Friday, November 27, 2015

A Black Friday To Remember

                Hello Everyone, this is Cat and I hope you all had a wonderful and safe holiday. I wanted to chime in on my day and give a shout out to the great clients which made my Black Friday one to remember. To sum up the day it was cold, it snowed, and the dry fly fishing was EPIC! BWOs hatched until about two and while fish were taken on the traditional BWO and Adams, several fish were landed on a ....... and I am not joking about this..... a size 14 yellow foam body stone.... I know I know, how on earth did this happen? Well today I had three clients and two were never-evers and as all of you know seeing a size eighteen mayfly during low light and in snow can be difficult. To help them along I tied the yellow stone on as an indicator fly and what do you know the fish liked it.

            Today was so enjoyable. I spent my time with great guys who were enthusiastic and brave. Not many never-evers, let alone hardcore fisherman, would have braved the weather today and thankfully Mother Nature rewarded them for their efforts. In total I believe the clients landed around 20 fish and a good time was had by all.  Connell came out to help and I couldn’t have asked for a better anniversary present. Today was definitely a Black Friday to remember. Thanks for reading Cat, Connell, Winston, Pepto-Bismol, and the Drift Fly Shop.   

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly.....

          Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Now I have heard the stories many times over the years, but I’m not sure I have ever actually asked the question, are we there yet? Growing up, almost every year we would take a cross country vacation. California three times, NY City once, Arkansas and Table Rock Lake a few times, what memories. Now if you have ever seen Chevy Chase’s Vacation, that was the vehicle we drove. Now my dad figured out real early how to keep himself sane during the vacations. The first fuel stop every trip, he would let us all go in and pick one little game to keep us busy. My sister would always get a book of puzzles, my brother would get jax or some dice game and for some reason, my dad would always pick out my game. He would get me a whiffle ball and bat. I figured out real quick that the bat was not for me at all, you see, even in the very back of the station wagon( we didn’t use seat belts in those days), my dad could, at 70 mph, reach around and use the bat to smack us if we got to loud. So you might think I was an abused child, not even close, I loved those vacations and we never asked if we were there yet. So why am I writing about the “are we there yet” question?  We, the shop family, have had this question asked to us so many times over the last month that I was thinking about bringing a whiffle ball bat into the shop. Jkjk I will do my best to answer a few of those questions with the Good, the Bad, and the Bugly.
          First the good; the colder over night temps from last weekend seemed to finally finish the turn over process on the reservoir. Sunday and Monday the clarity was really, really good. The flows have dropped down into the winter storage numbers and the last few days we have really been able to see the changes that the high flows have caused. Don’t look at the changes as a liability; look at them as a new river experience. Next I wanted to say that our fish are in fantastic shape. One bow that was landed today was as fat as any fish I have seen around here in awhile.
          Now for the bad; with the clearing water, I was really expecting to see more fish moving into feeding lanes. Do I think that the fish are all gone? Absolutely not, the river does have a little of a January feel to it, and you know how well I love January fishing. Now my best guess is just this, with the high flows all summer and fall and the water taking so long to clear, I think the fish had so much to eat that they just haven’t quite gotten back to their normal feeding patterns.
          Now for the Bugly; No typo there, the Blue Wings are here! On the sunny days, the hatch has been starting around noon and they pop from about half an hour to all afternoon. We are still seeing a few caddis and midges off and on all day long as well.
          Next, I want to talk a little about the guide trip I had today. My clients were two first timers, an 11 and a 13 year old, to protect the innocent we shall call them D1 and D2 (hehe). Now to start, I didn’t think today was easy at all. The crowds are beginning to fill in and even during the hatch the fish didn’t seem to go batty. So since these two were first timers, we spent the first hour or so working on casting and proper drifts. When the bugs were worked out on technique I set the boys up into a fresh run. After a few moments, D1’s indicator shot up river and he lifted to set the hook. The fish came out of the water twice and I couldn’t believe it, it was the biggest bow I have seen all fall. The blood-red side silhouetted the green backdrop twice as the fish sailed skyward and D1’s eyes lit up. Then the inevitable happened. A quick head shake and the flies were hurled back at us. I explained that nature played a dirty trick on him today; most people get to fight a smaller fish or two before they get totally schooled. Anyways, D1 got his next fish in and is completely hooked. D2 started out slow and then just caught fire. He got several in and at one point I looked up and by the look of his rod, he was either on a big ole rock or fighting a pig. Regardless, I ran to his side and luckily I did, for this was no rock. It took a few minutes and almost every bit of muscle in his young arms, but he battled the fish of the day to the net, an absolute “pot bellied” 18 incher. A few more were landed before the day was over and I think D1 will have one of those evening that all long time fly fishermen have had, as he closes his eyes tonight, the vision of the bow coming out of the water will shake him awake. Welcome to fly fishing boys.
          I’m beginning to think that maybe I’m a better guide than actual fly fisherman. When Cat and I were driving home yesterday, I was definitely a little frustrated. Driving back to the shop today, D1 was telling me that he now wants a fly rod for Christmas and my love for the sport came back two fold. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, My Dad, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


            Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Flyfishing Adventures. We just wanted to give a quick report on the river. With the weather report calling for wet and cold today Cat and I decided to head to the river. We got to the river at around 1:00 and the BWO’s were popping. The water had dropped to 226cfs today but was still very dirty. Fish seemed to be in every run but it just seemed that one fish was all you could get out of each run. Cat caught the fish of the day, a chub-chub 19 incher. Luckily for me, today the competition was about numbers. Hehe. I have really been expecting the water to begin to clear but it has not yet. When the water does clear, get here, fishing should be incredible. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Jack Frost, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Trip Down Unmemorable Lane....

               Hello all and thanks for checking in at The O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. So I was standing in the river this morning with my trusty Golden at my side and I could not shake the strange feelings that raced through my veins. My heart was bouncing in all different directions and one particular emotion was one that I had never felt before.

          It all started in 1982 when my Huskers made a trip to Penn State’s Beaver Stadium. The game was an incredible back and forth battle and in the final minute of the game the Huskers had State on the ropes. Third and very long and Blackledge hits his receiver three yards out of bounds and the official ran in and marks it as a first down catch. Two plays later, State scores and The Huskers got their only loss of the season. In the nineties it was first the awful calls in the Washington game and then the trip to CU where Campbell had the two punt returns with some of the most blatant no call clips of all time. Then Bienemy comes in and runs the half back pass, Huskers intercept and the official on the spot began to lift his arms, then begins to say incomplete and finally throws a flag and calls interference. And a few years later, FSU fumbles into the endzone with a Husker recovery, then it was the punt return phantom flag and finally it was the ticky tack personal fouls on the QB. And these were just a few of the unbelievably awful games my heart endured over the years.

          So while standing in the river this morning my emotions had no idea where to go. As a Husker fan this morning I felt a little sheepish, and then the annoyance of all those bad calls over the years and then a complete peace fell over my whole body, you see I finally looked around and realized that I was standing in the river with my trusty Golden retriever.

          I would love to tell you all how great the fishing has been this week but that would be a complete lie. Fishing has been difficult with bugs hatching only sporadically throughout the day and really very little to get the fish excited. Guide trips this week have seen a few nice fish to the net, but tough fishing none the less. I did see J Browning pick up a few nice fish, but I can’t tell you the secret fly he was using; you would need to ask him. As for the next week or so, pray for cold to get the Res. turned over. As always Connell, Cat, Winston, Last Nights Officials and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….