Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Naming Rights....

            Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures Blog. Today’s blog will be a little different than most because at the end I will be asking for reader participation. Now don’t panic, I’ll give the rules later. With the Broncos preseason only a few short weeks away I started thinking a little about the stadium naming rights fiasco that is on its way. When I first moved to Colorado it was just “Mile High”, I remember the thunder the fans would make from below the seats “Mile High Thunder”.  The new stadium lost a little bit of the traditional luster but after last year’s Super Bowl win, the “Sports Authority Field” name really began to sink in. It will be really interesting to see how the naming pans out after Sports Authority went belly up. I hope my Broncos don’t follow suit.
            After about my sixth hookup of the morning I found myself completely basking in the Glory that our river has become, and of course that is where the naming comes in. When it comes to great fisheries, there are some fantastic names out there. The Dream Stream, Miracle Mile, Hog Trough, the Reef, Toilet Bowl; all these names signify the quality of the fish but when our water is mentioned, it is the Arkansas River Pueblo Tail water(boring). I would love to be as cool as “the Juan” but when you say “the Ark”, people say “do you mean up by Salida”. We have had a lot of fun over the years naming different runs,  and , of course Cat’s Run is my all time fave but Mysis, Apples, Peek-a-boo, DJ’s and even the Money Hole have been fun to see sink in. On about my ninth hookup of the morning I began to think about nick-names for our tail water, our river deserves an awesome nick-name. As I was taking a pic of my fattest fish of the day, my entry for the naming rights came to me. The Phat Farm, yep that is my official entry and for two reasons; first, this may be the only river in the world where there is as much Phat Farm clothing as Simms walking the banks, and second, these fish are seriously fat and healthy.
            Now here is where I am looking for participation and this means everyone, if you are creative please on either my or the Drifts Facebook page or my Blog please give up your best name entries. Now if you are too shy or not super creative than just use your mouse and hit the Like button for the names you like. Please don’t let this naming opportunity pass you by.  How awesome would it be to take you grand children here in thirty years and tell them that you helped in naming this river.

            As I stated in the text, the river fished really well today. 8:00 til 9:00 was steady but at around 9:00 the frenzy was on. Fish were drilling the Whiskey Nymph until my second break off and I switched to my A&W pattern. Landed a couple of smaller fish on a Twenty Incher but I am still trying to find a third fly that the fish find scrumptious. Dinner time ended a little early this morning and I didn’t touch a fish after 10:15. Wet wading is delightful and much safer than wearing waders right now. Have fun and don’t forget to participate. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Mile High, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…

Friday, July 22, 2016

Heavy Water....

Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. It sure has been an interesting summer this year. With the last two summers being so incredibly mild and this year feeling more like the “real” Pueblo, I keep hearing the new Coloradoans talking about how hot it is here in P-town. I guess for my first 22 summers in Southern Colorado I remember nearly every day between the middle of June and the middle of August being over a hundred degrees. I would talk to my dad back in Omaha about walking 18 holes in the afternoons and he couldn’t believe I would play in that kind of heat. I always explained that it was a “dry” heat and he would give a little chuckle and then laugh at my stupidity. I have made the mistake of going back to Omaha in the middle of the summer a few times over the years and I want to tell you, there is a difference. Big time!
This evenings blog post is kind of on the same line; discussing something which appears to be the same, but is actually very different. As most of you know our tailwater is still running a bit high. Though that is only part of the story…. In fact, a very small part of the story. 900cfs can offer some amazing fish when the clarity is good, the water temps are right, and the fish are eager. 900cfs can also be impossible to fish when muddy. Same flow, two very different fishing experiences. So at which end of the spectrum does the tailwater currently sit? Right now the river sits in a realm all its own. Our water is having clarity issues, but it is not muddy. Instead, it is what I call “heavy” water. When water is green and the water has a certain texture of large particulate matter, I deem it “heavy.” This type of water can fish well, but it is a challenge. Unlike Muddy water, smaller flies which match the aquatic life are a must, but the increased flow makes landing fish difficult.
Today I had the pleasure of guiding a very productive trip, even with the heavy water. This was Chris’s first time fly fishing in Colorado. We got to the river around 7:30am and the flows were right around 800cfs. We worked a little on the basics, and then pretty quickly afterward we got our first take. The fight was quick and won by the fish. Chris was thrilled just with the fight and really fought the fish well, I felt the need to pull out the “heavy” water for his excuse. We moved down a little and lost the next few as well. The next fish took a couple of minutes and he managed a 17inch piggie to the net. We landed a smaller fish next, and then we moved up into some quicker water. I told him that the run could be good, but very difficult to land big guys out of, I know that from experience. A few casts in and wham-o, the fight was on. With the heavy quick water this fish started running down river and the chase was on. Chris must have had an awesome guide(hehe) because he managed another gorgeous 17 incher to the net. We began fishing our way back and then we had our surprise of the day. Chris hooked another and as it was getting closer to us we noticed the color of it was off. We got the fish netted and even though it was only around 11inches, it was a full- blooded cutthroat. I must have caught over a thousand fish on the tailwater, but I don’t ever remember catching a full cutty. Great effort was made to get the photo of it, but the fish won and only gave us a tail-shot. Oh well and to make things even more impressive, the water had come up an extra 100cfs and yes it was a heavy 900cfs.
Anyway, hot flies over the last few weeks have been Twenty Inchers, Zipp’s Whiskey Nymph, and the Beaded Soft Hackle. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Chris, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Taking Advantage...

                Hello all and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. It’s times like these when I remember how much I truly adore fly fishing. As most of you know, I had back surgery just over three weeks ago and have been limited to very slow and deliberate movements. If you have ever seen me play basketball, than you may think that I have always followed that rule. Anyway, other than the short time spent casting the new Sage-X last week on the South Platte, my fishing fix has come from listening to fishing stories in the shop. Yesterday, while at the shop, we noticed that the river had dropped to around 550cfs and even though the clarity was far from perfect, I needed my fix.
                Cat, Winston and I got to the water at just after six and I jumped into one of my go-to runs. Cat took a few moments to get set up right across from me and I think she hooked a fish on her first cast. She hooked three in the first run and got one to the net. We began working our way down river and Cat hooked a few more. Finally after about an hour I landed my first fish, he was a GIANT 11 incher. I very carefully made my way to the other side and finally hooked a serious toad. The fish had my hands fumbling like a total newb and I got smoked. A few casts later and I hooked another beast. My hands worked much better and my fight was valiant, however once the fish got below me, I wasn’t willing to take the fight to him for risk of twisting my back. I finally landed my fish of the summer, he was right around 15inches and I could not have been happier. This is where things got interesting; I looked just up river and saw something coming straight at me and I realized it was a man-eating beaver. I could hear Winston growling from across the river. Quickly, all the statistics of the hundreds and thousands of people a year that get mauled by beaver rambled through my brain. And yes I know that I am a complete wimp, but when he got to about ten feet from me and then dove, I started doing what looked like the happy dance. I just wanted to make sure that he knew these were my legs and not tree trunks.
                Well I made it out with my back just a little tight and all my lower limbs attached and we called it a very successful evening.  While walking back to the car, Cat and I had a slight bittersweet moment. We absolutely love fishing our One’s but after fishing the Sage-X last week, the anticipation began to seep in a little. The feeling reminded me a little of my youth B-days, I always got what I needed but very quickly I would daydream about what I would get for Christmas.

                I checked this morning and the flows are still sitting at right around 550cfs. If you feeling the need get out to the river, early and late in the day are the best times. Fish were taking PMD emergers last night. Alex’s Whiskey nymph and the soft hackle will be great producers for the next few months. If you are the adventurist type, reports from the high lakes have been phenomenal. Get by the shop and we can get you in the right direction. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Angry Beaver, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…..