on a stringer. First of all my heart sank a little and then I yelled up, “if they knew this was a C & R section”(and yes I know that technically it was not. In that section anything over 16 has to be released, but it was also clear that their fish was over the limit). They began to laugh out loud and mock me so being the tuff guy that I am, I quickly analyzed the situation and determined that since I was with clients( it had nothing to do with their size or number, yeah right), that instead of confronting them again personally, I had Travis make the call to the game warden. I said it plenty loud to make sure the bangers heard the threat. The guys walked off and began mocking Travis and the father as they were walking by and showing off their illegal prize. I was definitely annoyed, but a phone call a few moments later made my day. The main DOW officer in our area, not sure if I can use her name, met the bangers in the parking lot. Unfortunately the bangers must have sensed something because they had tossed the pig before the officer caught them. No tickets were issued, but I can’t imagine those clowns making their way back to the special regs section. So here, thank you Gretche_ (I won’t use her full name) for protecting our river!!! I know you have a million tasks to do every day,, but truly thank you! Now for the rest of our readers, I know different times over the years I have been annoyed when bothered by DOW officers thinking “do I look like someone doing something illegal?”, but here is what I would ask of our readers. Next time you run into a DOW officer on our river or really anywhere, show them your license and then thank them for protecting our river.

  Now the next thing I am truly grateful for. Over the years I believe that Cat and I have been so truly blessed to have such incredible shop patrons and guide clients. Cat and I would never have had the opportunities that we have if it wasn’t for you, and yes I absolutely truly mean that!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

 Now the last thing I am so truly thankful for is Thanksgiving is Cat and My ten year anniversary. I still have to pinch myself on a regular basis just to make sure this is not some sort of fantasy long lasting dream. Thank you always my love!! I don’t think I will write any more about this because I don’t think I am much of a romance writer.

  Now the part some of you have actually been waiting for, the fishing report. I know the last few blogs gave glowing reports of our river with an incredible outlook for our December. What I have noticed over the last week has me not so sure what December fishing will be like. I noticed that in the last ten days the water temp has dropped a full 6 degrees. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but I think the extreme global cooling we had last week has slowed the fish down just a little. The super aggressive takes of a week and a half ago are just a little more subdued. Mid day is still seeing some great BWO hatches, but I have not been seeing the fish just go stupid hungry. Moments have been very good and other moments take a little work. My hope is that the warm weather forecasted over the next week stabilizes the temps a little and puts the fish back in the stupid mode.

 The shop has sent out several trips over the last week and all have been productive. I keep trying to get Cat and Cody to take more pics but they just won’t listen so the pics are just from the couple that I took. The smiles on the faces make it all worthwhile, thanks again and have an incredible Thanksgiving. Connell, Cat, Winston, Tom turkey, and The Drift fly Shop want to thank you for reading….


Thursday, November 20, 2014


  Hey all and thanks for checking in. What an amazing day on the river today. I have been trying to think up something cute to write about after catching my largest Arkansas rainbow in two years, but everything comes up short of the incredibleness of the fish. First I thought that maybe I could talk about this fish working out and eating enough crayfish so that maybe he can help the Bronco offensive line but that subject still seems a little sore. Then it came to, maybe the river inhabitants were planning some sort of Christmas play and this fish really wanted to play the part of Santa? I think it might be best to just let the pics do the talking.
  Cat and I got to the river today at just after 1:00 and the fish were ready to roll. Both of our first casts of the day produced fish. Shortly after Cat jumped into a run and I decided it would be a great time to sit back and roll some tape. It was a perfect time to film because Cat went on a roll and landed one beautiful fish after another. I started back up and landed my fair share( Oh how I hate that saying) and ended up landing the one piggy. Fish were on eggs, midge larva and Cat was drilling them on a new BWO pattern she has been playing with. Winston was sure happy to be back on the water again, the bitter cold last week just seemed a little too dangerous to take him. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Mrs. Clause and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Go Big ___!!!!!!

  As I lay down to sleep last night it was with an incredibly heavy heart. Ito took everything I had to not start drinking again. Luckily I had to work most of the day so I missed most of the game, but the parts I did see, were Melvin Gordon running wild. 408 yards echoed through my head all evening. 408 yards, Are you kidding me, I don’t think my new cars warranty is that long. Was the defensive strategy to wear down the running back by continuing to make him run? It was a sad evening in the O’Grady household but as I woke this morning I had a great idea as to how I can fix these horrible feelings that consumed me. First I could remove half of my teeth and then smack myself in the head a few times with a hammer to dumb myself down and finally pick a SEC team to become a fan of. My next thought was there has got to be a better way, and I can think of a couple things that always make me feel better; fishing and ___.

