Sunday, August 30, 2015

Maiden Voyage....

Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. Some days I wake up and look at who’s next to me and then look at my dogs, kids and toys(not necessarily in order of importance) and realize that it is good to be me, today was one of those days. Last week I was writing a little about the benefits of med. fast action rods (I know most of you just read the TA story). I knew that Sage had come out with their newest med fast rod, the MOD, and after reading my blog from last week I went ahead and bought one. The rod was setup with a Sage Domain reel and Rio Gold line. Cat and I were invited to float the upper river on Sunday, with Travis and Cody and I knew that would be perfect to try out the new stick. When I pulled the rod and reel out of the case it kind of reminded me of the movies about the Holy Grail, the bright green glow began to flood the valley and people began to shield their eyes from the beauty. I could tell right away that everyone was jealous because Cody began to call me the Green Lantern and Cat called me the Sexy Praying Mantis, well actually I added the Sexy part. But after just a few test casts, I knew this was going to be a fun day.
We had barely begun the float when I hooked and landed my first fish of the day. He was only about 10 inches but since he was my first, I wanted to snap a pic next to the rod. Travis back eddied in and I jumped out of the boat and got in place for Cat to snap a pic. I got the fish back in and as we were loading back into the boat, I began to think about what that fish was thinking, and had to laugh. I’m sure that fish was looking at the boat, the gear, the fishing clothing and the rest of the thousands of dollars worth of equipment, chuckled and thought to himself that, “I wonder what these idiots would pay to catch a 15 inch fish.” Well anyways he was the first of many fish landed today. We fished giant hoppers with droppers most of the day and even when the wind blew, the rod was magnificent. I wasn’t sure if it was the line or the rod, but line mending was effortless. Travis jumped up and fished it for a while and next time you see him you may notice a little more of a grin on his face. I realized that if Travis ever gets out of the fishing business he should go into the body jewelry business, he offered up and gave many free lip piercings in a very short period of time. Well, unfortunately the day came to an end and now I’m sitting at my keyboard reviewing my day.
           Lastly I wanted to end by reiterating the fact that some days it’s really good to be me. Great friends, Great family and now a new Great Med fast rod, I will sleep well tonight with a smile on my face. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Travis & Cody and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The TA Slip.....

Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. So I wanted to start this blog by telling you all a little story about a pretty funny Freudian slip from last spring. Now I don’t want to give out this person’s name, for protection purposes but his initials are TA.  Now if you can figure it out on your own, I assume no responsibility for the teasing you may or may not give TA. So last spring the shop and friends were doing a Tenkara seminar and after the in-store portion, everyone else headed to the river. The river was flowing right around 400 cfs and after a few quick practice casts, TA headed over to a run he had been fishing. Just a couple of casts and he hooked and fought a beautiful 19 inch brown to the net. The fear all along about the Tenkara was the inability to land big fish but TA put that theory to rest. The Tenkara rep was thrilled beyond belief by the fish and ran over and told TA that he wanted a pic with the fish and the Tenkara. Now TA was kneeling at the time and was trying to figure out how to get the pic done when he made his slip. As TA was looking up at the rep, he asked “ is it okay if I put your rod in my mouth”? Now I’m not sure how the rep kept a straight face but I do know that Cody and Cat both turned and had to walk in different directions. So the question is, was that a Freudian slip? Probably not, but as a fiend, It would be wrong to pass up an opportunity..hehe
          So today’s trip to the river was about exploring and trying to figure out how the incredibly long and high runoff has affected the river. Winston and I got to the river today at around 10:30. I started by hitting all the traditional feeding lanes with very little success. I didn’t see any bugs and so I started hitting a few of the side channels and slower seems. I started hooking fish and got a beautiful 17 incher to the net. It seemed that every side channel had one fish and then it was time to move on. Once I felt like I knew what type of water the fish were in, I began to think of TA’s run from last year and I made my way down river. On my second drift, I hooked my fish of the day. It was a great fight and as I got him to the surface I saw he was an absolute gorgeous 19 or 20 inch bow. He made another quick run but I was able to work him to the top once again. I think my mouth was watering a little as I was heading in for the netting and he gave a quick headshake and spit the flies. The bow sat at the surface for a second and then like he was winking at me, he gave a quick tail flip and disappeared into the depths. Yeah, it was a little sad to lose the fish but it sure made the day. So, I decided the run shall be forever deemed, the TA Slip.