 So Cat and I decided to go fishing today. Earlier this week Cat and I hit the river and had one of our best days of the fall. With the feelings of dread still seeping through my veins I was worried that a less than stellar day might do more harm than good. That was NOT the case today. It took a little while for the fish to really get active today but when they did it was lights out( no Husker defensive pun there). BWO’s began hatching just before 1:00 and they kept the fish interested all day. Even though the BWO’s were everywhere, fish seemed to be drilling everything we threw at them. The excitement of the day was when I hooked this fish that gave me a battle for the ages(unlike my Huskers), I hooked him and twice he ran under branches and twice I steered him through. He headed upriver and then turned and ran below me. I got one look at him when he was just a foot below the surface and he looked like a monster brown. I finally worked him away from all the trouble and saw nothing but slow deep water in front of him and I knew he was mine. Kind of like what Melvin Gordon saw all day yesterday and then, the hook just popped out, all that work and it just popped out. The lowlight of the day was Cat hooked this beautiful fish and fought it for a little while and I had the whole thing on video, after she landed it I went to take a pic and I got an error message and I lost all the footage. I went to snap a pic and the same thing happened, what I can say is that it was a very nice fish.

 I was right about one thing, fishing always makes me feel better. As we got back to the car, cat and I did a quick fist pump and my feelings were repaired and life felt like it was worth living again. I turned on the radio to see how the Bronco’s did today and it sounds like I may need to hit the river again tomorrow.

 With the drop in flows the river felt as technical as I have seen in quite some time. Hopefully with the lower and clearer water the piggies will be less apt to munch on power bait or worms. Casts, drifts, and hooksets all  needed to be precise today and it was game on when they were fulfilled. The pics are from the last few days out. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, The Badgers and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……..


Monday, November 10, 2014

It Now All Makes Sense....

Hello all, and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. As our readers have probably figured out over the years, my brain seems to always be in overdrive and usually somewhere way off the main road. I got to spend Sunday on the river with my incredible wife and dog, and like most time on the water my brain ran wild. When we first got to the river we had something happen that thrust me back to my grade school days and finally my learning became complete.

 As I have aged, many times over the years,I would all of a sudden be brought back to my youth and be glad that I learned a particular skill. As a youngster I remember thinking how dumb algebra was and that I would never use it in the real world. Today I know that the people who learned it are making $20 an hour and the ones that didn’t are trying to raise the minimum wage so they can make $15 an hour. It now all makes sense. <-My only political jab for the day.

I don’t know if the schools still do it today, but when I was a kid, the second to the last day of the school year was “track and field” day. Even though my athletic skills never allowed me to win a ribbon, I always had a blast and most of the events made sense to me. High jump, long jump, races, discus, shot-put all made perfect sense. Humans have been competing against each other since Cain was jealous of Abel. It all made sense, thousands of year ago two guys probably looked up and saw some hottie 100 yards away and said whoever gets to her first gets her. There you go the first race. Later, while they were living in some cliff dwelling and a tiger was trying to climb up and eat them, the men said whoever can throw a boulder the furthest and most accurate and hit the beast, not only doesn’t get eaten but also gets the meat. There you go, the first shot put and discus.

Now as we expand sports, some still make sense, in the right manner. For instance winter sports, I don’t know what it is called but some athletes cross country ski while shooting targets. To me that seems kind of silly, but after living in the mountains I can certainly see how that started. Picture it, several drunk guys are sitting around their cabin and one says “with my gun, I can hit a beer can from a hundred yards.” Of course the others say “no way” this angers the man and he ups the stakes, “I bet I can hit it while skiing down the hill!” Then the inebriated group stumbles out and takes turn trying it, and there you have it, another sport invented…. A pretty cool one too.

While all of these sports are reasonable, there was one grade school competition that never even the least bit made sense, Speed Walking. What in Gods holy name is speed walking, and how did it ever get started. Let me guess, two French men were walking down the street and a horrible monster came up behind them and one said, “we need to walk really fast to get away from him” and the other says “ heck with that, I’m going to run”, the first one says “Don’t be so uncivilized, lets walk really fas-AHHHHHHHHHHHH.” Okay see what I’m saying it never made any sense at all. Even watching the race every year, the guy that won always at one point or another cheated and ran.

 So back to my original point; I typically walk much faster than my wife, try as she might to keep up, and on Sunday the whole speed walking thing finally made sense. Since it was a Bronco’s day we really weren’t expecting to see a lot of people on the river. Pulling into the parking lot and seeing the amount of cars however, quickly informed us that we were not alone. We walked down to the river and we could see about forty yards down that one of our favorite runs was unoccupied. At the same time we glanced across the river and saw another guy gazing at our prized run. Now being the civilized flyfisherman that I am, I would never burst out in to a full sprint (partially because I need to be timed with a calendar rather than a stopwatch), but all of a sudden I felt Cat walk by me quickly. I glanced over and the other guy began to pick up his pace. The “Rocky” theme song blasted through my head and I began to speedwalk past my wife and into my prized run. I glanced back to the other side to see the progress of my competitor, making sure I didn’t make eye contact and I realized that his race was foiled by a tree in his way. At that moment it all became crystal clear and made perfect sense, even though I never actually competed in “speedwalking”, that had to be where it all started. Thousands of years ago two people looked at the same magnificent piece of river and wanted to be the first to wet a line it. I can’t go back in time, but I think I may need to start training now, and then I can fish wherever. And best of all, no more wondering my life is complete and it all makes sense.(not)

 At times, the river this weekend fished pretty darn well. Our Saturday clients were all first timers and really had a blast. They didn’t get a bunch to the net, but learned quite a bit about the brains and brawn of our fish. The thrill of helping someone land their first fish on a flyrod still gives me goosebumps today.  I had heard rumors of a “real” BWO hatch earlier in the week and Saturday was the first serious hour long hatch I have seen this year. Sunday, surprisingly the hatch only lasted a short time, but while it was going on, the fish just came alive. With the weather forecast later this week I would guess that the Reservoir, if not already, should be completely turned over by this weekend and we should see clearer water soon. The clarity had certainly improved over the weekend. The shop schedule looks as if guide trips are filling up quickly. If you are thinking of booking, do it now. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, the Olympic committee, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….


Thursday, November 6, 2014


  Hello all and thanks for checking in. As most of our readers know as a youngster I was quite the connoisseur of fireworks. I wrote a little last year about my favorite firework of all time but it seems that my dirty minded readers took my story the wrong way. This blog will talk about my second favorite firework growing up but most of my readers might find it boring because it is clean. I found my way to the river yesterday for a little “afternoon delight” and the first hour the river was being totally disagreeable. I finally hooked and landed my first fish of the day, a healthy 17 incher and quickly after landed about an 8 inch dink. I continued to walk up river and felt like the river had just gone dead again and decided to try and look for signs of big browns. Clarity was poor again so sighting was difficult. I came across one run that looked hopeful and ran a drift through. My indicator exploded across, and before I knew what had happened I heard a quick buzz and then a pop. I know it was quick but what I felt was maybe the finest fish I had hooked on all year. I GOT SCHOOLED…No question about it, I bent over and put my hands on my knees and my guide voice started rattling in my head “don’t drop your rod tip, give him line, we buy expensive rods and reels in order to catch fish like these”. I was heartbroken and then like most amateurs, I retied and wasted the next ten minutes fishing the same spot “please take it again” nope, nada, noway, maybe come back tomorrow.

 As I stood in that spot trying to get another take I began to feel a little guilty about the times over the years where I have found myself explaining to clients what they had done wrong after losing fish, as if they didn’t feel bad enough as it was. Anyway, I started replaying what I had done wrong and here is where the firework of yesteryear comes into play. The firework was called the ZizzBang, it was a tiny rocket that made a quick Zizz sound and then it would explode. I think even in those days I remember thinking how dangerous they were because we never knew the direction they were going to fly before exploding. It was like playing tag with the loser getting skin grafts. That sound though; zizzzzzz and boom, my line, reel and flies made those exact same sound, and the pain of feeling like I just got schooled by my biggest fish of the year was like bouncing one of those rockets off my earlobe.

 I moped back down river ruing my glory moment and that sound kept echoing through my head. I decided to jump into another run and started hooking up on a regular basis. I think I landed three more and the burn from the explosion began to fade. I was hoping the thought of the loss would be gone but it never really left my brain last night. I sat down to write last night but the pain was just too great. Zizzzzzz and boom, I know it won’t be the last time I hear it, the scar should fade and the healing process is beginning to kick in, I think I know what I’m doing this afternoon. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, the Blackcat company, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Hey all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. As most of our readers know I have this totally nearly uncontrollable” love hate” relationship with football. When my teams win, I may be one of the friendliest people on the face of the earth. Last year’s Super Bowl put me in a two week foul mood. I keep telling myself I need to either quit watching all together or find better teams to root for. I long for the mid-nineties when my Huskers and Broncos beat the tar out of everyone. Well after looking at the Bronco schedule I knew that today would be a great day to go fishing. Luckily for me I picked up a guide trip instead. Now with our less than perfect conditions of late and knowing that today’s trip was with fairly new guys I was a little nervous.

  We got to the water at around 10:30 and after just a few casts I realized that I was with a couple of naturals. Drifts were great and casting was pretty solid. I didn’t feel like fishing was easy today but these guys hooked fish all day. I had asked both of them if they had ever had to fight a fish before and they nodded and said “kind of”, and I knew right then that they were in for a treat. First fish landed was a feisty 14 incher and the next several were 16 to 18 and one was just a smidge over 18 but it had a gut that even Santa would be proud of. One of the highlights of the day was before we fished one run we discussed what the fish would do when he hooked it. I told him that as soon as that fish runs to get the rod tip up and the line over the rocks and let the fish run. The indicator rocketed to the side and guess what happened, yep; my flies are now part of the rock. The best part though was when we came back up stream he asked for another shot and after a few casts I looked over and saw him fighting the fish. He bellowed out “ I got him over the rock this time. Woohoo”!!! Thanks guys for protecting me from my football obsession and being so enjoyable on the river.

  Like I said earlier, I don’t think fishing is easy right now but definitely doable. Fish were on the Winston Caddis and peach egg early and moved to a Bling midge late in the day. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Mark & Tom and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……