          I can’t really say that fishing is great right now but it sure is awesome standing in the river. I hooked and fought a total of seven fish today but only got one to the net. From what I could tell it seemed that purple was the color of choice for fish today. I have heard that people throwing streamers have done well also. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, TA, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Add Three Inches

            Hello everyone and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. (This is Cat writing today, Connell is starting his birthday celebration a day early and is currently glued to the 2015 PGA Championship.)
 Most of the year we gauge our lovely Arkansas River Tailwater by the CFS (cubic feet per second) Are the flows up? Are the flows down? How long have flows been stable? Due to the amazing amount of water we have received this year however; our measuring stick has been altered a bit. Yes, in the shop there is the occasional hopeful soul who inquires about the flow and yes we still check the gauge more often than we check facebook, but many of us have surrendered to the fact that when the river will drop is a big, fat unknown.  Due to this fact the topic of conversation has changed from flow to clarity.
You learn a lot about a man based on how he measures the available clarity of the water. The optimist adds three inches, the pessimist uses words like chocolate milk. Personally, I would have guessed today’s clarity to be around nine inches, so it was more than likely six. Honestly, I was just excited to be knee deep today and still be able to see my boots. That being said, the clarity is improving as is the fishing. Our river is turning from brown to green and hopefully sooner than later it will be clear.
Regardless of the color, fishing the Ark Tailwater right now is giving some of us an opportunity we haven’t had for awhile. Those of us brave enough to wade through murky waters are not only getting a chance at a few fish here at home, we are also receiving the gifts of wet wading and SOLITUDE.  Today, Connell and I hit the water about 10:30. We fished up from Valco and saw one other fisherman. Yes, there was a tube hatch on, but they floated by pretty quickly. As you can see by the pic, Winston may be a little out of shape and crashed hard about 8 seconds into the ride home.  

Having the chance to stretch out and hit every single spot we desired was incredible. Through the day, Connell and I hooked around ten fish and ended up with three in hand. Not a stellar day for the O’Grady’s, not even what we would call a good day, but to be back on home waters made all the difference.  The flies of choice included FOD #16 and Black Beauty #18. At the end of the day I hooked a toad, which I fought for a few minutes and got to the surface before he spit the fly. He took a streamer which I call the BM (Bloody Minnow) made you think about that one huh?! Anyhow, below are a few pictures from the day. Sorry there aren’t more, we were so excited to hit the Ark today we forgotten our personal cameras, our gopros, our nice camera, and a camera man. Thankfully, we still had Connell’s phone. Thanks for reading, Cat, Connell, Suspended Solids, Winston, and The Drift Fly Shop.    

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cutties, Tigers and Bows, Oh My !!!!

            Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. As I woke up deep in the Dog Days of summer on August 8th, I jumped on the DWR website to check the flows. I shook my head again and wondered, will this spring runoff ever end? Cat and I definitely felt the need to fish, and even more so, we needed to be out of cell phone range. I absolutely love our tailwater and really couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, but sometimes at this time of the year you just want to get to the mountains. Our destination on Sunday was North Lake and my mission; check Tiger trout off my species list.
            We got started a little late and as we were nearing the lake clouds began to roll in. Not that we were worried, we came prepared but I was really looking forward to a relaxing day. We got in and right away it was on, Cat had to run back up to the car to check on something and before she got in the water I had already landed 5 bows. Cat jumped in and on her second cast she landed a Tiger trout. I could feel the pressure in my mind building, so I began to will the Tigers that much more to eat my fly. My takes slowed a little and Cat went “Gonzo” every time I glanced over she was playing another fish. Then she calls out another Tiger and then a Brookie and then even a Salmon. I finally landed back to back Cutties and just as I began to feel a little better about myself, it happened; I landed my first Tiger!!! WooHoo, not big but a Tiger. Next fish was another and another; I landed 6 by the time the day was over. There’re GGGRRREEAATT!!!!
            What a great day spent on the lake today. Cat was actually keeping a tally today and she finished with 35 in hand. I wasn’t counting but I think I caught my fair share. Now as for the river here in P-town; the river dropped under 800 and then went back to a little over. Clarity is inching better at a very slow crawl but fish are still eating when bugs are hatching. If you make it out start with your first fly just a little large and then trail with typical P-town flies. Tricos in the morning and PMD’s and Caddis the rest of the day. There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for our beloved but if you need something mountainess, head to North. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Tony the Tiger, and The Drift Fly shop want to thank you for reading….